Temporarily leaving the subject of Mary, let’s examine Purgatory, as we keep coming back to it again and again. AS I promised earlier, the subject of Mary is so huge, I’ll have to return to it again in the future, to fill it out as time permits. I have too many other subjects to write on, and too little time.
CATHOLIC DOCTRINE – Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908 edition)
There’s so many problems with that definition, I hardly know where to start.
There is no “place or condition of temporal punishment.” There is the world of the living, Heaven, Hell, the bottomless Pit, and the Lake of Fire.
- The world of the living – is where you live now.
- Heaven – this is the place where God dwells, the angels, and the souls of the redeemed in Christ.
- Hell. This is currently where the souls of those who are not redeemed dwell. It is a place of eternal punishment.
- The bottomless pit. There is nobody there right now. It is the future prison of Satan during the Millennium.
- The Lake of Fire – this is the future abode of Satan, his demons, the antichrist and false prophet, and the souls of those who never were born again.
There is nothing in the Bible to support purgatory.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:27-28 (KJV)
“…but after this the judgment”. You die, and quite simply wake up in heaven… or hell. If you trust in your own good works to save you, then you will not wake up in heaven.
Job, one of the first books of the Bible to be written, teaches the doctrine even then that man cannot save himself.
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? 9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? 10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. 11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. 12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. 13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. 14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. Job 40:7-14 (KJV)
The Lord begins asking Job a series of 84 questions – designed to show that Job is not God, and has no right to demand anything of God. The Lord tells Job after demanding a series of tasks that only God can perform, “Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.” In other words, the only person that could earn their own salvation would have to be God. Who, being God, would not have to earn Salvation!
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:24-27 (KJV)
I have elsewhere dealt, at length, with the subject of Salvation. Make sure you carefully read all the pages on Roman Catholicism, as I’ve dealt with this subject at length several times.
The doctrine of Purgatory was not instituted until the first man to truly be a Pope, Pope Gregory I, instituted the false doctrine in 593. It would not be officially considered a doctrine of the Catholic church for another 900 years.
“The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed. They often are. In fact, in Purgatory, the souls of those who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who have not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions, are cleansed after death with punishment designed to purge away their debt” (Vatican Council II, p. 75).
as we’ve seen already, the Bible teaches otherwise.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:42-43 (KJV)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Philippians 1:21-23 (KJV)
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (KJV)
“Well, we don’t believe in Purgatory any more.”
Do you believe that the Pope is infallible? The Popes have repeatedly affirmed this false doctrine as a Catholic belief. Father William Saunders, writing for the Arlington Herald in 2005, recently answered the question, “Do Catholics still believe in Purgatory?”
On Sept. 17, 2002, our late beloved Pope John Paul II stressed the need to pray for the Souls in Purgatory. He said, “The first and highest form of charity for brothers is the ardent desire for their eternal salvation … . Christian love knows no boundaries and goes beyond the limits of space and time, enabling us to love those who have already left this earth.” Therefore, not only the belief in purgatory but also the spiritual duty to pray for the souls there remains part of our Catholic faith.
Contrary to what some may erroneously believe, Vatican II’s “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church” asserted, “This sacred council accepts loyally the venerable faith of our ancestors in the living communion which exists between us and our brothers who are in the glory of Heaven or who are yet being purified after their death; and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea, of the Council of Florence, and of the Council of Trent” (No. 51). (Do Catholics Still Believe In Purgatory? Fr. William Saunders, www.catholiceducation.org)
Indeed, the whole Catholic sacramental system is based in part upon a Purgatory to purge one of their sins. Should Roman Catholics give up belief in purgatory? Absolutely. But they also need to give up belief in the other unBiblical doctrines as well – such as the Priesthood, infant baptism, baptism by sprinkling, the Mass, transubstantiation, Mary as co-Redemptrix, Mary’s perpetual virginity, the assumption of Mary, the Magisterium, auricular confession, salvation by works, the Pope, Papal infallibility, Celibacy for the priesthood, nuns, Fathers, Brothers, Cardinals, archbishops, incense, idolatry and prayers for the dead, etc. etc.
“You’re asking us to give up everything that is Roman Catholic!”
If it’s contradictory to the Bible, sure! And I’ll make the same request of anyone whose denomination makes unBiblical doctrines. Almost all protestants perform infant baptism, like Catholics. They too need to abandon such an unBiblical doctrine.
“You’re just trying to turn us into Baptists!”
If that’s your definition of a Bible believing Christian, sure. You can call it what you want. Baptists have been called many things throughout the centuries, such as Lollards, Donatists, Albigeneses, Waldenses, Catharists, Anabaptists, and other names. They always called themselves Christians. Today, we proudly wear the title Baptist to reflect 2000 years of persecution, torture, banishment and destruction.