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Purgatory?

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  • Purgatory?

    Luke 12:47-48 That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his 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.

    LK 12:4-5 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

    This is spoken to Jesus' friends. So there is reason even for Jesus' friends to fear hell, apparently. But in the next breath he tells them not to fear ("Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows"). So apparently there is security here, despite the warning.

    2CO 5:9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
    A goal is not a guarantee! We may still have to wrestle with sin after death.

    MT 18:8 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

    And this section of the Sermon on the Mount seems to be directed to those who were really saved:

    MT 5:13,14 "You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world."
    MT 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    MK 9:49 Everyone will be salted with fire.

    And destruction of only the body (and not the soul), is mentioned in Mt. 5:30, which is reminiscent of Paul's counsel in 1 Cor. 5:5.

    Why is the time of ultimate perfection set at the Second Coming of Jesus, if at death all believers are made perfect instantly?

    1CO 1:8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1TH 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    If believers are purified immediately after death, why does the Scripture not select that point in time here in these verses? It seems that the concern (or rather confidence) that Paul has for the believers now, for purity in spite of pressure, continues until Jesus returns.

    2TH 1:6-7 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven...

    Thus relief for all saints, for every saint, is not apparently immediate after death, there may be more pain, until Jesus is revealed from heaven, now Purgatory would be ruled out if there were some verse saying there will be no pain for believers in heaven, before Jesus returns, but statements instead indicate that this is not the case.

    One possible picture of purgatory is the rich man in hell (Luke 16:19-31). Notice several aspects of this that are unexpected: Abraham addresses him as "son," the rich man addresses Abraham as "father," now this may simply refer to Jewish descent, yet the acceptance of this title by Abraham seems also to refer to a possibility of some spiritual relationship here (cf. Gal. 3:7). Also, the rich man is given a most unexpected reason for his being in hell: "In your life you received your good things," issues of salvation are not addressed, it is not "you never had faith in God." Now he didn't repent! But do any believers die in some substantial measure of unrepentance in a particular sin? "Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49) seems to be relevant here, so if there is no purifying fire in a person's life, then perhaps it must happen after death.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  • #2
    For me, the issue is our life in Heaven is incomprehensible. Just to experience the presence of God always instead of the intermittent I experience now is going to be so different. I think too many people think Heaven is going to be like life here today just made better. Yes, it will be better. However, I don't think we could grasp it if God had told us Heaven is like living in the sea or in the constellation of Kasterborous. At some level, intellectually understandable but not experientially understandable. I think this is why the Bible is grey on the concept of Purgatory. Our current physical nature prevents us from understanding Heaven.

    To your post, the importance is to get to Heaven. The emphasis is Heaven is so good that anything you lose or experience here on Earth is nothing by comparison. Even though salvation is a gift of God lest any man should boast, the Bible calls us to act like it's all up to us.

    So, on the issue of instant purification of Purgatory, I don't find the Bible to be dogmatic on the answer, so I won't be either.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

    Comment


    • #3
      The classic passage used to argue for purgatory is: 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. As I've heard the argument put, there's no reason to think the process is instant. And it's not impossible that it isn't; I don't think there are any Scriptures that absolutely rule out the idea of purgatory. Verse 13 says of one's works "the Day will bring it to light". The more natural reading of the passage, at least to my non-Greek reading self, would be that the whole process takes place on the Day of Judgment, but it's not something I'm dogmatic about.
      Last edited by Sparko; 04-18-2022, 07:17 AM.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        The classic passage used to argue for purgatory is: 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. As I've heard the argument put, there's no reason to think the process is instant. And it's not impossible that it isn't; I don't think there are any Scriptures that absolutely rule out the idea of purgatory. Verse 13 says of one's works "the Day will bring it to light". The more natural reading of the passage, at least to my non-Greek reading self, would be that the whole process takes place on the Day of Judgment, but it's not something I'm dogmatic about.
        I agree that this is probably about the Day of Judgment, but the rich man in Hades is not. Nor I think, is the admonition to Jesus' friends, to fear the one who can throw you into hell...

        Blessings,
        Lee
        "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
          I agree that this is probably about the Day of Judgment, but the rich man in Hades is not. Nor I think, is the admonition to Jesus' friends, to fear the one who can throw you into hell...

          Blessings,
          Lee
          What do you see Matthew 10:28 as referencing? I've always just assumed it was about the Final Judgment without looking further at it.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

            What do you see Matthew 10:28 as referencing? I've always just assumed it was about the Final Judgment without looking further at it.
            In the passage in Luke, though, this is clearly spoken to Jesus' friends:

            LK 12:4-5 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

            So we should fear being thrown into hell, even as Jesus' friends! This would seem to point to purgatory, and not to final judgment.

            "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ..." (1 Th 5:9.)

            Blessings,
            Lee
            Last edited by lee_merrill; 05-02-2022, 07:34 PM.
            "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
              In the passage in Luke, though, this is clearly spoken to Jesus' friends:

              LK 12:4-5 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

              So we should fear being thrown into hell, even as Jesus' friends! This would seem to point to purgatory, and not to final judgment.

              "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ..." (1 Th 5:9.)

              Blessings,
              Lee
              I wouldn't automatically make that assumption. Christians shouldn't automatically assume they are saved (Therefore, brothers, be diligent, rather, to make your calling and election sure. - 2 Peter 1:10), and indeed, we know one of the disciples wasn't ultimately saved. Jesus could plausibly have been warning them as well.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                In the passage in Luke, though, this is clearly spoken to Jesus' friends:

                LK 12:4-5 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

                So we should fear being thrown into hell, even as Jesus' friends! This would seem to point to purgatory, and not to final judgment.

                "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ..." (1 Th 5:9.)

                Blessings,
                Lee
                All who are not committed to Christ are destined for hell. All who are committed to Christ are destined for eternal life. When "are" becomes "used to be" the destination is changed in both cases.

                Note that the Bible is concerned with mentally competent adults who have been presented with the opportunity to repent. What happens with regard to those who outside those parameters is not stated.
                1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                .
                "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                  I agree that this is probably about the Day of Judgment, but the rich man in Hades is not. Nor I think, is the admonition to Jesus' friends, to fear the one who can throw you into hell...

                  Blessings,
                  Lee
                  As I am Catholic I can tell you that the Catholic Church has definitively held 1 Cor 3:12-15 as a definitive for purgatory for some time. Purgatory is a place where one would go to be cleansed if a person doesn't die in a state of grace (that is free from all attachment to sins)
                  We also believe that salvation is not final not guaranteed for anyone until they are in heaven though all souls in purgatory are destined for heaven. Regarding Luke 12:4-5, the Church has long held that this is a reference to Satan. Who seeks to "steal kill and destroy" If purgatory is a place of cleansing the soul, the verses in Luke would not be describing it.
                  Lastly, in agreement with KG that we should not assume salvation, nor state of grace. The Apostle Paul writes : Rather, I discipline my body and bring it under control, for fear that after preaching to others I myself may be disqualified. (1 Cor 9:27) The Church holds that this is in regards to final Salvation, as opposed to purgatory .


                  A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                  George Bernard Shaw

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Catholicity View Post

                    As I am Catholic I can tell you that the Catholic Church has definitively held 1 Cor 3:12-15 as a definitive for purgatory for some time. Purgatory is a place where one would go to be cleansed if a person doesn't die in a state of grace (that is free from all attachment to sins)
                    We also believe that salvation is not final not guaranteed for anyone until they are in heaven though all souls in purgatory are destined for heaven. Regarding Luke 12:4-5, the Church has long held that this is a reference to Satan. Who seeks to "steal kill and destroy" If purgatory is a place of cleansing the soul, the verses in Luke would not be describing it.
                    Lastly, in agreement with KG that we should not assume salvation, nor state of grace. The Apostle Paul writes : Rather, I discipline my body and bring it under control, for fear that after preaching to others I myself may be disqualified. (1 Cor 9:27) The Church holds that this is in regards to final Salvation, as opposed to purgatory .

                    To me that sounds more like the actual judgement day. We will stand before God and our lives will be judged. If we have done well we will be rewarded for that good but if our works have been not so good, they will be "burned up" and we won't be rewarded for them, but we ourselves will still be saved. It doesn't say WE will be put through the test, but our works will. They will be "tested" not us.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Report card/job performance review day!
                      If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                        In the passage in Luke, though, this is clearly spoken to Jesus' friends:

                        LK 12:4-5 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

                        So we should fear being thrown into hell, even as Jesus' friends! This would seem to point to purgatory, and not to final judgment.

                        "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ..." (1 Th 5:9.)

                        Blessings,
                        Lee
                        No it doesn't. First off, Judas was among them at the time. His portion was hell. Hell is not escapable (Luk 16:26). Second, Jesus repeatedly warned about apostasy, and Hebrews tells us that anyone is capable of falling away, including those He called friend. Third, scripture is clear that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. There is simply no intermediate state any longer. The only intermediate state in all of history was Abraham's Bosom, which could never be confused for a place of anything but rest. And that is gone when Jesus descended into hell to free those captive in Abraham's Bosom.
                        That's what
                        - She

                        Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                        - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                        I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                        Stephen R. Donaldson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Don't understand why people would commit spiritual suicide.
                          If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                            I wouldn't automatically make that assumption. Christians shouldn't automatically assume they are saved (Therefore, brothers, be diligent, rather, to make your calling and election sure. - 2 Peter 1:10), and indeed, we know one of the disciples wasn't ultimately saved. Jesus could plausibly have been warning them as well.
                            Originally posted by tabito
                            All who are not committed to Christ are destined for hell. All who are committed to Christ are destined for eternal life. When "are" becomes "used to be" the destination is changed in both cases.
                            But doesn't "friends" here include those who were clean (John 13:10)? Thus this warning included those bound for glory, with possible time in hell.

                            Blessings,
                            Lee
                            "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              No it doesn't. First off, Judas was among them at the time. His portion was hell.
                              But see above...

                              Hell is not escapable (Luk 16:26).
                              For now, but Jesus has the keys of death and hell (Rev. 1:18), keys can be used to bring people out.

                              Second, Jesus repeatedly warned about apostasy, and Hebrews tells us that anyone is capable of falling away, including those He called friend.
                              That's a good point, but after Jesus' warning, he tells his friends not to be afraid:

                              "I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:4–7)

                              Third, scripture is clear that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. There is simply no intermediate state any longer. The only intermediate state in all of history was Abraham's Bosom, which could never be confused for a place of anything but rest. And that is gone when Jesus descended into hell to free those captive in Abraham's Bosom.
                              But being present with the Lord may be painful, for some believers (1 John 2:28, Luke 12:47-48). And if there is no intermediate state, then why is the time of the perfecting of believers placed at Christ's coming, not at the moment of death (1 Cor. 1:8)?

                              And as far as Abraham's bosom, again note that the rich man was in hell because he received his good things in life, not because he did not have faith.

                              Originally posted by lee_merrill
                              One possible picture of purgatory is the rich man in hell (Luke 16:19-31). Notice several aspects of this that are unexpected: Abraham addresses him as "son," the rich man addresses Abraham as "father," now this may simply refer to Jewish descent, yet the acceptance of this title by Abraham seems also to refer to a possibility of some spiritual relationship here (cf. Gal. 3:7). Also, the rich man is given a most unexpected reason for his being in hell: "In your life you received your good things," issues of salvation are not addressed, it is not "you never had faith in God." Now he didn't repent! But do any believers die in some substantial measure of unrepentance in a particular sin? "Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49) seems to be relevant here, so if there is no purifying fire in a person's life, then perhaps it must happen after death.
                              Blessings,
                              Lee
                              "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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