May 11, 2006 at 9:10 pm #1235
When we are saved “as through fire”, is that the fire of God’s love or if not, what would you say it means? Basically what I am getting at is, what do you think God’s purification process is like? Physical pain? Mental anguish? What do YOU think?May 12, 2006 at 12:20 am #6101
I think the pain is both it is the separtion from God’s love,and is surpose to be similar to hell except you will be released from purgatory.I read once that it has no time equation but 1 year but feel like 30 or more years.And I also believe that MOST Catholics will go to purgatory cause everyone dies with some kinda sin on there soul.That is the reason when one goes to Mass they should pray for loved ones,it will help release them.May 12, 2006 at 2:28 pm #6104
These are difficult questions. I think that hell as many choose to understand it is more of a reflection of hellenistic understanding in the time of the New Testament or a chaotic void in the time of the Old Testament. When Jesus described those who will be cut off from the Kingdom of God he always mentioned that they would be on the outside, using descriptive metaphors like “weeping” “gnashing” etc. Many take the flames of the NT literally, while others understand it as the only way that the audience in the Roman world could understand eternal punishment, i.e.: hades. Revelation is the most unliteral book of the Bible and it uses horrid descriptions which many Evangelicals have taken literally:) but most of the Church understands that authors of apocalyptic literature are using a medium common to revelations of the end of the world and judgment day -apocalyptic metaphors. But, who knows, it may be quite a surprise that such metaphors were intended to be taken literally.
The question was not about hell though! But, a lot of thoughts on purification through purgatory is boggled in together with medieval notions of purification through punishment; physical anguish, which can easily be confused with eternal punishment though they are not the same. I like weather’s response that such punishment is likely seperation from God. But to be seperated from God may not allow receiving God’s grace possible.
You might want to read C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce”, it’s a simple and quick read but provides an interesting answer and question on what happens to those who have not repented and why they have not repented and may never do so, while others will.
Bernardine, when you speak about “as through fire” are talking about 1 Cor 3:15? If so, F. F. Bruce (NT scholar) has something interesting to say about the fire. The buildings of their time could either easily withstand the fire (being of stones, which Paul turns to gold, silver, precious stones) or like wood, hay, and stubble burn up in a matter of minutes. Paul had taught the converts the basic truths of the Gospel. What kind of teachings had other teachers given them? Can these teachings withstand the fire? The foundation cannot be disputed, Paul provided sound basic truths, however, what was erected on top of this foundation?
However, you spoke of being “saved ‘as through fire'” so maybe this is not the passage you are talking about (?)
CheersMay 12, 2006 at 10:08 pm #6105
Yes, 1 Corinthians 3:15 is what I am making reference to. Thanks for the response gesundheit. You make some interesting points.May 13, 2006 at 6:00 am #6120
[quote:314lo1e1]When we are saved “as through fire”, is that the fire of God’s love or if not, what would you say it means? Basically what I am getting at is, what do you think God’s purification process is like? Physical pain? Mental anguish? What do YOU think?[/quote:314lo1e1]
There can be no physical pain when one lacks a physique.
Mental anguish to me is something to do with the mind rather than the heart.
The pain of purgatory is a pleasant pain, a trial to be endured for the prize at the end. It is being scrubbed with a stiff brush to remove caked on mud and filth.
It is literally the pain of a soul longing with anticipation; a soul that has merited salvation but is not yet ready to be presented before the Lord.
In a superficial way, it is akin to the pain of hell, which is separation from God. But whereas those in hell will never know a mutual love for God, never feel His presence beyond His will for their existence, souls in purgatory feel the pain of being separated from God ‘a while longer.’May 15, 2006 at 4:17 am #6149
I guess bernardine, based on your initial question:
[quote:hvrn3t4v]what do you think God’s purification process is like? Physical pain? Mental anguish? What do YOU think?[/quote:hvrn3t4v]
I think that the passage we discussed does not address this quesiton. The fire is a means of describing the trials that will face us to prove if we have received good instruction after knowing the fundamentals about our faith. So, no, the fire of 1 Cor 3:15 is not about the fire of God’s love.
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