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on the question relating to

This is a resonse to
Mark Henninger
from Pennsylvania, USA
who posted a message in the
Guestbook Message Record 22
posted on: Dated:12-09-1998

His message will be posted at the end of this page.


Purgatory is another word that is not found in Scripture.What does the word mean? The word "purge" means to cleanse. Purgatory is a state of being or a place to be cleansed. We know Jesus died for our sins, yet we are to be held accountable before God. "...I tell you, on the day of judgment men, will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
(Matt. 12:36)
"So each of us shall give account of himself to God."(Rom. 14:12)
God tells us nothing defiled can enter into the Kingdom.His Church in Heaven will be without spot or blemish. What does this mean?
We need to do some homework on this, because it has caused confusion among many Christian believers.
Let us suppose we are defiled and cannot come right into the Kingdom, yet we do not deserve the punishment of Hell. Then what happens to us? Where do we go? If we do not go right to Heaven, or are not sent directly into Hell, then there just may be this place called Purgatory, where our sins are purged. We are to obtain perfection before we can present ourselves to the Father, unblemished. "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." (Revelation 21:27) Will we choose to remove ourselves from His presence when we are shown His Holiness in comparison to our sinfulness? Could this be why we would spend time at this place called Purgatory?

Think about this:
If, after death, we are not yet in Heaven and we did not get sent to Hell, then it would make sense that for a time we would have to be somewhere else, since our soul never dies. According to the following verses the Bible seems to be referring to a place where one will temporarily go for the purging of sins, if needed, and the Church calls this place Purgatory.
"...I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."
(Luke 12:59)
"...Truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
"If the work which any man has built on the foundation 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 Cor. 3:14-15)
Scripture says in 1 Peter 3:18-20 that Jesus went to a place where souls were waiting for Him."For Christ also died for sins once and 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; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons were saved through water."(1 Pet. 3:18-20)
Since there was this other place where the dead resided until Heaven's gates were opened, why isn't it possible there is another place where our purification will take place? It is a great plan that God in His mercy has given us, this 'time or space' to finish preparing ourselves for Him. It is a time for us to work out all that we left undone here on earth. During this time we will need all the help we can get from loved ones, who are encouraged to remember us in their prayers. "He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore, he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."
(2 Macc. 12:43-45) (Maccabees 12:43-45) He sends us into this world to become the best that we can be and to do His work. Some of us fail miserably at this, so he has given all those who seek Him another chance at life, so to speak. In our earthly terms, we do something like that.
For example:

1. We can live a Good straight life and enjoy to the fullness our home and society.
2. We can mess up and do a wrong and spend time in prison, being denied the fullness of home and society but have hope to rejoin it someday.
3. We can mess up badly, to the point of no return, and to have no desire to ever join home or society again and would even prefer death.
If we can be like #1, we could expect to go straight to Heaven and become a saint.
If we can be like #2, we could expect to do some time in Purgatory getting ready to join the community of saints.
If we can be like #3, we could expect to go to Hell and with no chance to join the community of saints.

Of course God can save us, even in one of our worst scenarios, if we desire salvation and repent. God has a very generous Heart! Let us never underestimate His mercy through His Son for us. May our eternal journey always be focused on pleasing God and doing His will, so that we all may come to live in eternal bliss with Him, enjoying all that He has prepared for us. Are we looking forward to the banquet that He said He will give to us? It would not be surprising if He would even serve us at the banquet table! "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."(John 3:16)
What a Great and Good GOD we have waiting for us!


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