ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What the Bible says about Purgatory!

Updated on April 22, 2015

Recently, I read that the Pope said that if you follow him on twitter you'll get time off from purgatory. This article caused quite a controversy when I posted it on my facebook page. Consequently, I decided to write an article explaining exactly why the false doctrine of purgatory is unbiblical and why it is a dangerous doctrine.

I was raised Catholic. My whole family with few exceptions are Catholic. I, however, am not Catholic. One of the doctrines of the Catholic faith that seems to persist tenaciously is the idea of purgatory. Purgatory is the place, according to the Catholic church, where people go who aren't bad enough to be sent to hell but aren't good enough to get into heaven. I don't think the Catholic church talks about purgatory very much today because well, I'm not sure why. In my mind it might be because it completely flies in the face of the sufficiency of Christ's work on the cross and they just don't want to call attention to that. But, that's just my opinion, maybe they do talk about it, I haven't set foot in a Catholic church in decades so I could be wrong. However, I digress, let's look at why the concept of purgatory is unbiblical shall we.

The Bible teaches that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 8. Also, in the book of Revelation chapter 20 verses 12 - 15 scripture states:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Moreover, the book of Revelation in chapter 22 verses 18 & 19 comes with a warning: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Therefore, those who would say that there are some things that we just don't know about that could be true about where we go after we die are stuck with a warning. God has already said that if your name is not written in the book of life that you will end up in the lake of fire and that anyone who takes away or adds to this is deadly mistaken.

Catholic doctrine describes purgatory as such:

Thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned" (CCC 1030–1).

So, according to the Catholic church the concept of purgatory comes from the need for some people to undergo purification. Let's explore this a bit.

Do we need purification if we are saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

The book of Romans in chapter 8 verses 2-4 says:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Furthermore, Jesus said in John 5:24:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

If we have no condemnation then why do we need purification? If we are not saved then according to Jesus we are condemned already:

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The danger of the doctrine of Purgatory is two-fold. One it dilutes and therefore nullifies the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and two it teaches people that they have to work for salvation. Both ideas are unbiblical and heretical.

The scripture clearly states that

Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

It is Christ's finished work on the cross that enables us to have salvation, our works cannot bring us salvation.

Heb 9:25 -28 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hebrews 10: 10-14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

These verses are crystal clear, Christ offered his blood on the cross ONCE and we who accept that sacrifice are perfected forever. If we are perfected forever in God's eyes then why would someone have to pay for their own sins in purgatory?

Do you believe in Purgatory?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      3 years ago from Manhattan

      That's because they don't exist!

    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 

      3 years ago from USA

      I have never seen any scriptural references to purgatory, ever.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Ha ha ha!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      All I have to say is this. Purgatory is real. Clint Eastwood went there and killed all those outlaws.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Sure Esenbee, you can share any of my articles or videos on whatever you like..the more the better ;)

    • Esenbee profile image


      4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      I love this article! May I share it on Google+ and Facebook? Very interesting!!

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      I just followed you; I've been away for awhile but starting to catch up again. I'm sure I will enjoy your articles as well.

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      4 years ago from Rochester, New York

      I have always found your articles helpful Brie and found you an excellent writer. I do hope that you find equal blessing in mine. God bless you, Bob.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Bob, I hope you find it useful in the future.

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      4 years ago from Rochester, New York

      In Bible college, my professor said that we would study the Bible like people of the bank study money. They do not study to see the counterfeits- they study the real thing. Then when a counterfeit shows up the falseness is apparent, so has my learning of Scripture been. I say this to say there are many doctrines I have not studied. I knew little about this before today. All I knew is that a teaching was in the world that denied the Scripture when it came to final destination of sinner and that it never lined up with Scriptural doctrine and the canon that I believe is complete and true.

      Two things are amazing to me. One, that people in general allow a man to declare to them, things that are consequently taken as having more validity than the canon of Scripture. And the second, that so many of the "Christian Community" are willing to allow anyone to diminish the canon of Scripture by adding Apocryphal Scriptures or to say that the canon is not the total whole living word of God. I hear it time and time again. "The King James writers" or some other group has not done its homework and has included falsehoods in the canon. Or they say, that some part of the Apocrypha is valid even when the Scripture is clearly against it. It is my position that once you open the door to any additional writing (other than for a reference point or background knowledge) you open the door to invalidating the whole of Scripture because the canon.

      Scripture is very clear as to the destination of sinners and the destination of those "in Christ." Brie, I found this to be very concise and I believe I now can give clearer arguments regarding this heresy. Voted up and informative, useful. Bob Smith.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)