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?

Where is Purgatory in Scripture?

Q. What scriptures support the Doctrine of Purgatory?
A. I cannot give any scripture that categorically teaches the Doctrine of Purgatory that would satisfy a sola scriptura Christian.
I can show you Scriptures that imply the existence of the doctrine. I can show you writings of the early Church Fathers, written before the Bible was even canonized, that teach the Doctrine of Purgatory. I can show you that the concept, of the need for purification, after death and before attaining Heaven, has roots in the Jewish Faith. Click on this link–>Sola Scriptura & Purgatory Then follow all the links on that page.

If you are able to believe it is possible to sit down, 2000 years after the birth of Jesus and read scripture and interpret it infallibly all by yourself, disregarding historic Christian beliefs in the years immediately following the death of the apostles, you have more faith than I do. But, by what authority can you claim infallibility? Because, if you are convinced that you can interpret scripture without error, even without saying it openly, you must believe you are able to interpret infallibly.

Purgatory and The Wedding Feast of the Lamb

I am posting the following comment I received from a reader on
another post regarding Purgatory. I found it very interesting.

What a blessing purgatory is. God in His mercy provided a place where we can
“work out” our salvation with “fear and trembling” without the distractions of
earthly life. It can be hard to live holy in this corrupt world. How wonderful
that God can finish what He started away from here.

It’s hard in our culture to understand the Middle Eastern wedding feast. When
guests arrived they were covered in dirt from the journey. They accepted the
invitation and arrived at the appointed place, but were in no condition to
celebrate. What did the master of the feast do? He provided a place for arriving
guests to bathe. He provided a wedding garment for the guests. And, as we know
from the parable Jesus told, anyone found at the feast NOT cleaned up and
wearing the wedding garment was kicked out.

How Do You Know Catholic Doctrines Predated the New Testament?

For the first part of this discussion click HERE : Catholic Doctrine & Scripture

Q. How do you know that doctrines that are particular to Roman Catholicism predated the canonized New Testament?

A. The Writings of the Early Church Fathers & liturgical prayers.

Abortion: What did the doctors of the Church say?

Purgatory: Does the Church believe in Purgatory?

Eucharist: What did first century Christians believe about communion?

Apostolic Tradition: What is Apostolic Tradition?

Apostolic succession:
Where does the Church get Apostolic Succession?

Authority of the Pope: Where did the authority of the Pope come from?

Perpetual Virginity of Mary:
Why does Mary have to be a perpetual virgin?

Sinlessness of Mary/Immaculate Conception of Mary: How Can Mary be Sinless?

Sin of Contraception: Why is contraception a sin?

Homosexuality: What did the early Church teach about homosexuality?

Those are the main ones, but for more click–> Here

Q.How do you know that the apostles passed on the traditions that are particular to Roman Catholicism?

A. If they didn’t then why do you trust the New Testament?
Did the Gates of Hell overcome the Church founded by Jesus Christ? Christianity believed all these doctrines for 1500 years until Martin Luther came along and started the first Protestant Church. The Eastern Churches separated from the Catholic Church around 1000AD but they possess all the same Catholic beliefs, except the primacy of Peter. But the Protestants jettisoned many Catholic Beliefs.

Q. The “Catholic” church (the universally called out ones) predated scripture but the “Roman Catholic” church did not.

A. I am not sure what your distinction is, but it is a historical fact that “Roman” became attached to Catholic sometime after the Protestant revolt as a term of derision. It got started in England in order to oppose that “foreign Roman church” in preference to the English Church begun by Henry VIII. It was first used as a derogatory term, denigrating the “Roman” Pope and proposed to elevate the English Pope, King Henry VIII.

Q. How does “…similar to, but not quite…” affirm Purgatory in the NAB footnotes for 2 Maccabees 12?

A. You said it denied purgatory. It is merely commentary. Commentary is not infallible Catholic doctrine. Remember we did not derive our Doctrine of PURGATORY out of scripture.

Q.You stated that “In the NAB there is no DENIAL that is referring to Purgatory.”
Yet, the NAB footnote to 1st Corinthians 3:15 states,
“although Paul can envision very harsh divine punishment (cf 17), he appears optimistic about the success of divine corrective means both here and elsewhere (cf 5, 5; 11, 32 [discipline]). The text of v 15 has sometimes been used to support the notion of purgatory, though it does not envisage this.”

A.My NAB had no footnote at all referirng to that verse. I don’t happen to care for the NAB and  footnotes  That commentary  does not negate the use of the passage to indicate Purgatory because it is just opinion. If all that the Catholic Church had ,as a basis for the Doctrine of Purgatory, was scripture alone,  it would be very flimsy indeed.
But there is not only the writing of the ancient Church Fathers but the Jewish faith also belived in a time of purification after death. Where Did the Catholic Church Get the Idea of Purgatory?

Q. Although I imaging that writing “DENIAL” in all caps is supposed to serve as a qualifier that will seek to explain away the Vatican approved footnotes.

A. Sorry to disappoint you but the footnotes are not Vatican approved. The translation is approved.

Q. As for the fact that we both know that the Roman Catholic church is happy to take money ad infinitum for time off of Purgatory. How would you like to do business with someone like that? Would you? With anyone else who operated like that?

A. You completely misunderstand. This is an ad hominem attack without substance. I could just as easily accuse every Protestant church of being happy to take tithes and offerings from the faithful ad infinitum also. All Churches depend upon offerings from the faithful. The customary offering for a mass to be said for a loved one in my parish is $10. So my parish church receives a grand total of $3,650  ($10 X 365 days/yr) doallars year if all masses are requested….or a bit more b/c there is more than one Sunday mass. Only one intention per mass is allowed.

This does not go to Rome. It stays in the parish and goes towards its support. And the $10 is not mandatory if one is too poor. It is not necessary or demanded to be done for our loved ones. We can also pray for them and do other good works and ask Christ to help our loved one in Purgatory.

Q. Well, BFHU I have a product to sell you and you can pay me in monthly installments. Pay me this much per month (our local Archbishop set the price of mass intentions at $10.00 each) and pay me every month (or week).

A. We give the money towards the support of our Church. This is an act of mercy, a little sacrifice we make. We are given the opportunity to ask that any merit go toward the suffering in Purgatory, instead of to ourselves.

Q. You ask “Ok, how will I know when I have paid in full (paid in full as Jesus said that He has already done)?”
I say, “I don’t know, just keep paying.”
You say, “When will I receive the product.”
I say, “I don’t know, just keep paying—it’s a mystery.”

A. You are trying to liken a spiritual good to a product and it doesn’t correspond. The money we give goes to support the Church. The merit of our sacrifices we ask to go to others instead of ourselves. It is a spiritual act of mercy and charity.

Q. Why is it that the church does not know when I can stop paying but it does know that I should pay and that God has a money=time off policy?

A. Because no one in the Church knows the details of anyone’s need for purification of their sins. Only
God KNOWS. The Church lets God be God and decide according to His wisdom and knowledge when a soul has been completely purified. We are content, if our loved one is already in Heaven, for God to apply to another what we asked for our loved one. We aren’t as bossy and demanding as you seem to think we should be.

Q.They “are not demanded by the Church”? Of course not you are free to leave your loved ones suffering in Purgatory for centuries and you do not have to do anything to help.

A. It is not all up to us. The Church is offering prayers all over the world all the time for the poor souls in Purgatory.

Q. Are you really unaware about the guilt trips in this regard? If you were standing next to a camp fire and your friend fell in wouldn’t you reach your hand and help them out or would you just stand there watching them burn? Have you really never heard this taught in the Roman Catholic church? I have various times including by Roman Catholic apologetics and a local Penitente who said that everything that he taught was approved by the Bishop.

A. If people take guilt trips they have been wrongly taught or misunderstand. First of all the time any soul spends in Purgatory is by the wisdom and justice and mercy of Our Lord. We are content to be totally purified. If our brothers and sisters on Earth are able to help lessen the pains of Purgatory by the mercy and application of Christ wonderful! But we do not deserve it, demand it as a right, or expect it. We embrace our suffering in Purgatory as a mercy of our Just God. We rejoice to be in Purgatory b/c we know that Heaven awaits us and not Hell.

Catholic Doctrine & Sacred Scripture

Mariano: Thank you so very much for the article-Where is Purgatory in Scripture, and the fact that it makes so many references to scripture.

It demonstrates very clearly the utter desperation of the Roman Catholic Church’s attempts to find any little crumb upon which to build their doctrines. One verse here, another there, piled up and molded into the image of Catholicism.

Indeed “You might want to look at this whole passage in context” and you will see that there is nothing there, nothing but a platform from which to build a preconceived notion.

BFHU: The Catholic Church does not rely upon scrpture alone to form her doctrines.

That is what Protestants do.

Our doctrines existed before one word of the New Testament was written and long before it was canonized. I and other Catholics only cite scripture b/c we know that Protestants will only accept scripture so we do the best we can with what implication and hints there are in scripture.

The Christian Faith was taught to the apostles by Christ and passed on to worthy men able to teach long before any of the Gospels were written. The Catholic Christian Faith PRE-existed scripture.

Mariano: Moreover, read the footnotes in various Roman Catholic Bibles and you will see that they deny that, for example, 2nd Maccabees 12 and 1st Corinthians 3 are about Purgatory

I did and they affirm that

“This is the earliest statement of the doctrine that prayers and sacrifices for the dead are beneficial”….his (Judas’) belief was similar to, but not quite the same as the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory.

That is the footnote in my New American Bible.

That is not exactly a denial that the verse has anything to do with Purgatory. In the NAB there is no DENIAL that I Cor 3 15-16 is referring to Purgatory.

Mariano: Please tell me, if I am donating money to the Roman Catholic Church for mass intentions week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade in order to get my deceased loved ones time off of Purgatory how will I know when they are out?

BFHU: You won’t know.

Mariano: How will I know when I can stop donating money?

BFHU: You won’t know.

Mariano: How does the Church know when I can stop giving them money

BFHU It does not know. It is all up to the judgement and decision of God. We pray and offer sacrifice for our brothers and sisters in Purgatory out of Charity and submission to the will of God. Our giving and sacrifice and prayers are not demanded by the Church but given freely out of faith in the mercy of God. If our loved one is released from Purgatory our prayers and little sacrifices are applied according to the wisdom of God to the aid of other poor souls in Purgatory.

Does the Catholic Church Still Believe in Purgatory?

Q. Does the Catholic Church Still Believe in Purgatory?

A. Yes

Q. What is Purgatory?

A. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church


1030 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.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

I Peter 1:7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

St. Gregory the Great: “As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.( Dial. 4,39:PL 77,396; cf. Mt 12:31.)

Mt. 12:31 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture:

Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

II Macc 12:46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

St. John Chrysostom: “Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.“, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41,5:PG 61,361; cf. Job 1:5.

Job 1:5 When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.

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Q. Do you understand, that God never expects us to be perfect in this

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

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

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

Q. Sin is Sin in the eyes of God. There are no little sins or big

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.

What Did Jesus Die For?

Q. If we have to go to purgatory when we die. Then I want to know one thing. Why did Jesus come and die for our sins?

A. In order to reconcile us to God.

Q. And which sins did he die for? Just some of my sins? Or all of my sins?

A. Jesus died for all sin both past, present and future.

Q. If he didn’t die for ALL my sins then he died for nothing.

A. What you are not understanding because you have never been taught, is that there are two consequences for sin. Eternal and Temporal. Jesus died for the Eternal consequences of sin but we must suffer and be purified of the temporal consequences of sin

CCC 1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

Please click HERE for scriptural evidence of the necessity of Purgatory.

Q. I will never be perfect til I enter the gates of Heaven.

A. That is exactly right. So if you don’t think that you will be perfect by the end of your life but you do believe that you will be perfect in order to enter Heaven…then you implicitly agree that there must be a perfecting or purification in order to be Holy as He is Holy before entering into His presence. We simply call this Purgatory and teach about it.

Q. If my name is written right now in the Lambs Book of Life, then why do I have to be purified.

A. In order to be perfect, pure and Holy as He is Holy. We cannot do this ourselves we must depend upon Him. It is a privlege accorded only to the children of God.

Q. It is like you paid your house off and the bank handed you the deed free and clear. Then the next day you go to the bank and continue to make payments on something that is paid in full. Isn’t that what you are doing?

A. Your analogy does not apply to the spiritual, salvation, justification and purification. No, it is not what we do because we are completely incapable of atoning for the ETERNAL consequences of sin since we are mere finite creatures.

Q. Jesus paid it all!

A. Then how do you understand this verse?

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

Q. You don’t have to do anything else! Just be his servant.

A. There are hundreds of verses that instruct us in how we must live, what we must do and not do etc. Can you show me a scripture that nullifies all of these?

I Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and (AC)to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I jn 2:3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did…. 9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness…. 15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him…the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.…24 See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father

I Jn 3:3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure….6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7…He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning….9 he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother….11 We should love one another. 12Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother….Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him….17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them.

This is just three chapters in I John and does not even scratch the surface of the directives given to us in all of the New Testament. For Catholics, we are taught that everyone commits lesser sin or venial sin throughout their lives, but what John is talking about here is the commission of serious, deadly, or mortal sin. This differentiation between mortal and venial sin is found in I john 5:16-18.

Because Protestants do not admit there is any difference in the gravity of sin they are forced to explain away these passages in I John about not sinning if you are a Christian. We are able to avoid deadly sin but venial sin is another story b/c sometime we commit them without thinking or on purpose. All mortal sin is on purpose.

Q. We simply Live for him.

A. Yes, we should live for Him…but this too is “doing something”. So, you see, even you believe in doing something.

Purgatory is NOT in the Bible

Comment: Purgatory is not mentioned in the Holy Bible. That must mean it does not exist or God would have told us.
Response: Are you aware that the words Trinity and Incarnation are not found in scripture either? Based on the method of your interpretation of Sacred Scripture then belief in the Trinity and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is excluded because it “must mean it does not exist or God would have told us.”
Comment: Actually God said: to dust you shall return (Gen 3:19).Returning to dust doesnt meant go to a waiting means returning to the earth. We then await resurrection upon our Lords return.
Response: This is true, but it refers only to our bodies. Our souls live on after the death of our bodies and are in being “someplace”. Unless you believe we are only a body without an eternal soul.
Comment: Purgatory is man’s idea of a second chance after death. The scriptures say otherwise.
Response: Purgatory is the name given to a time /place of purification in order to be Holy as He is Holy and enter into His presence. It is emphatically NOT a second chance. All chances for repentance and salvation end at death. CCC 1092

Why do you need to confess to a priest?

Q.Why do you need to confess to a priest?

A.For several reasons:

1. The one who goes to Confession seeks forgiveness in the way our Lord prescribed instead of laying down his own conditions.
2. By confessing to a priest the Catholic benefits by an act of Christian humility not obtained by private confession.
3. By Confessing to a Priest the Catholic receives many Sacramental Graces that are not received outside of Confession that help him overcome his sin.
4. The Catholic has an objective and solid assurance of forgiveness by the audible words of absolution from the priest.
5. The Catholic can secure sound advice about his or her spiritual life and the will of God concerning reparation or restitution to be made, while the other is left to uninstructed self-guidance.

Our confessor is the doctor of our soul. He assists us with overcoming the arrows of sin, from our enemy, that found their mark .

Q. This website tells me that I can lose my salvation; that I won’t go to heaven if I have committed sin (and not yet repented) at the moment when I die; So what I take from this is that The Gift of Salvation, the price paid for my sin…well, it sounds like the Gift was not complete..was not a perfect Gift? Right?

A. The gift was indeed perfect. But it requires a proper reception from us. Otherwise everyone would be saved regardless of how they lived. There would be absolutely no use for Churches. Of what use would they be? It would not matter, since everyone was going to Heaven anyway, simply because of Jesus’ perfect Git.There are people who believe this way–it is called Indifferentism. And, yes, you certainly can lose your salvation if you die with mortal sin unconfessed and unrepented of. See Ez. 18:24
And my post Can We Lose Our Salvation?

Q. You are telling me that I as a born again christian with a real relationship with my Lord and in a moment of weakness I commit a particular sin and the next instant was “hit by a truck” (so to speak) or a “bomb” BEFORE I could respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, confess my sin…my salvation would be nil..I’d spend eternity in Hell.

A. Only God Knows. The Church warns her children to avoid sin. I can only say what Scripture says about sin that is unto death. I John and St. Paul lists, in several different books some of the deadly sins or sin unto death.

Did you read Ezekiel 18? The Catholic Church does not say who is in Hell or make that sort of judgment, so neither will I.But any born again Christian with a real relationship with Christ would be an even greater traitor, than your average Joe, if after a life of blessing and grace he willfully committed a grave sin. It would be slap in the face of Our Lord. But in the last instant of life he might receive a further grace from God to repent with his dying breath. We don’t teach what tickles the ear but the truth and leave all to the mercy of Jesus.

Q. I want to ask you something. If you personally, as a Catholic, had parents who were born again practicing christians in a protestant church, how would you as a Catholic be praying for them ..and how would you handle their death?

A. Well, both of my parents were very committed “born again” Christians and my father died two years after I was received into the Catholic Church.

I pray(ed) for their conversion to the Catholic Church. Because it is the fullness of Truth and so beautiful and deeply satisfying. But they really didn’t want to hear about it. They were filled with misconceptions about the Catholic Church. They loved me and respected by decision but it grieved them. Nevertheless, they both came to the Easter Vigil at which I received my sacraments and was received into the Catholic Church. And they came again the next year when our four youngest children entered the Church. I feel confident of their salvation but I still pray for them. I trust them to the mercy of God and am at peace.

Q. Please explain to me why you “still” pray for them?

A. For my mom that she would persevere to the end and for conversion to the Catholic Church. For my dad’s comfort/release from Purgatory.

Q. So you are telling me that when I as a protestant die my child & her family, catholic, can have no peace about where their mom/m-inlaw /grandmother will spend eternity?

A. No, we can be reasonably sure and at peace; as i said I was regarding my dad. Purgatory is on the way to Heaven. If you make it to Purgatory you know you will be in Heaven once you have been purified.

Q. How does one get out of purgatory?

A. Release from Purgatory is determined by God. When the soul is sufficiently purified for the Vision of God they are admitted to Heaven. No one knows when this occurs, unless God gives a special revelation, which is unusual.