Purgatory and Temporal Punishment

Hi all, I apologise if I’ve posted this in the wrong place (it’s my first thread)!
I’ve been reading up on the above and I just don’t think that I understand the idea of purgatory properly. I’ve read some of the other threads but there are quite a few and I didn’t spot one that answered my question, so here goes…

In the Old Testament, Exodus 12:19 reads ‘Even the priests, who approach the LORD, must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them.’ Because of God’s holiness, in the Old Testament He would break out against sin. Much later, Jesus sacrifices Himself and everything changes, then 1 Corinthians 6 reads 'Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?‘So the Spirit of God lives in us, and we had to have been made right with Him in order for that to happen and all the sin was taken away when Jesus died for us. The Holy Spirit couldn’t have lived in us before the crucifixion because of the sin that seperated us from God and it took Jesus’ death for that to change, which is why Jesus said ‘Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you’ in John 16:7.

If that’s the case and we have been made sinless in order that God might dwell in us, why is there still temporal punishment and purgatory? Aren’t we made pure already? Why do we need to carry on being refined if God’s already done it?

Any guidance would be hugely appreciated! Thanks :slight_smile:

I challenge all statements that we are now pure and in no need of refinement because God dwells within us after our baptism (or whatever criteria their faith community uses if it’s not baptism) with one simple question. Do you still commit sins after your baptism? If you do, then it would appear that you can’t be called pure and still appear to be in need if refinement.

Speaking for myself, I still sin, I am not pure, and I very much consider myself in need of refinement. I see purgatory as God’s mercy. If not for purgatory, we would have to be as pure as you suggest at our death to enter heaven, or end up in hell. But because of purgatory, we can die imperfectly united with Christ and still enter heaven.

=Patch21;11860444]Hi all, I apologise if I’ve posted this in the wrong place (it’s my first thread)!
I’ve been reading up on the above and I just don’t think that I understand the idea of purgatory properly. I’ve read some of the other threads but there are quite a few and I didn’t spot one that answered my question, so here goes…

In the Old Testament, Exodus 12:19 reads ‘Even the priests, who approach the LORD, must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them.’ Because of God’s holiness, in the Old Testament He would break out against sin. Much later, Jesus sacrifices Himself and everything changes, then 1 Corinthians 6 reads 'Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?‘So the Spirit of God lives in us, and we had to have been made right with Him in order for that to happen and all the sin was taken away when Jesus died for us. The Holy Spirit couldn’t have lived in us before the crucifixion because of the sin that seperated us from God and it took Jesus’ death for that to change, which is why Jesus said ‘Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you’ in John 16:7.

If that’s the case and we have been made sinless in order that God might dwell in us, why is there still temporal punishment and purgatory? Aren’t we made pure already? Why do we need to carry on being refined if God’s already done it?

Any guidance would be hugely appreciated! Thanks :slight_smile:

While the TERM PURGATORY does not appear in the bible’ neither does the term BIBLE:D.

Let’s began with a brief explaintaion of three facts: 1 absolulate fact a sould MUST BE perfect or perfected to entern ino God Prewsence 2. Sin: all sisn have a public aspect that caises a dept that MUST be repaid, as it makes the Soul imperfect 3. Purgatory: WHY it HAS to exist to conform with God’s sense of Fairness and Divine Mercy

  1. A Soul MUST be perfect in order to enter into the the Beatific Vision [God’s Presence]

Lev. 11: 46 “You shall be holy, because I am holy.”

James 1: 2-4 " My brethren, count it all joy, when you shall fall into divers temptations; Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. And patience hath a perfect work; **that you may be perfect and entire, failing in nothing. **

Mt. 5:48 “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.”

  1. SIN: [see 1 John 1;6-7; 1 John 5: 16-17 and John 20:19-23.
    EVERY SIN IN A REAL SENSE HAS A PUBLIC NATURE [that is effects others beyond and besides the sinner. This damage accures a debt to be pais EVEN if and AFTER the sins has been Confrssed and forgiven. [Divine Justice [percect in every way] demands it.

  2. PURGATORY:** Lev.22: 21** “And when any one offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, from the herd or from the flock,*** to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it. ***

Rev. 21: 27But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Mt. 5: 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny

In the Second book of Macabees [removed by Luther] in Chpt 12 we finf them praying for the SOU:LS of there deseased comrads.

READ Isaiah 43 Verses 7 & 21 and we find WHY God Created humanity. because th intended [hoped for BUT NOT forced] purpoase is Divine & ETERNAL Worship of God; God usies His Authority and Powers to is a sense [give a second change] ONLY to Souls who die 1. KNOWING God, FULLY Obeying God and W/O unconfessed and therefore unforgiven MORATL sins an opportunity to be MADE PERFECT [to be perfected] which is what Purgatory exist to do, so that MANY more souls can attain Salvation.

So this is a summary because space is limited. I do hope it address’ your concerns?

God Bless you,
Patrick

Thank you, this is really helpful and I hadn’t considered purgatory as God’s mercy before.
Regarding sinning, yes we do! But didn’t Jesus die for all sins, even those not yet committed? Perhaps pure wasn’t the best choice of words, Hebrews 10:10 says it better than I ever could! And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

So I guess what I’m struggling with is that we are sinless because of the death of Christ yet we are still going to purgatory because of some of those sins? I can’t get my head around it (though maybe after a good night’s sleep I’ll be a little more productive)!

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Even the just man sins seventy times seven.

Since we are all sinless, lets all go out and become murderers, thieves and drug pushers.

2 Maccabees 12: 43 - 46:

43 And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection,

44 For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,

45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.

46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

We believe in ONE Baptism for the forgiveness of
sins. Any you commit after that are on you. Because
simply put Baptism is not a magic act. God desires your
cooperation to remain pure and when you DON’T cooperate
you owe God something for that. Otherwise
the act of Baptism becomes nothing more than superstitious
Mumbo jumbo meaningless since it would mean
a person could be Baptised this morning, murder his
mother in the afternoon and die and go straight
to Heaven that evening- an absurd proposition.
Baptism was never meant to be a license to future sins.

You might also want to read Pope Benedict XV’s 2007 encyclical “SPE SALVI” where he talks about Purgatory: III. Judgement as a setting for learning and practising hope (paragraphs 41 - 48).

Here’s the link on the Holy See’s website:
vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi_en.html

take care,
amsjj :slight_smile:

+++
Jesus, God and man,
imprisoned by love in Thy most holy Sacrament,
have mercy upon us.

  • Blessed John Henry Newman, December 22, 1851

Tú y yo sabemos por la fe que oculto en las especies sacramentales está Cristo,
ese Cristo con su Cuerpo, con su Sangre, con su Alma, y con su Divinidad,
prisonero de amor.

  • San Josemaría Escrivá, 1 junio 1974

God loves to be resisted in His displeasure, and to be restrained by the humble from inflicting punishment… One saint will often save a nation; so true is it that humble souls are the hinges on which God moves the world.

  • Abp. W. B. Ullathorne, The Groundwork of the Christian Virtues, 1882.

I think you are confusing absolution (full forgiveness) with the need to make recompense.

Let’s say you have a minor traffic accident that is your fault. It caused damage to another vehicle. You apologize sincerely and the other driver has accepted your apology and forgives you. He has “absolved” you. But, there is still the question of the damage. This must be covered to make up for the harm that was done. Your absolution does not affect the need for you to pay for the man’s fender.

Purgatory is where you go to pay for all of you “fenders”. :slight_smile:

Patch, first of all welcome. If you’re not a Catholic, I think and certainly I pray you will find the answers you are seeking. There’s nothing better than attaining knowledge, but even better when that knowledge gives you both Truth and peace in your Faith.

You will find that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the explanation of the doctrine of Purgatory is very brief, just a few lines. Even if the Church cannot explain in detail and in depth what and where it is, if you look at the verses in Scritpture(as noted Macabees) it’s very difficult to ignore it exists.

My neighbour who’s a Pentecostal wanted me to show her my Bible, she was actually a little surprised when I mentioned Macabees because the book didn’t exist in her Bible.

[BIBLEDRB]2 Machabees 12:40-45 : New Jerusalem Bible [/BIBLEDRB]

So of course these lines refers to prayers for soldiers who had died in sin. Died with sin of idol worshipping as you can see in Line 40.
To simplify things. We know nothing unclean enters the Kingdom of Heaven. The Catholic Church teaches, that upon death, you will be judged immediately. Of course later on when our Lord returns, there will be a Final Judgement.

If these soldiers that have died were already in Heaven, there would be no need to pray for them, they are in paradise, we should be asking them to pray for us that we should be so blessed to be in the presence of God when we stand before God. Same thing if they were in the fires of Hell. If they were condemned to Hell, prayer for their souls to God is pointless. He does not hear prayers for those who are already condemned. You are damned for eternity.

You can see here though why the Church believes the state of Purgatory exists. It’s important to remember it isn’t a place, but a state, Time as we know it ceases when you’re dead, you are no longer on Earth. So the soldiers prayed for the souls of these dead. Yes some of the soldiers could be in Hell, prayers for those soldiers will go unheard, but for those who can still be forgiven, even for the sin of wearing that pendant/idol, there exists this state that is Purgatory. Good News: You’re going to Heaven eventually Bad News: Yikes, it’s not going to be pleasant

Hope that helps a bit, prayers for you, and all of us, during this high Holy Season. Don’t mess up ok? Do good.

I give all Glory and Praise to the almighty. Glorida Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto it is their will I submit and accept with my full Faith and Trust.

Jesus paid the fare.
To go on the cruise (get to heaven), I still have to follow the itinerary, get myself properly groomed (cleaned up), pack my clothes, etc…
If I try to board the ship nude or dirty (stain of sin ie; selfishness), the captain or crew will likely tell me to get cleaned up and dressed (purgatory) before I can join the others.

I know it seems a childish analogy, but it makes sense to me.:shrug:

God bless.

Catholic teaching on salvation is different than what many non-Catholic Christians teach on salvation. The Church teaches that salvation is a process. We are initially justified by baptism, sanctified and continue.to be justified throughout our lives by participating in the sacraments and cooperating in God’s grace that he freely gives us, and then are saved if we have remained in God’s grace at the end of our life. Saint Paul talks about this more than once in his letters when he uses sports analogies and speaks of completing a race, achieving a prize, wining the struggle, etc.

Many non-Catholic Christians teach that salvation is a one time event when someone is baptized, or makes a profession of faith, or does something else to indicate that they have accepted Christ as their personal Lord and savior. Once that is done, there is no process. That person is immediately saved and cannot lose their salvation.

But if Christ has already done all the work for us, why does Saint Paul speak of a struggle? Why does he say we need to win anything? Why does he entreat people to persevere? Why does he write to the Philippians that we need to work out our salvation in fear and trembling? If we’re already saved, that makes no sense.

The answer is that while Christ initiated our salvation and has done everything that we can’t do ourselves, there is one very important thing that God cannot do. He cannot make us say yes to his offer of salvation because love must be freely accepted. He needs our cooperation. We aren’t saved at any moment during our lives, but only at the end if we remain in Christ. He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us, but we must choose to cooperate every single day. He will forgive us as many times as we fail and sin, but we must be contrite and ask for forgiveness. We must continually resist temptation. We must never give up, or presume that we’re saved no matter what.

Purgatory goes hand in hand with salvation as a process. If we are perfected in this life before we die, we don’t need to go to purgatory. That can still happen if we cultivate the virtues and by the end of our life are completely open to the grace of God. But if we are not and yet still have grace within us, we need purgatory to be perfected because without it we would have to go to hell. Nothing imperfect can come before God. And if we still sin in this life, we are obviously not sinless yet.

I am most definitely not sinless. I need the help of the Holy Spirit every day. Without God’s grace, I would be lost. Heck, even with God’s grace I still do stupid things and sin. But I ask for forgiveness, and keep trying to go forth and sin no more so that hopefully I will one day be perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect.

anyone telling that purgatory is not Gods word listen to this link on youtube :

youtube.com/watch?v=XoQKo6YXqCM

Be aware that the people who put out the video (not that it says anything outrageous) have also claimed that Popes Francis and Benedict before him are heretics.

Firstly, thank you for all of your answers, they have been truly helpful.
I’m not for a second suggesting that baptism is a license to do whatever we want, I believe genuine discipleship is a natural overflow of an individual’s relationship with God. If we’re serious about committing our lives to Jesus, then things are going to have to change.
Paul also wrote uncompromisingly as to how we should conduct ourselves and I’m not about to disagree with him!
I guess my biggest fear is that it all feels as though it’s leading towards a ‘grace through works’ approach, and accepting God’s grace and finally realising that I can’t earn it is an aspect of my faith that was something that I personally struggled with for a long time. The idea that I would have to ‘do X,Y and Z’ to be forgiven is something that I find very difficult to understand, and so I am continuing to pray into this.

The analogies have been extremely useful but is there anything I can look up outside of Macabees (my bible doesn’t have it) so I can just read a bit more about this? I know mentioning the books of the bible probably starts a thread of it’s own, but one thing at a time!

Thanks again :slight_smile:

While I do not have any problems with what is said in this video, please do not use Vatican Catholic videos. The Diamond brothers have been excommunicated and they do produce some weird videos especially against the pope.

Here is another good video on Purgatory.

youtube.com/watch?v=dwsBQffhbXY&index=22&list=WLakQ0O_yyZTCDSSW1GBIRvVD5zo1LxdV0

This is very good advice McCartney. The Pope and the Magisterium are really a blessing to our Faith that keeps us on the right path to our Lords teachings.

I love Latin, the Latin Mass and many aspects of Traditional Catholicism, but disobedience to authority can’t be tolerated. A non-Catholic looking into the Catholic Church where a video throws barbs at the Pope is not a good way to teach non-Catholics what we profess to believe, or why the Church can Authoritatively interpret Scripture.

You don’t have to do X, Y, and Z to be forgiven. God’s forgiveness is unconditional. He constantly calls us to repentance and conversion when we sin, making the offer of forgiveness and then patiently waiting for our response. When we respond by asking for forgiveness with a contrite heart, he forgives us with no strings attached. With God there is no “First donate to your local food bank; only then, if your donation is deemed sufficient, will I forgive you.”

The best example of that would be the form of the sacrament of Reconciliation. When we confess our sins to be reconciled with God, we are given absolution and then only after that do we do whatever penance is assigned. Forgiveness first, satisfaction second. I take great joy in fulfilling my penance because of the knowledge that I’m already forgiven.

Purgatory gives those people who die with no mortal sin on their soul but with unforgiven venial sins the opportunity to ask for and receive forgiveness. If purgatory didn’t exist, even dying with an unforgiven venial sin would mean eternity in hell. But that would not be just, so purgatory exists.

Purgatory gives those who have already been forgiven by God, but find it difficult to fully forgive themselves, the opportunity to be purified from that imperfection. If purgatory didn’t exist, the imperfection that is keeping that person from forgiving themselves would mean eternity in hell. But that would not be just, so purgatory exists.

Purgatory gives those who still feel temptations toward one or more sins the opportunity to be purified from the attachment to that sin. If purgatory didn’t exist, the imperfection that leads them to still feel that temptation would mean eternity in hell. But that would not be just, so purgatory exists.

Purgatory gives those who did not do enough while on earth to make up for the temporal consequences of their sins the opportunity to do something about it by praying for those of us still here on earth who are working out our salvation with fear and trembling. If purgatory didn’t exist, that unmet obligation would mean eternity in hell. But that would not be just, so purgatory exists.

Purgatory always comes back to God’s mercy.

Honestly, there’s not a whole lot that Catholics are required to believe about purgatory because there’s not a whole lot that was revealed about purgatory. The existence and purpose of purgatory, and the fact that our prayers are efficacious for the purification of the people there, are pretty much it. There’s a lot of theological speculation on things like how that purification takes place, but it’s all speculation. We really don’t know how purification takes place other than the fact that it does.

This article gives an overview of purgatory from an apologetic standpoint, and has several Scriptural references from books that you will find in your Bible:

Is purgatory a Catholic invention?

This article is similar, and also contains a few more references to writings and practices of the early Christians in the first few centuries:

Purgatory

This is an exhaustive explanation, you may have to read it several times to fully ingrain or understand it…catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0091.html

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