My parents are at it again…If you have read any of my other threads I joined the Church on Easter with NO support from my family. They are pretty much thinking I’m on my way to hell. I know I’m doing the right thing…its just furstrating. Over the weekend my little brother - who decides to make fun of the Church all the time - said I was going to be spend extra time in purgatory for something. I said I think everyone goes to purgatory for a period of time. You have to be completely free of sin before you can go meet God. My Mom said that isn’t true and that I wasn’t raised to believe that. I was raised Nazarene and from what I learned growing up and what I was told is that if you ask Jesus into your heart you go to heaven. Where in the Bible does it take about purgatory? Could you please help me with a biblical response I could give them. I pray everyday that they will eventually except my decision and respect it. I know that there is a very very slim chance they will convert but I still pray.
PURGATORY PROVED FROM SCRIPTURE
2 Maccabees 12:42-46
Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; or if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.
And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come**.**
Does this not imply that some sins can be forgiven in the age to come? Now think this through…There is no sin to forgive in heaven, right? Sin is not forgiven in hell because it’s too late and judgment is permanent. So, the world to come where sin can still be forgiven must be purgatory.
Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ "He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Peter does not say that our faith is refined by fire in this passage, but the reference to refining of gold is used in such close proximity to his discussion of faith that many see this as a veiled reference to purgatory. At the very least, Peter seemed to be conveying the idea of a purification process.
1 Peter 3:18-20
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.
Spirits in prison? What was this? Hades? Sheol? Clearly, there is more to the afterlife that just heaven and hell.
1 Peter 4:6
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
These are the basic verses. Now, you can do some follow-up reading to flesh out what you want to say to your family.
Hope this helps. :tiphat:
In this case I always prefer the stoic response to the scriptural response. I would respond to your brother a statement of your acceptance of the fact that you are a sinner and your objective desire to spend however much time in purgatory is necessary to be truly made pure and deserving of a God who loved you so much that He would die for you. You might also thank him for his willingness to serve as a judge over other men-- especially his own brother, for surely God needs help with running the universe (and if the sarcasm in that doesn’t get him, nothing will).
You were also raised to believe in santa claus and the easter bunny. What we are raised to believe and what is truth are not always the same thing, and we should be diligent never to confuse the two. Again, I would go with the stoic response: “I have grown in faith and love for God’s holy church, I pray that one day you will see why I have made my choice.”