The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Eternity: Purgatory

Watch MP3 PDF

Do people have to earn their way into Heaven by enduring torment in a place called Purgatory?

If you’ve ever said a prayer for the dead, if you’ve ever lit a candle for a lost loved one, or if you call out to a patron saint to reduce the time a special person has to endure a purifying torment, then you most likely grew up in the Catholic Church. For us Protestants, the idea that there is a place called Purgatory where the dead in Christ endure punishment to make them worthy of Heaven seems alien to us. And yet, such a concept is the bedrock concept behind the Post-Tribulation Rapture view, placing Purgatory on Earth during the Tribulation.

Dr. David Reagan in his newest book, Eternity: Heaven or Hell?, explains more in detail what Purgatory is and shows us from the Scriptures and history that suffering for Christ to gain entry into Heaven is totally unbiblical. I recently interviewed Dr. Reagan concerning this very topic. Here now is the fourth question in this interview series concerning what to expect in the afterlife.

Reagan & Jones

Dr. Reagan: The concept of Purgatory is an absolute and total myth. There is no such thing as Purgatory.

The place called Torments where the unbelievers go is not Purgatory. Purgatory is the idea that believers have to go to a place of torment and believers have to be tormented to be purged of all of their sins before they can be taken into the presence of a Holy God.

To me, Purgatory is a blasphemy of the Lord Jesus Christ, because the Bible teaches that Jesus did everything necessary for us to go to Heaven on the cross. We don’t have to do anything except reach out and receive that gift by putting our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

We are told in 1 John 1:7 that the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cleanse us of all sin. We don’t need to be purged and we don’t need to be tormented, as Jesus delivered us from all of that. The blood of Jesus is sufficient.

Even those who believe in Purgatory, even those who defend it, realize and will admit there is not one verse in the Bible, not one, that substantiates Purgatory. The only place they will point to is the Book of Maccabees where there is a statement about going back to Jerusalem and praying for the souls of the dead people who had died on the battlefield. But, that is one of the many reasons that Maccabees was never accepted by the Jewish people as a canonical book, as a book that was part of the Bible. It was added later on by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, partially to substantiate the concept of Purgatory. But, there is no biblical basis for Purgatory, and the very idea is a blasphemy of Jesus.

Nathan Jones: I’m thankful I don’t have to have relatives light candles to make sure that I get out of Purgatory! Jesus cleansed us on the cross, and that was the only suffering work needed whereby we can go to Heaven.

Read on for an answer to Question #5 on whether unbelievers get second chances to accept Christ after death!


Eternity: Heaven or Hell?Eternity: Heaven or Hell? Book

What will happen when you die? This and many other questions about death and its aftermath are dealt with in this book, based upon biblical answers.

In addition, Dr. Reagan deals with questions pertaining to salvation: Are there many roads to God? Can salvation be earned through good works? Can salvation be lost? He also takes an in-depth look at the resurrection of Jesus, examining the evidence for it and discussing its essentiality to the Christian faith.

Order your copy for $20 (including shipping) today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. Nathan E. Jones

As the Internet Evangelist at Lamb & Lion Ministries, Nathan reaches out to the over 4.5 billion people accessible over the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He also co-hosts the ministry's television program Christ in Prophecy and podcast The Truth Will Set You Free.

7 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Nathan,

    Re: the following…

    "But, that is one of the many reasons that Maccabees was never accepted by the Jewish people as a canonical book, as a book that was part of the Bible."

    Can you please do an article or lead me to a source to understand exactly what these books such as "Maccabees" or "Gospel of Thomas (or whatever it is)" etc. are all about. What is the deal with those books? Who wrote them? Why are the current books of the Bible consider "the" books?


  • I would not be so categorical as Dr Reagan regarding the Purgatory.
    There are a number of saints who had visions and went to visit Heavens, Purgatory and even to Hell: St Catherine of Genoa for example.
    I read the excellent interview book of the mystic Maria Simma ("Let's get us out of here!") who was besought the gift of being visited by many Purgatory's souls seeking for relief, all along her life. I was much convinced.
    In addition I understood why there are more haunting ghosts in protestant countries than in Catholic ones: It is because the prots don't believe in Purgatory and thus neglect to pray for the souls of their deceased relatives.
    To pray for the Purgatory's souls is a way to go straight to Heaven instead to stay for a time in that torment's place

  • Anon,
    Dr. Reagan correctly deals with the single, primary issue of Purgatory and the finished work of Jesus when he said "there is no biblical basis for Purgatory, and the very idea is a blasphemy of Jesus.".

    All the other peripheral issues of Purgatory are moot if one is genuinely saved and firmly grounded in the Word of God.

    You are apparently very much caught up and deceived by the "testimony" of others who, themselves, are deceived by lying spirits, as God does not permit the departed souls to communicate with the living.
    See Luke 16:19-31 where Jesus emphasizes the point that if you don't believe the Word of God alone, there's no point in sending a "saint" back to tell you anything!

    That you are dealing with lying spirits is emphasized in the one place where God sent Samuel back to give Saul the "bad news" for trying to get "answers" from the "other side" by visiting the witch of Endor, instead of obeying what God had already said.
    The point being clearly made as a warning to all is that the Medium was scared off her chair by encountering Samuel instead of her "familiar spirit", ie. a demon, a lying spirit, and she clearly knew the difference!

    1 Timothy 4:1
    "Now the Spirit speakes expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons;"

  • Ah, here you all are!

    I was reading something about killing flies and purgatory in another thread.

    EI, I heard a story about an account that happened relatively recently where a priest wanted to put a price on a marriage because one of the parties had been divorced. Gee, I wonder which Scripture that one came from. Maybe it was written in Latin?


  • rg Yes, in Latin its a ratbagitis.

    Johann Tetzel, a Roman Catholic preacher, and efficient ‘seller of indulgences’, persuaded the poor to buy their dead babies soul from purgatory with a snappy little ditty as his efficient marketing device.

    “As soon as a coin in the Coffer Rings, a soul from purgatory springs”.

    I was horrified to be told by an elderly (poor) lady that she had been to her priest and bought some cards for the priest to pray for the soul of my mum in law.

    I was gobsmacked! I started to protest, but saw the earnest look on her dear old face, and instead I said ‘that’s very kind of you’.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *