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Guest Post

What is Purgatory and Is it in the Bible?

Purgatory is integral to the Roman Catholic faith, but what does the Bible say about it? And how can Protestant Christians lovingly engage with Catholics beyond just an intellectual understanding of the doctrine? Let’s explore this how this idea is understood today as well as what famous theologians like Augustine and Martin Luther thought about it.

Join me over at iBelieve.com: What is Purgatory and Is it in the bible?

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3 COMMENTS
  • marita
    4 weeks ago

    Thanks for this interesting post about Purgatory. Purgatory isn’t mentioned by name (just like the word ‘Trinity’ doesn’t appear in the Bible), but that it’s a state of purification is implied in several places.

    * In Mathew 12:32 “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come”… implies that some sins can be forgiven in the age to come.

    * In Luke 12:47-48: “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows” …implies that in heaven there will be no blows, in hell there will be many blows. The few blows are in purgatory for venial sins.

    * In Luke 12: 58-59: “As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” … Implies that God will hold us accountable for the wrong we’ve committed, but it will be temporary punishment.

    * Also Jewish prayer books contain prayers for the dead. If Jews had invented the doctrine of purgatory or prayers for the dead, Jesus would have condemned it like he condemned other wrong practices in Mathew 23.

    * In the OT, Jews believed in a state where the dead could profit from sacrificces and prayers. In 2 Maccabees 12 43-45: “He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”

    • Jessica
      3 weeks ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you for your comment, Marita. I respect your reasoning and scripture references. As long as we can agree upon Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then amen. Godspeed.

  • Ezekiel
    6 days ago

    Our lifetime is the only opportunity given to prepare for life after this world, if we fail now there is no second chance, otherwise we need not struggle to avoid sin.finally our God is for the living not the dead.

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