Have you ever heard of purgatory? In a nutshell, purgatory is where all believers are said to go, after death, to complete their purification through suffering for the consequences of sins not already punished for while alive on earth.

“purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” which is experienced by those who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purifiedwww.catholic.com/tract/purgatory

When I thought about this teaching several questions came to mind: Wasn’t Jesus’ punishment on the cross enough for God? Aren’t the changes made by the Holy Spirit enough for salvation? How exactly does suffering bring purity?

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus gave his life as a ransom exchange for ours (1 Tim 2:6; Mk 10:45;). Jesus washed us fully, we need no further purification (Rev 1:5; Heb 10:22; 1 Cor 6:11). Isaiah reminds us that there is no punishment left for God’s elect,

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…Smitten by God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 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….

Isaiah 53:4-6

Christ’s work is complete, believers are washed, regenerated, sanctified, and renewed in Him; nothing more is required (1 Cor 6:11; Titus 3:5). Suffering does not purify anyone; it is merely a consequence of being in a fallen world.  The teaching of purgatory is unbiblical, unhelpful, and untrue. Don’t indulge in it.

Denis Oliver