Skip to comments.Purgatory Exists. And It Burns
Posted on 01/17/2011 3:20:20 AM PST by markomalley
ROME, January 17, 2011 In illustrating the life of Saint Catherine of Genoa, at the general audience last Wednesday, Benedict XVI took the thought of this saint as a point of departure to explain what purgatory is.
During the second half of the 15th century, the time of Catherine, the contemporary image of purgatory was like the one depicted above. It was the mountain of purification sung of by Dante in the "Divine Comedy."
That purgatory is a physical place is a very ancient conviction, which endured until recent times.
But not for Catherine. For her, the fire of purgatory was essentially thought of as an interior fire.
And Benedict XVI has completely agreed with her.
Some in the media have covered this catechesis of pope Joseph Ratzinger, placing it among the good news. As if the pope had decreed not so much the interiority of purgatory, but its wholesome disappearance. A disappearance, moreover, that to a large extent has already taken place in the current preaching of the Church, as of several decades ago.
But the teaching of Benedict XVI says exactly the opposite. Not the disappearance of purgatory, but its true reality.
Almost no one has recalled this. But Benedict XVI has written his most powerful pages on purgatory in the encyclical "Spe Salvi," the most personal of the three encyclicals he has published so far, the only one planned and written entirely by him alone, from the first line to the last.
Below is presented the passage of the catechesis on Saint Catherine of Genoa relating to purgatory.
And immediately afterward, the paragraphs from "Spe Salvi" also dedicated to purgatory, against the background of the judgment of God, which "is hope, both because it is justice and because it is grace."
"THIS IS PURGATORY, AN INTERIOR FIRE"
by Benedict XVI
From the general audience of January 12, 2011
[...] Catherine's thought on purgatory, for which she is particularly known, is condensed in the last two parts of the book mentioned at the beginning: "Treatise on Purgatory" and "Dialogues on the Soul and Body."
It is important to observe that, in her mystical experience, Catherine never had specific revelations on purgatory or on souls that are being purified there. However, in the writings inspired by our saint purgatory is a central element, and the way of describing it has original characteristics in relation to her era.
The first original feature refers to the "place" of the purification of souls. In her time [purgatory] was presented primarily with recourse to images connected to space: There was thought of a certain space where purgatory would be found. For Catherine, instead, purgatory is not represented as an element of the landscape of the core of the earth; it is a fire that is not exterior but interior.
This is purgatory, an interior fire. The saint speaks of the soul's journey of purification to full communion with God, based on her own experience of profound sorrow for the sins committed, in contrast to the infinite love of God. We have heard about the moment of her conversion, when Catherine suddenly felt God's goodness, the infinite distance of her life from this goodness and a burning fire within her. And this is the fire that purifies, it is the interior fire of purgatory.
Here also there is an original feature in relation to the thought of the era. She does not begin, in fact, from the beyond to narrate the torments of purgatory as was usual at that time and perhaps also today and then indicate the path for purification or conversion. Instead our saint begins from her own interior experience of her life on the path to eternity.
The soul, says Catherine, appears before God still bound to the desires and the sorrow that derive from sin, and this makes it impossible for it to enjoy the Beatific Vision of God. Catherine affirms that God is so pure and holy that the soul with stains of sin cannot be in the presence of the Divine Majesty. And we also realize how far we are, how full we are of so many things, so that we cannot see God. The soul is conscious of the immense love and perfect justice of God and, in consequence, suffers for not having responded correctly and perfectly to that love, and that is why the love itself of God becomes a flame. Love itself purifies it from its dross of sin.
Theological and mystical sources typical of the era can be found in Catherine's work. Particularly there is an image from Dionysius the Areopagite: that of the golden thread that unites the human heart with God himself. When God has purified man, he ties him with a very fine thread of gold, which is his love, and attracts him to himself with such strong affection that man remains as "overcome and conquered and altogether outside himself." Thus the human heart is invaded by the love of God, which becomes the only guide, the sole motor of his existence.
This situation of elevation to God and of abandonment to his will, expressed in the image of the thread, is used by Catherine to express the action of the divine light on souls in purgatory, light that purifies them and elevates them to the splendors of the shining rays of God.
Dear friends, the saints, in their experience of union with God, reach such profound "knowledge" of the divine mysteries, in which love and knowledge are fused, that they are of help to theologians themselves in their task of study, of "intelligentia fidei," of "intelligentia" of the mysteries of the faith, of real deepening in the mysteries, for example, of what purgatory is. [...]
"HE HIMSELF WILL BE SAVED, BUT ONLY AS THROUGH FIRE..."
by Benedict XVI
From the encyclical "Spe Salvi" of November 30, 2007
[...] I am convinced that the question of justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favour of faith in eternal life. The purely individual need for a fulfilment that is denied to us in this life, for an everlasting love that we await, is certainly an important motive for believing that man was made for eternity; but only in connection with the impossibility that the injustice of history should be the final word does the necessity for Christ's return and for new life become fully convincing.
44. To protest against God in the name of justice is not helpful. A world without God is a world without hope (cf. Eph 2:12). Only God can create justice. And faith gives us the certainty that he does so. The image of the Last Judgement is not primarily an image of terror, but an image of hope; for us it may even be the decisive image of hope. Is it not also a frightening image? I would say: it is an image that evokes responsibility, an image, therefore, of that fear of which Saint Hilary spoke when he said that all our fear has its place in love.
God is justice and creates justice. This is our consolation and our hope. And in his justice there is also grace. This we know by turning our gaze to the crucified and risen Christ. Both these things justice and grace must be seen in their correct inner relationship. Grace does not cancel out justice. It does not make wrong into right. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away, so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value. Dostoevsky, for example, was right to protest against this kind of Heaven and this kind of grace in his novel "The Brothers Karamazov."
Evildoers, in the end, do not sit at table at the eternal banquet beside their victims without distinction, as though nothing had happened. [...] In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31), Jesus admonishes us through the image of a soul destroyed by arrogance and opulence, who has created an impassable chasm between himself and the poor man; the chasm of being trapped within material pleasures; the chasm of forgetting the other, of incapacity to love, which then becomes a burning and unquenchable thirst. We must note that in this parable Jesus is not referring to the final destiny after the Last Judgement, but is taking up a notion found, inter alia, in early Judaism, namely that of an intermediate state between death and resurrection, a state in which the final sentence is yet to be pronounced.
45. This early Jewish idea of an intermediate state includes the view that these souls are not simply in a sort of temporary custody but, as the parable of the rich man illustrates, are already being punished or are experiencing a provisional form of bliss. There is also the idea that this state can involve purification and healing which mature the soul for communion with God.
The early Church took up these concepts, and in the Western Church they gradually developed into the doctrine of Purgatory. We do not need to examine here the complex historical paths of this development; it is enough to ask what it actually means.
With death, our life-choice becomes definitive?our life stands before the judge. Our choice, which in the course of an entire life takes on a certain shape, can have a variety of forms. There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history. In such people all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable: this is what we mean by the word Hell. On the other hand there can be people who are utterly pure, completely permeated by God, and thus fully open to their neighbours?people for whom communion with God even now gives direction to their entire being and whose journey towards God only brings to fulfilment what they already are.
46. Yet we know from experience that neither case is normal in human life. For the great majority of people we may suppose there remains in the depths of their being an ultimate interior openness to truth, to love, to God. In the concrete choices of life, however, it is covered over by ever new compromises with evil?much filth covers purity, but the thirst for purity remains and it still constantly re-emerges from all that is base and remains present in the soul.
What happens to such individuals when they appear before the Judge? Will all the impurity they have amassed through life suddenly cease to matter? What else might occur? Saint Paul, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, gives us an idea of the differing impact of God's judgement according to each person's particular circumstances. He does this using images which in some way try to express the invisible, without it being possible for us to conceptualize these images?simply because we can neither see into the world beyond death nor do we have any experience of it.
Paul begins by saying that Christian life is built upon a common foundation: Jesus Christ. This foundation endures. If we have stood firm on this foundation and built our life upon it, we know that it cannot be taken away from us even in death. Then Paul continues: Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire (1 Cor 3:12-15).
In this text, it is in any case evident that our salvation can take different forms, that some of what is built may be burned down, that in order to be saved we personally have to pass through fire so as to become fully open to receiving God and able to take our place at the table of the eternal marriage-feast.
47. Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation as through fire. But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God.
In this way the inter-relation between justice and grace also becomes clear: the way we live our lives is not immaterial, but our defilement does not stain us for ever if we have at least continued to reach out towards Christ, towards truth and towards love. Indeed, it has already been burned away through Christ's Passion. At the moment of judgement we experience and we absorb the overwhelming power of his love over all the evil in the world and in ourselves. The pain of love becomes our salvation and our joy.
It is clear that we cannot calculate the duration of this transforming burning in terms of the chronological measurements of this world. The transforming moment of this encounter eludes earthly time-reckoning?it is the heart's time, it is the time of passage to communion with God in the Body of Christ.
The judgement of God is hope, both because it is justice and because it is grace. If it were merely grace, making all earthly things cease to matter, God would still owe us an answer to the question about justice the crucial question that we ask of history and of God. If it were merely justice, in the end it could bring only fear to us all.
The incarnation of God in Christ has so closely linked the two together judgement and grace that justice is firmly established: we all work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). Nevertheless grace allows us all to hope, and to go trustfully to meet the Judge whom we know as our advocate, or parakletos (cf. 1 Jn 2:1).
48. A further point must be mentioned here, because it is important for the practice of Christian hope. Early Jewish thought includes the idea that one can help the deceased in their intermediate state through prayer (see for example 2 Macc 12:38-45; first century BC). The equivalent practice was readily adopted by Christians and is common to the Eastern and Western Church.
The East does not recognize the purifying and expiatory suffering of souls in the afterlife, but it does acknowledge various levels of beatitude and of suffering in the intermediate state. The souls of the departed can, however, receive solace and refreshment through the Eucharist, prayer and almsgiving. The belief that love can reach into the afterlife, that reciprocal giving and receiving is possible, in which our affection for one another continues beyond the limits of death?this has been a fundamental conviction of Christianity throughout the ages and it remains a source of comfort today. Who would not feel the need to convey to their departed loved ones a sign of kindness, a gesture of gratitude or even a request for pardon?
Now a further question arises: if Purgatory is simply purification through fire in the encounter with the Lord, Judge and Saviour, how can a third person intervene, even if he or she is particularly close to the other? When we ask such a question, we should recall that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine: in what I think, say, do and achieve. And conversely, my life spills over into that of others: for better and for worse. So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death. In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other my prayer for him can play a small part in his purification. And for that there is no need to convert earthly time into God's time: in the communion of souls simple terrestrial time is superseded. It is never too late to touch the heart of another, nor is it ever in vain.
In this way we further clarify an important element of the Christian concept of hope. Our hope is always essentially also hope for others; only thus is it truly hope for me too. As Christians we should never limit ourselves to asking: how can I save myself? We should also ask: what can I do in order that others may be saved and that for them too the star of hope may rise? Then I will have done my utmost for my own personal salvation as well. [...]
The complete text of the encyclical:
> "Spe Salvi"
The complete text of Benedict XVI's catechesis on Saint Catherine of Genoa:
> General audience of January 12, 2011
Good on you!
I hope you dusted off your flame suit for the fires of FR purgatory-deniers!
Sadly I have work to do today.
But I shall pop in when I can.
Good luck sir!
FR Bible deniers (see I Cor 3:13-15) are not the issue.
Dante aficionados are what worry me ;-)
Truth is not based on any individuals "mystical experience". Jesus does not speak of purgatory...rather that in Him we are complete and completely forgiven. Salvation is or not received this side of death.
And St Paul testifies so. But he also testifies of the purifying fire in I Cor 3:13-15. If you choose not to buy what St Paul says, though, that's your business.
Either Christ's death and ressurection paid "in full" for our forgiveness or not. Can;t have it both ways...otherwise His death was in vain.
Purgatory? I do not think so. Brings to mind the time of crucifixion, and Jesus speaks to one of the thieves on the cross beside him:
42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
I think it is telling the use of the word “Today”, not “next week”, not “soon”, not “I’ll get back to you after your stay in purgatory”.
Purgatory - Just another man-made piece of ‘religion’.
Hey, you can deny the Sacred Scriptures if you want. Your business, not mine. Just remember the warning of Col 2:8.
I’d rather stick with what St Paul says, thank you very much.
Stick with St Paul, my salvation rests in Jesus, Son of God and His words said Today.
Pity that you don't listen to His words.
Trust in the Scriptures, FRiend, not in the traditions of men that nullify those Scriptures. (Luke 12:58-59)
And second chances are not given on the other side. Life is the time of choosing.
Thats just what I said, I’ll follow Jesus. Thank you, for when my time comes, as with the thief, TODAY, I’ll be in paradise with my Lord and Savior.
RoadGumby, that’s the thing. The punctuation is relatively recent; the addition of it made it easier for people to study. As the Bible was divided into chapters and verses, punctuation was added, since the originals did not include punctuation. That means that this passage was originally something like “And Jesus said unto him Verily I say unto thee today shalt thou be with me in paradise” - The emphasis could just as easily have been more “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Here’s a bit from fisheaters that rather nicely explains the Catholic position on Purgatory, and is certainly more eloquent than I. (from here: http://www.fisheaters.com/purgatory.html)
First, a definition is in order: what is Purgatory?
Purgatory is not Hell minus a few torments and degrees Fahrenheit; it’s not Heaven minus joy. It’s not a “Third Final Destination” of souls. Purgatory is simply the place where already saved souls are cleansed of the temporal effects of sin before they are allowed to see the holy face of Almighty God. Revelation 21:27 tells us that “...nothing unclean will enter [Heaven].”
That there are temporal effects of sin is obvious when one considers that even those who have been baptized, who have a deep and intimate relationshp with Jesus, who are the “elect” or “the saved/being saved,” or what have you, are subject to pain, work, death and sickness.
The best way to understand the idea of already being forgiven but still having to be cleansed of the temporal effects of sin is by analogy: imagine you are the parent of a 7-year old child who steals a candy bar from the local grocery. The child is repentant, in tears, sobbing his apologies. You, being the good parent (as God, our Father is!) forgive that child and love him and show him your mercy. But being a good parent means that you are also just and will expect that child to pay back the store. Purgatory is God’s way of forgiving us, loving us, showing us His mercy and justice — and making us “pay back the store.” Can you imagine what would happen to the child of a parent who never expected that child to “pay back the store” (especially when that same parent believed also that there was nothing that child could do to become “disinherited,” as in the “once saved, always saved” doctrine)? As always, the best way to understand Catholic doctrine is to think of God as the wisest, most loving, most merciful, and most just Father that we can possibly envision.
Nota bene: Purgatory is His way of ensuring that Revelation 21:27 is true and that nothing unclean will see Heaven. It is only through Christ’s sacrifice that we are shown this mercy! It is Christ and Christ alone Who allows us access to the Father.
OK, so where’s the word “Purgatory” in the Bible? It’s isn’t in the Bible, but neither are the words “Trinity,” “abortion,” “lesbianism,” and “cloning” (or “Rapture,” for that matter), and it doesn’t matter whether you call the process of purgation “purgatory” or the “Final Theosis”: the concept of a “final cleansing” or “purgation” for those who require it is very evident in the Bible, in the writings of the early Church Fathers, and in the Old Testament religion whence Christianity sprang.
Daniel 12:2, Matthew 12:32, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15, 2 Timothy 1:16-18, Hebrews 12:14, Hebrews 12:22-23, 1 Peter 4:6 and Revelation 21:10, 27 all speak of Purgatory in their telling of the need for purification, prayers for the dead, Christ’s preaching to the dead, or how nothing unclean will see God.
Tertullian comes right out and says in The Crown 3:3, dated A.D. 211, “We offer sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries”. Cyprian of Carthage writes in A.D. 253:
It is one thing to stand for pardon, another thing to attain to glory; it is one thing, when cast into prison, not to go out thence until one has paid the uttermost farthing; another thing at once to receive the wages of faith and courage. It is one thing, tortured by long suffering for sins, to be cleansed and long purged by fire; another to have purged all sins by suffering. It is one thing, in fine, to be in suspense till the sentence of God at the day of judgment; another to be at once crowned by the Lord.
From St. John Chrysostom in his Homilies on 1 Corinthians 41:5, A.D. 392:
Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.
to St. Augustine’s A.D. 419. City of God:
Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment”
the Church Fathers speak of purgation.
Archaeology also indicates the antiquity of the Christian belief in Purgatory/the Final Theosis: the tombs of the ancient Christians were inscribed with words of petition for peace and for rest, and at the anniversaries of deaths, the faithful gathered at the graves of the departed to make intercession for those who’d gone before.
Orthodox Jewish practices, which branched off from the Old Testament religion, to this day reflect belief in this “place” of final purification which they call Gehenom: when an Orthodox Jewish person dies, a ritual called the taharah is performed by the “Chevra kaddisha — gmilat khessed shel emet,” the “Holy Society” or “Burial Society” of Jews knowledgeable in these traditional duties. They cleanse and prepare the physical body and recite the required prayers (Chevra Kadisha) which ask God for forgiveness for any sins the departed may have committed, and beg Him to guard and grant eternal peace to the departed. For eleven months after the death of a loved one certain members of the family pray a prayer called the Mourner’s Qaddish (or Kaddish) for their loved one’s purification.
Even the The Talmud1 speaks of Purgatory:
“The judgment of the wicked in purgatory is twelve months.”
Rosh HaShanah 16b-17a:
“It has been taught that the school of Shammai says: “There will be three groups on Judgment Day (yom haDin):
(1) one that is completely righteous,
(2) one that is completely wicked,
(3) and one that is in between.”
The completely righteous will be recorded and sealed at once for eternal life. The completely wicked will be recorded and doomed at once to Gehinnom, as it says: “And many who sleep in the dust of the earth shall rise up, some to eternal life and some to shame and eternal rejection” [Daniel 12:2]. Those in between will go down to Gehinnom and cry out and rise up, as it says: “And I will bring the third part through the fire and refine them as silver is refined and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name and I will answer them” [Zechariah 13:9]
Rabbi Shammai (50 BC - AD 30), one of the two main teachers of early rabbinical Judaism, also is on record as having interpreted Zechariah 13:9 as referring to a state of purification after death. Isaiah 66:15-16 and Malachi 3:2-3 were also interpreted in rabbinic literature as referring to the purgatorial process, and the same theme is reflected in Wisdom 3:1-7 and II Maccabees 12:43-45, both contained in the Deuterocanonical books that Protestants refer to as “The Apocrypha.”
Jews, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox have always proclaimed the reality of the final purification for those who need it. It was not until the Protestant Reformers came in the 1500s that any Christians denied the idea of a final purgation before seeing the face of God.
1 The Talmud, consisting of the writings of rabbis who came to believe they’d replaced the authority of Jewish priesthood after the destruction of the Temple, has some extremely vile, racist and anti-Christian statements in it. My purpose in quoting it here is not to condone it, but to demonstrate that the Jews most definitely believed in a purgatorial process after death. For more information on how Jesus and non-Jewish people (”goyim”) are written about in the Talmud, do a simple web search for those terms — but be warned that among search returns carrying sincere information and quests for Truth, you will get a lot of racist sites whose creators revel in this sort of information and see it as somehow “proving” that there is something evil about those who were simply born Jewish. Cultural criticism is one thing, but who one’s parents are never matters to our Lord!
2 Samuel 12:13-16
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child that is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uri’ah’s wife bore to David, and it became sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in and lay all night upon the ground. [Note that God has “put away” David’s sins, but David still fasts. This is the same as in Numbers, when Moses was still excluded from the Promised Land even after he was forgiven for his sin of striking the rock twice with his rod.]
2 Maccabees 12:43-46
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.
But the souls of the just are in God’s hand; no torment will touch them. in the eyes of the foolish they seemed to be dead; their departure was reckoned as defeat, and their going from us a disaster. But they are at peace, for though in the sight of men they may suffer punishment, they have a sure hope of immortality, and after a little chastisement they will receive great blessings, because God has tested them and found them worthy to be His. He put them to the proof like gold in a crucible, and found them acceptable like an offering burnt whole on the altar. In the hour of their judgement they will shine in glory and will sweep over the world like sparks through stubble.
For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
I will lead that third into the fire, and refine them as silver is refined, test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name and I shall listen; and I shall say: These are my people; and each will say, “Yahweh is my God!”
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. [Note He didn’t say, “until I pay the last farthing for you.” He JUSTIFIES us — without Him we can NEVER justify ourselves! Nothing we do can EVER get us into Heaven without His Blood. But we are expected to grow up, too. Our Father is wise.]
And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come
And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite. [RSV: “As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.”]
1 Corinthians 3:13-15
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
2 Timothy 1:16-18
The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus [who just died]; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, ... and to the spirits of just men made perfect
I Peter 3:16-19
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1 Peter 4:6
For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. [Comment: These dead could not have been in Hell; there’s no escaping Hell. They couldn’t have been in Heaven. So where were they?]
Revelation 21:10, 27
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God... And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
I hope that this helps you. We may respectfully disagree; I’d hope, though, that it would not be in ignorance, but in knowledge, and a strong desire to know more about Our Lord.
Thanks for the Voluminous reply.
Punctuation? really? We either see the Bible as ‘inerrant’ or not. I believe in its inerrancy. So, Let’s see if your thinking on punctualtion holds water.
Looking at how Jesus worded his speaking, as translated in the King James, a quick skimming for examples produces this list:
5:26, 28, 32, 34, 44
6:5, 25, 29
ALL OF THESE examples are written/recorded as “Verily, I say to you,......” or “But, I say to you,.....”
They are recorded as what Jesus was saying, comma, then His message. The arguement that the comma is supposed to to be after the word ‘today’ is weak at best, and could be an item to be used to cast doubt on what else is in error in the Bible at worst.
In my understanding, the word ‘today’ is positioned correctly, with Jesus’ message being that TODAY, not after a purgatory visit, the thief would be with jesus in paradise.
Additionally, and importantly, it is theough jesus, and only Him that one comes to the Father. We need Purgatory to further ‘cleanse’ our souls? So, acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Savior, the He is the Son of God, accepting His Sacrifice on the cross and being washed in His soul cleansing blood is INSUFFICIENT to get me to heaven? Jesus is INSUFFICIENT? Somehow, I think not.
Writings of church elders that are noncanonical have no bearing on the Bible (commonly known as the Word of God) and are only unispired writings of men. The Bible is sufficient knowledge, all that God has deemed as required for us to know.
2 Samuel 13-16, What has this to do with purgatory? The child has not yet died, David is fasting for the childs healing, not for purgation. This scripture is not relevant as used/cited.
Maccabees and Wisdom are noncanonical books
Isaiah 66:15-16 Great scripture, but of what relevance? Even expanding beyond verses 15-16 looking for context, I see nothing there about purgation, nothing about souls awaiting cleansing.
Daniel 12:2, 10 and actually Daniel 12:1-15 (read for context) reads like the coming tribulations, and yes, many will be made white, those that accept Christ as Savior, that is the ONLY thing that can remove the stains of sin.
And more and more.
The word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible, yet, the relationship of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost is spelled out plainly and may be, therefore called with confidence the Trinity.
The words ‘abortion’, ‘lesbianism’, ‘homosexual’ are not, yet they are singularly described, in a way that renders them easily recognizable and obvious to even the most casual observer.
The word ‘Rapture’ is not used, yet the Rapture is rather spectaculary described, by the Lord Himself.
I take the Lord at His word, I trust Him, above all others, even Paul. I pray to Him and in His name, and no others, not even Mary.
You may try to render the Lords word ‘errant’ by quibbling over a comma. I’ll take His word as it is. When my time comes, I believe I will close my eyes here and open them to see His glorious face, as He is sufficient, completely, for my salvation.
Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
He replied to him, Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
So lets look at the comma. There werent any in the Bible at the beginning and the verses werent even numbered. That came later for easier reading and so that we can now have verse wars.
He replied to him, Amen, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.
See the difference in meaning? It doesnt say that he is going to paradise today, it says you shall be with me in paradise.
Oops, didn’t notice your post about punctuation.
Punctuation? really? We either see the Bible as inerrant or not. I believe in its inerrancy. So, Lets see if your thinking on punctualtion holds water.
Looking at how Jesus worded his speaking, as translated in the King James, a quick skimming for examples produces this list:
5:26, 28, 32, 34, 44
6:5, 25, 29
ALL OF THESE examples are written/recorded as Verily, I say to you,...... or But, I say to you,.....
They are recorded as what Jesus was saying, comma, then His message. The arguement that the comma is supposed to to be after the word today is weak at best, and could be an item to be used to cast doubt on what else is in error in the Bible at worst.
In my understanding, the word today is positioned correctly, with Jesus message being that TODAY, not after a purgatory visit, the thief would be with jesus in paradise.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.