A protestant friend of mine says that there can not be a purgatory because of 2 Corinthians 5:6-8:

“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

He says that these verses teach that if you are not in the body then you are with the Lord… not in purgatory.

Any thoughts or exegesis on this passage would be helpful. :smiley:


Do people in Hell have bodies? If not then you can be absent the body and in Hell. You are not with the Lord if you are in Hell.

And what about the resurrection of the dead at the end of time? We get our bodies back, don’t we? Does that mean we have to be away from the Lord again?

Logical constructs aside, anyone in Purgatory is saved. Purgatory is temporary. Those in Purgatory are going to Heaven.



Your friend isn’t very good at logic. I’d prefer to be in Aruba than at home. That doesn’t mean I won’t be at work tomorrow, which is neither.

Furthermore, a few verses down, we read “10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” That seems to support the idea of Purgatory, as we’ve all done some bad.


There has to be a purgatory because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “nothing unclean will enter [Heaven]” (Rev. 21:27). There has to be a way to get from point A to point B.


2 Corinthians 5:8 – Absent the Body

Many non-Catholics seek to deny the existence of Purgatory by claiming that the Apostle Paul taught that believers enter God’s presence immediately upon death. However, Paul never stated that being away or absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Instead of this life on earth, Paul prefers two things: A) to be absent from the body and B) to be at home with the Lord. This is two things – not one.

Unfortunately, it is possible for someone to be A) absent from the body and C) in hell. It is also possible for a believer to be A) absent from the body and D) in purgatory temporarily before entering heaven.

Paul is not saying that being absent from the body IS TO BE PRESENT with the Lord – that A automatically equals B - even for the believer.


How on earth he can conclude this shows both an erroneous view of purgatory and an erroneous view of the passage.

Notice the verse says, “I prefer to be away from the body and home with the Lord”. I prefer to be at home with my family and not at work! That doesn’t’ mean I am at home or that I will be at home as soon as work is done.

Purgatory is the transformation from broken to holy. From sinners to saints. That is what purgatory is.

I have written extensively on it on my blog from a former evangelical perspective. …perhaps it can help your friend.







That does not disprove purgatory. He obviously has a false understanding of purgatory.

Purgatory is the process that we are purged of any impurities. We are not perfectly pure here on Earth, but when we are in heaven we will be perfectly pure. Purgatory is the name given to what happens between when we die in an impure state and we arrive in heaven perfectly pure.


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Fascinating subjects covered in this excellent research work include predestination and foreknowledge, euthanasia, Gnosticism, Islam, the Sabbath, the soul, purgatory, reincarnation, false writings, spiritual gifts, astrology, replacement theology, celibacy, Mary, Calvinism, women in ministry, papal authority, yoga, ghosts, missing Bible verses, and dozens of other controversial subjects.

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Jesse Duplantis in Heaven Pt 1 YouTube



You are misunderstanding purgatory.

Purgatory is the process that we are purged of any impurities. We are not perfectly pure here on Earth, but when we are in heaven we will be perfectly pure. Purgatory is the name given to what happens between when we die in an impure state and we arrive in heaven perfectly pure.


Tell your protestant friend that while he is reading Corinthians to read 1 Cor 3:11-15:

“11 For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw –
13 each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” [RSV]

Then ask him to point out to you exactly where in protestant theology does a saved man go through fire. The only fire in protestantism is hell fire and saved men do not experience it. But yet here a saved man undergoes a test of fire. The ‘Day’ mentioned in verse 13 is the day of judgement. A man dies and is judged to be saved yet he undergoes a purification by fire where his works are tested and his good works are refined like gold and silver while his other works are burnt off. This is to make the man worthy of heaven because the book of Revelation states:

“27 But 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.” Rev 21:27 [RSV]

Without this purgation of everything unclean no one gets into heaven. . . no one.


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