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Catholic view of Purgatory ... Is it real?

michael_legna's picture

The trials of congregations in the Church are different

Mike Kirby said -
If you agree that we are members of the Church and the Church is the pillar and ground of the Truth,
then how could you think that the Church can escape it’s works being tested ?

I explain in my response to JStaller that I do think the Church is tested and purified, but I do not think it fits the description in 1 Cor 3 because that refers to being saved if one builds on the foundation of Christ and suffering loss and receiving rewards for the works that either survive or fail to survive. Further it links this same judgment to the one where those who did not build on the foundation of Christ are being condemned and destroyed. This of course occurs at the judgment seat after our death, so this testing occurs after our deaths.

The Church will not do any of those things based on its testing. It will not be saved (salvation is an individual issue) nor will it suffer loss or receive rewards, because God does not cause a congregation of individuals to suffer or to receive rewards as a group. The Church also will not be condemned to hell and will not die so it cannot be judged for its works after our deaths.

The verses here speak very plainly to this being about every man receiving his own judgment and rewards or suffering his own loss based on his own labors.

Mike Kirby said -
The point is that the Church has the imagery of a building. composed of people. Some of those people are over comers who are holding fast to their crown and are made “pillars” in the temple of God.

Then these individuals will be rewarded and suffer any loss that is necessary - not the Church - even though they are part of the Church.

Mike Kirby said -
Jesus addresses 7 real churches (Catholic or Protestant?) in the book of Revelation as one who has “eyes as a flame of fire”.

Some of the churches were commended for hating bad doctrine and some were rebuked for entertaining bad doctrine. E.g. the doctrine of the Nicolaitians

Some of those churches were going to be “purged” of their evil doctrine and deeds.

These trials were during this time on earth and do not match up to the judgment by God where we can be saved as if by fire or condemned to hell - which can only take place after death.

Mike Kirby said -
I said before that I have usually connected this passage in 1 Corinthians 3 to the Judgment seat of Christ where our works are judged (not our sins).

But there is clearly a distinction between types of works in the section of verse. Good works which we receive rewards for and bad works which are burnt away and we suffer loss. And those bad works (which do not hit the mark) are sins, because anything not done out of faith is sin.

Rom 14:23b for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.