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The question which we are addressing is this.
What is your final destination?
Is it purgatory, hell or heaven?
What does the bible have to say on the matter?
The word purgatory appears nowhere in the entire bible.
Neither does the concept of purgatory, although over a billion people
of just one denomination, the Roman Catholic church, teaches that it exists.
The basic idea is that someone can be prayed out of the purifying
fires of purgatory and be promoted to heaven.
One additional problem is that the bible does not teach that heaven is the ultimate
reward of the true believers.
The promoters of purgatory say that prayers of the living are required
and more importantly those of the priests for this to happen.
The most effective way is to pay the professional priests to pray you out
of this state, by performing a Mass for Ďthe soul of the faithfully departedí.
To put it crudely it matters not what sort of life you have led
as long as you can pay someone to pray, all will be well.
The more you pay the quicker will be your release from purgatory.
The very concept of celebrating a Mass is wrong and totally against scripture.
There is the problem of idolatry as it involves bowing down and kneeling to a wafer,
in addition to many other blasphemous things.
Every time that a mass is celebrated what is happening is the priest is celebrating
the crucifixion of Christ one more time.
The Bible however states that Christ died just once and not many times as per
the whim of any human/Satan agency.
Hebrews 9:28† So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;
and unto them that look for him shall he appear
the second time without sin unto salvation.
Hebrews 10:10† By the which will we are sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
1 Peter 3:18† For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,
the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Limbo -† Limbus Patris
In addition to hell there is the idea of Limbo, where the innocent,
but unpurified babies go. The principle is the same they can be prayed
out of Limbo -† Limbus Patris. This is sort of a midway point between
hell and purgatory.
Once again scripture mentions no such place.
The English word Hell hides the fact that there are several different
words in the bible which are translated hell.
The break down is as follows.
Sheol is Hebrew
Strongs No 07592
It is translated as hell†† 31 times.
It is translated as grave 31 times.
It is translated as pit†††† 3 times.
AV-grave 31, hell 31, pit 3; 65
1) sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit
1a) the underworld
1b) Sheol-the OT designation for the abode of the dead
1b1) place of no return
1b2) without praise of God
1b3) wicked sent there for punishment
1b4) righteous not abandoned to it
1b5) of the place of exile (fig)
1b6) of extreme degradation in sin
Gehenna or the Gehenna of fire.
Strongs No 1067
1) Hell is the place of the future punishment
call "Gehenna" or "Gehenna of fire".
This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem,
where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned;
a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.
It appears 11 times in the bible.
Christ used it 10 of the 11 times
and it is always translated hell.
The origin of the word is Hebrew and refers
to the valley of Hinnon which was a public constantly burning rubbish dump.
Christ did not mention it to frighten people but rather to ensure
that they got the message that it was very real. In fact as real
as the burning rubbish dump which His hearers would have been fully aware.
Strongs No 5020 (the deepest abyss of Hell); ; v
AV-cast down to hell 1; 1
1) the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark,
regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead,
where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds;
it answers to Gehenna of the Jews
2) to thrust down to Tartarus, to hold captive in Tartarus
This word which appears only once in the bible refers to the place of torment
to which the rebellious angels are confined until their judgement.
2 Peter 2:4† For if God spared not the angels that sinned,
but cast them down to hell,
and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
Strongs No 86 AV-hell 10, grave 1; 11
2. The Greek word hades of the New Testament has the same scope
of signification as sheol of the Old Testament.
It is a prison #1 Peter 3:19
with gates and bars and locks #Matthew 16:18 Re 1:18
and it is downward #Matthew 11:23 Lu 10:15
The righteous and the wicked are separated.
The blessed dead are in that part of hades called
paradise #Luke 23:43
They are also said to be in Abrahamís bosom #Luke 16:22
All these scriptures give no suggestion whatsoever, that any one can be prayed
out of any of the areas designated as Ďhellí.
This is a spurious non-scriptural teaching.
The word heaven† appears 551 times in the bible.
The word heavens appears 127 times in the bible.
It can refer to the atmosphere surrounding the earth.
Genesis 1:20† And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly
the moving creature that hath life,
and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
It can refer to the vast area of the universe.
Genesis 1:14† And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament
of the heaven to divide the day from the night;
and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Genesis 1:15† And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven
to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Genesis 1:17† And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
It can refer to the area of Gods throne and its surrounding area.
2 Chronicles 6:39† Then hear thou from the heavens,
even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications,
and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.
2 Chronicles 6:33† Then hear thou from the heavens,
even from thy dwelling place,
and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for;
that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee,
as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house
which I have built is called by thy name.
The teaching that our final destination is heaven promotes the idea that
we will be in heaven where God is at present.
The main problem is that while man is trying desperately to get to heaven
God is patiently waiting to come to earth.
I wonder if while on the way to heaven these proponents of destination
heaven pass the Eternal on His way down to earth what would they do?
Christ returns to the Earth with his bride the New Jerusalem.
Whatever interim steps there might be, the final destination is the earth.
Revelation 21:2† And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down from God out of heaven,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3† And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying,
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them,
and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them,
and be their God.
9 ††And there came unto me one of the seven angels which
had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues,
and talked with me, saying, Come hither,
I will shew thee the bride, the Lambís wife.
10† And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain,
and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
At this time, the earth is the final destination of the Eternal God and his created mankind.
Psalm 37:11† But the meek shall inherit the earth;
and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Matthew 5:5† Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
It is not a small thing that the Creator God gave up his splendour
of His heavenly abode to come to earth.
He came humble and despised the first time.
Isaiah 53:3† He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
The good news is that His second coming will be with power and great glory.
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse;
and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True,
and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 †His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns;
and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 †And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:
and his name is called The Word of God.
14 †And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses,
clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15† And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:
and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress
of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16† And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
In the following scriptures we see that we will get an inheritance
and that our reward is reserved in heaven for us.
We also see that this will be awarded when Christ returns.
Colossians 3:24† Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward
of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
1 Peter 1:4† To an inheritance incorruptible,
and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Revelation 22:12† And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be.
Because the record of our reward/inheritance is kept in heaven,
it does not mean that we will go to heaven any more than if the document
of a property which we will inherit is held in a bank that we will go to live
in the bank.
Heaven is where the records, the books are kept.
Revelation 20:12† And I saw the dead, small and great,
stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened,
which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things
which were written in the books, according to their works.
Many of us think of having a little luxury apartment of gold and precious stones etc.,
in the kingdom of God as our reward.
Many think of our inheritance as a place,
and even use scripture to justify this belief.
Darby John 14:2† In my Fatherís house there are many abodes;
were it not so, I had told you: for I go to prepare you a place;
We have to ask what is the Fatherís house?
The Fatherís house is where He dwells.
We have already quoted above where the Eternal dwells in Revelation 21.
The abodes are the people and their position in the New Jerusalem.
We do not to concern ourselves with praying for the dead,
but rather to diligently seek to save as many people as we can.
Salvation requires a freewill decision of the individual to accept Christ and to repent,
not a remote decision by others to manipulate their removal from punishment by prayer.
We have to be careful not to judge others, as we have absolutely no idea
how they will be judged by the Eternal.
First of all it is not our business.
Secondly we are making a spiritual judgment which we are not equipped to make.
Matthew 7:1† Judge not, that ye be not judged.
We can be assured that all will be judged mercifully and in love.
We might find that many whom we might condemn because they do not
conform to our concepts are in a much higher position in the kingdom
of God than, we who have been given so much, while they have been given
so very little.
Our goal is to be a part of the New Jerusalem and to help and encourage
any who are brought to us to walk in the light of Truth.
John 14:6† Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
What is of critical importance is not what is our destination,
but rather what am I?
Our goal is to be a spirit filled obedient believer.
If we are genuine ĎChristiansí,
we will find that right now we already experience a little bit
of heaven right here on earth in the midst of the chaos, and confusion
which surrounds us, because the Peace of God dwells in us.
We need to greatly appreciate that repentant obedient believers already
have the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in them.
Although in our experience we only have a small taste of this,
it does not negate the fact this is the most stupendous thing possible,
and cannot be remotely compared to living in any building no matter
We cannot conceive what it will be like when we experience this in its fullness.
We must remember that although we might feel that we know everything
already we only see through a glass darkly.
1 Corinthians 13:12† For now we see through a glass, darkly;
but then face to face: now I know in part;
but then shall I know even as also I am known.
The wonderful truth is that:
1 Corinthians 2:9† But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Our Final destination is to be the bride of Christ, a part of the New Jerusalem.
The only way out of this dilemma is Jesus Christ.
†††††††† He is the only way of escape.
†††††††††††††††† Praise the Lord.
††††††††† Come soon Lord Jesus.
(Bible Explanations, Messages of Life, Hope & Encouragement)