Where is Purgatory in the Bible?

The Bible does not mention the exact word “purgatory,” but instead it makes reference to a place which can be understood as what is referred to as purgatory. To claim that purgatory does not exist because the exact word does not appear in Scripture is a failure to understand Scripture.

    What exactly is Purgatory?

    The Bible contains references to many Christian doctrines, but fails to call them out by name. One might as well even deny that there is something called the Bible because no such name is found in the Bible. Furthermore, one might as well deny the Trinity, Incarnation, and so forth because these exact words are not found in the Bible.

    The name does not make the place; the place must exist first, then we give it a name. We call this place “purgatory” because it means “a cleansing place.” Therein souls are purged from the small stains of sin, which prevent their immediate entrance into Heaven.

    In the Old Testament

    The first mention of Purgatory in the Bible is in 2 Maccabees 12:46: “Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from sin.”

    Some people do not accept Maccabees as book of the Bible. This is unfortunate since it is that their Bibles have been edited and are missing books. (Find out Why Catholic Bibles Are Different) Even if a person does not accept the book of Maccabees, it at least has historical value for we can learn what the pre-Christian community believed.

    In Chapter 12 of Second Maccabees we read Scriptural proof for Purgatory and evidence that the Jews had sacrifices offered for those of their brothers who had lost their lives in battle. That the Jews prayed for the dead shows that they believed in a place where they could be helped (which we now call purgatory) and that the prayers of their living brothers and sisters could help them in that place. This is closely related to the Catholic doctrine of the communion of saints.

    During the Reformation in the 15th century, when Martin Luther was deciding to remove books from the Bible, these words in the book of Maccabees had so clearly favored Catholic teaching, that the whole book was removed from the Protestant Bible. Unfortunately for Protestants, even if they feel that the book was not inspired, it still tells us of the practice of God’s chosen people.

    In the New Testament

    In Matthew 5:26 and Luke 12:59 Christ is condemning sin and speaks of liberation only after expiation. “Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” Now we know that no last penny needs to be paid in Heaven and from Hell there is no liberation at all; hence the reference must apply to a third place.

    Matthew 12:32 says, “And whoever speaks 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.” Here Jesus speaks of sin against the Holy Spirit. The implication is that some sins can be forgiven in the world to come. We know that in Hell there is no liberation and in Heaven nothing imperfect can enter it as we see in the next part. Sin is not forgiven when a soul reaches its final destination because in heaven there is no need for forgiveness of sin and in hell the choice to go there is already made.

    Revelation 21:27: “…but nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who does abominable things or tells lies.” The place that is to be entered (the place to which this passage refers) is heaven (read the text around it for context).

    The Bible clearly implies a place for an intermediate state of purification after we die in the many passages which tell that God will reward or punish according to a person’s life.

    What if purgatory really doesn’t exist?

    Ponder the following example. Imagine a Christian man, justified by the Lord, loses his temper and yells at his next door neighbors for letting their dog dig a hole in his yard. We can see that the man treated his neighbors rudely, albeit the neighbor’s behavior was also reprehensible. His actions would be considered a light sin (called venial sins by the Catholic Church). It’s not of the same moral weight as theft or murder, but it’s still a sin.

    After shouting at the neighbors, with all the anger and stress in his body the man walks into his house, has a heart attack, and dies having just committed a small sin in the final moments of his life. Remember, this man is Christian and justified by the Lord, yet has committed a sin. Does he go to heaven or does he go to hell? Are all sins created equal? No, all sins are not equal and even justified men of the Lord can make mistakes and sin.

    If purgatory didn’t exist, the man would go to hell for his small sin. God’s mercy is so great and our God is a just God that it seems unfathomable that he would condemn a justified man to hell for a small, yet unrepented sin. The man’s soul is dirty. His actions have defiled his soul, but not the point where he has cut himself off from God. Only mortal sins cut off a person from God’s grace. So, the man, having been justified by the Lord, is destined for heaven, yet his soul is defiled by his sin (Matthew 12:36, 15:18). His soul is in need of cleansing because nothing defiled can enter heaven. This is the purpose of purgatory. Out of mercy and love God sends the man through purgatory on his way to heaven so that his soul can be purified to be able to join God in heaven.

    Remember, purgatory is not a second chance for conversion; the man is already justified. If there is no place of intermediate state of purification, the man would be damned to hell! Who would be saved? Those who teach against purgatory teach an unreasonable doctrine. Will Catholics go to heaven?

    So, why do non-Catholics reject a teaching so full of consolation? My guess is that they want to believe that the merits of Christ applied to the sinner who trusts in Him, will remove all sin past, present, and future abdicating all responsibility for sin after justification. Yet this is also unreasonable. Only Jesus’ death on the cross makes us worthy before God the Father. We cannot stand before him on our own merits. We need Jesus Christ. Yet we also have personal responsibility in our justification before the Lord.

    Luke 12:48:

    Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.

    If we accept Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, confess him as Lord, yet commit bad actions, God judges accordingly.

    Matthew 12:37:

    By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

    Our acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross does not abdicate our responsibility live the Gospel. Salvation is not assured. Salvation is not by faith alone for the Bible says that we will be held accountable by our words and that much will be entrusted to us! Nowhere in the Bible does it say salvation is by faith alone. This teaching is un-Scriptural. Rather the Scriptures say that faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

    While Jesus can be the only acceptable sacrifice to God for our sins, it doesn’t give us a license to sin. Nor does justification by the Lord preserve us from sin. Even a justified man can commit a sin. Therefore, even though Christ’s blood on the cross makes us right before God, God still requires much from us in return. He requires us to die to ourselves each day and to choose him in everything we do. It simply doesn’t fit with God’s justice for a person to be off the hook simply because at some point in the past they became justified. We have a duty to God to obey him for if we do not obey God we will be punished according to his justice. Purgatory is part of God’s justice.

    Read The Truth about Faith Alone, Works, and Salvation.

    Read Explaining Purgatory.

    Comments

    1. Rhonda in Alabama says

      I was raised a Catholic. But got a divorce when I was fairly young 28. Did not remarry until I was 38. So I am in conflict most the time as a Christian. I still believe in the Catholic Church an Faith as it was instilled in me in my youth.

      I came about this site just by accident looking for something.

      But I will share a story here. I was in a horrible accident in 2004 lost both legs above the knees.
      26 surgeries an 6 months in the hospital. My Rosary never left my bedside. My daughter brought
      it too me when I was in a medically induced coma for 8 weeks. When they ask in the hospital what
      domination I am it is always Catholic.

      During this time I died 4 times. The many surgeries an blood transfusions an skin grafts my body
      would just shut down from the trauma. I was drug down a road under a big truck (18 wheeler) for over
      300 feet. I hung on to the drive shaft until I realized the driver was not going to stop but leaving the yard. Anyways long story short I let go an he ran over me an went on down the road.

      I laid there for about 15 minutes till people in the shop heard my yells for HELP. I never did pass out or anything. The pain was bearable because I believe God was there. My legs were crushed I was bleeding out my left arm almost ripped off. But my head was fine an intact.

      During these times in the hospital when I passed ( DIED 4 TIMES) for several minutes the doctors said many times to my husband I would more than likely not make it for the trauma the blood loss was too much. The family prayed many friends from all over the country prayed for me. I seen heaven it is hard to explain it but not really what I could see but what I felt an could hear as in I could see peoples voices in the air. Past relatives past friends even pets I had that passed were waiting for me beyond in the distance but it was like I could not get there I was trying an I heard my grandmothers voice say Rhonda it is not time yet sweet heart an a soft push an I was back here. The doctors said they could not explain in medical terms how I survived or why other than I was a miracle an it was not my time. My husband prayed an begged GOD to give him a sign if he could too keep my alive for the next operation he could say not to revive me. Because I would not want to live in this body now with half of it gone. My husband said I was in that coma when he talked to GOD an I opened my eyes an looked straight at him an my rosary was there an then I shut my eyes for the next 6 weeks.

      I survived why? I think to tell others that there is a Heaven there is a purgatory to stop at an there is a hell I am sure of that. To do your best every day to follow GOD’S rules they are not that hard to do. To praise GOD an his SON JESUS do not let people talk badly take a FAITH no matter what it is an hold on too it. Talk to GOD every day. Let GOD help you he does not have to SPEAK to you. We can FEEL him if we truly believe. There is good an bad in the world we should know the difference we know right from wrong at the age of 7. Unless there is a mental problem. All little children are with GOD no matter what.

      I do not think MAN should take or add to the BIBLE I believe that is very wrong.

      Everyone going out an getting SAVED does not get you to HEAVEN. You have to have some good in your heart not FALSENESS.

    2. Jess says

      Hi I’m not sure how you receive non cats on your forum. But I just want to say that I am in agreement to faith with action. Jesus christs first commandment was not to kill. To me that needs no further explanation. To love my neighbor is to also love all that God created and aspire to the purity and love of St Francis. He was a saint who was so pure that even animals and birds were attracted to him. I see people always in disharmony because of misunderstanding of basic truths. People want to believe what is convenient, however before the eyes of God we are all equal – it is our actions that set us apart and our level of consciousness. In my school of enlightenment the true teachings of Christ are respected and striven for. Believing is one thing but aspiring and following is even better. Would you not be pleased with a child who earned his position in your company next to you rather than just expected it to fall into his lap because he is your son? The qualities of the one who strives is far more honorable and pleasing than the one who just expects on a belief.

    3. tara says

      To all of you who think it is Jesus + maybe you do not really understand the way it all works out. I’ll cut you some slack. But I will say that you are taking glory away from God by claiming to have the ability to pretty much “save yourselves” by your own good works.
      But unless ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.

      • says

        Hi Tara. No one is claiming to be able to save oneself, simply the truth of the Scriptures that faith alone is insufficient and that as believers we must live as Christ taught us to live.

    4. Kevin says

      Peace brother… I’m a former Catholic who has a hard time ignoring:

      Ephesians 2:8-9
      8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

      You should research the idea of the “priesthood of the believer”.

      In Him

    5. Jacqueline Van Aswegen says

      If as you say we can get to heaven by our works then you are making the final works of the Lord on the cross null and void. Ephesians states clearly that we cannot get to heaven by our own works but rather by the works that the Father has set for us. Further more John 3 says we can only get to heaven by our being born again . Romans states that the wages of sin is death. We need to remember that Jesus already went through purgatory t, that w e might be saved by His grace and His grace alone

    6. says

      Hi everyone

      I just want to add up, as a Catholic and from what I learned from the Church Teaching is that purgatory is not place rather a state. There are only two place that you can end up when you die, heaven or hell. Those who are in purgatory are bound to heaven. Thanks

    7. Kristen says

      I AM 30 years old and have been a practising Catholics my whole life. I recently feel let down by the Catholics church because despite abliging to holy days of obligation and attending obligatory sunday masses i dont think i ever heard the real gospel message preached utilizar my life fell apart because of my own sin and I finally went searching for the real message… And learned it is Alot more then Just that God loves us and spiritual enrichment….why is the church not preaching Jesus is the diference between heaven and hell? Mosteiro of my practising Catholics familia have swallowed the lie that Jesus is not the only way to heaven… That there are múltiple ways to heaven…accepting cultural béliefs that support acceptance and tolerancia of all religions and therefore it really doesnt material what one practises as Long As you are seaking God. I know this isnt the Catholics oficial béliefs but what the church is teaching weekly isnt the orixinal gospel message… They areteaching come toda God for spiritual enrichment…. This message coupled within the béliefs of purgatorio tales the orixinal urgency away from the original gospel message. I AM still Catholics and the while its a big parte of my familias life i AM worried that we are not receiving the mostrar importante message like we should every weekly…. Perhaps purgatorio is a part of it… The apostles were urgent and knew the importante of evangelism…the early church did too…. But..how manual Catholics do you know that evangelism… None…even Jesus toldos us to spread the good news cuarenta Catholics see it as a “baptist” thing…or something that is a style of worship that can be glanced over…. This is no style thing… This was a comando and if we understood the original gospel message we would see the importante. Again i AM Catholics but there is something seriously wrong within what is going on in the cuarenta church among cradle Catholics,…..I hope some pastores see this post… Its a cry for help as my familia needs to heard this truth from the church because we are being LED astray however unintended.

      • says

        Hi Kristen,

        I guess you need to consult your parish priest about your faith. You know what every time I joined masses God talks to me through the homily of the priest, I understand what God has told me maybe because the Holy Spirit works on me, I advise you to pray to the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Thanks

      • Ignacio, Romero says

        Hello my dear sister Kristen. I as a Catholic can relate to your comment and feelings towards our Catholic church. I like you felt empty after many years of fallowing the word, sacraments and mass for many years. Fustrated and empty, i began to research many religions and many opinions in the faith. After many years of research and experimenting, i found out that it is not the denomination that fullfills your spirit, but it is you that fullfills your denomination. In other words, it’s not what your church does for you, but what you do for your church that makes the diference. This conclution came from 1 Corinthians 12. Jon is defenetly correct when he advises us to pray for the holy spirit in order to feel not just see, listen and read. We need to feel the true word in order to truly live it and believe it. We don’t have to change religion in order to serve our father and to continue to grow in the spirit. Again, just like Jon suggest, just pray for the Holy spirit to give you the gift of knowledge and you will be heard. I did this and know, not only do i believe, feel, and understand much of the word, but i’m serving my father in the area of physical and spiritual healing with our brothers and sisters. Remember that God doesn’t ask about denominations, he asks about faith, love, acts and service for others. I hope you find your answers soon and it’s ok to keep on searching for your calling. May God bless you and i hope you continue having faith in our Catholic faith.

      • Jess says

        The truth about life on earth is that it is not an easy road for anyone, regardless of faith. But we all need the guidance from time to time. I am not Christian but I agree with Ignatio. There are many pathways to God but there is no instant coffee. We have to all still pray and aspire to improve within ourselves. Inside yourself is always the truth. No one can actually tell you what to do. I have learned in my life with logic that only when our mind is open can we receive knowledge. When our hearts are open we can receive love and when we give mercy we can get mercy. We also need to understand that we are not mechanical beings, we are emotive sentient beings, and that there will always be something to make us laugh or cry, etc but we need to master ourselves, become stronger to overcome negatives.

    8. Justin Williams says

      Good evening and “Happy Sabbath…” I would like to first reiterate and commend you on noticing that the word purgatory is not mentioned in the Bible. Furthermore, Matthew 5:26 is not referring to a “holding place;” please read before this misinterpreted text starting at verse 21. Once you’ve read the previous verse, you will see that Jesus is not referring to a place after death, nor is the word or any word that’s even close to the word death is being used in these verses. Jesus was referring prison; the physical holding place that one goes to after being sentenced for a crime he/she has commited.
      I have one question to ask you… What is the purpose of Jesus’ Second Coming {if} when we die we go to heaven or hell after purgatory. Take a look at John 14:1-3… “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and recieve you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
      If He said He’s coming back to get the righteous in His Second Coming and we’re not there, why is He coming back?

    9. Joey says

      Dear Brother,

      I am afraid that the book of Matthew does not provide scriptural context for the belief of Purgatory, nor so by implication either. You refer to Matthew 5:26 as evidence of the existence of a place of cleansing. However, Matthew 5:26 is preceded by Matthew 5:25 which states ” ‘Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.’ ”

      Through Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus is iterating the point that if you have a conflict with another person, make peace with them and settle the matter, or you will “be in danger of the fire of hell.” The prison referred to in Matthew 5:25 is Hell, and the follow-up in Matthew 5:26 is according: “I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” Won’t get out of where? Well, having read the other verses in the passage, you would come to conclude that this is Hell.

      Now what about this last penny stuff and getting out? Jesus is not stating that you can pay your way out of Hell. You can’t. He was using this as part of his metaphor to mean “you will pay the price of your actions.” What is the price of such actions? Well, “the wages of sin is death.”

      As for Matthew, 12:32, there is actually no such implication. Although it might seem so, I am afraid you must look at the structure of the clauses. “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, in this age or in the age to come.” Now, let’s break this down and understand what Jesus (not Matthew) is saying.

      The interpretation is easy by reading the previous verse, Matthew, 12:31 “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” The verse after is a reiteration of the previous verse. Men will be forgiven of sins against God, for when you sin, you wrong God. God will forgive you of that. However, if you sin against the holy Spirit you will not be forgiven today, tomorrow or on the day of Judgment. That’s what that means.

      There are two clauses, one detailing that men shall be forgiven of ordinary sins, which does not extend into the second clause stating that men will not be forgiven of blasphemy against the holy spirit “period.” Say whatever you must, but know that you cannot declare a thing to be true based on a single verse that derives its essence from another.

      Now, I’d be entirely OK if a place such as Purgatory was real, but it is simply a wild fantasy with no meat to the bones. However, that is perhaps, not to say that there isn’t a Saving Grace after death. As God says through his son James “Mercy triumphs over Judgment,” and ever do I believe that.

    10. says

      In my opinion Christ death on the Cross, “was to free us from Original Sin”. This Sin prevented the faithful from entering Heaven before His death on the cross. I believe that the reason “he descended into hell” was to free the faithful who died before his coming and where barred from heaven due to the stain of Original Sin. I can say a place not Hell can be possible for those “not clean”…. God is indeed Merciful.

    11. Carrie says

      My interpretation of what the bible says about purgatory is that Life is purgatory… If you think about it, Jesus died on the cross for our sins so we are able to be forgiven by God. This is the time we have to be purified. Are family and friends, churches, even strangers our here to help us. This is the time we purify ourselves.

    12. Jesen Aarhus Christensen says

      Hey Jon,

      I love your website, it’s helped get an edge on all the basic teachings of the Catholic Church. And, as a struggling (Cafeteria) Catholic who wasn’t catechized well, I really appreciate it. :)

      Keep at it, man. :3

      Sincerely,

      Jensen Aarhus Christensen

    13. Larry says

      For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever should believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
      For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.
      Whoever believes in Him is not condemned and whoever does not believe in him stands condemned already for he has not believed in God’s one and only Son.

      This is John 3:16. I am sure you already know that.

      Also refer to Habakuk 2:4 But the righteous will live by his faith.

      I could also go to Ephesian 2:8-9 But appears one has already presented there opinion regarding the fact as to whether they are jsutified by their works and it clearly says that we are not. Any good work that is done through is not one that I do of my own free will that I can boast rather it is done through a living faith in Christ and in service to my neighbor See Ephesians 2:10 which states that God prepared these works to be performed by us in advance. Since this is the case then it is God who gets the glory through my work and service to my neighbor and in no way do these works make atonement for my sin.

      I would also like to state that in Matthew 5:26 Christ is speaking of Settling accounts with your advesary before taking him to court. By the way, is God your advesary? He is if you do not believe in Christ which I think I stated prior. Matthew 12:36 refers to the last day and giving an acccount to God which we all will have to do and not to anything related to purgatory.

      By the way, were you aware that the original Luther Bible had the Apocrypha?

      Also the Church Father Jerome and the Jewish Rabbinical council declared the Apocrypha as non canonical and only Apocrypha. So it would seem that the Jewish position you claim as supporting the Catholic one is not the doctrinal position of the Jews because to the the Rabbinical Council at Jamnia the Apocrypha was considered not canonical for various reasons. Therefore, since the Apocrypha is not considered Scripture by Jews or Protestants it has no binding doctrinal authority.

      That does not mean that it is not good to read or study though. The apocrypha has many interesting things to say. By the way, if those of us who are Confessional Lutheran, Reformed or what have you are misinterpreting Scripture then why should we take what you say to be credible when you are not the Pope making a pronouncement? Are there any disagreements within your circles on this issue.

      I want to state in closing that I mean you no disrespect I just disagree with you.

    14. Mike Peterson says

      It took me a long time to learn 2 main things.

      1. The bible is not either/or. It is this/and. Gods grace is free. We must act upon it. He says to believe in him and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. He says that scriptures is sufficient for teaching. He says to obey the Traditions through oral teaching. He says to confess to one another yours sins. He says to ask God for the forgiveness of sins. He says to keep his commandments. He says you are saved by faith. He says you are saved by works and not by faith alone. He says that unless you eat his flesh and drink his blood , you have no life in him. He tells his Peter that whatever you hold bound on earth will be held bound in heaven and whatever he looses on earth will be loosed in heaven. etc etc etc. Each verse you cite I can cite another one. Both are right.

      2. Jesus left us the truth though a Church and not a Bible so we know Sola Scriptura is wrong.

      Jesus died on the cross for everybody’s sins, if we take up our own cross and follow him.

      Come home to the Catholic Church.

      • Justin Williams says

        Why would want to “Come home to the Catholic Church” when Constantine changed the day of worship from the Seventh Day to the First Day of the week back in 325 AD?
        God gave Moses the 10 Commandments correct? What does it say in Exodus 20:8-11? “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy…..” Now, what did Jesus say in John 14:15? “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Also, what did Jesus say in Matthew 5:17? “I have not come to abolish the law, but I have come to fulfill it.” What law might this be one would ask… Well I’m not a betting man, but if I were to make a wager I would more than likely say He was referring to the 10 Commandants.
        I say that to say this, why would I want to go to a Catholic church when they are not following the instructions of God and His Son Jesus Christ? Is the Catholic Church better than God with regards to not following His instructions and changing the day of rest/worship?

      • kay says

        Wrong!
        Jesus said He would send us the HOLY SPIRIT who would guide us into all truth (John 14). NOT a “church.” The Church are the called out ones. Just because you sit in a pew on Easter and Christmas and maybe even every Sunday does NOT qualify you as truly saved. His sheep know His voice.
        no disrespect. You also would do better to give scriptural references to the points you are trying to prove

    15. eryk gee says

      so if all of what you are saying is true, I’ll quit. for only thru Yiashua and his mercy ,one can be save, if one can take a bath and remove the stain one would not need for Yiashua to redeem us.
      or is there more than one way, (a la Oprah ).
      (please finish the sentence)
      “NO ONE GOES TO THE FATHER ——————————————-”

    16. L.Lozoya says

      “Purged from the small stains of sin”…. Ummmm… So basically, the blood of Jesus is not enough to take away all sin?? So which sins does it remove? Yes, nothing unclean will enter heaven, but we are made clean by His sacrifice….

      • says

        We have purgatory exactly because Jesus died on the cross. His death allows us to be purged of the effects of sin through purgatory. Jesus’ death is what makes purgatory possible.

            • Megan says

              Says the Love of God.

              In Luke 23:40-41, the criminal on the cross next to Jesus professes that he believes Jesus is Lord.

              In Luke 23:42-43, Jesus tells the criminal on the cross next to him, “I tell you the truth, TODAY you will be with me in paradise”.

              The man’s faith in Christ is ENOUGH. Jesus tells him he will be in Heaven with him, “today”.

            • says

              The thief on the cross is a poor example of proving faith alone. Think about his circumstances. God’s mercy is infinite. The thief on the cross was on the verge of death. He did not have the freedom to continue to live and make good choices or bad choices; he was on his deathbed. Of course if he surrendered himself to Jesus in this manner that he could be saved; no one doubts this. The majority of people, however, are not on their deathbeds. Therefore, a little more is expected from those who believe in God yet must continue to live on earth until the Lord calls them home.

      • A. O'Rawe says

        Recently in my country a young girl was taken off the street and brutally murdered,the culprit has been charged but the child’s body is still missing.How then can you say nobody is without sin.DId Jesus not say suffer the little children to come unto me.

        • says

          There are a few types of sin. Committed sin is when someone commits a sinful action of their own doing. An inherited sin is original sin. Baptism removes the effect of sin.

          We do not know the state of the soul of the little child nor do we know exactly what happens to innocent children when they die. Presumably they would be taken directly into heaven. God is merciful.

          • tara says

            Baptism does absolutely nothing as regards to sin. It is a symbol that I hold in high regard because our Lord was baptized and told us to baptize. nothing “removes the effects of sin” except the blood of Jesus (in the spiritual realm) and the grace of God in granting repentance from sins through the working of the Holy Spirit. And as for little children the Bible states that the secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever that we may do all the words of this law. (deut 29:29)
            “We do not know the state of the soul of the little child” The scripture that always comes to mind is Genesis 18:25″ Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
            Indeed He will do according to all His good Pleasure.

            • says

              You hold baptism in high regard because Jesus told you to do it? That’s it? Why would Jesus want us to do it if it had no significance? Why would he ask us to do something arbitrary?

    17. gthorvat says

      I’ll make this sweet and simple. It’s not really important as to weather or not anyone believes that there is a Purgatory. Quite simply, because if there is such a place, then we are all going to wind up there anyway, whether we believe in it or not. I happen to believe that Salvation is a process, not an instantaneous event. Therefore I believe in the process.
      Purgatory is “not” a place where we “pay” for our sins because The Christ already did that for us. Instead Purgatory is a place we go to “review” our past transgressions as we are being cleansed of them by the blood, so that we can fully appreciate the Saving Grace that was offered as a gift.
      Probably a better name for this place would be The Sacrificial Blood, because that is what we are washed with and that can only be done “after” death because The Christ does not wash away “original sin” while we are alive. Original Sin is something we inherit through no fault of our own so how can we be responsible for it while we are alive? It is the one sin that follows us beyond the grave, therefore there has to be a Cleansing Place.

      • Kevin says

        No matter how good anybody is, and sin free, nobody is really sin free. If we were to die right now we would not be clean enough to enter Heaven and be with God. So Purgatory cleans you up. It gives you a shower. It washes your hands. It puts you in clean clothes. It makes you holy. So then you can enter the feast God has for us. Nothing unclean can enter Heaven, and that what Purgatory is for.

    18. Jerez says

      Hi Jon, I am aware of the Catholic position on faith and works. My point is excluding scriptures that counter a chosen system of beliefs leads to bondage.

      • says

        Scripture supports the Catholic position. Faith alone is not enough. Jesus redeemed us and is the only sacrifice worthy of opening up to doors to salvation, but our salvation requires a response from us beyond simple belief. Faith requires action. See James. If one “believes” but does not act accordingly is that person saved? If so, how would that be just?

        • Marek Polak says

          Dear Jon,
          ”if anyone believes but does not act accordingly is that person saved”? How about the thief on the cross? He believed in Jesus and died. I assume that he had no time to performe any good works and according to Jesus he still goes to heaven. I believe if he had not die, the thief would have done something good because of the Holy Spirit in him. The Spirit works in us to perform goodness that pleases God.

          On the other hand, I do not believe that ‘faith alone’ saves in terms of believing and killing (not only innocent) people – this clearly suggest no faith.

          True believers are saved only by faith which could produce good works, however these does not guarantee we will be perfect because even though we are saved the Spirit still battles with the flesh.
          Best,
          M.

        • Paloma says

          I truly do believe that it is through our faith in Jesus that we are saved. When you give your life to Jesus, you are saved and you CANNOT lose your salvation. If WORKS ALONE could guarantee my salvation, then brother, I would surely be condemned to an eternity in hell because it is God’s grace that has saves us from a path of destruction. James 2:26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Now, I agree that how can someone say that I am a follower of Christ, and at the same time turn their backs against someone who is in need of shelter, food, clothes, or any other sort of need? That would be hypocrisy! Brother, would you not agree that before God we are unworthy and that if it wasn’t for Jesus that we would never be able to go before God the Father? Then, yes, faith without works doesn’t equate to much, but it isn’t by works alone that we are saved. Jesus is the one and true path to salvation.

          When we accept Jesus into our hearts and pray the sinner’s prayer, we are saved. He already knew all the sins that we would commit, so from that instance on we are truly saved and while we may fall, God will be with us, and if we stray from his flock, He will surely help us find our way back to Him. If anyone told me that I could lose my salvation, then what would be the point? We all fall short of God’s glory…because He is just so great, so loving, so much greater than all of us that if it wasn’t for Jesus, we would not be able to go before the Father.

          Greater is He who is in me, then he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)–That’s one of my favorite bible verses.
          God Bless You,

          Paloma Castro

    19. Jerez says

      “Nowhere in the Bible does it say salvation is by faith alone. This is un-Scriptural, since Christ tells us that to enter into life we must keep the commandments, hear the Church, do the will of His Father and much more with faith. Yes, actions plus faith.”

      Ephesians 2:8-9
      8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

      This passage clearly states that it is by God’s grace through faith. The Greek lexicon for ‘through’ in this passage is ‘dia’ (http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=1223) – a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act. Faith is a verb here, faith IS the act qualifying our salvation. A gift is not something you earn, but something that is given freely.

      Salvation itself is a process :
      We were saved by the penalty of sin at our point of conversion / accepting Christ – (Romans 10:13)
      We are being saved by the power of sin from conversion to death – (Romans 6:20-23) (Romans 8:1-4)
      We shall be saved from the presence of sin at the final judgement – (1 John 3:2)

      Blessings to you brother.