Before we look at those 3 scriptures, we need to see what the Roman Catholic church teaches about Purgatory. Here is a quote from The Catechism of the Catholic Church: “All who die in God’s grace, but still IMPERFECTLY PURIFIED, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; by PURIFICATION, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” They base this “need for PURIFICATION on Revelation 21:27, “But there shall by no means enter it ANYTHING THAT DEFILES, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” So, according to their teaching, Purgatory is not the place where the unbeliever is damned forever in Hell (the “Lake of Fire”; see Revelation 20:15), but a place where the believer is PURIFIED to make him holy and fit for heaven.

The 3 passages in question all refer to unbelievers and their eternal PUNISHMENT in Hell, so the Catholic church does not use them to support their view on Purgatory. Matthew 8:12; 22:13 and 25:30 all say they “will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” In keeping with their view that it is not a place of damnation but of purification they point to 1st Corinthians 3:13-15, “Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by FIRE; and the FIRE will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s WORK IS BURNED, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so AS THROUGH FIRE.” They teach that the believers WORKS are certain SINS that will demand a “purification process in the FIRES OF PURGATORY” to completely make them fit for heaven. Without the purifying fire of purgatory, the believer would not be holy and thus they could not, according to Revelation 21:27, enter heaven.

But what does Scripture teach? Does the Bible teach that a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ needs to undergo a time of purification for certain sins after they die? Absolutely not! We need only cite 2 clear scriptures to refute that erroneous teaching. In Hebrews 1:3 we read, “when He had BY HIMSELF PURGED OUR SINS, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Is this not clear? After Jesus Christ had, by Himself, PURGED (i.e., cleansed) OUR SINS on the cross, He then ascended to heaven and sat down on the right hand of God. The Roman Catholic church teaches that “certain sins” were not purged by Christ, but must be “purged in purgatory” by the believer undergoing suffering for those sins. In other words, they are in essence saying, “Jesus did His part in suffering for some of our sins, but we must do our part in suffering for the rest of our sins.” Hebrews 1:3 does not even hint at the thought that “Jesus only PURGED some of our sins.” The fact is Jesus had ALL OF OUR SINS LAID ON HIM as we see in Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” After all our sins were laid on Him, He suffered the judgment of God for those sins, as we see in 1st Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” And after He suffered God’s wrath for our sins, He laid down His life and “died for our sins” (1st Corinthians 15:3 with John 19:30). And finally, to prove He had truly died, He allowed a Roman soldier to pierce His side and “immediately BLOOD and water came out” (John 19:34). The Bible assures every believer that by His death and shed blood, complete “purification for ALL of our sins” has been made, for we read in 1st John 1:7, “The BLOOD of Jesus Christ His Son CLEANSES US FROM ALL SIN.” So, it is “NOT through FIRE” that a believer is purged (cleansed), but “through Christ’s BLOOD.”  (DO)  (558.3)