Usually, when a choice is presented to someone, it can be reduced to two simple options; it’s either yes or no, good or bad, right or wrong. There are no two ways about that. You can’t be an in-betweener. You cannot sit on the fence. However, liberals believe in a third option. Not everything should be rigid. Why the need for dualistic thinking when we can barely decide on what is right or wrong. In fact, must everything be about right and wrong? We can have an option that is a hybrid of the two, or neither of the two. It is therefore of no wonder that there is such a thing as purgatory.
A Humanly-Devised Happy Ending
In the Apocalypse of Peter, a book not canonised into the Bible, there is an elaborate detail about the punishment in hell for each type of crime and the pleasures given in heaven for each virtue. In the 14th chapter, a chapter that looks like it was added later because it lacks coherence with the overall outlook of the book, there is a very weird story that seems to have a happy ending for everyone. This doctrine is going to be popular once more in the coming generations, thus the need to know. This separate story explains that in the end, God will save all sinners from their plight in Hell:
“My Father will give unto them all the life, the glory, and the kingdom that passeth not away, … It is because of them that have believed in me that I am come. It is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men… “
Thus, in this additional story, sinners will finally be saved by the prayers of those in heaven. Peter then orders his son Clement not to speak of this revelation since God had told Peter to keep it secret: [and God said]”… thou must not tell that which thou hearest unto the sinners lest they transgress the more, and sin“. It sounds like what a Loving God will do, right? Must He eternally punish His very own images because of temporary wrongdoing? Punish them for a moment and later release everyone to Heaven.
God of Justice
God is a Judge! Just like a King, He sits in His Throne Room and judges issues. He is the King of Kings, and His domain extends over all things, even in the kingdom of darkness. Daniel 2:22 says it better, He sees what lies hidden in darkness, though He is surrounded by Light. The kingdom of darkness is ALWAYS in the court of law, accusing each and every one of us day and night based on our actions and God’s commandments. This is a typical scene in the Throne Room;
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord , and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord , who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by. The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.Zechariah 3:1-7 NIV
As aforementioned last week, God is justified in whatever action He decides to choose. With God being a just God, He can declare us guilty and hand us over to our accusers whenever we fall short. Yet, He offers grace, kindness and mercy. However, when we reject His convictions and refuse to admit our wrongdoings, our accusers have a right standing and foothold. It’s like giving someone the opportunity to insult you. As long as you don’t acknowledge that you sinned, that sin has the right to have you in its grip.
Why the Options Are Only Two
By confessing Jesus as your Saviour, there is now no condemnation for you as long as you walk in the Spirit. When God convicts you, He is only saying admit that you are wrong. Even in our court system, once you plead guilty, your sentence reduces drastically as compared to pleading not guilty and losing. You are not pleading guilty to your accusers. You are pleading guilty to the merciful Judge.
The penalty of sin is death. Do you realise that? The side punishments – the torments, beatings and whatever visualisation you have of hell – are the devil’s own creative ideas. The actual penalty is death; being eternally cut off from God, where the forces of darkness can do whatever they want with you. If you lose your grip on Jesus being your lawyer, death will eternally hold you in its grip. So it’s not that God has condemned people to hell eternally. He hasn’t chosen to condemn people, neither did He choose to make it an eternal thing.
It is already an eternal thing. Remember Newton’s 1st law of motion? He rather provided an eternal solution. By conquering death, Jesus rid death of the power to keep holding us in its grip. We have that decision to make in this age, not in the age to come. For in the age to come, God has already judged Death as guilty and condemned Death and Hell into the lake of fire. Must you still submit to death at the time, you are condemned together with it.
In conclusion, there is no purgatory. Simple and short. Heaven is forever. Hell is forever. If you miss one, you can’t miss the other. Blaming God is the easy way out for fools. Don’t be one of them. I love you