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The Good News about Purgatory..

Purgatory was defined by a pope to be very painful and suffering.  The time in Purgatory for most people was said to be years. There is very good news about Purgatory

The Christian Church’s basic building blocks is the Gospel.  It is the Gospel that Saves. 

If someone misunderstands and teaches the gospel differently, they still call it “the Gospel” but it’s not.  It’s a false gospel.  It is a lie taught as truth.  The apostle Paul warned us in Galatians 1:9, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” 

How important is the word “accursed?”  The meaning of that Greek word is someone who is “without hope of being redeemed;   therefore a person doomed to destruction.”   This is a Biblical picture of Hell.  So teaching the wrong gospel is teaching that wide road to destruction that Jesus told us about.  It is the road to Hell.  Remember, Paul warned us “… for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness,…”  1 Cor 11:14-15.  So we should expect false teachers to look like they’re good godly Christians.  Even Jesus told us "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.  Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Mat 7:14-15

So the true Gospel is very important.  It is a matter of eternal life or death but what is the true Gospel? Think about it for a minute.  What is the Gospel that you believed?

Although it’s not the complete Gospel, Paul defines some of the Gospel in 1 Cor 15:1-8.  “… the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved,  …that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures… “   

If you notice in these verses, Paul didn’t mention other parts of the Gospel like repent, the Bible verse John 3:16, Jesus is God or other verses that tells Good News and great love that God gives us.  But there is a great understanding that Paul does give us and it’s important that we focus on this one part of the verse for a minute.  It is the undeniable, non-negotiable core of the Gospel that “Christ died for our sins.”   “Christ died for our sins.”

In every Catholic Mass the Nicene Creed is recited by the congregation.  Both the Nicene Creed and the Apostle’s Creed contain a list of Christian beliefs but were not intended as a statement of Salvation.  Both creeds, speaking of Jesus, state, “He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;”  This is a true statement but what was omitted from Paul’s letter?   Something very, very important was left out.  It was “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…” 

How important is “Christ died for our sins?”  If you are an Evangelical, you’ve read in the Bible that Christ paid our sin debt.  Why? Because we can’t do anything worthy to cleanse ourselves from sin.  So God provided a way to Redeem mankind through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.  

The Catholic Church teaches that Christ died for sins and this cleansing of sin occurs when a Catholic is Baptized, usually as a baby.  At that point the Catholic is free of sin.  But any sin from then on has to be paid for by the sinner, not Christ. 

A Catholic is taught that when a he dies, he will go to Purgatory before he is allowed to go to heaven.  Purgatory.  Purgatory is a place where Catholics go to suffer.  Pope Gregory The Great described Purgatory as a place where "the pain be more intolerable than anyone can suffer in this life."  Think about that.  If you are a Catholic, you are taught that when you die, you go to Purgatory.  You go to Purgatory and suffer – you don’t go to heaven.  You must go to Purgatory first.

So why must a Catholic go to Purgatory?  To pay for his sins.   
What does the Bible say?  Christ paid for our sins!
What does the Catholic Church teach? Purgatory is necessary to be cleansed of sins. 

The suffering and good works that a Catholic has performed in his lifetime, along with prayers from those on earth, will shorten his time in Purgatory.  Only if a Catholic has been martyred for the Catholic faith, he can skip Purgatory and go "straight to heaven."

You must understand the importance of this.  According to the Catholic Church, Christ’s atonement, His payment of debt, was not enough.  A Catholic believes that sins must be cleansed by good works on earth or suffering in Purgatory.  A true Christian learns from God’s Word that the payment that Christ made was a payment in full because a true Christian has placed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior.  The Bible teaches us that our loving God provided a Savior to Save us from our sins if we put our trust in Him. 

Even if Catholic Church would state that Christ paid for your sins or that Christ paid the debt of sin, Purgatory proves a different gospel.  Remember what Paul wrote, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…”  According to the scriptures, Christ died for our sins to pay for our sin debt – in full!  If you believe in the true Gospel, you have been redeemed by the price that Jesus paid.  He paid the price with His blood.  He took the sin of the world upon Himself.  He is our Redeemer.  Our Savior.

Whereas, Purgatory requires the price to be paid by the Catholic – it is a false gospel.   It removes the hope of the true Gospel.  It removes the truth of God’s grace.

So what is the true Gospel?

  • It starts with knowing that you are a sinner and that nothing you can do will mend your relationship with God.  “…all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God,”
  • Jesus is God.  He died for our sins and on the third day he rose again.  He has the power over death.
  • God love you and wants a relationship with you and paid dearly for it.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him with have eternal life.”
  • God gave this free gift because you can’t earn it.  It’s called grace meaning unmerited favor.  To have this free gift requires one thing only – faith – and even that is a gift of God.  ”For by grace you have been saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
  • If you believe that you are a sinner, put your faith in Jesus the Lord of all, to remove the debt of sin in your life and He will Save you!

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