PURGATORY: Where is it in the Bible? Why is it…
PURGATORY: Where is it in the Bible? Why is it necessary? Can we avoid that process or state?
PURGATORY: Part II (Modified)
A Comprehensive Biblical Proof of Purgatory
By: Emmanuel Jacobo
May 11, 2020
Peace to all who will read this message!
In the New Testament Bible, to gain sure Eternal Life, we are required for “Perfection”, “Holiness”, and “Purity”.
In Matthew 5:48, Jesus uttered:
48 “You therefore must be PERFECT, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
In Hebrews 12:14, Paul uttered:
14 “Strive for peace with all men, and for the HOLINESS without which no one will see the Lord.”
1 Peter 1:15-16,
15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 And the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.
27 But nothing UNCLEAN shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
8 it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and PURE”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
3 But fornication and all IMPURITY or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints.
There are many other passages that required us “Extreme Righteousness” for anyone to gain Eternal Life as in Matthew 25:31-46 and parallel Gospels Mt. 26:17–30, Mk. 14:12–26, Lk. 22:7–39 and John 6:53-58 among others.
If that’s the case, if there’s only 2 options in Eternal Life in Heaven and Eternal Damnation in Lake of Fire then I would estimate that 99.9999 percent will surely go to Damnation of Eternal Lake of Fire because I am sure that only one in a million (or even rare) among mankind is Extremely Righteous to pass that criteria of “Perfection”.
I think that Jesus and/or God has a better plan and design for many of us who are not “Perfect”, but not deemed “Wicked”either however, Good enough (though unrighteous) to be considered “Children of God” that deserve inheritance from God the Father and a nice and comfortable “Home” in glory with Jesus and God.
How did Jesus and/or God resolve that dilemma? By creating a place or state or process that can satisfy the “Perfection” or “Holiness” or “Purity” required to attain that extreme level of excellence almost impossible to accomplish by the majority. We Catholics call that state or process “PURGATORY”, a very very bad word for non-Catholic Christians who despise that very mention unfortunately.
Where is Purgatory in the Bible? Many Non-Catholic Christians perceived that Purgatory is only an invention of the Catholic Church and cannot be found in the Bible. On the contrary, Purgatory was described and discussed in the Bible but not the word itself because at the time of the Old and New Testament writings that word was non existent as yet.
Purgatory comes from a Latin verb meaning “to cleanse”. The Catholic Church also used it for “Purification” or “Perfection” before one can qualify to enter heaven. My job is to present where is this “process or state” in the Bible.
Let’s start with some important timelines:
I. Before Jesus time on earth/ resurrection/ascension, no one in the Old Covenant/Old Testament (OT) went to heaven yet. OT people believed that at death souls or spirits go to a place or state called “Sheol”.
II. In the Greek translation, they call it “Hades” and so the New Testament written in Greek is the same. In English translation “Hell” was used initially but lately some versions “Dead” is more prevalent.
III. In Sheol both the wicked were there in (Psalm 9:17; 31:17; 49:14; Isa 5:14), and so were the righteous (Gen 37:35; 42:38; Job 14:13; Eccl 9:10; Isa 38:10; Jonah 2:2).
The Old Testament called the Righteous part “Bosom of Abraham”. It is also called
Abode of the Just which refers to the place of comfort.
In The New Testament, in Luke 16:19-31, a parable, Jesus taught that Hades was divided into two sections: a place of comfort (Bosom of Abraham) where the poor man Lazarus went after he died and that there was a ‘great chasm between the two sides of Hades. The rich man was on the other side suffering in the place of torment
Note: Sometimes in some passages, Hell or Hades is used to denote specifically “Gehenna” or “Lake of Fire” depending on the message.
Now, there are 4 separate passages that if put together can describe a clear picture on what transpired after Jesus death on the cross as follows:
Peter described that Jesus went down to the dead in Prison in:
1 Peter 3:18-19: 18 “For Christ also died[a] for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison,”.
1 Peter 4:6
6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God.
Then when the Old Testament Saints and prophets resurrected as well in perhaps at the same time that Jesus resurrected in:
52 the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Then when Jesus ascended to heaven he brought with him the same OT saints and prophets in
8 Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”[a] (the gifts mentioned is “heaven”).
These 4 preceding passages depicted a chronology of events right after Jesus death on the cross which I can summarize as:
Jesus died then his spirit went to a “Prison” to pick up all the Old Testament Saints, Prophets, and holy people. He also preached to other “Unrighteous” prisoners there).
He then resurrected with same OT Saints/Prophets and holy people and when he ascended to heaven he brought them with him as well to heaven.
Now, post Jesus resurrection and ascension, heaven now is accessible to New Testament inhabitants, therefore all very holy people who died that were already “cleansed”, “purified” and “perfected” while still on earth went directly to Heaven and joined them.
Who are these New Testament holy faithfuls that already made it to heaven? First batch: St Stephen, and the 12 Apostles plus Paul; Next, The Apostles disciples and their disciples that were faithful and martyred for defending the Faith; Then the holiest people (Saints) who sacrificed their entire earthly lives for the service of Jesus and/or God some of them martyred as well.
All these holy people that made it to heaven had one thing in common: they were all “perfected” and “purified” and “cleansed” by heeding all of Jesus commands and sacrificed their entire earthly life while glorifying God while still on earth.
Proof of the Old Testament Prophets and Saints; the 12 Apostles and Holy people in heaven:
4 Around the throne (Jesus) were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
(Most likely, these are the 12 Apostles, Paul and the many Old Testament Prophets)
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
(The Saints here are Peter, Paul and rest of 12 apostles given authority on while on earth and martyred saints)
In Revelation 6:9,
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.
(Here are souls of the saints who were martyred)
Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
(These are the Saints who resurrected with Jesus that went with him to heaven in Ephesians 4:8).
Other Proof of Saints in heaven:
John 14:2; Philippians 1:23,
All the subsequent unbelievers still go to Hades (wicked side-place of torment where the rich man is) joining the OT unbelievers.
What about the “saved” but not very holy and not qualified as saints? They’re still going to the place (I believed) what St Peter called “Prison” we Catholics called “Purgatory” which I believed is the Bosom of Abraham (which Jesus called Paradise) where the “saved” will undergo a “cleansing, purification or perfection” process prior to entering heaven depending on how righteous one was on earth. Some may wait until Jesus 2nd coming at End Time for Final Judgement due to severity of ones’ earthly life.
By the way I heard that some of the Non-Catholic Christians believe that when people die (who are deemed “Saved”) they go into a state of “Sleep” and wait for Jesus 2nd coming at End Time for Final Judgement. Where is this place anyway? I think they might be waiting in Catholic Purgatory too Jesus and OT people called that place “Bosom of Abraham” and Peter called it “Prison” where the OT captives were because at that time “Purgatory” was not a word yet in their vocabulary.
Passages that can backed this Purgatory claim: Jesus’ required Perfection, Holiness, and Purification as follows:
25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
Matthew 5:48; Hebrew 1:3; Hebrew 12:14; Hebrews 12:22-23; Matthew 19:21/Mark 10:21/Luke 18:22; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Matthew 7:13-14; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Revelation 21:27; 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 5:3; Philippians 2:14-16;
Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 3:10-16, Matthew 5:21-26 and Matthew 12:32-36 and Matthew 18:34-35 and Luke 12:59 and 2 Timothy 1:16-18 and Hebrews 12:29 and 1 Peter 1:7 and 1 Peter 15:29-30 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 1 Peter 4:6.
In closing, my goal and mission for the rest of my life is to “Make it to Heaven and bring others there!” because as I quote myself, “The smartest people that walk this earth are the Saints because they knew their Math by recognizing the difference between 70-100 years on earth and Eternity.”
I hope and pray that this is a start of a major overhaul of the perceptions of our Non-Catholic Christians brethren regarding Purgatory.
God Bless us all children of God!