Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Purgatory Is Scriptural, Pt. 2

Many other Bible verses show that Purgatory exists.

Posthumous Non-Eternal Purifying Punishment
Luke 12:47-48 says that when the Master comes, some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. The Master is God. This is not Heaven, because in Heaven there is no suffering. This is also not Hell, because God is not present there, and Hell is the second death. "47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

Paul Prays For the Deceased Onesiphorus
In 2 Timothy 1:16-18, Paul prays for mercy on the deceased Onesiphorus. Paul uses "on that day" in an eschatological sense, the same way it is used in Romans 2:5,16; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 3:13; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 1:6,10; 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:2,4,5,8; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3; and 2 Timothy 4:8. Mercy isn't necessary in Heaven, and it doesn't exist in Hell. Onesiphorus is being purified of his venial sins in Purgatory. "16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me[a] at Ephesus."

Paul talks about being baptized on behalf of the dead to atone for their sins in 1 Corinthians 15:29-30. These people weren't in Heaven at the time because they are still with sin/impure [see Revelation 21:27], and they weren't in Hell because there is no atoning for sins in Hell. They were in Purgatory. " 29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?" This verse corresponds to 2 Maccabees 12:42-46.

Thus Purgatory is indeed Biblical. The Bible includes the Deuterocanon. One of the arguments against the Apocrypha's canonicity is that it contains the unbiblical doctrine of Purgatory, but this argument fails.

Wisdom 3:5-6 discusses the purification of souls in Purgatory. In Baruch 3:4 Baruch prays for deceased Israelis, and this is unnecessary for those already in Heaven or Hell. 2 Maccabees 12:42-46 explicitly states that prayers for the dead help free them from sin and get to Heaven . People in Heaven are sinless and people in Hell cannot be freed from sin. In Jude 1:23 people are being released from the fires of Purgatory because those in Heaven are already fully purified and those in Hell can't be saved. "23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,[a] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh."

**Scriptural citations from the New King James Version (NKJV)