Purgatory is a false teaching that says that after people die they get a second chance to go to heaven. Supposedly, after death a person enters a state of limbo between heaven and hell where a purging takes place and that there are things a person can do, or that others can do for him, that will get him out of limbo and onward to heaven. This false teaching denies that only through the death and resurrection of Jesus, is there a pathway to heaven.
The bible says that after we die there are NO second chances. It is only by accepting the gift of the forgiveness of sin that can put us into a right relationship with God. That acceptance must come during this lifetime. There are no second chances. God gave us this life in which to make our decision and, as in Jesus’ teaching in Luke 16:19-31, we read that death is final.
Purgatory is never mentioned in the Bible. The false doctrine was introduced into church teachings 1200 years after the death of Christ and remains a teaching of the Catholic church. All protestant churches some of the major orthodox Christian churches reject the teaching of purgatory.
The bible is very clear, when we die, if we have believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we will be with Him in some new bodily form, recognizable, knowing others, and able to communicate and worship HIM for eternity.
How about you? Have you made that decision for a new joy-filled life here on earth and knowing without any doubt that you will be with HIM forever? Learn more at our post: How does one become a Christian?
The first reason that not everyone becomes a Christian is as simple as unbelief. If people don’t believe that God exists or that they can have eternal life with him, then they are most unlikely to consider becoming a Christian. Unbelief can arise from three things: a genuine unawareness of the Christian faith; preconceived notions of what it means to be a Christian—it’s “no fun,” “not cool,” “too many rules,” a lot of “thou shalt nots”— which makes the faith unappealing; or a stubborn unwillingness to examine the truth claims of Christianity and the evidence for them.
Pride also fuels unbelief, as does sloth. If becoming a Christian means putting God first in their lives and following certain disciplines, then many people want no part of living the Christian life. They may also be held back by the fear of ridicule and rejection by unbelieving family, friends, or colleagues, or being “canceled” through social media.
Another stumbling block to seeking eternal life with God is that unbelievers simply can’t picture the glories of heaven implied in these words from a letter written by Paul, an apostle of Jesus, to the church in the Greek city of Corinth:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,1 Corinthians 2:9
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
The cartoonish depiction of someone sitting on a cloud strumming a harp leads many to think that heaven, if it exists, would be “boring” and thus not worth pursuing. However, the glorious promises of Scripture are affirmed by countless near-death experiences such as those documented in books like John Burke’s Imagine Heaven. This book and others also testify to the reality of an afterlife in hell.
In his account of Jesus’s life and ministry, John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples gives us the main reason why not everyone becomes a Christian:
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” John 3:19
Rather than sending people to hell, we learn, God gives them a choice. We encourage you to love the light, reject the darkness, and choose “the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”
If you would like to learn more about how you can be assured of enjoying an eternity where all doubts end, where there is no more pain, or suffering…an eternity beyond your greatest imaginings, we encourage you to read our May 5th blogpost: How does one become a Christian?
Few events in antiquity are as well documented as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. All of Christianity hinges on the answer to this question. If there was no resurrection, there would be no Christianity.
Consider this: there were over 500 witnesses to Jesus’ return to life after being crucified dead and buried. The Romans made no mistakes when they killed someone. They were expert at the art of death. Yet, three days later, Jesus appeared to his disciples, to several women, to two men walking on the road to Emmaus, to a doubting Thomas and two others. Jesus was definitely dead and he was definitely resurrected. But unlike others who were raised from the dead only to die again at a future date, Jesus was very much alive when he departed this earth in front of witnesses. He was and is alive today, but not in the human form in which he lived 2,000 years ago.
Today, Jesus reigns with His father, God, in heaven and is preparing a place for every believer to join Him there. But one doesn’t have to wait for the end of life on earth to encounter Jesus, because when he departed he promised to send his Spirit to serve as advocate, counselor, and comforter to those who believe in the resurrected Jesus and sincerely ask him to be his or her savior.
Jesus, who has the power and authority to hold together every atom in the universe, is the same Jesus who died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected to declare his power to triumph over death. One day Jesus will return to earth just like he left it to rule and reign as King of kings. Are you ready to meet him in this world or the next? If you would like to learn more, please visit our Next Steps page.
Last week we took an overview approach to answer this question focusing on God’s love. This week we have taken an in-depth search of Scriptures to see what else we can discover about whether or not mankind has a noble purpose ordained by its creator, God.
First, what is man that God is mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4). Well, God created man, a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), with a purpose to rule over the planet Earth (Genesis 1:28). This purpose was in direct conflict with the former most powerful ruler of Earth, Satan. Satan attacks man even to this day to remove man as ruler and for Satan to try to gain back his rule over Earth and to destroy Israel.
But, Jesus the Lord God takes on flesh of a man (Hebrews 2:9), coming to Earth as the “son of man.” This son of man defeats Satan at the cross, and is crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9; Psalm 8:5). Jesus raises man to a highly elevated position as a son of God and brother of Jesus, through placement in Christ (Ephesians 2:6) and adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5), for those who receive him (John 1:12). Man is thus raised to the highest place of significance far above that of the place of Satan.
Such a work of God brings glory to God revealing his wonderful grace and mercy. Further, after having raised man to a high position in Christ, God then uses man to join with Him in order to carry out God’s will on Earth.
Man’s purpose is thus: To be an instrument used by God in the face of a powerful enemy, wherein God rules planet Earth through man, to accomplish God’s purposes, and so bring glory to God (1Peter 4:11; Ephesians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Therefore, we can conclude positively from the Scriptures that man has a noble purpose. A purpose that is good and honorable. A purpose that can be admired due to its impressive value in and through the work and activity of God.
If you would like to learn more about how you can become intimately connected to God and truly understand his purpose for you, please go to our Next Steps page.
(Note: The reference to man refers to mankind and includes both men and women, sons and daughters).