What Must I do to be Saved?: Response on Purgatory...by Matt1618<br>

What Must I Do to Be Saved?
Response on Purgatory

By Matt1618

This is a response to an email from a Mr. Dwayne Farr, who sent a detailed paper which attempted to prove that the Bible teaches Faith as the only instrument of salvation and that Catholicism is wrong on many issues. He is a Baptist. I have responded to only a portion of his whole paper. That is because I like to be thorough in my responses to such papers and if I took the time to respond to the whole paper, this would be much too long. My responses are extensive. This response of mine does respond point by point to some essential issues that he has brought up. I have italicized his words. I respond with analysis and Scripture. He asked that I respond with Scripture, and so I do in this response. I respond that the Catholic Church is correct on the issues, and point out from the Bible why I find him and his theology to be incorrect. Although I have this, as part of the whole paper, each issue can stand on its own. Thus, I also have this piece on purgatory as its own url. Here is my response on purgatory.

Purgatory: An Essential Roman Catholic Doctrine

Though there is no biblical basis for purgatory, there is a strong philosophical need for it in Roman Catholic theology. The Church views salvation as the objective adornment or beautification of the soul. It is a process that starts at baptism through which sanctifying grace is initially infused. This makes the soul holy and inherently pleasing to God. Other sacraments and good works further justify the soul and make it increasingly attractive to God.

There is not a ‘philosophical’ reason, but ironically some very biblical concepts that underlie the reason that purgatory is taught as Catholic Doctrine. First of all, Catholic theology does teach that God is holy. He is truly Holy. The Bible teaches that, as in the following examples:

Isaiah 6:3:

And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."
Revelation 4:8
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
So thus, God is truly holy.

As God is truly holy, we need to be perfectly holy ourselves before we can meet him in heaven. The next point is in justification, before God, we do need to be holy. We are not just before God by him merely looking at Christ's righteousness that covers us, and we try to be holy, but that righteousness still 'filthy rags' before God. That is the concept that Dwayne gives us, but is truly unbiblical. We need to know what Christ accomplishes on the cross. When we are justified are we truly objectively holy, or are we covered over with Christ's imputed righteousness? The answer to that question is central to understand the doctrine of purgatory. Paul answers that in justification we are truly made righteous. Paul shows this in Romans 5:19

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.
Thus, justification is not a covering over of sin, but a true making of us righteous.

But doesn't God justify the ungodly? Of course that is true, but one who starts out as ungodly is objectively made righteous, as Paul himself clearly teaches in Romans 5:19. In fact, if God did declare one righteous, who is not objectively righteous, he would be taking part in an abomination. Scripture says this in Proverbs 17:15:

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
Scripture thus contradicts the concept that Dwayne gives us, that our righteousness is truly filthy rags before God, but God looks at Christ's righteousness instead of ours, and thus we can get to heaven. Paul says that in justification we are made righteous. He does not take part in what Scripture calls an ‘abomination.‘ Purgatory is the final cleansing that is necessary before we can reach heaven. For Dwayne, no such cleansing is necessary. For God it is.

Next, we can not enter heaven, until we are fully cleansed. Not covered over cleansed but truly cleansed of all of our iniquity. After all, isn't that what the apostle John tells us that Jesus did for us? He explains this in his epistle, 1 John 1:7-9:

7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, ultimately. If not here on earth, the final cleansing will take place in purgatory. He will not cover us over with Christ's righteousness imputed to us, but will cleanse us fully. Purgatory is the final application of 1 John 1:9.

With that said, it must be acknowledged that we do sin. We are righteous before God to be within his grace, but we do still commit sins. Small sins will not cut us off from him, but still keep us from true holiness, which is necessary to be before we can approach God in heaven. John makes such a distinction of sins in 1 John 5:16, 17, for example. As a Father, he will not cast us out of his grace over small sins, but he disciplines us for the purpose of cleansing and holiness (Heb. 12:5-11). Mortal sins will make us become ‘immoral like Esau‘, and ‘fail to obtain the grace of God’ (Heb. 12:15-17). Purgatory is only the last stage of that cleansing of those who still are objectively righteous, but still need cleaning from the lesser, or venial sins. If John means what he says in 1 John 1:7-9, and we have any sins on our soul at the time of our death while we are justified, the only way this passage can really apply to us, is if there is a true, objective cleansing of sin from our soul after our physical death before we get to heaven, (as John says he will via Jesus’ blood, ’cleanse us from all righteousness‘) then purgatory is necessary.

Next, no one gets to heaven with sin one one's soul, as the book of Revelation clearly teaches, Revelation 21:27:

But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Thus, no one at all can enter heaven who is not fully cleansed. If we have any uncleanness at all in our works, we are not fit for heaven. Now this passage directly contradicts Dwayne’s outlook, as he thinks we will get to heaven, even if we ourselves, have works that are, sure more righteous than the works we had before being reborn in Christ, but before God our works are supposedly still filthy rags. That is supposedly because he looks at Christ’s righteousness instead of ours, but in fact, if that is what God is doing, he is taking part in both an abomination (contrary to Prov. 17:15), permitting uncleanness into heaven (contrary to Rev. 21:27). Now, most Protestants would admit that they still sin. Thus, their view that one gets to heaven once they die, even if they have committed sins is directly contradicted by this passage which speaks of entering heaven. It does not do good to say, 'Well, we have Christ's righteousness imputed to me, therefore I am clean', because in actuality, if the person's own works before God are only 'filthy rags', then that is abomination entering the kingdom of heaven, which God specifically does not allow, as Revelation 21 teaches.

We are to be judged for all our actions, and God is holy. That is further shown to be biblical by this passage in 1 Pet. 1:15-17:

15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 17 And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.
God is truly holy, and we are to pattern ourselves after his holiness. God judges each one of us, according to our deeds. Nothing will be left unjudged, whether good or bad.

Following is a passage which also shows not only the need for purgatory, but it speaks of a cleansing fire that directly speaks to the existence of such a state, 1 Cor. 3:10-17. Notice the three types of man‘s works:

10: According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. 11: For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12: Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw -- 13: each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14: 1) If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15: 2) If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16: Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17: 3) If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are.
We see in the passage that we are judged for our works. On the day in which we are judged Paul gives us three classes of people, based on the type of works that we do: The ‘day‘ (day of particular judgment) will disclose it.

1) If the man's works are of the quality of gold, silver and precious stones we see one result. The quality of his work is good. He immediately receives the reward of heaven. This is shown in verse 14. In fact, that is possible for Catholics. If we have works that are perfectly gold and silver, we can attain heaven without going to purgatory. That is in fact what we must strive for.

2) If the man's works are not as good as the person of verse 14, but he still attains heaven, it says he is saved, but only as through fire. In fact, he is judged for those works. Those bad works are sins. In fact in this very chapter he is speaking about the sins of the Corinthians (1 Cor. 3:3-5, 18-22). He is relaying about how those works will be judged by God. Now, the man under judgment in this verse (v. 15), his works are not as pure as the man of verse 14. Thus, he has to purified, before he can enter heaven. He is thus being judged for his sins. However, these sins were not so grievous that he had to be sent to hell. He still is in God's grace, but purification is still necessary. This disproves the Protestant concept that a believer is not judged for his sins. And this is clearly a judgment scene, after his death. Because those works were not as pure as those of the men in v. 14, he suffers punishment for those sins, before he attains heaven, when he finally attains salvation.

3) We see in v. 17 that a believer who commits so grievous a sin, that he destroys God's temple (which is his own body), he will be destroyed by God. Thus, the sins here are mortal. In this same book, he gives an example of those sins that destroy the body (1 Cor. 6:11, 13-18) as being sexual immorality. If someone has those type of sins on their soul, they will be destroyed. This leads to him being cut off from God. Verse 17 thus shows even further that this passage of 1 Cor. 3:15, is speaking about how God judges us for sins we commit. If we are in Christ and so grievously sin against God, God will eternally punish us. That is the concept of mortal sin, which Paul explicitly teaches in v. 17. With this context, this shows that any attempt to say that v. 15 is not about being judged, or punished for sins we commit, is false. Though of course the sins of v. 15 are not as bad as those of the man of v. 17, who destroyed the temple of God, which is his body.

This further shows us that God purifies his people from sin, in judgment. This passage in 1 Corinthians 3:10-17, shows that in judgment God can be either a purifying fire such as in v. 15, where it will refine, and purify the believer, before he attains heaven, or the judgment will be consuming, where in judgment he will be destroyed, and the man will be cut off from his presence, as in v. 17.

This is prophesied in Malachi, which speaks of John the Baptist's coming, foretelling of what Jesus would do in the new covenant. This is shown in Malachi 3:1-3:

1: "Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2: But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? "For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; 3: he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.
This is fulfilled in Christ's coming. Mark specifically cites this passage in Mark 1:2. He truly purifies us from sin. Who can endure? Well, we can endure in judgment only when he truly purifies us from all sin. Purgatory is only this final stage of cleansing. Notice that this passage talks of refining, purifying silver, which reminds of the Corinthian passage which speaks of purgatory. What Christ accomplishes in the New Covenant is a true cleansing.

The goal is to transform the essential character of the soul into something that is in itself objectively good. It is, therefore, only reasonable to require the complete cleansing of every vestige of sin before the soul can come into the presence of God. Purgatory, therefore, is the logical extension of the Church’s process of salvation.

In fact, it is the logical extension of God's character being truly holy, and of him truly making us righteous before God, as 1 Jn. 1:9 says:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Again, he cleanses us from all unrighteousness. He doesn't cover us with Christ's righteousness, but truly purifies us with his judgment. We just saw this in Malachi 3:1-3, and 1 Cor. 3:15. If we are not fully purified before we die, this final cleansing must take place after death.

Purgatory is also an integral element of the Roman Catholic penitential system. According to the Church, every sin credits temporal punishment to the sinner’s account. Acts of penance, suffering, and indulgences debit this account. Since sinners may not make full satisfaction for sin in this life, purgatory in the afterlife is necessary to balance the ledger.

Well, a reason that the Church teaches us this is because the Bible teaches us so. The idea that there is no punishment for sin in judgment is totally unbiblical, as we have already seen. In fact, all our deeds we will be judged for if we are not totally cleansed from them. For example, Paul writes, in 2 Cor. 5:10:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.
Thus, Paul yet again teaches that we will be judged for all we do, whether good or bad. Thus, all of our works are to be judged. It doesn’t say that God will ‘overlook’ any of the bad ones. We also see this from Jesus' own words, in Matthew 12:36-37:
31: Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32: And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. 33: "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34: You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35: The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36: I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.
We see here that Jesus contrasts those who will never be forgiven for sins, those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit (the meaning of which is totally interesting but I don't want to divert to that), from those who will be forgiven of sins in the ages to come. He thus directly implies that some will get their sins forgiven after they die. This is shown in verse 32. Also, in verse 36, we see this played out even further when Jesus specifically says that we will render account for every careless word we utter. Even the believers who bear the good fruit of verses 33 and 35 will have to give an account of 'careless words they utter.' This applies to all men, including those who are ultimately saved. Thus, we will again be judged for sins, even if we are righteous before God, and bear good fruit overall. We still will be judged for some bad fruit. This directly ties into the doctrine of purgatory.

This is reflected in the Old Testament as well, for example in Micah 7:9:

I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I shall behold his deliverance.
We see Micah even pleads to be judged by God for his sins. In judgment there will be a cleansing when he will be brought forth to the light.

Finally, the Church uses purgatory to motivate Catholics to live righteously. If there were no purgatory, the reasoning goes, people would go on sinning without fear. Biblical salvation, on the other hand, has no need of a place such as purgatory.

Dwayne's simplistic categorization of why Catholics choose to live righteously is exactly that: simplistic and wrong. We choose to live righteously for several reasons, but the most important reason is because God calls us to live righteously and we obey him. We are God's adopted sons, and we are partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4),and we obey him because he calls us to that divine sonship. We do this because he loves us, and we love him. We pursue holiness because God calls us to holiness, and we are obedient sons. Now true, as Hebrews specifically says, we must pursue holiness because without holiness no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). Our own holiness is thus a means of achieving salvation. But the main reason we attempt to live righteously, through God's grace, is because we love Him.

Now true, there must be a healthy fear. We do realize that as God is truly holy, if we want to be in his presence when we die, we must be fully cleansed of sin, as there should be a healthy fear of God, which of course the Bible tells us to have. We saw in several New Testament passages that we will be judged for our works in 1 Cor. 3:15, and if our works are not perfect, we will need some cleansing. That is what Scripture says.

Now, we do have a healthy fear of God, that we are supposed to have. If we commit sins that are mortal, we indeed can go to hell. After all, Jesus did say in Mt. 10:28:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
We are supposed to have this healthy fear as we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2:12:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Here he is speaking about our salvation. In fact Paul tell us to take heed lest we fall (Phil. 2:16, cf., 1 Cor. 10:12). Thus, the guarantee of salvation that Dwayne is promising is against Scripture.

Now the Catholic Church recognizes that there are many people who believe in God, who although they think that they have salvation guaranteed, are incorrect in that assessment, but at the same time do not see it is a license to sin, because they do in fact love God. There is truth to the statement though, that if one is guaranteed salvation, one can sin without feeling the consequences if one does hold to that doctrine. I would not say that they would specifically want to sin, because they love God, but their theology does not recognize the biblical concept of mortal sin, and there are bad results of this theology, even though they do not see it as a license to sin. However, the problem is that view of salvation is unbiblical.

Biblical salvation does not rely on the works and sufferings of sinners, but solely upon Christ. The Lord Jesus "made purification of sins" (Hebrews 1:3) on the cross. His blood can cleanse the vilest sinner (Hebrews 9:14). There is no temporal punishment remaining for which the believer must atone; Jesus paid it all: "He Himself is the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 2:2).

In fact, it is not either Christ or our works, but Christ through our works. As Paul writes, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20). God is at work within the Christian, for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). Now, in fact Dwayne is giving us his nice theory, but when push comes to shove, this is Dwayne rejecting what he said elsewhere on justification. In his other commentary on justification, he wrote, after quoting Isaiah 63, which spoke of the Israel's works, who had turned their back on God, and their works were termed filthy rags:

But with regard to our eternal destination, as Isaiah states above, our good deeds (righteous acts) amount to nothing more than rags compared to the righteousness of God....
and by the standard of perfection that God demands, we realize that the shiny crown of goodness consists of nothing but sand...
Thus, we cannot do anything to redeem ourselves, and do not possess the righteousness to satisfy God's justice. We are all unrighteous. Our sinful nature separates us from the Lord and makes us objects of His wrath.
Thus, when he writes here that Jesus made ‘purification’ of sins, he doesn’t really believe that he makes purification. Our works before God are nothing but sand. Our works are rags. We ourselves do not possess the righteousness to satisfy God’s justice. Now of course, in his writing on justification, he said the solution to the problem is an imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the account. However, that is only a legal status, not an inherent status. In fact, the quotation of Heb. 9 and Heb. 1 shows that God truly cleanses us, not covers us over. The application of that cleansing blood to our souls does not happen in a mere forensic legal manner proposed by Dwayne, but in the process of a cleansing baptism (Acts 2:38, 22:16), a growing of righteousness in our daily walk (1 Jn. 1:7-9), and the cleansing sacraments of confession (Jn. 20:22-23, Mt. 18:18), and the Eucharist (Mt. 26:28). In fact these very citations in Hebrews show in fact that this is a true, objective cleansing of the soul (as that is what purification does). If at the end of our life we still have some sins on our soul, the cleansing fire of purgatory completes the purification process (1 Cor. 3:15). Thus, in Catholic theology, the Hebrews passage does really apply, because in Christ we are truly cleansed, and our righteousness, will finally meet God’s perfect standard when that final purification is done. In fact, these Hebrews quotations show the necessity of that cleansing. Dwayne's view is actually that our works are filthy rags before God. How in the world is that God really cleansing us?

Jesus did not ‘pay’ anything to God. He offered himself as a perfect sacrifice to purify his people from all iniquity (Tit. 2:11-14). This offering of himself gave us the ability to walk in holiness before God. The final process of that cleansing is purgatory, before one gets to heaven so those verses in Hebrews can really accomplish what they say.

Now, the idea that there is no temporal punishment for sins is a totally unbiblical concept, in either the Old or New Testament. For example, we see David after already being called to task by Nathan the prophet, after his sin with Bathsheba, in 2nd Samuel 12:13-14:

13: David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14: Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child that is born to you shall die."
Thus, we see that David is forgiven his sins. His sins are put away by God. He has regained his justified status, which he had lost with the commission of mortal sin with Bathsheba. This, by the way, shows that one can lose justification. Then he regained that very justification. Nonetheless, because of this sin, even though he has been forgiven for that sin, he had the byproduct of that sin, his child, die. This was a true punishment of David, even though he was truly forgiven. This was a true, spiritual punishment, that David had to endure, which was very harsh indeed, even though he was truly forgiven his sin. So there is temporal punishment.

Here are a couple of New Testament passages which reflect the need for spiritual sufferings to join with Christ:

Phil. 3:10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
Col. 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
Thus, these passages show that we join in the sufferings with Christ on behalf of our own being conformed into His image. Paul offers his own sufferings for the sake of the Church. Thus, suffering is redemptive.

Biblical salvation has no need for a place such as purgatory where the soul supposedly becomes objectively beautiful to God. Rather, it is rooted in God’s imputation of His own perfect righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Biblical salvation brings a "righteousness that is by faith from first to last" (Romans 1:17 (KJV)). The sinner places his trust in Christ for justification. He walks by faith and through the enablement of the Spirit lives righteously. Nevertheless, he has no hope of ever being personally and objectively good enough in himself to stand in the presence of God. He trusts in Christ alone for salvation (Philippians 3:7-9).

The passages that Dwayne cites are much abused passages used by Protestants that in context show completely opposite of what he intends to teach from them. I have written on both of these passages elsewhere, (on 2 Cor. 5:21 and Phil. 3:8-13) that show how Dwayne’s view that these passages teach an imputation of righteousness or that we don’t contribute to our own salvation is incorrect as the context shows directly the opposite.

2 Cor. 5:21-6:2 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 6 - 1 Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
I will borrow from my commentary on this passage (http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/2corinthians.html, and alter it some to make it fit here:
This is a continuation of Paul’s prior plea for the Corinthian believers (vv. 17-20) to be reconciled with God. Some (such as Dwayne) take verse 21 to mean that it shows our justification is to get Christ’s righteousness imputed to our account. He basically says what James White does, a Calvinist who says in is book “Roman Catholic Controversy’: “The righteousness of Christ is the actual and real possession of the believer. This is the righteousness a Christian pleads before the judgment throne of God. Christ is our Substitute. Our sins are imputed to him; His righteousness is imputed to us... by God’s grace Christ’s righteousness becomes ours, and we have eternal life because of Christ’s righteousness, not because of our own.” He then claims that there are tons of verses that prove this, and supposedly 2 Cor. 5:21 is the perfect proof for this. Of course, White neither quotes the verses before or after v.21, which shows Paul writing of the necessity of constantly being reconciled with God, or the following verses which speak of the possibility of receiving the grace of God in vain. If one is forensically imputed with Christ’s righteousness, it would be impossible to receive God’s grace in vain. On the contrary, nowhere in the text is the word impute even used!! First, it does not say that our sins are imputed to Christ. Second, there is no hint in this passage that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to our account.

What does v. 21 actually teach on the matter? It does not say that Christ became imputed with sin. He became a sin offering. There are parallels which show this. For example, Paul calls Christ elsewhere a sin offering (Eph. 5:2, Heb. 7:27), a propitiation (Rom. 3:25), and a sacrifice (1 Cor. 5:7, Heb. 9:28). Paul writes in Rom. 8:3-4 that God sent “His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man. in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Paul wrote in the context of Christ being a sin offering that we meet the righteous requirement of the law by us walking according to the Spirit. Something we do. Not something Christ does by imputing his righteousness. Instead, He puts his righteousness into our life. That is exactly what Paul is speaking of in 2 Cor. 5:21. White’s interpretation contradicts Paul’s understanding of Rom. 8:2-4 on the same subject.

Another very relevant point is if even if we granted that the first clause of v. 21 “Christ became sin for us” is to be interpreted as Christ actually becoming imputed with our sin (which I don‘t), it does not necessarily follow that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to our account for our justification. The passage itself does not say that, but Dwayne and others for somehow base their whole interpretation of this verse on an assumption that Paul gives no hint of!!! In fact, the surrounding context belies that interpretation. The second clause of the verse (that has to do with righteousness) is so that “we might become the righteousness of God.” Again, Paul writes that Christ did this so that we might become the righteousness of God. The words ‘might become’ is very important, as it says that it is a possibility, not a guarantee. If one was automatically guaranteed an imputed righteousness as the grounds of our justification , there would be no might or maybe. However, the inspired writer Paul writes that one might become the righteousness. Thus, it is conditional upon our continuing reconciliation with God. (vv. 18-20). (2 Cor. 5:18 points in fact to the sacrament of penance). In fact, this whole section of 2 Cor. 5 & 6 shows that there are impediments that believers might allow to happen that will in fact interrupt our relationship with God.

How might we become the righteousness of God? Paul answers in the following verses by writing that (6:1) “Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain”. Thus, to maintain this righteousness we must work together with God. And we must do this or else we can actually accept his grace in vain. Again, grace not only does not exclude, but actually demands that we work together with him, in order for this not to be in vain. Salvation is a ‘now’ (6:2), not merely a past time event. The whole section (2 Cor. 5:17-6:2) shows salvation is not merely a punctiliar event, but a process, where Christ makes us righteous, and we must cooperate with God for our salvation.

St. Augustine gives a good summary of the section including 2 Cor. 5:21 when he writes: -"That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. This is not the righteousness whereby God is himself righteous, but that whereby we are made righteous by him" (Augustine, On the Spirit and the Letter, ch. 31, Schaff, NPNF, First Series, Vol. 5, p. 97).

The fact is, here Paul shows that justification is that we are made righteous. As we saw earlier in this same chapter, 2 Cor. 5:10, we are judged for all the deeds we do, good or bad. It does not say that God will skip the bad works of those who are justified by the good deeds. If we are in his grace, and there still remains some bad that we must be judged for, and we are to be made the righteousness of Christ as shown in 2 Cor. 5:21, then purgatory is that final process of being made the righteousness of Christ.

Now, in reference to Dwayne’s reference to Phil. 3:8-9, let us look at the context, and a similar, abridged commentary on that, taking from an earlier work http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/ephesians.html :

Phil. 3:8-14Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
My commentary on this passage: abridged:
This passage in context easily shows the need for perseverance in order for one to achieve salvation, including Paul himself, who says that he must press on, and that his salvation is possible and he has not achieved it yet. Ironically, Sola Fide Protestants will use Phil. 3:8-9 (and ignore the surrounding verses) taken out of context, and even use it to promote an imputation of Christ’s righteousness to prove a forensic justification!!! ...

Yes, Paul does write that having a righteousness based on the law is worth nothing before Christ. Righteousness that has its source in the law indeed does not avail. The system of law indeed saves nobody. The Catholic Church agrees with that 100%. The system of grace supplants the system of law. Paul had earlier mentioned how he tried to live by the law as an observant Pharisee, where he attempted to in effect earn salvation (Phil. 3:4-7). He now sees that attempt to gain salvation as rubbish (v. 8). In the immediate context in Phil. 3, we see references for the need to persevere. The righteousness that comes through faith in Christ is vastly better and sufficient to bring salvation. The law wasn’t able to to do that.

The verses following 8 and 9 show indeed that salvation is a future event. He writes that through faith he may know him. Future tense. Yes, Paul knows him now, but it is still a quest to know him in the future (v. 10). In Paul’s mind, this is not guaranteed for him. He must strive to attain the power of his resurrection (v. 10). Paul then writes that he wants to share in his suffering (v. 11). What is the purpose of sharing in his suffering? More rewards in heaven? No. Paul had written in Rom. 8:17 that we would be heirs to be with Christ, provided we suffer with him. Here in Philippians he lays down the same condition. We must imitate Christ. so if possible (v. 11) he may attain the resurrection of the dead. If salvation is merely a one time past event where one’s salvation is secure, Paul’s letter makes absolutely no sense. He spells out not only the salvific efficacy of suffering here (as in Rom. 8:17), but also writes that if possible, he may obtain the resurrection from the dead. It is clearly no guarantee at all. Phil. 3 does not fit Dwayne’s theory of an imputation of an alien righteousness of Christ where one’s salvation is set in stone, totally falls by the wayside, when Paul’s uses the words if possible. Paul follows this up in v. 12 by writing that he has not already attained this or am already perfect. He is not perfect in any sense yet. However, if Paul had attained perfection through Christ’s imputed righteousness, he would indeed have achieved perfection. Paul could have written, "practically we sin all the time, but positionally we are perfect". However, Paul does not write this. Instead, he sees his own salvation as something to strive for. He writes that he needs to achieve the end of attaining this resurrection from the dead by making it his own (v. 12). Here he is applying his concept spelled out earlier of working out his salvation with fear and trembling. He must press on in order to achieve this and reach for attaining this goal (vv. 13-14).

Rather than focusing on the good works and suffering of the individual, biblical salvation emphasizes the perfect work of Christ. He is sufficient to make sinners "stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy" (Jude 24). God no longer looks at the person as a defiled sinner, but sees him only in Christ (Ephesians 1:1-14), "holy and blameless before Him" (Ephesians 1:4).

It is not either our good works and suffering or the perfect of Christ, but through our works and suffering that is how the perfect work of Christ is applied. After all, did not Dwayne just quote Hebrews 9? Hebrews 9:13-14 says:

.13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
What does Christ’s work accomplish? The purification of the flesh. In other words, what he did on the cross does not accomplish a covering over our sins with an imputed righteousness, but a true, purification, or cleansing. Works are no longer dead. But the works that we have are alive, and is the means to accomplish our salvation. If we are not truly purified before we meet God, then Heb. 9 does not apply, and Paul is not telling us the truth. So why Dwayne is pointing to that passage is beyond me. However, if before we die we are still in his grace, and the sanctification is truly not complete, in order for this Hebrews passage to really apply, this purification must take place. A covering over of our sins that God ignores, because our works are only filthy rags, is totally repudiated by this Hebrews passage that he himself brings up.

Part of the reason that we say works and suffering are salvific, is because the Bible says so. For example, the following passages are clear on this:

Rom. 8:13-17 13 for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" 16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
1 Pet. 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.
1 Pet 4:17-19 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And "If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?" 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.
Suffering is thus, a means of salvation, according to Paul. Ironically, as ‘proof‘ for non suffering and salvation, Dwayne actually quotes Romans 8:15, which says we call ‘Abba, Father‘, as proof that we don‘t need to work or suffer for our salvation. This is right in the midst of a passage which says that we must by God‘s Spirit put to death the deeds of the flesh, or we will not live, and go to hell. And of course Paul is speaking about eternal salvation. And he is indeed our Father, in which he adopts us. But he lays down conditions to achieve salvation. We must put to death the deeds of the flesh, or else we are condemned (v. 13), and he says that the only way that we can be a fellow heir with Christ, is if we suffer (v. 17). That is the only way we can be glorified with him. If we put to death the deeds of the flesh, but imperfectly, we still need some cleansing to match the Hebrews 9 passage, then purgatory is the final application of Romans 8:17, where it says we must suffer with him in order to be glorified with him, as 1 Corinthians 3:15 showed.

The 1st Peter passages also show the necessity of suffering in the flesh to cease from sin (not get covered over from our sins). It also shows that our salvation is not guaranteed, but we must obey the gospel of Christ in our lives, and suffer. In this suffering we are entrusting our souls to a faithful Creator. In purgatory we of course entrust our souls to our Creator, and we know ultimately we will achieve full union with God

Now the Jude 24 passage shows that God is able to present us without blemish to God without us failing. Of course, any suffering that we do, that is salvific, is only accomplished through God’s work. He is able to keep us from falling, but he does not take away our free will. In fact earlier in this letter Jude wrote as a warning to us:

Jude 5-7 5 Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; 7 just as Sodom and Gomor'rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
He gave warning that though he saved a whole people from Egypt, he destroyed many who did not stay in their belief and fell away. The angels fell away, and so can we. He gives a warning to not fall away like those who practiced immorality in Sodom and Gomorrah. Thus, though he is able to keep us from falling, we must cooperate with him in order to do that. We do play a part in our own salvation.

Now, to the passage in Ephesians 1:4 says that we are called to holiness. He calls us to be blameless and holy, in actuality. There is no hint that we are that way because we get imputed with Christ’s righteousness, but we must act in holiness in order to achieve that goal. We will be presented to God as holy and blameless, in actuality only if we are holy and blameless. That is in fact what purgatory accomplishes. Now to the idea that we can not lose our justification, Paul specifically condemns that view that we can attain heaven even though we are impure in and of ourselves, in this very letter Dwayne refers us to:

Eph. 5:3-7 3 But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not associate with them, 8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
What is the purpose of avoiding filthiness, fornication, etc? Because if we act in that fashion we have no inheritance to heaven at all. One who says that your own, actual holiness is not instrumental to salvation, is seen by Paul as deceitful. They are empty words. So unfortunately, Dwayne’s words are proclaimed as ‘empty words’, by Paul. As children of God we must walk in the light. Thus, our works are indeed salvific.

Finally, biblical salvation involves a new birth that results in a new creation (John 3:7; 2 Corinthians 2:17; Galatians 6:17; Ephesians 2:15). A born-again Christian wants to obey God. He is motivated by the love of Christ, not the fear of painful retribution (2 Corinthians 5:14; Romans 8:15).

Of course those passages about Christians being new creations exactly fit the Catholic view, not Dwayne’s view. In Christ we are made new and holy. We are not made so our works, though seemingly nice to us, are filthy rags. We are born anew in the Spirit (Jn. 3:7), not covered over with an imputed righteousness. Now, to persevere in this is our task, so after our initial cleansing, we must attempt to stay cleansed. It is of course in the Spirit that we are cleansed, but we must maintain that cleansing in cooperation with God. I believe Dwayne is quoting Gal. 6:15, which says we are a new creation. We are a new creation, not an old creation, merely covered over with an imputed righteousness. Now, that still shows that pursuit of holiness is still necessary to maintain being that new creation. Paul specifically writes earlier in this very chapter on the necessity of works in salvation:

Gal. 6:7-9 7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.
Thus, the only way to reap eternal life is if we sow to the Spirit. If instead we sow to the flesh, we reap corruption, or eternal punishment. We will only reap eternal life if we are involved in and persevere in well-doing. If we do not, we reap eternal punishment. Thus, the guarantee that Dwayne promises is shown not to be true in the very chapters that he points us to (we just looked at the context of 2 Corinthians 5 as well)!

Do Catholics Still Believe in Purgatory?
Many modern Catholics think of purgatory as a relic from the Dark Ages, which they would just as soon forget. Some Catholics even believe that purgatory is no longer a Roman Catholic doctrine.

Of course there are many uninformed Catholics who might state that, but then of course there are some Catholics who do not practice or know their faith, unfortunately

Despite popular opinion, however, purgatory is still an official dogma of the Roman Catholic Church and an essential part of the Roman Catholic plan of salvation. The Church affirmed the existence of purgatory at each of the last three ecumenical councils: Trent, Vatican I, and Vatican II. The latter council described purgatory as a place where the souls of the dead make expiation "in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." According to Vatican II, "in purgatory the souls of those ‘who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions’ are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt." The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes purgatory as place of "cleansing fire."[1031]
Belief in the existence of purgatory is also expressed at every Mass. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, prayers are offered for the dead. Usually the Mass itself is also offered for someone suffering in purgatory. The person’s name is announced or published in the Sunday bulletin. Each year, in fact, on the anniversary of the death of the last pope, the present pope offers Mass for the souls of his two predecessors who are, presumably, still suffering in purgatory.

It is true that purgatory is still an official dogma of the Catholic Church, and is in fact important in understanding the Biblical plan of salvation. It is a doctrine that has been taught since the foundation of the Church and will not be done away with in its teaching. It is an infallible dogma. It is based on both Scripture and tradition, as it has been believed since the foundation of Christianity. We see this for example in St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who wrote this in the 4th century:

7. Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ(8); for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed. 8. Then, after the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless service, is completed, over that sacrifice of propitiation(9) we entreat God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world(1); for kings; for soldiers and allies; for the sick; for the afflicted; and, in a word, for all who stand in need of succour we all pray and offer this sacrifice. 9. Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition(2). Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls(3), for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth. 10. And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that many say, what is a soul profited, which departs from this world either with sins, or without sins, if it be commemorated in the prayer? For if a king were to banish certain who had given him of-fence, and then those who belong to them(4) should weave a crown and offer it to him on behalf of those under punishment, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we, when we offer to Him our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners, weave no crown, but offer up Christ sacrificed for our sins(5), propitiating our merciful God for them as well as for ourselves. Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, series II, vol. 7, p. 154, Catechetical Lectures, On the Mysteries, 23, 7,8.
Thus, the Fathers saw the need to offer the sacrifice of the Eucharist as a propitiatory sacrifice. These prayers took place because the Fathers saw both Scripture and tradition as teaching purgatory, including the scriptures Dwayne has attempted to use against purgatory. They realize that those Scriptures say absolutely nothing against purgatory, and these Fathers accept the tradition of the apostles that the sacrifice of the Eucharist, was to be offered on behalf of people. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, is offered for the sake of sinners. The one-time sacrifice of the cross is renewed in the Eucharistic sacrifice, offered to remit sins, is a tradition that dates back to the apostles. For a thorough study of the biblical soundness of the Eucharistic sacrifice, I refer you to this url: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/sacrifice.html. It is a detailed study of the issue of that important issue. This sacrifice is reflected for example in the following passages found in Hebrews. For example, Heb. 10:24-29:
24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?
Notice that here, he says that we must not forsake the assembling together. That is the means of worshipping God. And that if one sins deliberately (not going to the assembling of believers, which is the Mass), then there no longer remains a sacrifice of sins. Thus, it is a mortal sin, to cut one off from the worship of God. The negative that Paul states is the fact that if one forsakes the assembling together, they do not have the sacrifice for sins. Thus, the direct positive inference from that statement, is that if they have not committed this sin, and they continue to worship, there is a sacrifice for sins. And so what does this offering do? This sacrifice is offered for the remission of sins. One actually spurns the Son of God and profanes the blood of the covenant when he commits the sin of absenting himself from the Sacrifice of the Mass (vv. 24-26). We must remember that the phrase blood of the covenant is used elsewhere in the New Testament only when Christ instituted the Eucharist (Luke 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:20, Mt. 26:28, Mk. 14:24). And what does this sacrifice do but remit sins? Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 26:28:
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out (or KJV translates shed) for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Thus, the blood of the Eucharist is given for the forgiveness, or remission of sins. That is what the sacrifice does. Thus, Hebrews 10 clearly teaches of the Eucharist as the sacrifice for sins.

We see even further hints of this in Hebrews 9:22-24

22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
This allusion to the very institution of the Eucharist shows that the shedding of blood in the Eucharist forgives sins. Now, Christ is not repeatedly killed, as the animals of the Old Covenant were, but the once and for all sacrifice is once and for all-time, an eternal present, offering of himself to the Father, on behalf of sinners who need their sins forgiven. The verb (shed, or poured out, and forgiveness of sins) in Hebrews 9:22 is used of the Eucharist by Christ himself (translated as poured out, or shed), in both Paul, Matthew, Mark and Luke, given above. That forgives sins.

Is there any more evidence that here Paul is speaking about the Eucharistic sacrifice? Verse 23 drives home this point even more for those missing it in v. 22. Why do I say that? Well, right after writing that the shedding of blood (as given in the Eucharist) remits sins, he amplifies this in v. 23. He then compares the sacrifice that he is speaking of as heavenly things that are to be purified by rites, to the old sacrifices. Now there is a purification with better sacrifices. There is in fact right now better sacrifices than that was under the law, according to Paul. The Old Sacrifices of the Old Covenant were imperfect. Notice that now there is a plurality of sacrifices. How can there not be a plurality of sacrifices unless there is a repetition of sacrifice? Thus, the charge that there can be no longer sacrifice or repetition of sacrifice is repudiated by Paul’s statement here in v. 23. Also, v. 24 shows that the sacrifice is made effective by Christ appearing before God the Father presenting this offering. The power of the Eucharist sacrifice is drawn from Christ‘s once and for all sacrifice.

Here are a couple of other passages.

Heb. 8:1-31 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.
Heb. 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.
These other passages show that Christ is a high Priest, does continue to offer gifts and sacrifices, which make present his once and for all sacrifice. We also see that there is an altar, which means that we have a sacrifice which we partake of, that those who reject Christ's sacrifice have no right to eat. Of course those who eat the Eucharist, partake of the once and for all sacrifice. But here is a sacrifice for sins. Now, this shows that the sacrifice of the Eucharist is used to forgive sins. Now, I only touch on this here, but for a thorough study of Hebrews and the Eucharist, I point you to the study above mentioned.

We see that the concept of offering for the sins of others is explicitly taught in Scripture. We see that this idea has further precedent in the Old Testament. For example, Job offered sacrifices on behalf of his own sons and daughters. This was done so they could be forgiven sins. For example, see Job 1:4-5:

4: His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each on his day; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5: And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually.
We see that Job offered sacrifice, which then were burnt offerings, on behalf of his own sons and daughters. Job continued to offer sacrifice for the sins of his sons and daughters. Job thought that they would be forgiven those sins, if he offered these sacrifices on behalf of them. Now of course, we realize that ultimately, those burnt offerings point to the sacrifice of Christ.
Now, in reference to prayers for the dead, this is not a Catholic invention of the medieval ages, but even predates Christianity. The Jewish people accepted the need for a purgatory. Now in the Scriptures of 2nd Macc. 12:44-46, we see this reflected:
43: He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. 44: For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45: But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.
We see the mention of the resurrection, which points to belief in the resurrection of the dead, which is more explicit in 2nd Maccabees of the Old Testament, than any other book of the Old Testament. But here we see that prior to Christ, there is an explicit reference to sacrifices and prayers for those who have died in godliness, but still had sins on their soul. This sacrifice was offered on their behalf. The prayer was a looking to the splendid reward once the sins are forgiven. There is a recognition of this need for purgatory. They need to be delivered from the consequences of those sins before they would be able to achieve the resurrection.

Now this book is Scripture, and is regarded as Scripture, and had always been considered as Scripture by the Church for 15 centuries. The Church Fathers saw this book as Scripture. You will not see any Church Father ever term this book as uninspired. Luther did not like this reference to purgatory so he termed this book as uninspired, throwing away 15 centuries of the Fathers as seeing this book as inspired Scripture. Any claim that that individual Fathers did not see these books as inspired, is refuted by the following study: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/deut.html. Christianity saw these books as inspired Scripture.

In fact, the book of Hebrews even refers to this specific book. In Hebrews 11:35, we see the reference to those who were tortured refused to accept release so that they might rise again to a better life. This is an explicit reference to 2nd Maccabees 7, where people died rather than eat food that under the law they were banned from eating. They died, looking forward to the resurrection of life. In fact, references to the resurrection, is found more in 2nd Maccabees than in all the other Old Testament books combined. This book speaks clearly also on purgatory, and this is inspired Scripture.

For further documentation on the issue, when the time of Christ came, there were already set prayers for the dead. As Father James Meagher notes:

The Rabbis of the time of Christ made a distinction between the One, “The suffering,” and the Avel, “The mourner.” The first applied to the day of the funeral, and the seven following days, the latter to the month following the funeral. The prayers for the dead were said in the synagogue, or elsewhere. A strict rule was laid down for the High Priest. (Lev. 21:10-12). It was customary to say “May we be thy expiation,” or “Let us suffer what ought to have fallen thee,” or, “Let us suffer what ought to have fallen thee,” or, “Let us suffer what ought to have fallen thee,” to which he replied “Be ye blessed forever,” or “Be ye blessed of heaven.” At the “wake,” the friends partook of a ‘mounring meal,” at which no more than ten cups of wine should be drunk. The Mergillath Taanith, “Roll of Feasts,” gives the day on which mourning was forbidden.

They also prayed to the Saints in heaven in the following words “May they in heaven show forth our merit of a peaceable preservation, and may we receive a blessing from the Lord and justice from the God of our salvation and good understanding in the sight of man.” (footnote references taken from Ter. Ber. II. 1) Father James L. Meager, D.D. How Christ Said the First Mass, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Il. 1984, first copyright, 1906, by Christian Press Association Publishing Company, New York, pp. 274-275.

Jews have prayers for the dead even now, examples which can be found here: http://www.ou.org/yerushalayim/yizkor/laws.htm I bring this up just to show that purgatory was not a Catholic invention.

So we have seen in this study that purgatory is indeed Biblical. Dwayne’s Scriptures do not disprove purgatory but in some cases have even shown the reason that purgatory is necessary. I have shown through Scripture that God’s holiness demands this. I have shown that the concept of justification that Dwayne has presented is a misreading of Scripture. I have shown that Scriptures do point to this doctrine, even if there is no such word as ‘purgatory’ in Scripture. And we have seen that purgatory was not a ‘Roman Catholic’ invention, but believed by Jews even before the time of Christ, and the Christian Church has believed it since its inception.

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