WHERE DO WE LEARN ABOUT PURGATORY IN THE BIBLE?
Mt. 5:48 – You are therefore to be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.
(We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a state we call Purgatory.)
Heb 12:14 – Strive for peace with all men, and for that holiness without which no man will see God.
(Without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed, in the state of Purgatory.)
Rev 21:27 – And there shall not enter into it (Heaven) anything defiled, nor he who practices abomination and falsehood, but those only who are written in the book of life of the Lamb.
(Nothing unclean shall enter Heaven. Even the propensity to sin is uncleanliness. It is amazing how many Protestants do not want to believe in Purgatory. Purgatory exists because of the mercy of God. If there were no Purgatory, this would also likely mean no salvation for most people. God is merciful indeed.)
Jam 1:13-16 – Everyone is tempted by being drawn away and enticed by his own passion. Then when passion has conceived, it bring forth sin; but when sin has matured, it begets death.
2 Sam 12:13-14 – And David said to Nathan; I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David: The Lord also hath taken away the sin. Thou shalt not die. Nevertheless, because thou hast given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, for this thing, the child that is born to thee shall surely die.
Matt. 5:26 – Amen, I say to thee, thou wilt not come out from it until thou hast paid the last penny.
(This verse alludes to a temporary state of purgation called a “prison.” There is no exit until we are perfect and the last penny is paid.)
Matt. 12:31-32 – Therefore, I say to you, that every kind of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this world or in the world to come.
(Jesus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. Forgiveness is not necessary in Heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state Purgatory.)
Mt. 12:36-37 – But I tell you, that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment. For by thy words thou wilt be condemned.
2 Mac 12:46 – It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.
(The prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of Heaven. Those in Heaven have no sin, and those in hell can no longer be freed from sin. They are in Purgatory. Luther was particularly troubled with these verses because he rejected the age old teaching of Purgatory. As a result, he removed Maccabees from the canon of the Bible.)
1 Cor 3:14, 15, 17 – The fire will assay the quality of everyone’s work; if his work abides which he has built thereon, he will receive reward, if his work burns he will lose his reward, but himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
(Purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v. 14), state of venial sin (v.15) and the state of mortal sin (v.17.)
1 Pet 3:18-20 – Put to death indeed in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit, in which also he went and preached to those spirits that were in prison.
(Jesus preached to the spirits in the “prison.” These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.)
1 Pet. 4:6 - But they will render an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For to this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they may be judged indeed….
2 Tim 1:16-18 – May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus…May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day.
(Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him. But there is no need for mercy in Heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in Purgatory.)
1 Cor 15:29-30 – Else what shall they do who receive Baptism for the dead? If the dead to not rise at all, when then do people receive Baptism for them?
(Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, to atone for their sins. These people cannot be in Heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in Purgatory.)
Luke 12:58-59 – As you go with your accuser before the magistrate make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last copper.
( This state is not Heaven or hell, because in Heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.)
Luke 6:19-31 – (In this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in Heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God’s graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in Purgatory.)
Heb. 12:23 – (The spirits of just men who died in godliness are “made” perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect. They are made perfect after their death. But those in Heaven are already perfect, and those in hell can no longer be made perfect. These spirits were in Purgatory.)
Rev. 21:4 – (God shall wipe away their tears, and there will be no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new Heaven and the passing away of the current Heaven and earth. But there is no mourning or pain in Heaven, and God will not wipe away their tears in hell. These are the souls experiencing Purgatory.)
Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 – (Here are some examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time. The Jewish understanding of these practices was that the prayers freed the souls from their painful state of purification, and expedited their journey to God.)
Baruch 3:4 – Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in Heaven and unnecessary in hell. These dead are in Purgatory.)
Zech. 9:11 – (God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls Purgatory.)
Jude 1:20-23 – But as for you, beloved, build up yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto life everlasting. And some, who are judged, reprove; but others, save, snatching them from the fire.
(The people who are saved are being snatched out of the fire. People are already saved if in Heaven, and there is no possibility of salvation if in hell. These people are being led to Heaven from Purgatory.)
1 Peter 1:6-7 – (Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.
Rev. 3:18-19 – (Jesus refers to this fire as what refines into gold those He loves if they repent of their sins.)
Dan 12:10 – Many shall be chosen and made white and shall be tried as fire; and the wicked shall deal wickedly.
(Daniel refers to this refining by saying many shall purify themselves, make themselves white and be refined.)
Wis. 3:5-6 – . . . chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine . . .
(The dead are disciplined and tested by fire to receive their heavenly reward.
Sirach 2:5 – (For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.)
Zech. 13:8-9 – And they shall be in all the earth, saith the Lord: two parts of it shall be scattered and shall perish, but the third part will be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried.
(God says two thirds shall perish, and one third shall be left alive, put into the fire, and refined like silver and tested like gold.)
Mal. 3:2-3 – And who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? And who shall stand to see him? For he is like a refining fire and like the fuller’s herb. And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi and refine them as gold and silver: and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice.
(Also refers to God’s purification of the righteous at their death.)