If purgatory exists, then Jesus suffered, sacrificed His life and died for nothing. The truth is that purgatory does not exist! It is an invention of the Roman Catholic Church and it has been exploited for centuries.
I remember when my dad passed away in 1993 and I went to Puerto Rico to be with my mom. We went to visit his older half-sister and she said to us, “I’m praying for him every day.” Mom appreciated it. I didn’t know what to say. Mom regularly paid the Catholic Church to “say a Mass” for my father.
Now, at the time, I was attending a Progressive church. I still wasn’t born-again, but that sounded weird. I didn’t get it. It was years since I had been in a Catholic Church and I had forgotten all about purgatory. Apparently my mom and aunt believed my dad was there and that prayers and masses would shorten his sentence. (Those are called “indulgences” and I’ll get into more details on them in a later post.) However, no one knew how long the sentence was. And that’s just it. No one does know how long their sentence in purgatory is. Because it doesn’t exist!
What is Purgatory?
Roman Catholicism describes purgatory as “a place or state in which are detained the souls of those who die in grace, in friendship with God, but with the blemish of venial sin or with temporal debt for sin unpaid. Here the soul is purged, cleansed, readied for eternal union with God in Heaven.”
The suffering in purgatory is twofold: physical pain and separation from God. The suffering in purgatory is necessary because the person has not made complete satisfaction for sins and is not ready to see God because of imperfection. The length of suffering in purgatory is determined by the person’s degree of sinfulness. The time of suffering can be shortened through the prayers and good works of living adherents. This is based on 2 Maccabees 12:43-45, 56. The souls of the departed are purified by fire in purgatory, as suggested in 1 Corinthians 3:14–15, according to Catholic interpretation.Dr. John Barnett
That passage in 1 Corinthians is taken out of context.
10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.1 Corinthians 3:10-17 NLT
First of all, they left out that this fire happens on the judgement day. That’s in Revelation – after the rapture and the great tribulation. Those who are born again, will face the judgement seat, but are forgiven and free. If you’re not saved, then you go to the lake of fire – hell.
Who Invented Purgatory?
590 – 1517 – Middle or Dark Ages
590 – 593: The Western Roman Empire fell, but the Eastern, Byzantine Empire under Justinian was hanging in there. Most of the population was illiterate. Enter Pope Gregory I — the first pope. With Western Europe without any single leader, Rome (the church) claimed supremacy over the military government.
But, the concept of purgatory, was actually developed prior to this by Augustine of Hippo (354-430).
“He so emphasized the value of the two sacraments that the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and sacramental grace were logical outcomes of his views.”Christianity Through the Centuries, Earle E. Cairns, 1996, Zondervan.
Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) in Dialogues, wrote c. 593, taking the concept further…
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.Wikipedia
They were mixing up different things.
Purgatory Penitential Book was developed — invented — that’s why they stuck the Apocrypha in the Old Testament to help explain Purgatory in 2 Maccabees.
All Souls Day — the Day of the Dead
At the end of the 10th century, the church established All Souls Day — now celebrated on November 1….
“…this remembrance helped focus popular imagination on the fate of the departed, and fostered a sense of solidarity between the living and the dead. Then, in the 12th century, the elaboration of the theology of penance helped create a notion of purgatory as a place to complete penances unfinished in this life.”Wikipedia
So, now they need a day to party to celebrate the dead and hope they are in heaven?
1245 – The Council of Trent
Dogma is an official system of principles or doctrines of a religion, such as Roman Catholicism. (Wikipedia)
The official designation of purgatory as dogma:
“…are said to believe and to affirm that the souls of those who after a penance has been received yet not performed, or who, without mortal sin yet die with venial and slight sin, can be cleansed after death and can be helped by the suffrages of the Church, we, since they say a place of purgation of this kind has not been indicated to them with a certain and proper name by their teachers, we indeed, calling it purgatory according to the traditions and authority of the Holy Fathers, wish that in the future it be called by that name in their area. For in that transitory fire certainly sins, though not criminal or capital, which before have not been remitted through penance but were small and minor sins, are cleansed, and these weigh heavily even after death, if they have been forgiven in this life.”Wikipedia
I spoke about relics yesterday, and here’s Dr. Barnett’s video on relics and Purgatory…
The sad thing is that millions of people have fallen for the biggest Ponzi scheme ever! I’ll be getting in to more detail on indulgences, which the church created to raise money to build the great cathedrals of Europe. They sold “get out of purgatory” cards that you could buy for yourself or a loved one.
I’ve written previously on purgatory and I quote Jesus and Paul and you can read them here. The Gospels and the Epistles prove that Jesus died taking ALL our sins away once and forever! If we believe in Him, and repent of our sins — stop sinning — we are saved and we have our one-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven. It is the gift of grace.
Here are more scripture passages with proof of God’s free gift of grace…
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.Romans 3:21-24
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.Romans 5:1 NLT
6 And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.Romans 11:6 NLT
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.Romans 8:1 NLT
You are forgiven for ALL of your sins—past, present AND future!
What that means, folks, is that since Jesus died once and for all taking your sins away, if you say out loud that you believe that and ask Jesus to forgive you, AND you repent — say you’re sorry — AND promise to stop sinning, you’re good to go to heaven!
Again, I say, if purgatory exists, then Jesus suffered, sacrificed His life and died for nothing. I don’t know if my dad is in heaven or hell. He died of a massive heart attack in his sleep. I was living in Miami at the time and I didn’t know what true salvation was yet. Did he have a moment of repentance just before he fell asleep? I won’t know until I die or am raptured — whichever comes first.
- Are You Good Enough to Get into Heaven?
- Can You Buy God’s Grace?
- What is the Salvation of Jesus Christ?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I surrender my whole life to you and I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Jesus Christ is coming back soon! Are you ready?
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!
Dr. Barnett has a PDF with a timeline of when and how the Roman Catholic Church strayed from the Gospel Truth of Jesus Christ.
The infographic is below, but you can download the file here. It is also available free on Dr. Barnett’s website. I’m basing my series, “Where the Roman Catholic Church Went Wrong” — more or less — on this timeline. I have since found other interesting “inventions” of the RCC that need to come out of the closet.