The Existence of PurgatoryBelow is a compilation of postings from the BattleACTS Email List presenting implications, proofs and Catholic Teachings on the Doctrine of Purgatory.
Purgatory is where the last penny is paid.[Mat 5:25] Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
[Mat 5:26] truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
Everyone must endure fire.[Mark 9:49] For every one will be salted with fire.
Jesus baptizes with fire.[Luke 3:16] John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
A Severe Beating or A Light Beating, depending on the seriousness of your sins.[Luke 12:42] And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?
[Luke 12:43] Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.
[Luke 12:44] Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
[Luke 12:45] But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,
[Luke 12:46] the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful.
[Luke 12:47] And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating.
[Luke 12:48] But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.
[Luke 12:49] "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!
We must believe in Christ. This means we must believe everything He taught. We must "abide" in Him.[John 15:6] If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
[John 15:7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
[John 15:8] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.
[John 15:9] As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.
[John 15:10] If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
[John 15:11] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Our works matter. If our works are not good, they will be burned up. Thusly, our souls are "purged", hence the name the Church has given the particular judgment: "Purgatory".[1 Cor 3:12] Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw --
[1 Cor 3:13] 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.
[1 Cor 3:14] If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
[1 Cor 3:15] If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
We do not know how long souls must remain in Purgatory while they are being purified. For some, it may be only for a split second. Some may spend a long time. Scripture isn't clear on the length of time. Whether it is a thousand years or just a milli-second, we do not know. Scripture is quite clear, however, that this state which we call Purgatory does exist.
Some pay the "last penny" in this life. God, in His goodness, has placed VALUE on our sufferings!! We SHARE in the Cross of Redemption. In Protestantism, suffering is deemed as having NO value. In reality, our sufferings are a participation in the Cross of Christ. Thanks be to God that we have the HOPE of salvation and that we can know this great hope most clearly while we are in the depths of our greatest sufferings.
We need to believe, yes. Believing is faith. What is faith? Our faith is a "sacrificial offering."[Phil 2:17] Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
[Mat 10:38] and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
[Mat 10:39] He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
[Mat 16:24] Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
[Mat 16:25] For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
[Mat 16:26] For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
[Mat 16:27] For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.
[Mark 8:34] And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
[Mark 8:35] For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
[Mark 8:36] For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
[Mark 8:37] For what can a man give in return for his life?
[Mark 8:38] For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
[Luke 9:23] And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
[Luke 9:24] For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.
[Luke 9:25] For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
[Luke 9:26] For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
[Luke 14:27] Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
[Luke 14:28] For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
[Luke 14:29] Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
[Luke 14:30] saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'
[Luke 14:31] Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
[Luke 14:32] And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.
[Luke 14:33] So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
[Luke 14:34] "Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored?
[1 Cor 1:26] For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth;
[1 Cor 1:27] but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong,
[1 Cor 1:28] God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
[1 Cor 1:29] so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
[1 Cor 1:30] He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
[1 Cor 1:31] therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord."
[Gal 5:24] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
[Gal 5:25] If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
[Gal 6:15] For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
[Gal 6:16] Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.
[Gal 6:17] Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
[Eph 2:13] But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.
[Eph 2:14] For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility,
[Eph 2:15] by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
[Eph 2:16] and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end.
[1 John 4:17] In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world.
[1 John 4:18] There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.
[1 John 4:19] We love, because he first loved us.
Catholic TeachingA fundamental truth of the Christian faith is that we will not be sinning in heaven. Sin and final glorification are incompatible. Therefore between the sinfulness of this life and the glories of heaven we must be made pure. Between death and glory there is a purification. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned" (CCC 1030-1).
The concept of a purification after death from sin and the consequences of sin is also stated in the New Testament in passages such as 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, Matthew 5:25-26, and 12:31-32. The doctrine of purgatory, or the final purification, has been part of the true faith since before the time of Christ. The Jews already believed it before the coming of the Messiah, as revealed in the Old Testament (2 Macc. 12:41-46) as well as other pre-Christian Jewish works, such as one which records that Adam will be in mourning "until the day of dispensing punishment in the last years, when I will turn his sorrow into joy" (The Life of Adam and Eve 46-7). Orthodox Jews to this day believe in the final purification, and for eleven months after the death of a loved one they pray a prayer called the Mourner's Qaddish for their loved one's purification.
Jews, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox have always historically proclaimed the reality of the final purification. It was not until the Protestant Reformers came in the 1500s that anyone denied this doctrine. As the following quotes from the early Church Fathers show, purgatory has been part of the Christian faith from the very beginning. Some imagine that the Catholic Church has an elaborate doctrine of purgatory worked out, but basically there are only three things that are essential components of the doctrine: (1) that a purification after death exists, (2) that it involves some kind of pain, and (3) that the purification can be assisted by the prayers and offerings of the living to God. Other ideas, such that purgatory is a particular "place" in the afterlife or that it takes time to accomplish, are speculations rather than doctrines.