Who goes to purgatory?


#1

I’m so confused about Purgatory. Do sinners who have committed venial sins go there? What about when we’re absolved of our sins during confession, does that free us from going to Purgatory. And do non-Catholics who were holy go there? I find it so hard to understand.


#2

Firstly, if you yourself are concerned about purgatory…try not to worry too much about purgatory as our focus is on doing the best we can manage, rather than whether or not we’re going to get whacked for not doing things right.

When we’re absolved for sins, remember that we are given ‘penance’ as reparation for our sin. We do need to make some restitution or atonement like that, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. And those who have committed minor sins have a much less intense and shorter purification. If you do something to hurt anyone, and they forgive you, it’s not enough. You still want to do something to make it up to them.

It makes sense to do reparation on earth rather than later. How? By charity, by loving others as we should.

In Scripture you’ll find that loving others genuinely and generously in how we deal with them is a clear road to the heaven won for us by Jesus. We are told in Matthew 25, verses 31-46, that love of others, kind deeds to others is the criterion for acceptance into heaven.

Scripture also assure us that “charity covers a multitude of sins.”

“Cease to do evil. Learn to do good, search for justice, help the oppressed, be just to the orphan, and plead for the widow. [then]Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” [Isaiah 1:17-18]

“The only thing that counts is not what human beings want to try to do, but the mercy of God.” [Romans 10:16]


#3

Regarding Purgatory: yes we want to fulfill the commandment to Love God above all and others as we wish to be loved…but I thought you might like to have this prayer.

Prayer for Daily Neglects

Eternal Father, I offer You your Son with all His love, all His sufferings, and all His merits.

First: to expiate all the sins I have commited this day and during all my life.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, ever and ever again.

Second: To purify the good I have done badly this day and during all my life.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, ever and ever again.

Third: To supply for the good I ought to have done, and that i have neglected this day and during all my life.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, ever and ever again.

Adaptation of an existing prayer. The story goes: A Poor Clare nun, who had just died, appeared to her abbess, who was praying for her, and said to her, “I went straight to heaven, for, by means of this prayer, recited every evening, I paid my debts.”

Warm regards, Trishie
Welcome to the Catholic Faith. May the Holy Spirit flood you with grace and wisdom!


#4

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,[INDENT]. . . every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin.
[/INDENT]Therefore, if I leave this life “in God’s grace and friendship” but retain “an unhealthy attachment to creatures”, then “to” Purgatory I will “go”.


#5

Thank you both for your very informative answers.

Peace and God Bless.:smiley:


#6

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Purgatory is “a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.” IN other words, in Catholic theology, Purgatory is a place that a Christian’s soul goes to after death to be cleansed of the sins that had not been fully satisfied during life. Is this doctrine of Purgatory in agreement with the Bible? Absolutely not!

Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins (Romans 5:8). Isaiah 53:5 declares, “but He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Jesus suffered for our sins so that we could be delivered from suffering. To say that we must also suffer for our sins is to say that Jesus’ suffering was insufficient. To say that we must atone for our sins by cleansing in Purgatory is to deny the sufficiency of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (1 John 2:2). The idea that we have to suffer for our sins after death is contrary to everything the Bible says about salvation.

The primary Scriptural passage Catholics point to for evidence of Purgatory is 1 Corinthians 3:15, which says, “If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” The passage (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) is using an illustration of things going through fire as a description of believers’ works being judged. If our works are of good quality “gold, sliver, costly stones,” they will pass through the fire unharmed, and we will be rewarded for them. If our works are of poor quality “wood, hay, and straw,” they will be consumed by the fire, and there will be no reward. The passage does not say that believers pass through the fire, but rather that a believer’s works pass through the fire. 1 Corinthians 3:15 refers to the believer “escaping through the flames,” not “being cleansed by the flames.”

Purgatory, like many other Catholic dogmas, is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of Christ’s sacrifice. Catholics view the Mass / Eucharist as a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice because they fail to understand that Jesus’ once for all sacrifice was absolutely and perfectly sufficient (Hebrews 7:27). Catholics view meritorious works as contributing to salvation due to a failure to recognize that Jesus’ sacrificial payment has no need of additional “contribution” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Similarly, Purgatory is understood by Catholics as a place of cleansing in preparation for Heaven because they do not recognize that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are already cleansed, declared righteous, forgiven, redeemed, reconciled, and sanctified.

The very idea of Purgatory, and the doctrines that are often attached to it (prayer for the dead, indulgences, meritorious works on behalf of the dead, etc.) all fail to recognize that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay the penalty for ALL of our sins. Jesus, who was God incarnate (John 1:1,14), paid an infinite price for our sin. Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2). To limit Jesus’ sacrifice to atoning for original sin, or sins committed before salvation, is an attack on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. If we must in any sense pay for, atone for, or suffer because of our sins – that indicates Jesus’ death was not a perfect, complete, and sufficient sacrifice.

For those who are born again, after death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). Notice that this does not say “away from the body, in Purgatory with the cleansing fire.” No, because of the perfection, completion, and sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are immediately in the Lord’s presence after death, fully cleansed, free from sin, glorified, perfected, and ultimately sanctified.

So the short answer is that nobody goes to Purgatory.


#7

I noticed a version of this article, with a few changes, at gotquestions.org/purgatory.html

Perhaps you can summarize the points of this article that you find convincing.


#8

I pray to God that I do!


#9

Yep. That’s the one. Yes, I did give them permission to make the changes.


#10

I pray to God that you get saved so that you don’t have to.


#11

People who still have marks on their blackboard.

The way it was explained to me, mankind had put so many marks on what was originally a clean blackboard that it was completely filled up. The marks represent sin. This applies to mankind and each individual person by extension.

Jesus came and saved us, basically erasing the blackboard and giving us a clean slate. As we go through life though we still accumulate marks on the blackboard because we are human. Lucky for us Jesus made sure we had a system to erase the marks, which is the sacrament of Reconciliation.

People who go to Purgatory are those who still have a few marks on their blackboards at the time of their death, because nothing unclean can come into heaven. They can’t be sent to hell because of only a few marks and yet they can’t enter heaven. They then go someplace where those final marks have to be erased in order for them to enter heaven.


#12

Purgatory isn’t a punishment, it’s a cleansing. Only those who are saved get there. I pray I get to purgatory!


#13

And I pray that you’ll get saved so that you don’t have to.


#14

Again, ONLY those who ARE SAVED go to purgatory.


#15

No, those who are saved go to Heaven. There is no need for them to go to the mythical land of Purgatory because their sins are already forgiven and they’re already reconciled to God through Christ and His atonement on their behalf.


#16

Hi Skip,
I’m a questioning person. I’ve spent the majority of the past few years away from the Catholic church and searching for answers. (I was once a devout catholic, hence the username - I was Catholic at the time I joined). Anyway, there are just a few Scriptures that puzzle me from a non-Catholic p.o.v. The one you cited, 1 Cor 3 is one of them. I will tell you the other in a second, but firstly, verse 15 says 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

This clearly says (to me, anyway) that the individual will be saved as by fire (not just works will pass through this “fire”). I don’t know about you, but that sounds like it may be a bit painful. I don’t think passing through fire will pleasant.

How do you see this particular verse if not referring to the individual passing through a “fire”?

The other passage is… I cannot find it right now, but I’m sure someone will recognize it and point us to it:

Paul says: “…I complete what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ”. My Catholic understanding of this is that the only thing lacking in the sufferings of Christ is our participation. Because we are members of the same body we are in communion (communion of saints) and what we suffer affects other members. Our suffering can affect others (and ourselves), our prayers affect others (and ourselves). This brings to mind another verse about how if one member suffers all the others suffer. Not sure where that is either at the moment…

So, I have struggled with this passage also if I discount the Catholic understanding of the communion of saints and redemptive suffering. I think redemptive suffering helps to understand purgatory, prayers for the dead, etc… Withough this understanding neither or these two passages make any sense to me. Then again, maybe that’s my problem, I don’t know. Maybe God will shed some light on it, but until then, this is the only thing that has ever made sense to me, and I have yet to find a satisfactory non-Catholic view of what these verses mean.

Bless You~


#17

I’m not arguing that those who are saved go to heaven, if you take the time to read what I wrote you’d see that. No where in Scripture does it say you won’t go thru a cleansing prior to entering heaven. Actually there are several places it says you will go thru a cleansing (1 Cor, 15 If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.) prior to heaven. This process of cleansing is known as purgatory. Everyone in purgatory is saved and will go to heaven. It isn’t a punishment, or “second chance”, no one in purgatory goes to hell. Purgatory is not unbiblical. It has sound Biblical roots, although it is not named specifically as purgatory.

[quote=http://www.scborromeo.org]:
The punishments of sin
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.84
1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the "new man."85
[/quote]


#18

It’s referring to the Bema Judgement, which Catholics don’t believe in.


#19

Well, you should be. That’s what the Bible says.

No where in Scripture does it say you won’t go thru a cleansing prior to entering heaven.

It also doesn’t say that the pope isn’t a walrus.

Unfortunately, we get our doctrine from what the Bible does say, not what it doesn’t say.

And in this case, it says that we have already been cleansed and so there is no need for any cleansing in this mythical land of Purgatory after death.

Actually there are several places it says you will go thru a cleansing (1 Cor, 15 If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.) prior to heaven.

Actually, it’s the works that burn, not the person.

Purgatory is not unbiblical. It has sound Biblical roots, although it is not named specifically as purgatory.

And yet, the only thing you can come up with from the Bible is the description of the Bema judgement that has nothing to do with Purgatory.


#20

Bema seat huh? I’ve read nearly every ECF and really don’t recall ever hearing of the Bema seat. exactly what year, in the 20th century, was this
Bema seat discovered?
And dose Europe know about this or is this an american invention?


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