Eschatology

 

 

All those who die in God’s grace will go to a place called Purgatory to undergo purification

 

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that all those who die in Christ do not enter heaven immediately because they need to undergo a process of purification in a place called Purgatory. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms: ‘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. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. 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: 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. This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead’ (CCC 1030-1032)

 

Confutation

 

Jesus Christ said: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Therefore there are only two ways, that is, the way which leads to perdition and the way which leads to salvation.

Those who walk in the former way, being full of sins, when they die, will go to Hades (that is, hell), as it is written: “The wicked shall be turned into hell” (Psalm 9:17: cf. Luke 16:22-31; Isaiah 5:14), where they will be tormented by an unfanned fire, as it is written: “An unfanned fire will consume him [the wicked]” (Job 20:26 – NKJV), and where they will wait for the day of judgement on which they will rise again to be judged according to their works and cast into the lake of fire (cf. John 5:29; Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:12-15). So they have no hope, as it is written: “What hope has the godless when he is cut off, when God takes away his life?” (Job 27:8 – NIV).

Instead, those who walk in the latter way, that is, the way which leads to salvation, when they die, will go immediately to be with the Lord in heaven. And we are among them by the grace of God. The Roman Catholics will say then: ‘How can you be sure that when you die you will go immediately to heaven?’ Well, we have this assurance because we have been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, as it is written: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2 – NKJV), which blood has cleansed us from all our sins, as it is written that Jesus “washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5 – NKJV). And also because John says that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 – NKJV). This is why we are sure we are saved and we have eternal life, and when we die we will immediately go to heaven, because all our old sins were blotted out by the blood of Christ, and the sins we now confess to the Lord are blotted out by the same blood. At this point, it is most likely that the Roman Catholics will say to me: ‘You are presumptuous!’ Not at all, for there are several verses of the Scriptures which clearly state that those who die in Christ go immediately to be with the Lord Jesus.

The souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God, which were seen by John in a vision, were under the altar which is in heaven before the throne of God. Here is what John wrote: “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held” (Revelation 6:9 – NKJV).

Paul said that to him to die was gain, and in fact he had a desire to depart and be with Christ for it was far better. Here are his words: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain ….I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:21, 23 – NKJV). For sure if Paul had to go first to a place called purgatory to suffer awful pains he would not have considered his death gain but rather a loss.

Paul said to the Corinthians that he and his fellow workers were always confident and well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord: “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 – NIV). I ask you this question: ‘How could those men desire so much to be absent from the body if they had believed in the existence of a place called purgatory where they had to expiate some debts through terrible sufferings? So, on the basis of the above mentioned words of Paul we affirm that the apostles did not believe in the existence of purgatory.

In the book of Revelation it is written: “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on’. ‘Yes’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (Revelation 14:13 – NIV). Therefore the Spirit of truth bears witness that those who die in the grace of God are blessed for they are in heaven, where they rest from their labour. This excludes that they may go to a place called purgatory to expiate some of their debts through awful pains, which are less severe than the pains of hell, for if it were as Roman Catholics say the dead would not be blessed, for instead of resting from their labor they would suffer awful pains as a punishment for their debts. However, in this world there is also the spirit of error, which says that the dead in Christ are in purgatory!

Let me go on refuting purgatory. Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24), and Paul said to the Romans: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus ….” (Romans 8:1). Therefore, if there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ and they will not come into condemnation, the belief that after death they must go to a place called purgatory to expiate certain debts is inconsistent with the teaching of Jesus as well as with the teaching of Paul. Why? Because according to the Roman Catholic Catechism purgatory is a place of torment where Christians are condemned – even though for a certain period of time and not for ever – to suffer awful pains in order to expiate their debts. By the way, let me say something about these so called debts which according to the Catholic priests must be expiated in purgatory: ‘If God, according to the Scripture, forgives those who confess their sins to Him both their sins and the everlasting punishment due to their sins, is it not diabolical to declare that after death they must go to a place of torment to expiate their sins?’ Of course, it is. But not in the eyes of the roman catholic theologians who, having been blinded by the devil, take pleasure in teaching things which are contrary to the sound doctrine. To affirm that a person who has been justified by God, when he dies, must go to a place of torment to expiate his debts is tantamount to saying that if a life convict receives the President’s or King’s pardon, and thus his punishment is blotted out, he must continue to stay in prison for several years to suffer in order to expiate his faults, and after these years he will be allowed to come out of prison!!

On the basis of what the Scripture teaches, we proclaim that when a person is forgiven his eternal punishment is blotted out and he doesn’t have to discharge any debt of temporal punishment either in this world or in the world to come, for Christ paid all the ransom. Those who have been justified by the blood of Christ have no debt of temporal punishment which they must discharge for Christ on the cross expiated all their debts. We know very well that the Council of Trent has cursed those who affirm this, saying: “If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema’ (Council of Trent, Session VI, canon XXX), but we do not care about what that Council stated. We know in whom we have believed and we are convinced that he who cleansed us from all our sins and has promised us eternal life cannot lie. So we will keep boasting in the Lord, for the blood of Christ has purified us from all our sins, and He has given us eternal life by His grace. Let the Roman Catholic Councils continue to launch their curses upon those who know the truth; we believe in the Word of God which states that when the righteous (that is, those who have been justified freely by the grace of God) die they go immediately to heaven to be with the Lord, for their robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. To Christ Jesus be the glory now and forevermore. Amen.

 

 

 

Back