Prayers For Souls In Purgatory. Heretical or Biblical?
There are many sincere Christians who pray for lost souls in a place called: purgatory. Are they engaging in a religious practice that is biblical or heretical?
Purgatory is the belief that there exists a place after death where people are purged from their sins through suffering. After a period of time corresponding to the suffering necessary for the sins committed, the person is then set free and enters heaven.
Purgatory is a doctrine enforced and encouraged by the Roman Catholic church and requires financial gifts or services rendered to the church so that prayers by the priests, and masses provided by relatives or friends in behalf of the deceased can shorten, alleviate or eliminate the sojourn of the soul in purgatory.
Purgatory - What God Says?
Christians should view purgatory as being a heretical doctrine rejected by the Word of God. It reflects an intended disregard for the atonement of Christ as well as adding insult to the finished work of the cross. The error of purgatory doctrine is the teaching that we might redeem ourselves by removing or escaping the ultimate penalty of sin through our sufferings after we die. Yet, a biblical reality provides a stark contrast to the false teaching that one's sufferings and/or one's prayers for another can secure salvation.: On the cross Jesus said, "It is finished " (John 19:30).
This was an accounting term which meant a debt was paid in full. Since the payment for our sins was paid in full on the cross, then how could purgatory be a reality or even necessary? Especially when the scriptures don't mention it and even contradicts it?
Purgatory is false teaching that breads a false hope. The Word of God presents Jesus Christ as the only way and means of salvation. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
Dr. Arthur Belanger
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