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PURGATORY

Is there such a place as purgatory, and if so, where is it taught in the Scriptures?

<ANSWER>--The word "purgatory" is from the Latin tongue and signifies primarily a place of purification or making clean. The thought usually involved in the consideration of the term is that an intermediate state of condition exists for those who die and who at the time of death--while professing Christianity-- were not sufficiently cleansed from their sins to justify an immediate entrance into heaven, the abode of the pure and saintly ones. Hence, they must expiate their sins by enduring intense suffering in flames and sorrow for a period of time in proportion to the amount of sin to be eradicated. We are not aware that this view is set forth in the Bible. There is, however, a condition of purgatory presented in the teachings of the Scriptures. It is becoming very clear to all enlightened Bible scholars that the period of Christ's reign on earth for the space of a thousand years--when Satan is bound and the knowledge of the Lord is filling the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep--that then the nations of earth will learn righteousness and gradually be purged of all iniquity and unrighteousness and in this way be prepared to enter into the conditions of eternal life. This, of course, will be after the second advent. The world is not to be scorched and blistered in a vain attempt to make it pure and upright, but the Lord will rule in righteousness and love and win the race by His kindness and tender mercies.

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