Purgatory question

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Mike G, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. Mike G

    Mike G
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    On another thread a side discussion began about purgatory.

    DojoGrant stated:
    You confuse what the temporal punishment is. When your sins are forgiven, they are forgiven. Gone. Forgotten. God doesn't remember them in any more, if you wish to think of it that way.

    However, the person on earth that you killed (say, if the sin was murder) is still dead. The family is still grieving. His workplace perhaps is suffering the loss of him. Maybe he was a church deacon, and the church is suffering the loss. Perhaps his friends are in dispair.

    Our sin does not affect only us...it affects MANY. Furthermore, you can kill someone and receive forgiveness...but what happens if ten years later, you kill someone again? Did you not truely repent the first time? I'm sure you did, but sinful nature doesn't leave us because our sins are forgiven. We still have that earthly fixation. THAT is what is purged in purgatory.

    Could you please explain how this relates to the thief on the cross mentioned in Luke 23:40-43?
     
  2. Brother Adam

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    Hrm...basically what this sounds like to me is that even though our sins are forgiven we still have sin in us and on us...so they weren't forgiven?...but they were forgiven? They were forgiven but we still have to pay for them? :confused: anyone else seeing a paradox here? ;)

    UNP
    Adam
     
  3. GraceSaves

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    Well, let's start off slowly. Do you believe that immediately after Christ gave His life on the cross that he descended into hell for three days, and then rose again from the dead and remained on earth for some time after?
     
  4. GraceSaves

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    I've heard mention that Christ suffered and died as ransom for all of our sins. Do you believe this? If so, I've also heard this is the explanation behind the reasoning that all of our sins, committed in the past, present, AND FUTURE, are already bought and paid for by Christ. Furthermore, Christ died and paid this ransom for all men equally, right?

    Then why won't all men go to heaven? If Christ died for all, why will many not live with him forever in Christ? Why? Because it takes faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Furthermore, it specifically states in the Bible that we are to confess our sins to be forgiven. If we do not confess our sins before God, they will not be forgiven.

    Okay, so here we have some requirements. We need to believe in Christ as our savior and confess (and be sorry) for our transgressions. Therefore, although Christ WANTS all to be saved, all will not be saved, either because they do not believe in Him, or they will not confess their sins before Him. Are we in agreement thus far?

    So, let's get to your questions:

    We are sinners, all of us. We all deserve eternal damnation, for if we have committed but one sin, we have committed them all. And, as stated above, we must be forgiven of these sins.

    However, if I sin, and I ask (and receive) God's loving forgiveness, does this mean that I am now free from all sin? Am I now fully and always Holy in God's sight? Perhaps, but if I sin again, I have once agained turned my back to Christ and decided that, hey, I can live my life as I please. At this point, hopefully I realize my error and once again return to Christ and seek his mercy.

    What I am getting at is that while our sins are forgiven, we are still sinful people. Up until we take our last breath, we still have sinful flesh. We are still prone to sin. We are still sinful man. So even though we receive forgiveness, we are still sinners. It is this sinful nature that is being purged.

    I hear this example all the time...if I break a window with a baseball, I can go and ask for forgivness from the owner of the house, and she will likely have mercy and forgive me. However, the damage is still done. The window is still broken, which in itself is a problem. Furthermore, the owner might not have the money to pay to fix it, so they might have to work harder to have to pay to fix it. What if it broke a lamp, too, when it went through the window, or hit someone in the house? Our sins, big or small, can do more damage than meets the eye. We can be forgiven for the sin, of course, but does that fix everything that the sin caused? Satisfaction for this might be offering to pay for the window, or asking to mow the owner's yard in return, to simply make up for the act.

    Do you see what I'm saying? The owner holds no grudge for me breaking the window, but the damage is still done, and there are things that I can do to further remedy the situation.

    Furthermore, if we sin, God forgives us without question. However, what if we didn't offer to remedy the situation on earth? What if we hurt someone with our sin and never apologized to them for it? Penance (and purgatory) is making satisfaction for the damage caused by sin. It is not a punishment in the sense you think of it; it is to better ourselves so that we might sin no more. On earth, it makes relationships stronger and strenghtens faith. In purgatory, Christ lovingly washes away our imperfections so that we might be perfect with Him in heaven.

    Even if you disagree, which you probably will, hopefully I cleared up the picture a little bit!
     
  5. Mike G

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    GraceSaves, you asked:

    "Do you believe that immediately after Christ gave His life on the cross- yes I believe Jesus gave His life on the cross

    that he descended into hell for three days - Honestly, I don't know. I don't think scripture plainly teaches this.

    and then rose again from the dead - absolutely, I believe this.

    and remained on earth for some time after - again, the answer is absolutely.

    Mike
     
  6. GraceSaves

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    Well, okay, then I won't take that angle. ;)

    I assume you question purgatory because Christ says "Today," meaning that he will be in Heaven with Him just then? Is that what you are getting it?
     
  7. Mike G

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    Yes, sort of. My question has to do with what Dojogrant wrote: "but sinful nature doesn't leave us because our sins are forgiven. We still have that earthly fixation. THAT is what is purged in purgatory."

    How could Jesus say, Today you will be with me in Paradise. Wouldn't this thief still have a sinful nature or earthly fixation that would need to be "purged"?
     
  8. GraceSaves

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    You have to consider several things here.

    The first thing is that after death, time is of little importance. After death, there is eternity, whether in heaven or in hell. When there is eternity, there is no meaning to time, because time never ends nor begins.

    So IF the theif was in purgatory, it might last a split second (earth time) or 400,000,000 years. Either way, what is earth time is not afterlife time, and so in God's definition of "today," he could have very well been with Him in paradise. My point is simply that since no one can claim to know the length of purgatory (although it is different for every person), there is nothing to say that the theif on the cross couldn't have been in purgatory and in heaven in the same 24 hour period. Christ did not say, "Immediately after you depart from this world, you will be with me." Rather he simply said "today." And as we all know, we've had some pretty long days. ;)

    No one can say whether or not the thief had to go through purgatory or not; that's not fur us to say. It is impossible to say, if he was there, how long he was in there (assuming time even had importance).

    So, in a nutshell, just remember that "today" doesn't mean "immediately," and that outside death, time does not have the same meaning at all.
     
  9. LaRae

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    Mike,

    You said:

    "Yes, sort of. My question has to do with what Dojogrant wrote: "but sinful nature doesn't leave us because our sins are forgiven. We still have that earthly fixation. THAT is what is purged in purgatory."

    How could Jesus say, Today you will be with me in Paradise. Wouldn't this thief still have a sinful nature or earthly fixation that would need to be "purged"? "
    --------------------------------------------------

    God can assume anyone into heaven immedately.....so it is possible this happened......also no on knows how long we actually spend in purgatory.....it makes sense that some will spend less (or more) time than others in purgatory.

    The Jewish believe in something simliar to purgatory and that it is a fixed amoount of time of 1 year. The Jewish don't believe in the same type of Hell either....they believe hell is being apart from God...which is true...but they have a different sense/understanding of it.

    LaRae
     
  10. DHK

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    Not even in these "basic" requirements are we in agreement. The doctrinne of purgatory takes away from the doctrine of salvation. One does need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. That believing includes repentance, but it does not involve confession for one's sins or transgressions. This would make salvation an impossibility. Nowhere in the Bible does God require us to confess all our sins in order to be saved. This is a misconception. Can you remember all the sins you have committed from the day that you were born, list them (confess them) before God, all of them, not missing any? Is this what God requires for salvation? Absolutely not. On this basis salvation would be impossible for anyone to achieve.
    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
    DHK
     
  11. GraceSaves

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    This is why you are only required to confess mortal sins before God, those that separate you from God. These are the sins that weigh on your heart. You aren't expected to remember all of your sins, or even most of them, but any mortal sins or venial sins that are weighing heavy on your heart.
     
  12. DHK

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    The Bible does not teach confession of sin for salvation--at all. If so, please provide Scripture. The Bible also does not teach a division of sin, as the Catholic church teaches. Sin is sin. Sin is a transgression of the law (1John 3:4). "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). God does not differentiate between sin. They are all "mortal" to Him. They all condemn to Hell. It only takes one sin, one time, in one's life to offend a holy God, and make one guilty enough to deserve Hell. Sin is sin. Sin is breaking the law. It is not confession of sin that saves; it is Christ that saves. "For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Rom.10:9) Confess Christ, not your sins.
    Repentance is a turning from sins or a sinful life, and a turning to God. It is a turnaround in a person's life. When one repents, his repentance is towards God. Even here he does not "confess" sins. He need not enumerate any. They are put under the blood--all of them.
    DHK
     
  13. GraceSaves

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    What then was Jesus' commission to His apostles to forgive and retain sins? How can you completely ignore this?

    Furthermore, this is going off subject a bit. Would you prefer to start a new thread for this subject?
     
  14. Mike G

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    Everyone, thanks for the responses. I'm going to be leaving for a few days. I will revisit this when I return.

    Grace and Peace,
    Mike
     
  15. DHK

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    Jesus never gave a commission to His apostles to forgive and retain sins in the sense that you imply? In fact he gave no such injunction at all.
    Mat.16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Mat.18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.
    18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

    John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
    23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

    The specific passage that you seemed to be referring to is in John 20:23. Notice also the similar passages in Mat.16:19 and in Mat.18:18, and their contexts. The passages in Matthew are both in the context of the church, an assembly, a congregation. These two places are the only places that the word "church" is used in the gospels. Whatever decision the church would make on earth, regarding church discipline (if you read the context of Mat.18), that decision would be ratified by God in Heaven. In that sense, it was important for the church to make right decisions based on the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
    John 20 is an interesting passage. In verse 20, he breathes on them and then says "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." How are we to take this verse? Is this when they were "saved?" Or, "filled with the Holy Spirit?" I believe the answer to both those questions is no. They had already accepted Christ as their Messiah; their salvation was not in doubt. The statement beginning with "receive" is both imperative and indicative in the Greek. Both appear the same. They obviously were not filled with the Holy Spirit at this time, as just a short time later we find Peter discouraged, returning to his former occupation of fishing. Even after eight days, of this very incident of "receiving the Holy Spirit," they were again shut up in a room, with doors being bolted, hardly an expression of those filled with the Holy Spirit, but rather of those filled with fear and doubt. The statement, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit," is a prophetic statement of that which was still to come, in Acts chapter two. Verse 23 is connected with it.

    Consider these verses in Acts 1:
    Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
    --- They were commanded to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father.
    They were told that they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Thus they had not received it yet. They did not receive it in John 20:22.
    Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
    --- Again they are told that they shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon them; still a future event. This is immediately before his ascension.

    2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
    2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
    3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
    4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
    ---This is when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. This is when the promise of John 20:22 was fulfilled, on the Day of Pentecost. Verse four says that they were "all filled with the Holy Ghost."
    The remission of sins was directly associated with the gospel. Immediately they began to speak in tongues as a sign that Christianity was from God. Then Peter began to preach. Notice his message.

    Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
    37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    ---Belief in the gospel, and repentance, brings remission of sins; not confession. It was not Peter who could forgive their sins; it was not the Apostles who could forgive their sins; it was belief in the gospel, and thus Christ that would save them, and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. There is no mention of confession of sins--not venial, not mortal, not any. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Repentance brought them remission of sins, not the apostles.
    Even the Pharisees recognized that no one, but God alone could forgive sins.

    Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
    6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
    7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
    ---The Pharisees and the scribes were right. Only God can forgive sins. Their problem was that they did not recognize Christ as God. The Apostles were never given power to forgive sins. This power came by believing on the gospel. Christ forgave them of their sins, not the Apostles. They simply preached the gospel. No man, apostle, priest, bishop or pope has power to forgive sins. Only Christ can forgive sins.
    DHK
     
  16. GraceSaves

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    Which is why they are acting in the stead of God. They speak the words of absolution, but the forgiveness comes from Christ alone.
     
  17. DHK

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    1 Pet.2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
    1 Pet.2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
    Rev.1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    The apostles never acted in "the stead of God," as the pope claims to do, or even as a priest claims to do. The Bible teaches the priesthood of the believer. Every Christian is a priest before God. See the above verses. We are a holy priesthood, a royal priesthood, priests forever. It is for this reason that the believer can come "boldly unto the throne of grace." (Heb.4:16). He is a priest. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" (1Tim.2:5). There is no such thing as a priest in the Catholic sense? a go-between or mediator as there was in the Old Testament. Christ is our Mediator. He forgives our sins. We can go straight to Him. There is no need of anyone to speak any words of absolution at all. Only God forgives sins. He pronounces my sins forgiven, and none other.
    DHK
     
  18. Lorelei

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    Gracesaves,

    You gave a very long and beautiful explanation as to what purgatory is according to Catholics. You did not however, give one verse of scripture to prove that belief.

    Where will I find mention of purgatory, or an example of someone in purgoatry in the Bible? The concept of purgatory? Any reference at all?

    ~Lorelei
     
  19. GraceSaves

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    Lorelei,

    You know as well as I that purgatory is not talked of explictly in Scripture. I could provide you implicit verses, but again, you know as well as I, that you won't accept them. I could also through in II Maccabees, but you won't accept that either.

    You can be satisfied only if you are willing to be.
     
  20. LaRae

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