Friday, February 24, 2017

Biblical Refutation Of Purgatory

  • Introduction:
          -Purgatory: the place of punishment where the souls of Christians suffer a temporary period of punishment in flames if they die in an imperfect state of grace (spiritually impure).
          -Indulgences: the "key" used to help people shorten their "sentence" to time in Purgatory.
          -Roman Catholics believe that they can pray certain prayers and get mass ceremonies done for loved ones so as to shorten the duration of the punishment.
  • Not A Scriptural Concept:
          -Scripture passages discussing the eternal destiny of believers and non-believers mention heaven and hell without any implication of Purgatory (i.e. Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:11-15). Furthermore, the concept of a sin purifying fire is utterly foreign to the Holy Scriptures. Our hearts are purified by faith in Christ, not Purgatory (Acts 15:7-11; Hebrews 9:13-14). 
  • Purgatory Denies The Sufficiency Of Christ's Sacrifice (And Works-Based Implications):
          -Jesus' death is sufficient to pay for all sins (Colossians 2:13-14; Hebrews 10:10-18; 1 John 1:7-9). In other words, Christ paid the infinite price for our sins by dying for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). He made the once-for-all atonement sacrifice (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). Thus, we do not need anymore purification. If we must in any way pay for, suffer, or atone for our own sins, then Jesus Christ did not make the perfect and complete sacrifice necessary for the redemption of mankind. We do not need to offer any atonement sacrifice for sins by suffering in purgatory or by offering indulgences.
          -The idea that we are able to atone for our sins undermines the message of the gospel. If we can make amends for our own sin, then the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ becomes unnecessary and redundant. He made a sacrifice to save those who are unable to redeem themselves, for the Scripture has concluded that all are under sin (Romans 3:23; Galatians 3:22).
          -Finally, we will conclude this portion of the discussion by addressing the works-based nature of Purgatory. The Scriptures are abundantly clear that justification is by faith apart from the merit of works (Luke 18:9-14; John 5:24; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:20-28; Galatians 2:16-21; etc.). Since all have fallen short of God's perfect standard of morality, He sent His Son into the world to remedy our problem. He died to pay our sin debt. Atonement for sin requires a perfect substitute (Hebrews 7:25-28; 10:14-18). According to Scripture, there are no punishments for genuine Christians in the afterlife (Luke 23:39-43; Romans 4:2-8; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:21-23). The only after death punishment (which is for the unrepentant and unbelieving) that the Bible mentions is hell, and ultimately, the lake of fire. Christ is our propitiation (1 John 2:2). But if we are forgiven for a sin and there is still some sort of punishment for us to endure, then we are not really forgiven. We cannot pay a debt (i.e. sin) that has already been paid by somebody else (Christ on the cross). In essence, the idea of Purgatory is contrary to everything that the Bible says about salvation.
  • Alleged "Proofs-Texts" For Purgatory:
          1.) 1 Corinthians 3:15:
          -This text is not about punishment for sins. It talks about eternal rewards (or lack thereof). In other words, the context is about testing the quality of each believer's work which determines his or her heavenly rewards (v. 10-14). It is not about any kind of punishment. Just because a Scripture passage mentions the word "fire" does not mean that it is about Purgatory. 
          -1 Corinthians refers to the believer "escaping through the flames", not "being cleansed by the flames".

          2.) Matthew 12:31-32:
          -The parallel passage makes this one crystal clear (Mark 3:28-29). It simply means that a person who commits the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will NEVER receive forgiveness from God.

          3.) Matthew 5:25-26:
          -The context is about anger and settling disputes in relationships (v. 21-24).
          -Nobody can deny that this passage is speaking about hell because it is mentioned in the context (v. 22). A person in hell would be there "until he had paid the last cent", meaning that his or her stay there would be permanent, as he or she could never give a ransom for it.

          4.) Job 1:5:
          -Job's sons were alive during this time. Moreover, this sacrifice is completely different than praying for souls in Purgatory. All biblical sacrifices (that is, in Protestant Bibles) were offered for the living, without any mention of Purgatory whatsoever. So, Job 1:5 fails the test to prove the concept to be in Scripture.

          5.) 2 Maccabees 12:39-46:
          -These dead soldiers were struck down by God because of their idolatry (v. 40). According to the Catholic Church, idolatry is a mortal sin (CCC 1857; 1858). Mortal sins send someone to hell (not Purgatory). Purgatory is for "venial" (lesser) sins. Thus, we have no evidence for Purgatory in 2 Maccabees.


  1. Purgatory is necessary for papists, otherwise how would they coerce their people into paying indulgences? I also examined (not quit in your detail) purgatory and indulgences:

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    1. Anonymous,

      Thanks for practicing eisegesis. There is no such thing as purgatory. Scripture would have told us if there was. Hebrew 9:27 says immediately after death comes judgment. No purging to be done. Also, look at the link I provided where I disabuse Papists of the notion of purgatory.

  3. Anonymous,

    Your comment is hardly worth responding to, as it was simply a copy and paste from a Roman Catholic apologetics website. You did not even reference the original source for that excerpt.

    Why 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 is important to the debate on Purgatory is that the text shows believers entering into the direct presence of God upon death without any mention whatsoever of that intermediate state (i.e. "...while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord...We are be away from the body and at home with the Lord").

    If we are forgiven for a sin and there is still some sort of punishment for us to endure, then we are not really forgiven. We cannot pay a debt (i.e. sin) that has already been paid by somebody else (i.e. Christ on the cross). In essence, the idea of Purgatory is contrary to everything that the Bible says about salvation.