A merciful God would not hold people responsible for their sins once they are forgiven.
WHY would that be “unmerciful”?
If you were a school teacher and saw a kid in school steal a ten dollar bill quietly removing it from another classmates pocket, you might call him/her up to the front to talk to you (and the victim).
Say the kid is sorry, real sorry.
You assure the kid he/she is forgiven.
Now what? Is there ANY reparation that STILL NEEDS to be undertaken?
Yes. The kid has got to AT LEAST give the ten dollars back. (And for his own good he will probably get “more” such as “detention”)
Zacchaeus knew this principle too.
LUKE 19:1-10 1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”
St. Paul sees this too (“Pauline Theology”).
We can all think (in at least a catechetical sense) of the day of the Lord when we get all things we did/didn’t do judged.
If you build upon your foundation with bad works or “wood, hay, or stubble” and this stuff is “tested by fire” what is going to happen to straw when tested by fire?
It gets burned up. (And in this case you “SUFFER LOSS”).
If you build upon your foundation with good works (From Christ and IN CHRIST) those are gold, silver, and precious stones.
What happens when gold, silver, and precious stones gets “tested by fire”?
Gold and silver get refined and the dross gets burned off of precious stones.
Now listen to St. Paul . . . . .
1st CORINTHIANS 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.
Now look at the CCC on this.
CCC 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire: 607
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608
Now go back up to CCC 1031 and look at footnote 607, which I underlined and bolded. Look carefully also at the context of CCC 1031.
Footnote 607 refers to 1st Corinthians 3:15! (It also refers to 1st Peter 1:7)
CCC 1031 specifically talks of “Purgatory”.
1st Corinthians 3:15 explicitly talks about “SUFFERING loss”.
And here is CCC 1030 leading up to CCC 1031
CCC 1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
That being said, some people may go DIRECTLY to Heaven! No Purgatory (and if you want I can expound on that too). This just pertains to those who are “but still imperfectly purified” in this life.
You have the mind of the Church affirming the existence of temporal punishment and Purgatory AND MERCY Blessedwithfive.
It is not an either/or but a yes/and.
Your instructor either is mistaken or there was some misunderstanding.
Keep up the good work Blessedwithfive.