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Is There Purgatory Before Heaven or Hell? What Do You Think?

Updated on January 10, 2018

I can’t Enter Heaven unless I’ve lived a Pure Life?

That’s what the handwritten sign informed me as I sat at the red traffic lights on Queen Street. I was turning left down Main Street, my left flashers were blinking but I couldn’t hear the clicking because of the overpowering noise of the loudspeakers.

It was the way the sign was written that got me pondering. What it actually read, in crudely printed red marker ink was…

‘UNLESS YOU LIVE

A PURE LIFE

YOU WILL NOT

ENTER HEAVEN’

The paper signs, there were 4 of them, one on each corner of the crossing, were being waved in front of motorists by four nubile women – there was no mention about what the young women had to do with preventing my entrance to Heaven. On the left corner, the one I was turning, a young man was standing up on a soapbox, shouting into the microphone he was holding in his left hand.

The speakers were just in front and on both sides of him, and the decibel level was so high that I wondered if the windshield was going to withstand the shock, never mind my left ear. As he beckoned us towards him with his right hand, he called on us to forget sin otherwise we would all be bound for Hell. I should be OK for an entry ticket, I thought; at my age sin was a distant memory.

For a month the Watchtower convention owned the city; two weeks for the French speaking Jehovah’s Witnesses, and two weeks for the English speakers. But the man on the soapbox wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness. He was from another religion that made it a habit to come out during the Witnesses visits, possibly to annoy them or perhaps in order that the city wouldn’t completely forget about the speaker’s religious beliefs.

By the time the lights had turned to green and I’d moved into the centre of the road, which coincidentally was the cone of convergence for both speakers, and waited for a chance to turn, my brain was on the point of exploding. I was halfway down Main Street before I remembered what I was pondering.

When I attend church I pray and listen to the minister’s sermons. I also sing hymns and at Communion, I confess all my sins and look forward to entering the Kingdom of Heaven – but the sign had me wandering what heaven was.

The sign had read ‘ENTER HEAVEN’. But just what was it I couldn’t ‘ENTER’?

How do you visualise Heaven?

Do you think you will become an angel, halo supplied, and flutter from cloud to cloud trying to avoid the billions of other angels - perhaps playing a harp, for all eternity? If Heaven is like that it is going to be hard on the hearing.

Do you think that you will come back to earth – but in a classier neighbourhood, after a few hundred years?

Are you going to come back to earth immediately as a ghost – or perhaps be transmogrified?

After Judgement Day do you believe Heaven will be a mirror image of earth, but without any evil?

Or do you think you'll do some space travelling and go back to the planet we first came from in Noah's ark? If so, how far into space will 40 days and 40 nights take you? Could 40 days and 40 nights take you to Mars?

How do you see the Hereafter?

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    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Cat R: I know the feeling. We decided the other night that the only thing we lack in our particular part of earthly heaven, is money. Thanks for the comment Cat R.

    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 5 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      I bought the house because of the view of that very spot, the size of the property and of the house. I ignored the older house, the lousy renovation skills and the creme carpet (having kids and critters) for that view I soon would make even better!

      I never regretted it!

      On a bad day, that's all I need!

    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      drbj: That sounds like something my Father would have said as well drbj. My Father is probably giving the angels a telling of for not folding their wings properly. Thanks for reading and commenting drbj.

    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Cat R: Strangely enough, Cat R, we were sitting out on the back deck this evening watching and listening to the sparrow, swallow, robin and dove chicks. The light was a delicate rose shade over the river and we both agreed that heaven was right there and then. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      My father, bless his heart, used to say, "If I knew where I was going, I wouldn't go." That pretty well sums it up for me, too. Though I know he is in Heaven looking down on his family when he is not joking with the Angels.

    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 5 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      I belief heaven comes in small pieces. My favorite version of it are those short moments of total peace sitting on my back porch and looking across my backyard (it's actually a small farm) at the pond.

    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Mercy and poetry: Thanks for reading and for your wonderful comment, Mercy and poetry.

    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      mckbirdbks: Thanks again young man. I love your 'divine intersection' remark. Perhaps the bulb will light up later.

    • Mercy and poetry profile image

      Mercy and poetry 5 years ago

      I long for love, for the beauty of experience of an all loving environment, the beauty and sense of home in the comfort of God. He is a father, like no other, my soul longs for Him, even if I just see Him, that is heaven for me. What about seeing him call me by name, spending time with him. His amazing glory, pouring light into my heart, unending joy, like a river of life flowing through me, I feel eleveted when I think about Him, He is my joy.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Perhaps divine intersections. I see your question. But no enlightenment.

    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 6 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      mckbirdbks: Thanks for the visit and comment, Mckbirdbks.

      And with divine intervention, no stop signs either.

    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 6 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Liz Bell: Thanks for visiting and commenting Liz. If we're going to be judging fallen angels, I want to be on the jury. Why would angels need streets of gold and jewels - that's what I'd like to know. Of course it is possible that they could melt down the gold and trade it in for cash. But I think that they wouldn't be able to get off the ground being weighed down by all that gold.

      So angels have the same problems as we do, but they're richer with it.

    • John MacNab profile image
      Author

      John MacNab 6 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Dave Mathews: Thank you for reading and commenting, Dave. And thanks for your unique point of view.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      no red lights

    • Liz Bell profile image

      Liz Bell 6 years ago

      I think we will be "like the Angels". And yeah, maybe Heaven might mirror earth. There will be a "new Jerusalem". There will be purity and lots and lots of Jesus I'm sure. And streets of gold.... And crowns, pearly gates, jewels, and lots of music. Oh yeah, and we get to judge Angels. I always wondered which ones. We must be judging fallen Angels, right?

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      For me personally heaven is "HOME!" I have no idea what it looks like but it is my "Home" I am merely here on earth, on a visitor's visa, for a short period of time set by my Father God.

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