posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 09:13 PM
As an born-again, Holy-Spirit filled Evangelical, I believe that my sins-past, present and future, are under the blood of Christ. But I used to
contemplate the holiness of God and realize that even on my best day, I was far from that standard. Even if I was forgiven, I still had fallen
tendencies. How could I live in Heaven with God for all eternity unless my nature was changed? Of course, this is one of the reasons that Christians
have to live in this world-to learn and grow to be citizens of Heaven. But what if your life is not enough time to prepare yourself? When you die, are
you just automatically transformed into a perfect being? Do you still have free will? If so, could you not one day rebel? After all, Lucifer did. He
was perfect and he knew the consequences, and yet he chose to sin. What's to keep us from sinning against God 100 billion years from now?
What if suffering can make us ready for Heaven?
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation
enter into the kingdom of God.
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also
Philippians 1:29 Because it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf
2 Timothy 2:12 if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.
I don't know that I could characterize my life as a Christian in America in the 21st Century as one of "suffering." So where could I go through
"suffering school" and have all of these tendencies removed?
A Catholic friend and I were debating this, and he gave me a fact sheet about Purgatory. I do not have a citation, but the following is from that
fact sheet, and are not my words:
"Matthew 18:23-35 The Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a man who had a great debt (sin) forgiven him by a King (Christ), who then went out and began
to punish someone who owed him a small debt, refusing to forgive him. In verse 34, the King orders that the man be given to the torturers until the
debt is paid. This is someone who has received salvation but did not love his fellow man. He must suffer until the debt is paid.
1 Corinthians 15:29-30 Baptism for the dead. Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead. If baptism is necessary for salvation, then
these people who died without being baptized cannot go to Heaven right away. They must be somewhere else.
2nd Timothy 1:16-18 Oneisphorus is dead, but Paul asks for mercy for him on Judgment Day. If our fate is sealed at death and we go to either Heaven or
Hell, there is no mercy possible or needed.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Our works are tested, and those who have not done good works are saved, but through fire. Also see James 5:3."
The word "purgatory" does not appear in Scripture, but neither do "rapture" or "Trinity." But the theological idea of purgatory could be implied
by these verses.