Hi, guys —
The subject of Purgatory is kind of confusing
to me because I am a Baptist and I have never been taught,
in church or elsewhere, about
I understand that it is not directly in the
Bible but is hinted to.
- So who goes there?
- How can we pray for those who are there
and how do we even know if they are there?
I hope you can give me clarity on this issue.
Thanks so much for your help,
Who goes to Purgatory, why do they go there, how do we know, and how do we pray for them? }
Hi, Josh —
In brief, the condition Catholics
call Purgatory is simply the final
work of sanctification which a soul
must undergo prior to being able
to fully enjoy the presence of God.
This process is described by St.
Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians.
11 For no other foundation can anyone
lay than that which is laid, which
is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if
anyone builds on this foundation
with gold, silver, precious stones,
wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work
will become clear; for the Day
will declare it, because it will
be revealed by fire; and the fire
will test each one's work, of
what sort it is.
14 If anyone's work which he has
built on it endures, he will receive
a reward. 15 If anyone's work
is burned, he will suffer loss;
but he himself will be saved,
yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
This process has been described
in terms of time, but only for the
purpose of describing a Mystery in
human terms. We don't know how long
it lasts; bearing in mind that time
is going to be experienced differently
The process of purification is a
work of God's grace. It should not be understood as a soul earning his
salvation. Rather it is a fulfillment
of God's promise as recorded by Paul
6 He who began a good work
in you will be faithful to complete
- Baptists and Catholics both agree
that we are saved by grace through
- We also both agree that sanctification
is a process.
Catholics have always
understood that the process of sanctification
or purification often continues after
this life is over. That said, Purgatory
is not a second chance. It is strictly
a place or condition for those who
are saved. It is not a second chance
for those who have knowingly rejected
the Gospel and grace in this life.
Hi, Josh —
I just wanted to add to John's answer.
Many non-Catholic Christians have
difficulty with the doctrine of Purgatory
because they mistakenly believe it
is somehow connected to one's own
salvation or justification.
Purgatory has nothing at all to do
with one's salvation or justification.
It has to do with one's personal holiness. Revelation 21:27 tells us, Nothing unclean
will be allowed to enter into Heaven.
Although the souls in Purgatory have
been saved and are destined for Heaven,
they still have self-love from
this Earthy life that must be purified
to satisfy God's justice and 100 percent holiness.
Purgatory in no way takes away from
the finished work of Christ, rather
it medicinally applies the finished
work of Christ to the Christian.
- How can we pray
for those who are there?
We can pray personally for the Holy
Souls or gather a group of like-minded
Christians to pray for the Holy Souls.
My other website is dedicated exactly
for this purpose.
The goal is to
Prayer Programs across America
in every state. You can check it
of the Holy Souls
I would also recommend checking out
my Scripture Passages web page for
Hope this helps,