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Friday, March 24, 2017
Date Posted:
8/18/1998

Contents
Introduction (1-6)
The Bible (9-23)
The Pope (24-42)
The Sacraments (43-51)
Confirmation (53-54)
Lord's Supper (55-78)
Priesthood (79-94)
Matrimony (95-97)
SIN (98-107)
Forgiveness (108-122)
Indulgences (123-127)
Penance (128-141)
Purgatory (142-159)
Mariolatry (160-187)
Angels (188-208)
Reformation (210-213)
Patrick (214-228)
Ecumenism (229-240)


Purgatory (142-159)


A Concise Guide to Bible Christianity and Romanism
Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley


  1. What is Purgatory according to Rome?
  2. On what two false pillars does Purgatory rest?
  3. Explain Matthew 5:25-26 and show that it cannot possibly prove Purgatory.
  4. How do you interpret I Corinthians 3:13-15?
  5. What are the pretensions of the Church of Rome as to the relief of souls in Purgatory?
  6. How do Romanists obtain Indulgences?
  7. Where are Masses to be obtained?
  8. How does the cruelty of the priesthood appear in this respect?
  9. How do the poor endeavour to make provision in order to secure the offering up of Masses for the dead?
  10. Can the priest possibly say what amount of Masses shall satisfy for the deliverance of souls in Purgatory?
  11. How does Purgatory contradict the Holy Scriptures?
  12. How does the doctrine of Purgatory affect the Roman Catholic Church?
  13. What did Vatican II confirm concerning the Roman teaching on Purgatory?
  14. What happens to believers at death?
  15. What happens to the wicked at death?
  16. What happens to the believers at the Resurrection?
  17. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of Judgment?
  18. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the Resurrection?

Back to Top 142. What is Purgatory according to Rome?

The place of torment for those who die in venial sin or who have not paid the temporal punishment of sin, expiate their guilt previous to their being admitted into heaven.

Back to Top 143. On what two false pillars does Purgatory rest?

The distinction of sin into venial and mortal and the extending of temporal punishment of sin beyond the grave.

Back to Top 144. Explain Matthew 5:25-26 and show that it cannot possibly prove Purgatory: "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."

The sinner is in the case of the debtor who has nothing wherewith to pay his debt. He must therefore remain in prison for ever - so the text, rather than proving Purgatory, and escape from the same, disproves any escape from punishment after death in judgment.

Back to Top 145. How do you interpret I Corinthians 3:13-15? "Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

If the passage refers to Purgatory it would prove that every man must go there. That is not the doctrine of the Church of Rome. The fire is said to try not to purify, whereas the Romish doctrine is that the fire of Purgatory purifies or purges. The apostles are not referring here to sin, they are referring here to service.

Back to Top 146. What are the pretensions of the Church of Rome as to the relief of souls in Purgatory?

Rome teaches that she can shorten their punishment by Indulgences and Masses.

Back to Top 147. How do Romanists obtain Indulgences?

By the performance of certain actions, the offering of certain prayers and by connection with certain sodalites or societies. i.e. the Scapular, the Cord of St. Francis, the Sacred Heart, and by labouring for the perversion of Protestants.

Back to Top 148. Where are Masses to be obtained?

The more money, the more benefit; thus the rich according to the Church of Rome have greater advantages over the poor.

Back to Top 149. How does the cruelty of the priesthood appear in this respect?

They pretend to possess the power of relieving souls in Purgatory and yet they only offer Masses in proportion to the amount paid.

Back to Top 150. How do the poor endeavour to make provision in order to secure the offering up of Masses for the dead?

They form Purgatorian Societies in which they pay a certain amount weekly mainly hoping that the various sums will be put to their account in the spiritual bank of Purgatory opened by the priest.

Back to Top 151. Can the priest possibly say what amount of Masses shall satisfy for the deliverance of souls in Purgatory?

No. They do not even pretend to do this. They cannot say when the soul leaves Purgatory.

Back to Top 152. How does Purgatory contradict the Holy Scriptures?

(1) It contradicts the Scripture doctrine of complete salvation in Christ (John 5:24).

(2) It completely contradicts the teaching of Scripture that when a believer dies his soul goes immediately to Heaven (Luke 23:43: "And Jesus said unto him, Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise." Philippians 1:22: "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better." II Corinthians 5:8: "[…] to absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.")

Back to Top 153. How does the doctrine of Purgatory affect the Roman Catholic Church?

The propagation of the doctrine of Purgatory serves to greatly enhance the financial posture of the Roman Church. Just as Jacob Macabees collected money for the sacrifice for those who had died in battle, so today sacrifices for all the dead in Purgatory are offered by priests only after they have received sums of money. What loving relative or friend would not expend great sums of money to see that a dead loved one be relieved of his or her punishment in a place like Purgatory? This is exactly what the Roman Church emphasises throughout the world. It is no wonder that the Roman Church possesses such a vast financial holdings and properties in various parts of the world. A large part of this is paid for by the monies received by the Church in return for sacrifices made for the dead in Purgatory. It is easy to see than the positive affect the doctrine of Purgatory has on the Roman Catholic Church and why they so diligently uphold it and teach it.

In addition to the positive financial affect on the Roman Catholic Church the teaching of the doctrine of Purgatory also serves to assure the faithfulness of vast numbers of Roman Catholic people to the demands of the Church. Only through the priests may an individual purchase the sacrifices which are so desperately needed to release souls from Purgatory. To turn your back on this fact would only assure the extended sufferings of loved ones in Purgatory. Hence the people, in a sense, are at the mercy of the demands of the Roman Catholic priests. They must remain faithful. Outside the Church they have no hope for themselves and most assuredly no hope for their loved ones in Purgatory. Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church benefits not only financially from the doctrine of Purgatory but also in numbers of people who continue to embrace Catholicism.

Back to Top 154. What did Vatican II confirm concerning the Roman teaching on Purgatory?

The documents of the Vatican II Council had little to say about the doctrine of Purgatory, but what they did say was quite significant. In regard to the faithful in Purgatory who are still being purified this statement was made:

Vatican II - Dogmatic Constitution of the Church:

"This most sacred Synod accepts with great devotion the venerable faith of our ancestors regarding this vital fellowship with our brethren who are in heavenly glory, or who are still being purified after death." ['Those still being purified after death' obviously refers to those in Purgatory.]

In essence the Synod or Council of Vatican II reaffirmed the traditional doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in regard to Purgatory. In fact, it stated that "the Vatican II Council proposes again the Decrees of the Second Council of Nicea, the Council of Florence and the Council of Trent, and at the same time as part of its own pastoral solicitude this Synod urges all concerned to work hard to prevent or correct any abuses, excesses or defect which may have crept in here and there, and to restore all things to more ample praise of Christ and God."

Very simply, the Vatican Council Documents merely reaffirm the doctrines affirmed in the Council of Nicea, the Council of Florence and the Council of Trent. These documents which include the doctrine of Purgatory are to be maintained, Vatican II directed, "exactly as they were written in their respective documents of these councils" (Chap. 7, para. 51).

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995:

"All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned." (Para. 1030, 1031)

"From the beginning the Church has honoured the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead." (Para. 1032)

Back to Top 155. What happens to believers at death?

The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into Glory, and their bodies being still united to Christ do rest in their graves till the Resurrection.

Back to Top 156. What happens to the wicked at death?

The souls of the wicked are at their death cast into Hell where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves as in their prisons until the Resurrection and Judgment of great day.

Back to Top 157. What happens to the believers at the Resurrection?

At the Resurrection those believers that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed - and the self-same bodies of the believing dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls for ever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ. The bodies of the just by the Spirit of Christ and by virtue of His Ressurection as their Head shall be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible and made like to His Glorious Body.

Back to Top 158. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of Judgment?

At the day of Judgment the wicked shall be set on Christ's left hand, and upon clear evidence and full conviction of their own consciences shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them, and thereupon shall be cast from that favourable presence of God and the glorious fellowship with Christ His saints and all His holy angels into Hell to be punished with unspeakable torments both of body and soul with the devil and his angels for ever.

Back to Top 159. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the Resurrection?

At the Resurrection believers being raised up in Glory shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.

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