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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Is Purgatory Biblical?

"..and finds that he is not able to partake of divinity until he has been purged of the filthy contagion in his soul by the purifying fire."

What about "For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23? The price for sin is death, not a purification period. Any sin that we have in us (blemish, impurity, whatever you want to call it) demands death. None of us can correct our own sins, which is why we needed Jesus to be the substitutionary sacrifice. To say that we then still must be purified makes his blood of no power (Hebrews 10:28-29).

The verse in 1 Corinthians 3 is out of context. If you start reading in verse 9, you will see that he is talking about the foundation that must be built for Christians, and how there is only one foundation that will last. Any man who builds upon a foundation of worldly things will suffer loss (though they may still be saved if their sins are covered), but those who build the foundation on Christ (verse 11) will reap a reward. In other words, when we live our lives as Christ desires, we will benefit both here and in heaven. If we misunderstand and try to build up a worldly 'kingdom', but we still believe, our work will be lost but we will still be saved.

The same for 1 Peter 1:7. If you read verse 6 it is obvious he is talking about the temptations we will face in our earthly lives while trying to follow Christ. He says first (beginning in the first verse) that we have a great deal to rejoice about because we have an inheritance which in not corruptible waiting for us in heaven. Then in verse 6 he says we may have to fave a season of heaviness on earth, as our faith is tested by the world, but that we should continue by holding on to that promise (verse 9).

Jude 1:23 also needs to be re-examined in context. This chapter talks about the prophesied heretics who would distort the message and follow after their own ways, but Jude says to keep living the way they should and some may be saved by their kindness (compassion) and some may be saved because they hear the truth and are afraid. The fire they are being saved from is Hell because they are not truly saved.

In 2 Timothy 1:16-18, Paul is speaking to Timothy about Onesiphorus and saying he hopes that mercy will come to the family of Onesiphorus because they had always welcomed and cared for him. He was very unpopular for his work, and they took him in anyway, so he is desiring that they be blessed for it and not persecuted. He instructs Timothy in 4:19 to greet the family, again showing that he is grateful for their care. This does not show Paul praying anywhere for a dead man. It doesn't even say that Onesiphorus had died!

We must be spotless and pure in God's presence. Rev 21:27, Matt 5:8

The verse in Revelations says only those who have their name in the book of life will enter, and we get our names there by believing on Christ. (Luke 10:20, Revelations 3:5, 20:15) Matthew 5:8 says the pure in heart will see God. We are told how to have our hearts purified (1 John 1:9, 1 Peter 1:20, Hebrews 10:22, Psalm 51:10)

Christ promised there was punishment that exacted what was due but wasn't endless. (And Paul supported this teaching.)

Matthew 5:20-26 Jesus is speaking here of his burning anger at the Pharisees and how they are completely void in their hearts of the love of God. He is saying we must be sincere in our faith, not just doing lip service, and he is condemning the actions of the Pharisees. It was not like a marker that they set and the rest of us have to reach. He was saying their religion was of no avail.

Matthew 12:32 This is clearly a yes or no. If you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, their is not saving you. Period. It says nothing of a purification before heaven.

Matthew 18:21-35 This parable speaks of the immeasurable debt we owe that we can never pay, and how Christ paid it for us. We cannot therefore turn around and threaten someone who owes us anything because we have been pardoned of a debt we could not pay, and we ought to therefore forgive others of their small debts to us.

Matthew 25:31-46 Again, there is nothing in this verse that talks about purification. It is a matter of those who loved as Christ commanded being saved, and those who were merciless being condemned. Nothing in this parable that backs up purgatory. Read 1 Peter 2:24-25.

Luke 12:58-59 Again, how does the warning to the hypocrites about being trapped have anything to do with purgatory?

Hebrews 9:27 Just read the next verse. But for those who look for him, those who believe he is risen and coming again, he will appear and they will have no sins to account for, because as 1 John 1:7 says we have been cleansed from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 99:8 This verse talks about the punishment the Israelites had to endure (wandering in the desert) because of their unbelief. It says nothing that would back up the idea of purgatory.

I have not seen one verse here that even remotely supports the idea.

This punishment isn't in Hell because you can't be saved through hellfire. Also, there's no punishment in Heaven.

Amen to that. No argument with that statement (though I still don't follow your exegesis of these verses and how they apply to your stance).

Those who are alive can pray for those who are dead (and vice versa).

1 John 5:16-17 This is saying that we ought to pray for our brethren that they not die in their sins, not that we can pray for them after they have died. (read the rest of the chapter)

Luke 16:19-31 This text speaks of the warning to repent while we may (living) because once we are dead we have no more opportunity to change anything. Also, this man was in hell. Are you suggesting that the people in hell can get prayers through to God as well?

Psalm 115:17 "The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence."

What about Ecclesiastes 9:5-6? The dead do not know what is going on. How can they pray for you? Read this page and this page. I don't agree with everything they say, but this way I don't have to type out 23 more verses!

Also, the Bible says that punishments for sin are death. We are dead in our transgressions, etc. So purgatory, as a place of purification from sins, would be equated to death. And man has no power over death. Christ was the first and only to conquer death. If we have no power over it, how can our prayers be to any avail?

The Bible also clearly says over and over there is either death in the fires of hell, or eternal life, the gift from God. (1 John 2:2, Romans 8:1-4, John 5:24, etc., etc.) There is no scriptural backing for purgatory.

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