Believers Who Die

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Believers Who Die

Post  Fenny West on Wed 18 Jun 2008, 10:35 am


Of Purgatory, Heaven and Hell

1.Is Purgatory a Biblical theology?

‘Catholics believe that Purgatory is a step before Heaven where believers are cleaned up for the "wedding banquet" of the Lord in Heaven.

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. (Catechism 1030)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

There is no biblical basis for this doctrine.

God wants us to know for sure that we are saved or not saved. if we are not saved He wants us to accept Jesus and be clothe with the righteousness of God. From then on when God the Father looks at us He sees Jesus. And if we die, we go straight to His bosom. There is no limbo or purgatory. This was why Paul said,’ for I am pressed by the two, having the desire to depart, and to be with Christ, for it is far better,….absent from the body present with the Lord.
21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: NKJ Philippians
21If I live, it will be for Christ, and if I die, I will gain even more. 22I don't know what to choose. I could keep on living and doing something useful. 23It is a hard choice to make. I want to die and be with Christ, because that would be much better. Philippians1:21-23
Contemporary English Version
Here Paul speaks of his struggle between two choices- to die and be with Christ or to stay and continue to be fruitful and help the churches.
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.2 Cor.5:8
Here again he says he is willing to be absent from the body and be present with the Lord.


Undoubtedly after salvation we do sin from time to time and what we need to do about that is to repent and forsake the sin. But at salvation you are washed and you are clean and accepted in the beloved
8 Suppose we claim we are without sin. Then we are fooling ourselves. The truth is not in us. 9 But God is faithful and fair. If we admit that we have sinned, he will forgive us our sins. He will forgive every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure. NIV

2.What happened to people who died in the Old Testament?

People who died in the Old Testament were judged according to what they knew.

19 By means of the Spirit, Christ went and preached to the spirits in prison. 20 Long ago they did not obey. God was patient while Noah was building the ark. He waited, but only a few people went into the ark. A total of eight were saved by means of water. 1Pet3:19

19-22He went and proclaimed God's salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn't listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus' resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He's standing right alongside God, and what he says goes. 1Pet3:19

the Message

I believe from the scripture above that since Christ went to preach to the spirits in prison, this must have been after His death, before the resurrection and those he preached to must have been those who died in the Old Testament. Those who believed were accepted and marched out as He disarmed principalities and powers and triumphed over them.

3.What will happen to non-believers when they die?

Although there is a Judgment Day, the experience of hell and hell itself begins after death for those who do not believe.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Heb9:27

This parable also gives us a picture of the reality of hell for those who do not believe and die.
1And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
2And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
3Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
4I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
5So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
6And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
7Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
8And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
9And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
10He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
11If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
14And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
15And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
16The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
17And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
18Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


4.Is it possible to travel between heaven and hell?

The parable above answers the question. You cannot travel between heaven and hell. God can show you what happens in hell or heaven in a vision, but heaven is a place for believers and hell is a place for those who do not believe.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also John14:1-3 NIV
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:1Thes4:16
And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. . 2Tim 4:18
20-21But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him Phil3:20
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (NKJ)


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Fenny West
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