Atonement, Salvation, & Temporal Punishment for Sin



Q. I would like to ask you about the Atonement and forgiveness, the Mass, Salvation and temporal punishment.

The Catholic view of the Atonement is that when Jesus died on the cross of Calvary he died for the Eternal puinishment of Sin. So when A Catholic sins either Mortally or Venially and then repents and goes to a Catholic priest for the sacrament of penance and gets Absolution he is let off the Eternal puinishment of his Sins BUT he has to work off OR Expiate the Temporal Punishment of his sins by Prayers and indulgences and if he does not work the temporal punishment off in his/her lifetime then he/she will have to expiate them in Purgatory.

I have described these Catholic beliefs to Protestants, Anglicans and Eastern orthodox Christians and they think that it is a Load of HOG WASH.

They do not believe in temporal puinishment or in a Fire-Purgatory where sins that have been absolved in confession are punished and paid for in Purgatory or in this life.

BFHU: It may not be actual fire but something signified by the pain of fire.

They all believe that when jesus died on the Cross he died for ALL OUR SINS and all the punishment due for them.

Catholicism seems to them a SAD RELIGION because you have to spend most of your life avoiding sin and then when you sin you have to worry about expiating or working off the temporal punishment for your sins and if you do not do it during your lifetime then YOU GET NAILED IN PURGATORY!!!!

BFHU: All a very small price to pay for an Eternity in Heaven. This life is very short by comparison. We can have an easy life for 80 years but then as Jesus said, “you will have received your reward” I’ll take my reward in Heaven. Thank you very much.

Then there is Salvation. Most evangelical protestant believe in ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED. JUSTIFICATION is a once for all declaration of forgiveness FOLLOWED BY SANCTIFICATION and then INSTANTANEOUS GLORIFICATION AFTER DEATH.

Catholics on the other hand believe that Salvation is a process begun in Baptism and strengthened by the GRACES OF THE SACRAMENTS, prayer, holiness and good works as well as ongoing repentance.
Then at death there is the PARTICULAR JUDGEMENT and then either heaven, Purgatory or Hell.

The Mass also plays an important role in the Salvation of the living and the dead in the intermediate state of Purgatory.
It is a true, proper real and PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE ( I.E. SIN FORGIVING SACRIFICE ) Which benefits the living and the dead.

Each mass is getting the Catholic closer to Heaven and then there will be many Masses said after his/her death also for his/her eternal salvation.

To Protestants this all complicates things as they believe that all their sins are forgiven by Christ once for all sacrifice and that they are SAVED and will go to Heaven when they die.

BFHU: Many of them don’t even think it is important to examine their consciences either.

Traditional Catholicism would say that Salvation has different tenses in the New testament in that WE WERE SAVED when Christ died for us on the cross PAST TENSE. Then we are also being saved, PRESENT TENSE, OR in a state of Salvation by being members of his body the Church. We were called to this state of salvation when we were baptised and we will be saved FUTURE TENSE after the final judgement IF WE HAVE WALKED WORTHY OF OUR CALLING.

I just wanted to share these thoughts and ideas with you and I would be very grateful if you would like to add or comment on what I have stated here.

Dear Philip,
Nice to hear from you again. The way you explained these ideas is pretty much on target. The Catholic Church would describe Purgatory as a purification from the sin but expiation has also been used historically. Of course, the other religions think it is hog wash b/c they do not like these ideas. But, they line up much more with the reality of sin and punishment in the real world than their view of NO CONSEQUENCES WHATSOEVER FOR THE MOST EGREGIOUS SINS AS LONG AS YOU LOVE JESUS.

In the real world if I tell a lie and feel sorry afterwards and ask for God to forgive me. He does. But the consequences remain. If someone finds out I have lost someone’s trust in my honesty. Even if no one finds out I have lost a bit of self respect. If not then I might lie more until I do finally suffer obvious consequences.

If I rob a bank and get caught I go to jail even if Jesus has forgiven me. If I don’t get caught I live in fear of getting caught. If not I will continue in crime until I do get caught.

If I have an abortion I might suffer permanent physical damage, or be unable to retain a pregnancy I want later, and/or suffer the guilt of knowing deep down inside that I killed my baby, even if I love Jesus.

Why would it be any different or should it be any different when we offend an Eternal and Holy God. If Jesus had to suffer and die for the consequences of sin, why shouldn’t we take up our cross and follow Him?

You might find these posts interesting:

Do Catholics Have to Work their Way to Heaven?
Works Salvation/Works Righteousness
Do You Have to Be Baptized to be Saved?
Can We Lose Our Salvation?
Confession to God Alone? Scripture Alone?

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4 Responses

  1. I am of the belief that it’s either heaven or eternity in hell no in between. I know my bible. No one is going to convince me of any purgatory! Where in the bible does it say that?

  2. Dear Monica,
    Please see the posts linked to below. Will you follow the TRUTH no matter where it leads? Or will you refuse to believe anything that contradicts what you have been taught so far?

    Where is Purgatory in Scripture?

    Sola Scriptura and Purgatory

    Sola Scriptura

  3. Matter of opinion?

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