Is the Bible God’s Word or isn’t it? The catholic church has a hard time with this question. If they cannot back up their dogmas with the Word of God, they claim that their pope is infallible and, therefore, his words (and that of the magisterium) supersede the Word of God. Although they will tell you that Sacred Tradition, Magisterium and the Scriptures work together, they don’t tell you that they will adhere to sacred tradition and magisterium before they adhere to the Scriptures should there be a conflict.
I am always amazed when a catholic comments on my blog. They do not strictly use the Bible as their source of information. They quote on and on from their church fathers’ writings, their catechism, etc. I receive long, drawn out comments with many words that are too difficult to understand. They quickly and vaguely respond to the topic and then continue about countless other things so as to take away from the topic at hand. For you posters out there, when you comment – stick to the Word of God and the topic of purgatory in response to this post.
With that said, let’s take a look at the catholic church’s dogma of purgatory. In summary, the catholic church teaches that when a catholic dies, he goes to purgatory to be purged of any sins which he hadn’t confessed prior to death. They believe that the catholic cannot enter heaven with sin so he must go to purgatory for this purging so he can be purified. Only then can he go to heaven. While in purgatory, the catholic’s loved ones can have masses said or they can purchase indulgences which will shorten this catholic’s time in purgatory. The Bible clearly states that no human being can purchase anything having to do with our salvation or our redemption.
~Psalm 49:7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
There’s the first contradiction with sacred tradition and magisterium. So let’s start from the beginning of this belief. The catholic catechism states:
“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. ” Pg. 2658, #1030
“The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect…” Pg. 268-269, #1031
Readers, this is a very important doctrine in the catholic church. Surely there would be something in God’s Word for something as important as this. Can this be found in the Bible or is it a tradition of the catholic church? The catholic church answers this question in their own catechism:
“The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent.” Pg. 268-269, #1031
“But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory…” Pg. 249, #954
First of all, the Council of Florence began in 1431 and the Council of Trent began in 1545. Why would a doctrine of this importance take 1400 years to occur? What happened to all those who died between Christ and the year 1431?
There are no Scriptures mentioned in God’s Word requiring a purgine prior to entering heaven. I have yet to read anything in the Bible about a place that even remotely describes purgatory. The catholic church uses the following verse in defense of this doctrine:
~Matthew 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
However, one must take into account who the Book of Matthew was written to. This book was written to the Jews. They were living under the law and Christ was telling them that if they live by the law, they will be judged by the law. But the born-again Christian is no longer under the law.
~Romans 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
~Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
~Ephesians 2:8a For by grace are ye saved…
I have yet to read anything in the Bible that states that we have a need to be purified beyond Christ’s work on the cross. Rather than dwell on what I can’t find in the Scriptures, let’s see what I have found. The Bible states that salvation is a gift – it’s free.
~Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
~Romans 5:18b …by the righteousness of one (Jesus) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Would a loving Father give you a free gift then make you suffer to earn that gift? Furthermore, would He then lie about it in Scriptures? The Word says:
~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
A gift does not require one to suffer to receive it. When someone gives you a birthday gift, do you have to be beaten or purged in order to receive it? Of course not! The Bible is true, is it not? It does not contain lies, correct? Then why do those who die in Christ (the born again believer) need further purification if Jesus has already justified them?
~Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
~Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
~1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
The born again believer no longer has to suffer for his salvation because Jesus took care of all the suffering on the Cross of Calvary to pay the penalty for our sin. Why is there a need for further penalty? Was Christ’s blood not sufficient enough? The Bible says that Jesus’ blood bought our redemption – He paid the ultimate price!
~Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Once you are born again, you are no longer condemned in the eyes of the Father because the born again believer is blood bought – we have been purchased by Christ – our penalty was paid by the death of the Saviour!
~Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Dear catholic – would God leave out something as important as purgatory in the plan of salvation from His Word? Why would God leave His creation wondering? He is quite clear about every other doctrine in the Scriptures so why be vague on this one? Why would He leave something this important in the hands of man – man who is sinful and wicked? Only God’s Word is truth!
So what does happen after you die?
~Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
The born again believer will die and go straight to Heaven and will stand before Christ. The believer’s works after salvation will be judged at this point. If he lived for himself and for the flesh, his works will be burned. But if he lived for Christ, his works will be rewarded. The one who is not born again will stand before Christ and his name will not be found in the Book of Life and he will be cast into the Lake of Fire. There is no in-between purging place, dear catholic. There is only judgment after death. Why are you accepting man-made doctrine that the church itself even admits to having invented? Think for yourself and read your Bible! God did not leave us His Word to only be interpreted by an elite few! He left it for all mankind to read. So read the Bible!