Purgatory and Those Living When Final Judgment Comes?

Not sure I can make this brief or clear, but i’ll try. I know that at the moment I type this, that should I die, I have three possible destinations: hell, purgatory or heaven. I’m hoping for the latter! Anyway, let’s consider the last days.

So in the last days of this world Christians endure significant persecution and witness moral decay exceeding that which we see now. At that point, Jesus returns and Final Judgment happens; the remnant and all that have gone before them gather before God and are divided like sheep and goats. For those that have survived to that moment, is there an opportunity for purgatory if they have some stain on their soul that would now, at this moment, them from heaven? Or is the thought that, having kept their faith throughout that horror, those faithful Christians have essentially endured a purgatory on earth and may be admitted to heaven?

Appreciate your insight…

There is no definitive answer on this question. It is indeed possible that at the time of the Final Judgment all the faithful on earth may have undergone such trials as to not need any more purification for their sins. It is also possible that God can choose an alternate means of purifying the souls of the faithful prior to the final judgment.

“Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment.”

  • St. Augustine of Hippo in The City of God
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