Reformation Remembrance – Purgatory

Purgatory is all about comfort.  Would you find comfort in knowing that you wouldn’t have to work off all of the satisfaction for your sins?  It makes sense to our fallen logic.  I just need more time.  If I could only have more time, I could please my holy God.  I could reach perfection with a little work.  The Roman Catholic System of Penance has three parts – contrition (sorrow over sin), confession, and satisfaction.  God is the only one who can forgive sins, but I have to make up for the wrong that I have done.  Last week, when we looked at indulgences, we talked about how it was an easy jump in logic to skip the first two parts of penance and assume God’s forgiveness.  What do I need to do to put this sin behind me and make satisfaction for my sin?  The problem with this whole train of thought is that it’s not found anywhere in the Bible.  Purgatory is all about comfort – comfort misplaced.  That first question is terrible and incorrectly assumes that we can do something that could cover even one sin.  The blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin.  Jesus has made all the satisfaction that we could ever need.  We can never work off any of our sin.  There is no comfort in purgatory.  The only place to put our hope is Jesus.

All of that said, it can be useful to pause and consider the false teaching of purgatory.  See the misplaced hope in a place that doesn’t exist.  The purpose of the Reformation was to destroy these false teachings and bring the truth of Scripture into the light.  This Bible class was presented on Saints Triumphant Sunday.  Our eternal life in heaven is a supreme contrast to the miserable lie of purgatory.

Please click here for the Smalcald Article on purgatory.

Please click here for the class slides.