Where are the Scriptures in the Bible that discuss Purgatory?
Where are the Scripture passages in the Bible that discuss Purgatory? }
Thanks for the question.
I will answer your question but allow me first to start with a few notes on the doctrine of Purgatory.
Think of sin as a self-inflicted wound in your life.
When we physically hurt ourselves, many times we have to be brought to the hospital and the doctor or nurse will put an alcoholic disinfectant in our cut or wound. It will hurt ... a lot!!! but it's a good hurt; it's a holy hurt, that is needed to make us physically better.
We also have to distinguish between less severe physical injuries where we cut ourselves and require stitches and more severe injuries, like a NASCAR racing driver who gets into a major collision and ends up with third or fourth-degree burns over 90 percent of their body. There are varying degrees of damage that we do to our bodies, not only physically, but spiritually too!
Because Revelation tells us that nothing impure can enter Heaven (Revelation 21:27) and because God Himself is all Holy, we too, have to be all Holy to enter Heaven. To achieve this, any remaining self-inflicted spiritual wounds (meaning self-love) from our pilgrimage on earth has to be burned off, healed, and purified.
If our spiritual injuries are along the line of just needing stitches, that healing period where our self-love has to be burned off will be short;
but if our self-inflicted injuries are along the line of third or fourth-degree burns, the healing process will take longer.
Saints in the past have had private revelations from the souls in Purgatory. They, (the Holy Souls in Purgatory), have shared that, while the (healing|burning) fires of God's Love in Purgatory are painful (Hebrews 12:29, Exodus 3:1-6), at the same time they had an internal, burning joy because they knew they were being conformed to the image of God and their final destiny would be Total Union with Him.
Instead of the alcoholic disinfectant that the doctor gave us to heal our physical injuries so we can re-enter the Earthly world again, in Purgatory, we experience a holy, healing pain under Jesus' Care which purifies our souls and prepares us to enter Eternal Life with God who is all Holy. Our prayers and good works can also help the Holy Souls currently in Purgatory by 1.) purifying their souls and 2.) preparing them to enter Eternal Life with God, who is all Holy.
Interested in helping the Saved, Holy Souls in Purgatory?
Think of the number of saved Faithful Departed who have passed from this life to the next since 33 A.D.: many with major spiritual injuries. There's a lot! This is why praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is very important — and they can't wait to be purified for Heaven! (Revelation 21:27) If there are any Catholics (who live in the United States) reading this answer, who have a strong devotion to praying for the Holy Souls, check out my other website at:
I work with another colleague, Brian Bagley on this. Together we are trying to re-kindle this devotion among the lay faithful and Catholic clergy in praying for the Holy Souls and for those interested. We will send out a FREE Purgatory Prayer Program for you to get started.
It's true that the
word Purgatory doesn't appear in the
Bible (neither do the words Trinity, Incarnation or even Bible). Purgatory is a Latin word and, up until the beginning of the fifth century, Greek was the spoken language among the people. That said, Greeks weren't going to give us a Latin word. Nevertheless, you'll see the sentiments of the teachings on Purgatory from the Early Church Fathers and the Scriptures. What's important is not the word, but the doctrine.
That said, the doctrine of the final
purification of the elect, apart from Heaven or Hell, is clearly taught in both
the Old Testament and the New Testament as attested to in the following Scripture passages:
39 Next day, they came to find Judas (since the necessity was by now urgent) to have the bodies of the fallen taken up and laid to rest among their relatives in their ancestral tombs. 40 But when they found on each of the dead men, under their tunics, objects dedicated to the idols of Jamnia, which the Law prohibits to Jews, it became clear to everyone that this was why these men had lost their lives. 41 All then blessed the ways of the Lord, the upright judge who brings hidden things to light, 42 and gave themselves to prayer, begging that the sin committed might be completely forgiven. Next, the valiant Judas urged the soldiers to keep themselves free from all sin, having seen with their own eyes the effects of the sin of those who had fallen; 43 after this he took a collection from them individually, amounting to nearly two thousand drachmas, and sent it to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice for sin offered, an action altogether fine and noble, prompted by his belief in the resurrection. 44 For had he not expected the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead, 45 whereas if he had in view the splendid recompense reserved for those who make a pious end, the thought was holy and devout. Hence, he had this expiatory sacrifice offered for the dead, so that they might be released from their sin."
Note: Though this book was rejected by the Protestant reformers and therefore is not in Protestant Bibles, one cannot ignore the historical reality of this event and the reality of the words which were said.