Purgatory and 1 Corinthians 15:52

How do we reconcile the teaching that purgatory is a process by which we are perfectly purified and made ready to enter heaven with 1 Corinthians 15:50 and following that seems to indicate we are made perfect instantly and not through a process?

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

that almost sounds like the second coming, how it mentions the trumpet sounding,and the dead being raised… kinda like in revalation… if i am correct, that means moreso our physical bodies, and not our souls…

[quote=forthright]How do we reconcile the teaching that purgatory is a process by which we are perfectly purified and made ready to enter heaven with 1 Corinthians 15:50 and following that seems to indicate we are made perfect instantly and not through a process?
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A process (a change) can be instantaneous and still be a process. Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory stand outside time, so what might seem an instant may last an eternity and what seems an eternity may only be an instant.

[quote=forthright]How do we reconcile the teaching that purgatory is a process by which we are perfectly purified and made ready to enter heaven with 1 Corinthians 15:50 and following that seems to indicate we are made perfect instantly and not through a process?
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I would very strongly suggest that you contact The Bible Christian Society and get their FREE CD on The Rapture and the Bible in which John Martignoni talks about just this thing. The fact is that this passage does tie in with the end times passages.

Let’s have a look at it for context:
50: I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
51: Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52: in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
53: For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.
54: When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
55: "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?"
56: The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57: But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (Emphasis mine)

Now the key to the answer to their assertion is in the parts I have bolded above. What exactly does it say? “at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable,” Now, is there any other verse that clarifies when this happens (We Catholics should find this one easy because the answer is in one of our favorite passages of the New Testament…John 6.)

John 6:38: For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me;
39: and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.
40: For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
41: The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."
42: They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, I have come down from heaven'?" 43: Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up **at the last day.** 45: It is written in the prophets,And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
46: Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48: I am the bread of life.
49: Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50: This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.
51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
52: The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53: So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
54: he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

When does Jesus plainly say that the resurrection of the dead comes about? (Hint: If ya can’t find it up there in all those repetitions of bolded texts [again for my own emphasis] then you’ll be easy pickin’s for non-Catholic evangelism. :wink: )

BTW, that passage has nothing whatever to do with the condition of one’s soul…it’s about the resurrection of the physical bodies of believers.
Context is EVERYTHING. :smiley:
Pax tecum my friend!

[quote=forthright]How do we reconcile the teaching that purgatory is a process by which we are perfectly purified and made ready to enter heaven with 1 Corinthians 15:50 and following that seems to indicate we are made perfect instantly and not through a process?
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I’ve always understood this passage to refer to the resurrection of the dead and not to judgement. Our bodies are changed from corruptible to glorified in the twinkling of an eye, not our spirits purified.

[quote=Lapsed]I’ve always understood this passage to refer to the resurrection of the dead and not to judgement. Our bodies are changed from corruptible to glorified in the twinkling of an eye, not our spirits purified.
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Yup! :thumbsup:

[quote=forthright]How do we reconcile the teaching that purgatory is a process by which we are perfectly purified and made ready to enter heaven with 1 Corinthians 15:50 and following that seems to indicate we are made perfect instantly and not through a process?
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You cannot reconcile these verses with Purgatory. Paul writes to the Church at Corinth about a MYSTERY, and that mystery is that “we shall not all sleep.” That is, not ALL true believers will experience death. There will be a generation of true believers that will be changed instantly, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and those living saints will be changed from mortal to immortal with those saints who had died in Christ and are, at that time, resurrected from the dead (bodily resurrected). See also 1 Thess. 4:14-18.

Purgatory is not a Biblical doctrine. The true believer is/was purified of ALL sins when he personally put his faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. To believe that you must STILL be purified of sins is essentially *unbelief * (see Heb. 1:3 - and what Paul wrote to these Corinthian believers in 1 Cor. 6:11; 1:2, 30).

Paul also wrote to the Corinthians that to be at home in the body we are absent from the Lord, but prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6-8). When a true believer dies he goes straight into the presence of Christ. And why not? He’s already been purified of ALL sins by His substitutionary, sin-sacrifice. That’s what the cross was all about. That was its purpose.

Blessings,
Bene

You are wrong. See these sites.

www.scripturecatholic.com/purgatory.html
www.catholic.com/library/purgatory.asp

[quote=thistle]You are wrong. See these sites.

www.scripturecatholic.com/purgatory.html
www.catholic.com/library/purgatory.asp
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Well, let’s evalulate the premise of these articles you referenced:

If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we won’t get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This “prison” is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.

The problem is “we” are not required to “adequately” deal with Satan and sin in this life. The ONLY ONE who can/could adequately deal with Satan and sin is/was the Man, Christ Jesus. For this reason He came into this world.

Compare the above premise with what is revealed regarding Christ, this side of the cross:

John 1:29
Colossians 2:13-14
1 John 3:5, 8
1 John 5:8-13, 20

So could it be, perhaps, the articles are wrong?

Blessings,
Bene

The links are not wrong. You are presuming that there is a contradiction between what is explained, especially in the second link, about our redemption and our suffering in atonement for our sins. There is no contradiction. That suffering can take place in this life or in purgatory.

Read Col. 1:24 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church”

Is Paul saying that Christ’s redemption was not enough? No. He is saying that there is a matter of justice and that we must suffer for our sins and that can take place here or in the hereafter as the scripture in the links clearly state, if you have read them.

Are our sins forgiven? Yes - but just as King David was forgiven he still had be expiated from his sin (2 Sam 12:14).

Jesus has wiped away our sins - there is no argument with that, but we still have the punishment for them to atone for as scripture again clearly states.

[quote=bene7]The true believer is/was purified of ALL sins when he personally put his faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. To believe that you must STILL be purified of sins is essentially *unbelief *(see Heb. 1:3 - and what Paul wrote to these Corinthian believers in 1 Cor. 6:11; 1:2, 30).

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When a believer is baptized he is indeed purified of all his past sins. Baptism is a full application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary and the believer is reborn, becomes a new man, a clean slate as it were as far as sins go, freed from eternal punishment and freed from unhealthy attachments to creatures (temporal punishment). If the newly baptized believer were to die, he would go straight to heaven. We agree on this, I think.

Yet, the author of Hebrews writing to Christians enjoins them to strive for that holiness without which no one will see God. (Hebrews 12:14) Now, no one strives for that which he already has. So, he must be writing to those Christians who have lost their baptismal holiness and who must now strive to regain it. St. Paul enjoins Christians to work out their salvation in fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) Now, no one has to work out what he already has. So, he must be writing to Christians who have lost their baptismal salvation and who must now work to regain it. St. Paul enjoins Christians to put to death what is earthly in them. (Colossians 3:5) Now, no one can put to death within them what is already dead. So, he must be writing to Christians who have fallen from their baptismal purity into sin and who must now put to death what is earthly within them.

In other words, maintain your baptismal purity and you go straight to heaven. Lose your baptismal purity through sin and you must regain it on earth through penance or in the afterlife through Purgatory before entering heaven because as the author of Hebrews says, there is a holiness without which no one will see God and some Christians must strive for this holiness. (This is assuming, of course, that if serious sins are involved they are repented of and confessed to the Church’s ministers of reconciliation who have the authority to forgive sins in Jesus’ name.)

How does the Christian maintain or regain his baptismal purity? St. Paul said, “I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” Traditionally, this is done through penance, such as prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These practices help to break the unhealthy attachments to creatures that is innate to sin. For the Christian believer who finds himself still with unhealthy attachments to creatures when he dies, these must be purified after death (Purgatory), whether this takes just the blink of an eye or it takes longer, we do know that nothing impure can enter heaven.

How does a soul that is in purgatory pay for the debt of sin so he/she can get out of purgatory and into heaven? Can they do penance in purgatory? I thought the scriptures say that it is appointed once for men to die and then the judgement. It puratory just delaying the final judgement or have all souls in purgatory already been judged and just have to “work off” some sins. Can some souls in purgatory eventually wind up in hell. Please clarify if you can. Thanks.

[quote=oilman]How does a soul that is in purgatory pay for the debt of sin so he/she can get out of purgatory and into heaven? Can they do penance in purgatory? I thought the scriptures say that it is appointed once for men to die and then the judgement. It puratory just delaying the final judgement or have all souls in purgatory already been judged and just have to “work off” some sins. Can some souls in purgatory eventually wind up in hell. Please clarify if you can. Thanks.
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First of all, a good place to go to understand more about purgatory is the book “Fire of Love” written by St. Catherine of Genoa. In the chapter on purification she makes the comparison to gold. "The more you melt it, the better it becomes; you could melt it until you destroyed in it every perfection.

When gold has been purified up to twenty-four carats, it can no longer be consumed by any fire…thus the divine fire works in the soul: God holds the sould in the fire until its every imperfection is burnt away and it is brought to perfection - each soul, however, according to its own degree." Once the sould is purified it can suffer no more.

In looking at the judgement, we need to distinguish between the particular judgement, that happens at the moment of death, and Jesus’ second coming - the last judgement. At the time of death everyone will undergo a particular judgement where each will be rewarded in accordance with his works and faith (CCC1021). If we die in God’s grace and friendship, though still imperfect, we shall receive entrance into heaven - through a purification (purgatory) or immediately if already perfect - or if found in them the will to do sin (mortal sin), eternal damnation.

Therefore, if the immortal soul goes to purgatory it will go to heaven - never hell.

[quote=Todd Easton]When a believer is baptized he is indeed purified of all his past sins. Baptism is a full application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary and the believer is reborn, becomes a new man, a clean slate as it were as far as sins go, freed from eternal punishment and freed from unhealthy attachments to creatures (temporal punishment). If the newly baptized believer were to die, he would go straight to heaven. We agree on this, I think.
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Actually, we’re not in agreement. I do not believe, nor do the Scriptures teach, that a believer is purified of all his “past” sins at the time of baptism. First of all Scripture does not teach that Christ died only for the “past” (pre-baptized) sins of men. But as a substitutionary sin-sacrifice He died for ALL sins, once, for all time. A once-for-all sacrifice. John the Baptist says of Him, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29) The Apostle John says, “…and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2). Christ did not die for selected sins, but for ALL sins, for all time. All sins were poured upon Him on the cross. Second, Scripture does not teach that one is purified of sins at the time of baptism, but at the time of personal belief in Christ. The full substitutionary work of Christ’s sacrifice being applied to the believer at the time of personal faith.

1PET. 3:18 “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust

John writes “I am writing to you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” Did you catch that, Todd? This is a very important truth to grasp. Our sins are not forgiven us for our sake, but for His sake (Christ’s). For the sake of Him who endured the cross for ALL sins, for all time. God forgives ALL our sins in honor of His Son who endured the humiliation of the cross and as His substitutionary Lamb died in our stead.

Nor does Scripture agree with the notion that one is reborn through the act of baptism, but instead personal belief. Peter states "for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God (1 Pet. 1:23), i.e., through the word (message of Christ) that is “preached” - not through water that is poured (see vs. 25).

Jesus Himself lays it out doctrinally in the third chapter of the Gospel of John (the “Genesis” of the N.T.). He tells Nicodemus that one born of flesh must also be born of the Spirit from above, or he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5-6). Nicodemus questions Him on this and Jesus presents the message to be believed and by which a man is born again:

JOHN 3:14-18 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

This message did not go out to the Jews and eventually to the Gentiles until AFTER the cross. Not until Christ had been “lifted up” on the cross, as the serpent was lifted up on a standard in the wilderness and all who were bitten by serpents looked to it by faith and lived (Numbers 21:9). The parallel Jesus presents is strikingly clear.

Continued to next post…

Continued from post below:

Yet, the author of Hebrews writing to Christians enjoins them to strive for that holiness without which no one will see God. (Hebrews 12:14) Now, no one strives for that which he already has.

This is experiential sanctification. It is said in the context of God disciplining His own children, i.e., those who are already His through faith in Christ (see 12:8, cf. John 1:12). It is true that the one who does not experience this Godly discipline is not one of His (children) and will not see the Lord. However, the writer of Hebrews earlier presents the true believer’s positional sanctification - that which is already his now being “in Christ:”

HEB 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The Apostle Paul amplifies this most important truth:

1COR 1:2…to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours

1COR 6:11And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”

1CO 1:30 "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

The true believer is positionally sanctified (set apart) in Christ Jesus (by the Spirit) at the time of true belief. It is these who have believed and have been sanctified by the Spirit that are to be ritually and publicly baptized. Not the other way around: “So then, those who had received his word (i.e., believed) were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).

If Christ has died and paid the price (in full) for the believer’s redemption, and the Spirit has positionally sanctified him in Christ (set him apart) then there is absolutely no need for further purification of sins, no need for a so-called “Purgatory.” That’s why this doctrine cannot be found in the Scriptures.

Blessings,
Bene

Bene you are correct in a sense but what you are missing is that baptism is the chosen means by which the effecacy of Christ’s Sacrifice are imparted to the person in time.

Bene, I think you will agree that sanctification cannot happen BEFORE justification. You might say it happens at the same time as justification, or you might say justification & sanctification mean the same thing, but I’m sure you will not say that someone can be sactified BEFORE they are justified.

How then can you reconcile your belief that sanctification happens at the time of true belief with the following verses:

1 Cor 4:3-6
3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. **It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. **He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

Hebrews 9:27 says man faces judgment after he dies. So, the Lord will judge whether we have true faith or not AFTER we die, and if we do, only then will we be declared justified. How then can sanctification happen at the time of true belief when we are alive, when justification only happens after we die?

Unless you infalliably know what scripture means, and infalliably know is and is not scripture, you cannot honestly say the above with certainty . The best you can claim is that you cannot find this doctrine in your personal understanding of the writings that the Catholic Church, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, preserved, passed on and finally declared as Scripture.

From Bene: Jesus Himself lays it out doctrinally in the third chapter of the Gospel of John (the “Genesis” of the N.T.). He tells Nicodemus that one born of flesh must also be born of the Spirit from above, or he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5-6). Nicodemus questions Him on this and Jesus presents the message to be believed and by which a man is born again:

I found it rather interesting that your quote of John 3:5-6 left out some interesting words. John 3: 5 says "Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Scripture says of baptism:

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’”. (Acts 2: 38)

“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’” (Acts 22: 16)

Yes, baptism absolutely washes away our sins.

[quote=McKenzie]I found it rather interesting that your quote of John 3:5-6 left out some interesting words. John 3: 5 says "Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
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Jesus interprets what He means when He says “born of water” in verse six. “That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” That’s what He means by born again. Those born of the flesh must be also born (again) of the Spirit. It has nothing to do with water baptism.

Scripture says of baptism:

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’”. (Acts 2: 38)

The key word here is “repent.” He was speaking to Jews who were to change their minds (the meaing of “repent”) about Jesus, turning from unbelief to belief (see verse 36). Only AFTER they believed were they to be baptized. It is their act of belief that washed away their sins, not the act of baptism.

“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’” (Acts 22: 16)

Same thing here. Paul was to call on the Christ’s name, i.e., believe on Him. Only then was he baptized. But it was his faith in Christ that washed away his sins.

Yes, baptism absolutely washes away our sins.

All sins, or only up to the time of baptism?

If that was the case baptism would ALWAYS be in the formula, but it isn’t. For example, when the Philippian jailer asked what he MUST do to be saved, Paul did not even mention baptism, but “BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31). Nor could have he said:

1COR 1:17 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void” (cf. Rom. 10:9-10).

No, the exercise of personal faith in what Christ Himself accomplished for you is how/when your sins are washed away. Jesus Himself said: “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24).

Baptism/Christ - in which do you believe? Can’t be both.

Blessings,
Bene

[quote=Pedro]Bene, I think you will agree that sanctification cannot happen BEFORE justification. You might say it happens at the same time as justification, or you might say justification & sanctification mean the same thing, but I’m sure you will not say that someone can be sactified BEFORE they are justified.
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Sanctification and justification happen at the same time - at the time of personal belief in Christ… Justification is be being reckoned righteous, while sanctification is being set aside for God’s eternal purpose. In my earlier post I differentiated between positional sanctification and experiential sanctificaiton. These are both found and taught in Scripture. Experiential sanctification does not effect positional sanctification.

How then can you reconcile your belief that sanctification happens at the time of true belief with the following verses:

1 Cor 4:3-6
3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. **It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. **He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

Hebrews 9:27 says man faces judgment after he dies. So, the Lord will judge whether we have true faith or not AFTER we die, and if we do, only then will we be declared justified. How then can sanctification happen at the time of true belief when we are alive, when justification only happens after we die?

These verses have nothing to do with sanctification. And the judgment here is not soteriological in nature. A believer’s works done in the body in this life certainly will be judged (appraised) and rewarded (or not) at the future “judgment seat of Christ,” but the believer’s salvation does not come into question at that judgment: “For by grace you HAVE BEEN saved…” (Eph. 2:8-9; cf. 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:8-17, especially verse 15; also see John 5:24)

Unless you infalliably know what scripture means, and infalliably know is and is not scripture, you cannot honestly say the above with certainty . The best you can claim is that you cannot find this doctrine in your personal understanding of the writings that the Catholic Church, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, preserved, passed on and finally declared as Scripture.

No, I don’t need to be infallible, all I need is a copy of God’s written Word. And I do. And the doctrine of purgatory simply is not there. It is you who have the burden to prove the doctrine and also provide us with your divine source. Since it is not found in Scripture it then MUST be supported by some divine revelation. Give me the name of the person God revealed this to.

Blessings,
Bene

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