Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?
A BIBLICAL ARGUMENT FOR PURGATORY
Page 157: 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. It will be an extremely serious business when we meet God face-to-face. There will not be any more "imputation" - merely "covering over" of sins - then. No, to stand in his presence we must be literally, actually sinless, because that is how we were created to be in the first place, in his image. We have to be cleansed of actual sin ("sanctification," in Protestant theological language).
Note: Christians have had their souls purified through sincere belief in Jesus Christ since He is the way, the truth, and eternal life.
1 Peter 1:22-25 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
Note: Your body will grow old and die which is evidence of continued original sin in the body.
Pages 157-158: There is no Protestant-Catholic difference on this particular point, from either side. The only difference is a quantitative one: Catholics think this cleansing will involve a process, like our life on earth. And that process of sanctification can continue after death: in purgatory. Protestants, on the other hand, seem to think this all occurs in an instant.
Note: Sanctification of a person's soul occurs the moment of sincere belief in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:5-10 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Page 158: One Protestant I was interacting with stated, "God will certainly remove the filth of the flesh prior to the resurrection of our bodies." Precisely, and that is what purgatory is; no Protestant should have the slightest objection to it. The big beef is (or should be) about how long this removal of filth takes, and exactly when it occurs. Both sides agree that the thing itself does occur in some fashion.
Note: There is no purgatory after death.
Hebrews 9:23-28 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Page 158: Obviously, human beings want to avoid suffering as much as possible. The Protestant view, whether consciously or not, often in practice appeals to the natural human desire to avoid suffering: instant heaven, instant glorification at death, instant salvation, instant eternal security and assurance of our saved status, and so forth. The problem with this desire is that the Bible constantly refers to suffering as a means of attaining to holiness and wisdom.
Note: The author has confused suffering before death to being an after-death experience.
1 Corinthians 15:42-46 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
Page 158: Childbirth offers a close parallel to purgatory, I believe. I have seen the births of my four children, and at each one, I marveled at how my wife went through such tremendous agony, yet had a peace and joy even during the suffering, and an ecstatic joy upon the birth and seeing her child, immediately forgetting what had just gone on. I believe that is how we will feel after emerging from purgatory finally clean and gazing upon our Lord's beautiful and glorious face.
Note: I believe that the author has confused suffering before death to being an after-death experience.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
Page 158: There will not be a moment's thought then as to whether the preparatory suffering was worth it (Rom. 8:18). And we will understand even more fully than while in purgatory why it was necessary and wonder how we could ever have been so silly to have ever denied the necessity of it for a moment.
Note: It is silly for the author to refute Jesus Christ in favor of his process purgatory salvation.
Luke 19:9-10 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Page 161: Adam Clarke opines: "The fire mentioned here is to try the man's work, not to purify his soul; but the dream of purgatory refers to the purging in another state what left this impure; not the work of the man, but the man himself; but here the fire is used to try the work: ergo, purgatory is not meant." I submit that this is straining at gnats. James White tries the same approach: the text talks about works, not sins (as if the two had no relation to each other, despite the many passages concerning judgment, dealt with earlier); therefore, he concludes, it is not about purgatory (White, 193).
Note: Judgment Day will reveal a Christian's work for reward purposes only as salvation had already been determined.
1 Corinthians 3:9-15 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Note: This Scripture is speaking only about believers who have built their faith upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.
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