Purgatory is a temporary condition of torment or suffering. According to the Roman Catholic, Purgatory is the place where those who have died in a state of grace undergo limited torment to expiate their sins.
The word Purgatory is one of the words that has caused segregation among the christian faithfuls.
According to the Roman Catholic, they classified sins into mortal and immortal sins, which is; there are sins that can lead to eternal punishment while some mistakes can still be forgiven even after death.
This belief makes Catholics to come up with a faith that people who died with their little mistakes are not totally condemned, they are kept in a place (purgatory) where the supplications of the living can bring down God’s mercy upon them.
While Catholics believe so deeply in the existence of Purgatory, other christian denominations think it is a blasphemy against the portion of the scripture which says that there is no forgiveness after death.
Purgatory is described by some as one of the major pillars that lead to the disintegration is Christianity into different denominations.
With these different beliefs about Purgatory, sometimes both some Catholics and Protestants get confused on which is really the truth.
WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT THE IDEA OF PURGATORY?
According to christian faith, every human born to the likeness of Adam’s manhood shares the original sin; which calls for baptism for the forgiveness of the original sin and personal sins.
Every Christians believes anything sinful has no business with the kingdom of God, they also believe that every one born to this earth has the original sin (the sin of Adam and Eve).
If this two believes are true, that means children who died between age 0-12 who where not baptize before their death died with the original sin, and if anything sinful is restricted from paradise, then where are those children going to? because i strongly believe that the merciful God i know will not allow such children to experience the anguish of hell.
This is one of the reasons why Catholics advocate for infant baptism.
If these kinds of little children cannot go to heaven because of their original sin, and cannot go to hell because of their innocence, then there should be a place where they will go, and i think, that is one of the reasons that gave birth to Purgatory.
Catholics believe that sins committed out of one’s will, ‘that is’, sins that you nursed in your heart before you committed are mortal sins and can lead to eternal destruction, but sins committed unconsciously are immortal sins and can be forgiven even after life.
Like someone who has been living a holy life, but something happens that someone hit him with maybe an iron and the pain really entered his brain, out of that pain maybe he abused the person, and maybe in that spot he died before he could say sorry, where did you think such a person is going?
Because such a person died with sin, and if anything sinful cannot enter into heaven, then his/her available abode is hell “if there is no Purgatory”, but do you think merciful God will allow such a person to go to hell? I don’t think so; Those kinds of sins are classified by Catholics as immortal sins.
Some Christians may argue that all sins are the same, but if that is true, there should be no different between sins against the father, against the son and against the holy spirit, because the bible said, sins against God the father and the son can be forgiven but sins against the holy spirit cannot be forgiven.
I am not here to judge between who is right and who is wrong, i am here to make us see things from different perspectives so that we can decide for ourselves what is right or change our narratives about some things.
IS PURGATORY IN THE BIBLE?
1 Peter 3:18-20: 18. For Christ died for the sins once for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually, 19 and in his spiritual existence he went and preached to the IMPRISONED SPIRITS. 20 These were the spirits of those who had not obeyed God when he waited patiently during the days that Noah was building his boat. The few people in the boat – eight in all – were saved by the water.
This prison or state of purging or purification is what Catholics gave the name purgatory.
After Christ’s death, he spent three days in the tomb before he resurrected; Catholics believe just as it is written in 1 Peter chapter 3:18-20 that those three days Christ spent in the tomb, he was there baptizing those who died in sin before him. This also shows the necessity of baptism.
If Christ has to visit those who died before him in sin and were kept in prison beneath the earth, to bring forgiveness to their sins, that means there can still be forgiveness after life.
If Christians say, the God is God of yesterday, today and forever, that means, the God who forgives sins when he visits after life will show no partiality to those who died after him with immortal sins.
What are the lessons here? In as much as we might hold strongly to our hearts our beliefs about Purgatory, I think after reading some portions of the scripture like the book of Peter I quoted in this article, you will change ideology about Purgatory.
Just like I said earlier; I am not here to judge between which is true and which is not, but you should be able to decide for yourself the real facts about Purgatory.
But before you decide, I want to give you the best clue on how you can know the truth; Sometimes when we argue about something, we will never look at things from our opponent points of view, but today I challenge you, bring yourself to the Bible and understand what it really says, forget about what your preachers told you, that should not at all times makes you forget that the best teacher you have is yourself.
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