[forthright] Purgatory (2)

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 04:29:20 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel goes to the Bible to answer ... "The
Most Important Question." Great for classes, groups,
evangelistic studies and individuals.


Purgatory (2)
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

In the first article in the series, we described
Purgatory and provided quotes from Catholic writers, so
the reader can become acquainted with the doctrine. /1

One quote was particularly astounding and needs to be
carefully addressed:

   "The Catechism of the Catholic Church
   states: 'All who die in God's grace and
   friendship, but still imperfectly purified,
   are indeed assured of their eternal
   salvation; but after death they undergo
   purification, so as to achieve the holiness
   necessary to enter the joy of heaven.'" /2

How can someone die "in God's grace and friendship" and
not go to heaven? This is clearly antithetical to
everything the New Testament teaches and can only be
understood through a prism of works-oriented

If God's grace and friendship are insufficient to get
us into heaven, then the only thing that still exists
is our works. How can man do enough good works to be

Jesus tells us a story about a Master coming home for
dinner. Regardless of what the servant has to do that
day, he will still be called to prepare dinner for the
Master, as a part of his responsibilities.

Jesus concludes by saying:

   "So likewise you, when you have done all
   those things which you are commanded, say,
   'We are unprofitable servants. We have done
   what was our duty to do'" (Luke 17:10,

We cannot ever hope to do enough good deeds in order to
be saved. If so, we would put God in the untenable
position of being forced to save us or be shamed. That
is impossible to conceive!

Jesus came to die on the cross so that we could be

"For when we were still without strength, in due time
Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

Humanity lacked the spiritual strength necessary to
attain salvation. Only Christ had that strength and
honor (Roman 5:6; Revelation 5:1-5).

"Much more then, having now been justified by His
blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him"
(Romans 5:9).

Because we were inadequate to save ourselves, God
required a sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:11-14). The
grace of God is the only way we could ever attain
salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).

   "But if we walk in the light as He is in the
   light, we have fellowship with one another,
   and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son
   cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

We understand that works are a requisite part of
Christianity (James 2:26). However, they are not works
of merit. These works enunciate our faith and Christian
life (Ephesians 4:1; Galatians 5:22-26). 

God's people are called to good works (Ephesians 2:10) 
to glorify Christ, not ourselves (Ephesians 3:20-21).

To claim that we can do something above the blood of
Christ to be saved means that his blood was inadequate.
On the cross, Jesus said his work was "finished" (John

The following is illuminating:

   "In Greek the term 'it is finished' was used
   in legal contexts to state that a debt had
   been paid in full. Papyri receipts for taxes
   have been recovered with the word written
   across them, meaning 'paid in full.'" /3

Once we are in Christ, through baptism for the
remission of sins (Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians
12:13), we cannot be lost if we continue to walk in
Christ (Romans 8:1). When we enter Christ’s body
(Ephesians 1:22-23), there is no way to be separated
from Christ unless we choose to leave (Hebrews 6:4-6).

If we are in Christ's body and household (Ephesians
2:19), we will be in the joys of heaven rather than a
purgatory of extreme pain.
1/ http://forthright.net/2011/08/23/purgatory-1/
2/ http://tinyurl.com/d6g287
3/ http://carm.org/purgatory-and-1-cor-315

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