FAQ: Is purgatory a real place?

A lot of our Catholic brothers and sisters believe in a place called purgatory, where the soul goes after one dies to be purged or to be cleansed and prepared for heaven.  To be honest, the Bible doesn’t mention purgatory anywhere.  The Bible does say in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”  No mention of purgatory.  Hebrews 9:27, “Just as a person is destined to die once and after that face the judgment.”  Purgatory is not a real place.

5 thoughts on “FAQ: Is purgatory a real place?

  1. Hi,
    When a friend, who is a baptist minister, said that purgatory doesn’t exist, I asked this question.
    “Since you ask for forgiveness every night, what happens if during the next day you commit a few sins and die before you can ask for forgiveness?” Before he answered I also noted, “Keep in mind that the bible says that no unclean spirit can enter Heaven, but that a few (not mortal) sins shouldn’t keep you out of Heaven permanently.” He thought for a second, then said, “You may be right.”
    Remember, when you pray for the Poor Souls to be released sooner, because you are on earth offering up prayers, Masses, etc., that they will be released from Purgatory sooner. Look at it as helping those in need. When you die, because you prayed for the Poor Souls while you were on earth, you get more value from the prayers from family, etc., who are praying for you.
    To put this in perspective, helping others is what He wants. After all, His Father sent Him to free us from sin. NONE of us could have figured out what was keeping us from Heaven no matter how much we tried, how many Harvard professors wrote about it, etc.
    We distribute Poor Souls prayer cards and will send you some, but they can also be downloaded from our website for free.
    Nice of you to bring up the subject because there are souls in the Suffering Church who need help this very second.

    • Ron, Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I think the question you asked the Baptist minister should have been easily answered by a student of the Word. Christ made us clean by his sacrifice. I’ve already been forgiven for all my past, present, and future sins. Your concept of purgatory cannot be found in Scripture which is my final authority. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  2. Hi Pastor,

    The word is alive, and not everything is written. You have to go on Faith. Regardless, all prayers offered up for the Poor Souls are heard, and used no matter what, for no prayer is wasted. I can’t think of something better to do than to attend Mass or pray.
    People who had visits from Our Lord praised Him and asked the only question you could ask, creature to Creator. What can I do for you to show my thanks and appreciation? His Holy response? Attend one Mass. You already know why.
    If all of your sins were forgiven past, present, and future, why did He command that the apostles start the Catholic Church on earth? All you need to do is to explain to your congregation that your sins are forgiven past, present and future. That is all. Have a nice life…and death. Then close your church doors because you aren’t needed. Yet here you are.
    Also, sin keeps us from going to Heaven. By your account, not only does Purgatory not exist, Hell doesn’t either. Imagine that. Since the bible says Hell exists, yet you will have no sin on your soul when you die, under what circumstances would you go to Hell?
    Your perspective would be appreciated.

    We can agree to disagree. See, I am right again! lol


    • “If all of your sins were forgiven past, present, and future, why did He command that the apostles start the Catholic Church on earth? All you need to do is to explain to your congregation that your sins are forgiven past, present and future. That is all.” Our sins are forgiven based upon our faith to follow Christ. We are saved eternally by grace through faith, not by works so no one can boast. If my eternity is based on someone else’s prayers that would be a work. The Church exists to communicate this gospel, not a false gospel of “pray for dead people to get to heaven.” They are already there or in hell. Of course Hell exists. Jesus said so. But I don’t remember him talking about purgatory. Where does the Scriptures talk about it in enough detail to believe what you’re saying? All of us are bound for Hell without the grace of God, that he freely gives to those who confess Christ.

  3. In answer to your question, how can one enter into Heaven if he or she dies before he has a chance to confess his or her sins? Two Scriptures should resolve this issue. First, Read Romans 8:26-27, and Hebrews 7:24-27. Go figure! If we would only read the Scriptures, we would not have to depend on others to answer our questions that are plainly set forth in the Scriptures. If we are basing our faith on what is taught in the Bible, In answer to the question, does Purgatory exist? if one truly understands the Gospel, one would see that there is no mention in the Bible of Purgatory, mainly because there is no need for it. Christ did not die for some of our sins, He died for ALL of our sins. Go Figure ! Therefore, the teaching of Purgatory diminishes the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross! Before Jesus died on the Cross, He said “It is finished”. What did He mean? That all that God required for sin had been supplied by Him.(Jesus). Note these two important verses. Ezekiel 18:4 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Secondly, Hebrews 9:22. “Without the shedding of blood is no remission. God only accepts two things for the remission of sin. Only the Blood and death of Jesus is accepted. Remember Cain’s bloodless sacrifice was rejected. Anything that we offer up to God other than the blood and death of Christ is not accepted. It never was, and never will be. Just allow me to be foolish for a moment. If one WERE to spend time in Purgatory his or her suffering would not be accepted. Go Figure! .Conclusion: No matter how one may express it, to belief in Purgatory is to believe in works. Ephesians 2:6-9 and Romans 4:4.should confirm that we are not saved by works while alive, or during the intermediate state. This is why the Bible states in Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. “

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