The need for purgatory


#1

Hello Folks,

I have been debating with a friend about purgatory. The issue that has been brought up is Heb 10:14 "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

The question is: if the blood of Jesus perfects a sanctified person, why is there a need for purification after death if we are already perfected?

Thanks & God Bless,
Derek


#2

Jesus’ blood justifies us. Our sanctification flows from Christ’s sacrifice but we have to cooperate with God’s grace to obtain sanctification–it’s not just handed to us.

Purgatory purges us of all self-interest, concupiscence (attachment to sin), and earthly attachments. It is the punishment due to our sins (temporal damage we did by our sins, which is why we do penance, to avoid this), and is where all venial sins we haven’t been cleansed of/confessed are remitted.

Again, all this flows through and from Christ’s one sacrifice offered to God the Father. If we were perfected the instant we “accepted Christ” Jesus would never have commanded us to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” because we would already have attained it.

It is obvious from the fact that we continue to sin even after baptism or a conversion experience that we are not perfected by these. Rather, baptism initiates us into the life of grace, and conversions aid us in living the life of grace, as does a life of prayer, penance, good works, and availing ourselves of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and confession.


#3

[quote="derekohachey, post:1, topic:346129"]
Hello Folks,

I have been debating with a friend about purgatory. The issue that has been brought up is Heb 10:14 "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

The question is: if the blood of Jesus perfects a sanctified person, why is there a need for purification after death if we are already perfected?

Thanks & God Bless,
Derek

[/quote]

In addition to what was said above: This passage describes the FACT that Jesus' sacrifice perfects those who are sanctified, or brought to salvation. However, it does not speak to or describe the PROCESS or mechanism or manner in which it is applied. Purgatory is not something separate from that process, but part of it. Purgatory would not (could not) exist were it not for the saving work of our Savior on the Cross. It is a provision of the mercy of God who knows that the vast majority of us that will die in a state of grace will not be perfect at the moment of our deaths. If we are not (through lack of personally making full personal penance for our sins or a lingering attachment to some sin) we cannot immediately enter heaven:

Hebrew 12:14 - Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Revelation 21:27 - But nothing unclean shall enter it [heaven], nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Even most Protestants acknowledge that being imperfect, if they die in this state there will have to be some kind of purification process before they appear before God. They just won't call it Purgatory. ;)


#4

Thank you folks! You have given me the perspective I needed for this one.

God Bless,
Derek


#5

If one believes that we are all perfect and sanctified at the moment of death, then there is no need for purgatory. One must be perfected to live in heaven. But most people, based on experience alone, do not really think that we are perfect or perfectly sanctified at the moment of death. But we are perfect in heaven. Somehow, we get from this point (imperfect and not fully sanctified) to that point (perfect and sanctified) to enter heaven. Whether it is the work of an instant or the work of an extended period, we are sanctified. That process we call purgatory. And it is the work of Jesus.


#6

This may help some. Biblical and Jewish Traditional Beliefs About Purgatory


#7

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