Saturday, October 13, 2012

Who Cleanses Us From Sin? (Petillo Part 1)

Petillo, in another article posted Thursday, October 11, 2012, goes on about the cleansing from sin and, though he does not mention the name, "Purgatory" as well.  Whereas his article is relatively short and a comment response on his blog would have been sufficient - he does not allow for comments on his blog.  I'll discuss that in another posting myself. 
The Bible teaches that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ cleanses us from all defilement, sin, iniquity and transgression. (Hebrews 1:3 and Colossians 1:22).  Jesus has cleansed us from our sins and sat down at the right hand of God the Father.  Jesus presents us holy, free of reproach and blame. 
Yes, and it is Jesus who cleanses us through the "fires of Purgatory" too.  It is still Jesus who presents us to the Father, now "free of reproach and blame."
However, Rome teaches that if we die in the state of grace and friendship we will undergo purification to achieve holiness and enter the joy of heaven (CCC 1030).  
Yes, and we know that nothing unclean can enter heaven - so when we have sins which we have not confessed - these must be cleansed before we are allowed "in."
Are we walking in line with Jesus?  
If we are walking with the Church He founded and seeking forgiveness from the successors of the men whom He empowered to forgive or retain sins - then yes.  John 20:23 - "If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (NIV)
Do we repent of all our sins when we first commit them? 
When we first commit them?  While I think that is possible, I would say it is not typical.  Repentance tends to come after reflection - though I could see it happening as the sin is committed.  Repentance is one thing, forgiveness is another.  God provided us with the means of getting our sins forgiven through men whom He empowered to do so.
Do we live holy lives so we will not have to make the excuse of a purification after we die? 
We strive to live holy lives because we wish to please our Lord, our Savior and God.  If it is judged that we must be further purified before entering Heaven, then sobeit - God is sovereign.
Do we know that Jesus cleansed us from all of sin now and how we can live triumphantly and not some purification after we die? 
If there were no such thing as purification after death, or sins being forgiven in the next life, then why does Scripture make mention of such things?
May we contemplate what is being said.  Amen.
Yes!  May we?  I hope we do and I hope we objectively look at what has been said and consider the following too...
From the "Scripture Catholic" website:
Matt. 5:26,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 – Jesus teaches us, “Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” The word “opponent” (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:8) who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10), and God is the judge. If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we won’t get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This “prison” is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.
Matt. 5:48 - Jesus says, "be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a transitional state we call purgatory.
Matt. 12:32 – Jesus says, “And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next.” Jesus thus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. The phrase “in the next” (from the Greek “en to mellonti”) generally refers to the afterlife (see, for example, Mark 10.30; Luke 18.30; 20.34-35; Eph. 1.21 for similar language). Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory.
Luke 12:47-48 - when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This state is not heaven or hell, because in heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.
Luke 16:19-31 - in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God's graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.
1 Cor. 15:29-30 - Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the dead’s behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.
Phil. 2:10 - every knee bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and "under the earth" which is the realm of the righteous dead, or purgatory.
2 Tim. 1:16-18 - Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him “on that day.” Paul’s use of “that day” demonstrates its eschatological usage (see, for example, Rom. 2.5,16; 1 Cor. 1.8; 3.13; 5.5; 2 Cor. 1.14; Phil. 1.6,10; 2.16; 1 Thess. 5.2,4,5,8; 2 Thess. 2.2,3; 2 Tim. 4.8). Of course, there is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in purgatory.
Heb. 12:14 - without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed during our lives, in the transitional state of purgatory.
Heb. 12:23 - the spirits of just men who died in godliness are "made" perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect. They are made perfect after their death. But those in heaven are already perfect, and those in hell can no longer be made perfect. These spirits are in purgatory.
1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 - Jesus preached to the spirits in the "prison." These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.
Rev. 21:4 - God shall wipe away their tears, and there will be no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth. Note the elimination of tears and pain only occurs at the end of time. But there is no morning or pain in heaven, and God will not wipe away their tears in hell. These are the souls experiencing purgatory.
Rev. 21:27 - nothing unclean shall enter heaven. The word “unclean” comes from the Greek word “koinon” which refers to a spiritual corruption. Even the propensity to sin is spiritually corrupt, or considered unclean, and must be purified before entering heaven. It is amazing how many Protestants do not want to believe in purgatory. Purgatory exists because of the mercy of God. If there were no purgatory, this would also likely mean no salvation for most people. God is merciful indeed.
Luke 23:43 – many Protestants argue that, because Jesus sent the good thief right to heaven, there can be no purgatory. There are several rebuttals. First, when Jesus uses the word "paradise,” He did not mean heaven. Paradise, from the Hebrew "sheol," meant the realm of the righteous dead. This was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lord's resurrection. Second, since there was no punctuation in the original manuscript, Jesus’ statement “I say to you today you will be with me in paradise” does not mean there was a comma after the first word “you.” This means Jesus could have said, “I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise” (meaning, Jesus could have emphasized with exclamation his statement was “today” or “now,” and that some time in the future the good thief would go to heaven). Third, even if the thief went straight to heaven, this does not prove there is no purgatory (those who are fully sanctified in this life – perhaps by a bloody and repentant death – could be ready for admission in to heaven).
Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 - here are some examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time. The Jewish understanding of these practices was that the prayers freed the souls from their painful state of purification, and expedited their journey to God.
Baruch 3:4 - Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell. These dead are in purgatory.
Zech. 9:11 - God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls purgatory.
2 Macc. 12:43-45 - the prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. Those in heaven have no sin, and those in hell can no longer be freed from sin. They are in purgatory. 
May God richly bless those who have been led here.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

2 comments:

  1. Mr. Petillo has responded to this entry at this address:  http://lcf1689.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-apologetical-and-reformed-response-to.html however, I've linked to his blog at least three times in the last two weeks - AND IT KEEPS MOVING!   He also (still) does not allow for comments to be made on his articles on his blog - what is he so afraid of?  Why does his blog keep "disappearing" and moving to wholly different locations?  Is he afraid of people actually reading and responding to him?  I'll prepare a response to his response, but don't count on the above link staying active very long (based on the last two weeks).

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  2. I went there.  It was there.  His response to you, imho, is basically him saying he's right, you're wrong.  He's his own pope.  We see it all the time.  I like the fact that you are trying, yet again, to explain this concept of Catholic teaching although to one who not only does not have an open mind but has all but said Catholics are not "true Christians" (with the exception, of course, of those saved "despite" the Church).

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