Q. Do you understand, that God never expects us to be perfect in this world? A. Yes, He knows we will not reach perfection in this life. Q. Jews believed that when they died, they would have to go to Gehinnom where the soul spends time being cleansed. See the Jewish people believe that they must do that because they are still waiting for the Messiah (Jesus). They still believe that way today. A. True. And Christianity was born out of the Jewish faith. My point is that the Catholic Church did not invent Purgatory or the concept of purification. So of course they still believe this since they did not accept Jesus as Messiah. But Jesus never condemned this belief or corrected it. Q. See when Jesus died he went and took the keys of death and hades. He brought all the ones out of Gheinnom, but only the deserving ones. After that Jesus said I am that High Priest that you were having to come to for atonement. I gave my life so you would not have to scrafice any more. That is why the veil in the temple was torn from TOP to BOTTOM. A. True. But the words Hades, Sheol and Gheinnom or ghenna can be confusing. All the dead went somwhere other than Heaven in the OT awaiting the one who would open Heaven. I think this is Sheol or Hades but Hell or Gheinnom is the place of final damnation. Q. We will be made perfect when we set foot in heaven. A. Amen! We would simply say we must be made perfect BEFORE we can set foot in Heaven. We call this perfecting a action of God PURGATORY. We both believe we must be made perfect before entering into the presence of God. So we agree on the concept. We give it a name but you cannot give it a name because you are confined by the Protestant doctrine of scripture alone, which is itself not found in scripture. But there is nothing about this doctrine that contradicts scripture. Q. The grace of God has given that right to go into heaven. Where does Jesus ever say we have to suffer AFTER we die? A. There is no scripture that says this explicitly because the Bible is not a book of systematic theology. But we do see this implied by I Cor 3:15 But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire." But Mt. 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. So one must be pure in heart in order to see God. And Jesus Himself said, Mt 12:32 "but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. So, sin can be forgiven in the age to come but not this particular one. Q. The Jews wait for Jesus who has come, they rejected him while he was on earth. If you feel you have no hope of going to Heaven without first going to Hell then you have no hope at all! A. Purgatory is not Hell. Hell is final damnation, the second death and permanent. Pugatory is the place of the dead, Sheol or Hades not Ghehenna (sp) This is where the souls of the righteous went before Jesus opened up Heaven by His death and resurrection. This is where they were purified and awaited the Messiah. We know it exists and there is no scripture that says it ceases to exist except Rev 20:14 when death andHades are thrown into the Lake of Fire at the end of time. Q. Sin is Sin in the eyes of God. There are no little sins or big sins. A. Then you deny the plain teaching of scripture in I Jn 5:16 1f anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.. Q. It is more that good deeds, and he will not have you spend time after you die to get perfect. You are already perfect if he is Lord of All! A. But we know for a fact that WE ARE NOT PERFECT. We are saved, yes. We are justified, yes. But we must be "pure in heart' in order to see God. So, somehow or other we must be perfected, purified, made Holy as He is Holy. We do not believe most of us achieve this in this life. That is why we will need to be purified after we die in Purgatory.
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