Purification Occurs in This Life

Ready: We disagree, however, on WHEN this pile of dung must be dealt with. I believe that it must be dealt with in this life (rather than Purgatory) because “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9v27)

BFHU: And much of the purification can be accomplished in this life. We agree that the Judgment comes immediately after death. The soul is consigned to Heaven or Hell. Purgatory is merely the place of final purification before entering Heaven when necessary.

Ready: When the dying thief on the cross reached out in faith to Jesus, He said to him: “To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23v43) Even though he was dying for a crime, He was cleansed there and then in THIS life, by trusting in the blood of Jesus for salvation. Of course the dying thief had no opportunity to commit further sin – while we who continue live here have temptations thrown at us every day – but the Lord is able to deliver us from temptations – and from sin itself. “There remaineth therefore a rest unto the people of God.” (Hebrews 4v9)

BFHU: Of course God/Jesus can purify instanaeously but I have read that perhaps the Thief’s suffering of crucifixion was the purification necessary for his soul coupled with his Faith, of course

Ready: God is able to save – and to sanctify in an instant in this life. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8v1)
In my A.V. Bible (which does not, however, contain the book of Maccabbees) I see no mention of destinations other than Heaven or Hell.

BFHU:Purgatory is not a type of condemnation it is a place of cleansing. So, there is no conflict with Rom 8. Purgatory is not a destination, either. It is a layover on the way to our Heavenly destination, for most of us.

Ready: The Trinity, on the other hand, is merely a term to describe Father, Son & Holy Spirit – a clear doctrine in scriptures.

BFHU: It is not very clear. That is why the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are able to reject it. Have you ever tried to show a JW the Trinity in Scripture? There are evidences and the Doctrine makes sense of many otherwise inexplicable passages. But it is not so clear to the unconvinced.

Ready: From the verses you quote I can see no evidence of any other place. Jesus descended into Hell to preach to the “spirits in prison” – to tell them why they were there.

BFHU: No, Jesus did not go to tell the damned why they were there. As a Protestant I was taught that Sheol was the place of the dead awaiting the opening of Heaven by Jesus. (There is definitely another ‘place’ of the dead other than Heaven and Hell or the place of the damned.) Jesus led these captives free and brought them to Heaven. This I was taught as a Protestant and the Catholic teaching is similar:

Catechism of the Catholic Church
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:“It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483

Ready: Horrific as it sounds, Hell is the holding place for those who are destined for the lake of fire. (Rev. 20v14)

BFHU: And no one escapes Hell. The Catholic Church sees two Judgments. One at death and one at the end of time. This passage would be the latter since death is ended by being thrown into the Lake of Fire (Hell) This does not mean that one’s final destination changes at the final judgment. We believe that it is at this time all things are explained and God is glorified for His justice and mercy.

REV 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire.15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

You might find this Protestant site of interest to further explain: Berean Bible Society

Ready: But it is not God’s will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Pet. 3v9) which is why He still stands knocking on the doors of mens hearts in this, the day of Grace. (Rev. 3v20)

BFHU: Amen.

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