1. Why (if you believe the Bible) you should not fear purgatory.
2. What you DO need to escape!
3. How to go directly to heaven -- guaranteed!
Part 1: Why you should not fear purgatory
A. Because Amos 3:7 tells us that God will not do any sort of judgment without giving his people a warning through His prophets.
B. Because there are no references to a purgatory, nor any descriptions of it in the Bible.
C. Because the Bible CONSISTENTLY speaks of only TWO destinations for mankind.
Psalm 139:8 heaven; hell
Proverbs righteous vs. unrighteous repeatedly mentioned--
no mention of half-righteous people
Isa. 14:12-15 heaven/hell
Daniel 12:1 shame & contempt, or everlasting life
Matt. 8:11-12 kingdom of heaven/outer darkness
Matt. 13 the wheat and the tares, wicked vs. just, burned vs. God's Kingdom
Matt. 25:46 life eternal, everlasting punishment
Mark 9:47 Kingdom of God or hell fire
Luke 19:10 saved or lost
John 3:16 perishing or having everlasting life
John 3:18 condemned or not condemned
John 3:36 wrath of God or everlasting life
John 5:24 life or death
John 5:29 resurrection of the just or the unjust
Rom. 6:23 death; eternal life
I Cor. 1:18 saved; perishing
I Cor. 6:9-11 kingdom of God or unrighteous not in kingdom
Eph. 5:1-6 kingdom, or wrath of God
II Thess. 1:5-9 punishment, or the kingdom of God
I Peter 1:3-5 Godly ones; darkness, light
II Peter 2:9, 3:7-9, 13 deliverance into new heaven; ungodly perishing
I John 5:11-12 eternal life; no eternal life
D. Because at the end, the options listed are hell(followed by the Lake of Fire) in Rev. 20:15 or the new heaven and earth, including the very presence of God. (Rev. 21:24-27, and for those we are told that people either have their name in the BOOK OF LIFE, and thus enter God's presence, or they do not have their name in that book, and thus they end up in the lake of fire.
E. While I believe the Bible should interpret our experiences and NOT vice versa, I will just mention that I have heard/read dozens upon dozens of near death experiences in which people (most of them) saw Jesus (felt His love) or heaven, OR...(a few) saw and recall a VIVID picture of hell. NOBODY has ever said they saw purgatory.
F. The history of where purgatory came from is spelled out in a second article I have written (Questions and Answers on Purgatory), so if you need more information to convince you, Click here.
Part 2 - What you DO need to escape -- HELL!
Do not take a CHANCE on this place existing to help you make it to heaven and avoid hell. WHAT IF IT DOES NOT EXIST? If it doesn't, then you need to be SURE you are headed for heaven, not hell!
Most of us think we are pretty good or decent people, but the requirements for heaven are tougher than you might think!
God’s requirements are impossibly high to be qualified for heaven – "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matt. 5:48). And James 2:10 clarifies that even one broken rule or command makes us as guilty as if we had broken them all! We cannot rely on a pattern of "break command/repent....break command/repent" and think we are meeting this requirement for heaven! No wonder Romans 3:10 says "there is none righteous, no not one."
The Bible DOES tell us how to meet this requirement. In Heb. 10:14 we read:
"For by one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
Verse 10 here tells us that we are sanctified (set apart to God)
by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, so it is all the work of God.
How can God say we imperfect people are "perfected for ever"? It is because of Imputed Righteousness!
We have to understand that the Bible talks about two kinds of righteousness. Paul said in Phil. 3:9 that he wanted to be found by God, NOT having his OWN righteousness, based on law-keeping, but a righteousness "which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." He was talking about imputed righteousness.
That other kind of righteousness is gained by faith. It is explained in Romans 4. There (King James Version) it says Abraham was COUNTED as righteous (verse 3). (That’s not the same as acting righteously). It goes on to say that we get this gift by GRACE (an undeserved favor) and it is not tied to our WORKS (Rom 4:4-5 and 11:6). Rom. 4: 7-8 show that it involves the forgiveness of sins, and the end of God keeping record of our sins. They are not imputed or "written down" if you will. THAT means there is nothing on our record to keep us out of heaven! This is so because of the blood that Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross. When Christ said, "It is finished", it was an accounting term meaning "paid in full." This REALLY settles the sin issue for ever!
Romans 4: 16 makes reference to the CERTAINTY we have in this promise, and verses 22-25 indicate it’s for us who believe as well as Abraham. Because of this clean record we receive, we can say as it says in I John 5:13, that we KNOW we HAVE eternal life. Romans 8:1 also tells us there is no condemnation for us as believers who are "in Christ".
Picture a piece of paper with the words "My Record With God" written across the top. When I believe in Christ, all those sins listed are erased… I have a clean record with God. AND…. if I sin after I am thus saved, it says in II Cor. 5:19-21 (as it says in Romans 4:8) that God is no longer imputing or writing down those sins on my record. God instead promises "Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more" (Heb. 10:17). And because of this gift we are invited to come BOLDLY to God’s throne of grace. (Heb. 10:19) Yes, God does discipline us on EARTH. When we sow sin – we will reap for it. But our ETERNAL LIFE is not affected (otherwise it would be temporary life). We pray you will receive the glorious gift of imputed righteousness (Rom. 5:17) offered by grace!
Romans 1:16-17 says this IS the heart of the gospel message, and that message is powerful enough to save all who believe it. The gift of imputed righteousness can build a firm foundation for your faith. Believe it! Rejoice in it! It will change your life. - - - - But what about...? Many feel the Bible teaches a less secure relationship to God that is taught here. Questions? Comments? Sainttalk@cableone.net
For a detailed study of the many verses on eternal salvation as well as the verses
that seem to teach otherwise, click here: If I Could Lose_My Salvation
Romans 1:16-17 says this IS the heart of the gospel message, and that message is powerful enough to save all who believe it. The gift of imputed righteousness can build a firm foundation for your faith. Believe it! Rejoice in it! It will change your life.
- - - -
But what about...? Many feel the Bible teaches a less secure relationship to God that is taught here.
Questions? Comments? Sainttalk@cableone.net