Since starting to work in the Pro-Life movement I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many great Catholic people. I love their passion for the unborn and it is a real blessing in my life. I get flack from some of my fellow protestants because they say I’m endorsing Catholicism. My answer is always the same: “When enough protestants start actually showing up and getting involved in the work of the pro-life movement then we can talk. Until then I’m pleased to partner with anyone to save babies.”
I truly mean that, but one part of that is being able and willing to voice my disagreement with Catholic doctrine that I believe is unbiblical. I hope this doesn’t offend, but if it does I believe the truth of the gospel is worth it. Note: My mom is Catholic and I know that not all Catholics hold to purgatory.
Purgatory is one of the greatest heresies of the Catholic church. It is completely contrary to the gospel of Christ. It is a payment or work of sanctification that is opposed to the work of grace.
The gospel is simple. We are all sinners and deserving of Hell, but God being rich in mercy made a way for us to be redeemed (bought back). He sent Jesus to die taking upon Himself all of the sins of those who would repent and believe in Him.
To believe that we must then work or do anything else is to add to the gospel and is completely against any teaching of Scripture. Yes, we do works of faith, but that is because of who we are in Christ and not to become who we need to be for Christ.
Here is an analogy: If the neighborhood boy came up to me and said “I’m going to mow your lawn so I can be your son.” I’d tell him that there was no amount of work he could do for me to become my son. Yet, if my son came and said “I’m going to go mow the lawn because I’m your son and I love you.” That is a completely different tale.
We have been adopted into the family of God.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Gal. 4:6
We are His remnant chosen by grace.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6
27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 1: 27-31
Christ is our sanctification! Yes, there is a sense that we work are still being sanctified, but ultimately we have been sanctified in Him!
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:11
There is no need for purgatory. If you have trusted in Jesus Christ then you are already sanctified. To believe there is more that you must do is not the gospel of grace.
I’m no expert on this by any means and if you have questions or arguments from Scripture that prove otherwise then I am open to them, but I urge you to seek the Scriptures for yourself. You don’t have to try to be good enough or better or wait for some future sanctification. God loves you the way your are right now. And guess what. He even likes you. Yes, He likes you. Sure, He wants you to continue to grow into the image of Christ, but if you are in Him then you are His child and He delights in you.
Trust in that truth. Trust in Christ alone.Christ