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Sat, Oct. 19

Calvary Corner<BR>Punishment for sins paid in full with Christ's sacrifice on the cross<BR>

QUESTION:

Could 1 Peter 3:19, 2Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 12:14, and 2 Machabees 12:43-46 be evidence for purgatory?

ANSWER:

Fox News says, "we report, you decide," and I'm going to say the same today.

Great question from someone who is obviously a noble minded Berean (Acts 17:10-11), who searches scripture for validation. Here's your answer; you decide.

1 Peter 3:19 reveals that after the crucifixion Jesus "made proclamation to spirits in prison." The next verse identifies the recipients of this speech to be demons that were disobedient during the days of Noah recorded in Genesis 6. Note the target of Jesus' announcement appears to be the fallen angels in 1 Pete 3:22. Jesus proclaimed His victory over Satan and you students can cross reference Jude 6-7 for further insight.

The verses in 2 Thessalonians and Hebrews made similar references to sanctification and holiness, which is the same word in Greek (hagiasmos). The word means to set apart or dedicate.

Something or someone is sanctified when they are set apart and used for their intended purpose. Shoes are made for feet. Gloves are made to go on hands. Thus shoes and gloves are sanctified as they are used for their intended purpose.

Christians are set apart to reflect Christ, which is our intended purpose and thus we are sanctified.

Before the cross Judas Machabeus paid in silver to sacrifice for the sins of the dead. It is a historical account of something he decided to do. Jesus cried from the cross, "It is finished!" This means the punishment for sin is paid in full. These sins can never be punished again since this would violate God's justice. Jesus was punished in our place (John 19:30).

Mother Teresa once said, "People will never know how much they need Jesus, until Jesus is all they have." I agree. He is truly all we need.

There was a place across from hell described in Luke 16:19-31 called "Abraham's bosom." Across a great chasm a man suffering in hell described himself to Abraham as being thirsty and in flaming torment, while those opposite him were comforted. Since the bible records the necessity of Christ's blood for the forgiveness of sins (1John 1:7-9), Old Testament believers were apparently held up in Abe's bosom until Messiah led them to heaven with His blood (Heb 9:11-28).

Ephesians 4:8 records Jesus Christ rescuing godly souls dwelling in Hades, between His crucifixion and resurrection, and taking them to heaven. Abe's bosom is apparently empty today (2Cor 5:8).

It sounds like you are a real 2Timothy 2:15 type person and I commend you for that. You wrote like someone who takes the scriptures and our Savior seriously and that is very refreshing. We need more students of scripture in Christianity (Acts 17:10-11).

God's grace is hard to figure but regardless, it is the greatest motivation (Titus 2:11). I simply appreciate God's grace toward me.

In my personal pondering of purgatory I tried to imagine the rapture of the church (1Thes 4:13-18), with some saints being told they would miss the wedding feast and part of the millennial reign of Jesus due to their past sins.

That may be a tough fit for me but remember Fox News. I only report; you decide. I thank you for that question, and Lord bless.

Shalom y'all

(Huck Kusner pastors the Calvary Chapel Church in Black Canyon City. To submit a question or for information, write Pastor Kusner at The Calvary Corner, PO Box 1816, Black Canyon City, AZ 85324. Email is blackcanyon@calvarychapel.org.)

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