PURGATORY (PART 2)
CHRIST’S ATONING SACRIFICE - INSUFFICIENT?
The most serious consequence of the doctrine of Purgatory is the fact that it denies the sufficiency and efficiency of the blood of Christ—that is His death—to fully atone for the sins of all for whom He died.
We have seen that the Roman Catholic concept of Purgatory agrees with that of many pagan nations, in that it is a place of temporary punishment for the purification of sinners by the torments of fire.
Let it be stated quite emphatically that all the fires of hell itself could never burn out one stain of the least of sins!! The fire of hell is no aid to purification, but a means of torment and eternal punishment, a display of the eternal wrath of God against sin. The thinking Roman Catholic must ask himself: ‘If there was such a place as Purgatory, why then did Jesus Christ come to the earth to die on the cross? What was His death all about and why was He called "...the Lamb of God who TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD" (John 1:29) and, therefore, the punishment due unto that sin? How can there be any remaining punishment for that which has been taken away? If Jesus Christ has taken away the sins of those for whom He died, why then would there be reason left for punishment, even a temporary punishment, for Christ’s own people, for the wrath of God, which sin has merited, has been fully satisfied by Christ’s Bodily sacrifice upon the cross. The following passage links the believer’s escaping the wrath of God with the death of the Lord Jesus. Speaking to believers, the apostle Paul stated: "For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us..." (1 Thessalonians 5:9,10).
Roman Catholicism teaches that Jesus Christ died to redeem mankind from its sins, yet simultaneously promotes the idea that there is a need after death for most people to suffer punishment for their sins. Page 206 of the Baltimore Catechism states: "After sin has been healed by the medicine of the sacrament of penance, the wounds left by sin must be healed by the future medicine of temporal punishment." Notice here that there is no mention of Christ’s precious blood, the ONLY ‘medicine’ that can heal us of our sins. "But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, BY HIS STRIPES WE WERE HEALED" (Isaiah 53:5).
In complete contrast to this, the Roman Catholic Bible teaches that the Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ unequivocally does away with the need for a place of temporal punishment such as Purgatory. Many Scriptures bear this out. Here is just a sample:
* Hebrews 9:26 - "...But now once for all He has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin BY HIS SACRIFICE."
* Hebrews 10:14 - "For by ONE offering HE HAS MADE PERFECT FOREVER..."
* Hebrews 13:12 - "Therefore, Jesus also suffered...to consecrate the people BY HIS OWN BLOOD." (Not so that they would become consecrated by the addition of their own suffering)
It is plain for all to see that even the Roman Catholic Bible confirms the fact that Jesus Christ, by His sacrificial death upon the tree, by His shed blood, has consecrated His people; He has cleansed the true believer from all sin for all time and has thus done away with any need for any of them to suffer one moment of punishment for their sins. In taking away from the effectiveness of Christ’s blood to wash away sin and from its all sufficiency to achieve what it was poured out for, Roman Catholicism joins hands with every cult and false religion in existence, which have much in common, not the least of which being the perversion of the Bible doctrine of the blood of Christ being the sole means of the full atonement for the sins of all those for whom it was shed, reducing it to something that is only part of the sin solution.
God’s justice has been fully satisfied, as we see from Colossians 2:13,14: "And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, HE BROUGHT YOU TO LIFE ALONG WITH HIM, having forgiven us all our transgressions; OBLITERATING THE BOND AGAINST US, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, He also removed it from our midst, NAILING IT TO THE CROSS." Dear Roman Catholic, the price for the Christian’s sin HAS been paid in full!
The Roman Catholic Church is no different to the cults and sects who deny the efficiency of Christ’s atoning death upon the tree to cleanse His people from their sin ONCE AND FOR ALL! If you believe in Purgatory, you cannot hold to the truth that Jesus Christ has totally and eternally forgiven the Christian of his sins — PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE!
Likewise, if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, you cannot simultaneously hold to the lie that there exists, or that there is even a need for, such a place as Purgatory. The doctrine of Purgatory negates the work of Christ on the cross. It completely nullifies the fact that His death was a substitutionary sacrifice and that all for whom He died are freed from the wrath to come.
The Roman Catholic Bible teaches that blood alone can purify a man from sin. Leviticus 17:11 says, "...it is the blood, as the seat of life, that makes atonement." The footnotes to this verse in the Roman Catholic Bible add: "This idea of sacrifice is applied in Hebrews 9-10 to the death of Christ, inasmuch as, ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’" (Hebrews 9:22). (See also Revelation 7:14.) Many Roman Catholics are under the mistaken belief that they will not suffer the wrath to come because they have suffered enough here on earth. This lie also does away with the need of a Savior and His atoning death upon the cross.
The first part of Hebrews 9:22 says, "According to law almost everything is purified by blood..." The only things referred to by the writer as not purified by blood were inanimate objects such as gold and silver, which were purified by fire (see Numbers 31:22,23). But when it came to sins, it was universally true that ONLY BLOOD COULD REDEEM A MAN FROM SIN.
The words of author Wilson Ewin conclude this chapter: "...only complete faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ can satisfy God (Romans 3:25). Christ’s blood cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:7,9). There is no further satisfaction to be made (Hebrews 10:18)."17
Eventually, according to Roman Catholic dogma, Purgatory will be emptied of its inhabitants. But as we see in Revelation 20:13,14 death, hades and the sea will all give up their dead. There is no mention made of a place called Purgatory.
Loraine Boettner gives his summary on the doctrine of Purgatory by stating: "We charge in the strongest terms that the practice of saying mass for souls in purgatory is a gigantic hoax and fraud, a taking of money under false pretenses, because it purports to get people out of purgatory when actually no such place exists....Why...should we trust a priest who presents an interpretation concerning the afterlife which is not only not in the Bible but which is contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible? Such practice is fraudulent and is designed primarily for only one purpose, that of keeping the people under the power of the priests and controlling their lives and property as far as possible."18
The sad truth of the doctrine of Purgatory is that it keeps those who believe it to be true in the bondage of fear, with nothing to look forward to at the end of life on earth but the tormenting fires of this imaginary place. NOT EVEN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ‘SAVIOR’ CAN SAVE ANYONE FROM THE FIRES OF PURGATORY!! The poor Roman Catholic is told that faith alone in the atoning work of Christ alone to make satisfaction for His people’s sins is not enough, but that, in an effort to successfully escape Purgatory, money must be paid to the Roman Catholic Church to secure a place in heaven!
"It is difficult to conceive of a belief so groundless and yet so frightening as that of the doctrine of Purgatory. But what a marvellous, glorious thing it is at death to go STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN! And what good news it is for Roman Catholics when they learn that there is no such place as Purgatory, no suffering for the redeemed soul beyond the grave!"19
We close this chapter with the clearest possible message to you, the Roman Catholic, by quoting, from the Roman Catholic Bible itself, the words of the Lord Jesus Christ as proof that there is no punishment awaiting the true believer after death: "AMEN, AMEN, I SAY TO YOU, WHOEVER HEARS MY WORD AND BELIEVES IN THE ONE WHO SENT ME, HAS ETERNAL LIFE AND WILL NOT COME TO CONDEMNATION, BUT HAS PASSED FROM DEATH TO LIFE" (John 5:24).