Purgatory
So, you think Purgatory isn’t in the Bible, eh? Well, you are right in one sense, but very wrong in another sense. No, Purgatory is NOT in the Bible!

You are right because the word “Purgatory” does not appear anywhere in the Bible. But, does that mean Purgatory is not a “biblical concept”? No. Just because something is not directly mentioned in Scripture, does not mean it isn’t scriptural. The primary example of that: the word “Trinity” never appears in the Bible either; yet, the Trinity is indeed a biblical concept. Just so Purgatory.

Yes, Purgatory IS in the Bible!

There are a number of biblical principles that, individually and as a group, make a strong biblical argument for the existence of Purgatory.

2 Samuel 12:13-18

“David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘the Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.’ And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became sick… On the seventh day the child died.”

Biblical Principle on Purgatory #1 – there is punishment for sin even after one has received forgiveness.
Revelation 21:27

“But nothing unclean shall enter it…” I.e., the New Jerusalem – Heaven.

Biblical Principle on Purgatory #2 – nothing unclean, nothing with the stain of sin, will enter Heaven.
Heb 12:22-23

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living god, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect…”

Biblical Principle on Purgatory #3 – there is a way, a process, through which the spirits of the just are “made perfect”.
1 Cor 3:13-15

“…each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day [judgment day] will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation [Jesus Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” Where is this place that a man, after he dies, suffers loss, as through fire, but is still saved? Hell – No, once you’re in Hell, you don’t get out. Heaven – No, you don’t suffer loss in Heaven. Hmmm…must be somewhere else.

Purgatory - Is it Biblical?

Is Purgatory in The Bible?

Sam 12:13-18 “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘the Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.’ And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became sick… On the seventh day the child died.”

Birmingham News and the Huntsville Times
November 3 - December 31, 2019
MORE NEWSPAPER ADS
slide 4 Resources
Biblical Principle on Purgatory #2 – nothing unclean, nothing with the stain of sin, will enter Heaven.
Heb 12:22-23

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living god, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect…”

Biblical Principle on Purgatory #3 – there is a way, a process, through which the spirits of the just are “made perfect”.
1 Cor 3:13-15

“…each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day [judgment day] will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation [Jesus Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” Where is this place that a man, after he dies, suffers loss, as through fire, but is still saved? Hell – No, once you’re in Hell, you don’t get out. Heaven – No, you don’t suffer loss in Heaven. Hmmm… must be somewhere else.

Biblical Principle on Purgatory #4 – there is a place in the afterlife other than Heaven or Hell.

So, let’s summarize these four principles: There is punishment for sin even after one has received forgiveness. Nothing unclean - nothing with the stain of sin - will enter Heaven. There is some way, or process, by which the spirits of the just are made perfect. And there is a place besides Heaven or Hell where you can suffer loss, after you die, as through fire, yet still be saved.

These principles, when taken together, make a very strong case for Purgatory, straight from the Bible.

The “Common Sense” Christian View of Purgatory

We are not yet perfected here in this lifetime on Earth. Yet, when we enter Heaven, we will be perfected. So, between the time we die imperfect here on Earth, and the time we enter Heaven perfect, something has to happen to “purge” us of our imperfections. Call that whatever you want, but Catholics call it Purgatory.

Questions About Purgatory

The Bible Christian Society is here to relate Catholic Teaching to the Bible. Here are the top questions people ask about Purgatory.

A: Purgatory is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God‘s grace, are not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.

“...and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation [Jesus Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire,” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

A: Purgatory is from the Latin purgare - to make clean, to purify. Purgatory is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God‘s grace, are not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.

A: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1030). “But nothing unclean shall enter it [The New Jerusalem - Heaven]... but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life,” (Revelation 21:27). The souls in Purgatory, as part of their purification, suffer as through fire, even though they are saved. “...and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation [Jesus Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire,” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
A: The word “Purgatory” is not in the Bible, just like the words “Trinity,” “Rapture,” and “Altar call,” and other such beliefs and practices are not in the Bible, but the principle of Purgatory is indeed there [see discussion on Purgatory above].
A: Purgatory is a place of suffering; however, it is not the same kind of suffering as the damned in Hell endure. In Purgatory there is hope, because one knows that he/she will eventually be with God in Heaven, and that hope mitigates the suffering. In Hell, there is no hope, only despair.
A: See discussion on Purgatory above.
A: A belief in Purgatory pre-dates the Catholic Church. We see the Jewish belief in a purification after death in 2 Maccabees 12:41–45. Orthodox Jews still believe in a final purification after death. Christians have believed in Purgatory since the very beginning of the Church which is why Christian practice has always included prayers for the dead. If the dead are in Heaven, they don’t need prayers. If the dead are in Hell, prayers won’t help them. So, there must be somewhere else where the dead could be that would enable them to benefit from the prayers of the living. We call that place of purification... Purgatory. And, as shown in the discussion on Purgatory above, the concept of Purgatory is indeed in the Bible.
A: Purgatory is not so much a place as we understand the concept of “place”. This is because there are only souls in Purgatory and souls have no dimensions - no height, no depth, no width. Which means Purgatory has no height, no depth, and no width. We here in the physical world can’t really wrap our heads around that. Suffice it to say that Purgatory is more a state of being as opposed to being a physical place.

For more information about the teachings of the Catholic Church check out these free CD's or mp3 downloads:
Free CD's on the Catholic Church and the Bible
Free Downloads on the Catholic Church and the Bible

Website: www.biblechristiansociety.com Email: info@biblechristiansociety.com