It may be interesting to reflect on the account of Lazarus at this point [in John 11]. Jesus says to his disciples, 'Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.' We use euphemisms to soften things, eg 'passed away' instead of 'died', but Jesus being the incarnate Resurrection and the Life is saying to Him death in effect, is just a deeper sleep if He can 'awaken' Lazarus with the sound of His voice.
Also the Bible uses terms in respect to the believer that are in the past tense. 'You have been washed'...'made Holy'...'crucified with Christ'. This indicates to me that the believer is already purged once have they asked for forgiveness based on Jesus substitutionary death.
I asked my father (an Anglican priest) about his thoughts today about purgatory and he said as follows off the cuff in a one minute phone conversation. (Sorry if it’s a bit muddled. I think I got the main gist of it). He did not believe in purgatory nor does the Anglican or Protestant churches, only the Catholics. He said that Anglicans believe in God pardoning/forgiving sinners and that the word purgatory means paying their way out, like a getting out of jail free card. He also said there’s no biblical evidence for purgatory. However, he also said that really we don’t know (therefore not ruling out the possibility) and that Anglicans unlike Protestants pray for the dead.
Would like to follow on with a quote I came across which I thought makes interesting reading.
The life review undergone by those who have had a Near Death Experience (NDE), can resemble a sort of purgatory. This is what Bruce Horacek Ph.D and the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) write about the Life Review: "During a predominantly pleasurable NDE, usually while in the light, the NDEr may experience a life review. In this review, the NDEr typically re-views (sees again) and re-experiences every moment of his/her life. At the same time, the NDEr fully experiences being every other person with whom the NDEr interacted. The NDEr knows what it was to be on the receiving end of his/her own actions including those that caused others pain. At this time, the NDEr usually reports feeling profound remorse, along with extreme regret that the harm cannot be undone. At the same time, the NDEr typically reports feelings consistent with unconditional love from the light, which communicates forgiveness because the NDEr was still learning how to become a more loving person. NDErs tend to say that this "learning how to love" is the purpose of life."
Very interesting about the NDE. I must admit to having done a lot of reading about these phenomena since losing my wife, both on the internet and reading several books. I have come to the conclusion that many NDE cannot be explained by physical or naturalistic means and therefore may truly represent a glimse of what might be waiting for us when we are approaching death. And the life review is a common component but certainly only in a minority of case reports. Does this mean the life review is a type of 'purgatory' in those who have hurt others, so that while being shown what they have done to hurt others they are also almost invariably surrounded by a feeling of total love and forgiveness. That is a merciful God in my mind, the God of the New Testament.
Yes Doug, the life review is only in some cases yet the effects have been profound.
"The effect of a life review is often a strongly transformative experience. Near Death Experiencers describe them as extremely unpleasant from the perspective of the unhappiness they had inflicted on others, including feelings they had never dreamed of as resulting, and equally pleasant from the perspective of the good feeling they had brought to others' lives, extending to the littlest forgotten details.
Near Death Experiencers often report a sharp drop in materialistic outlook (both acquisitive and philosophical), an intensified compassion for others and sense of interconnectedness, newfound altruistic activities, personality changes (though occasionally entailing divorce), a new interest in self-education and spirituality, and so on. A frequent comment by Near Death Experiencers is that they later strongly avoided unethical or inconsiderate actions because they wanted to avoid painfully reliving the receiving end of the action which they knew would await them.
Reading a website ‘Where do we go when we die?’ by Rod Smith under the topic of unbelievers he makes this distinction about hell:
It is clear that sinners end up in a horrible place, but there is more than one "hell". Hell is used to translate three different Greek words: Gehenna, Hades, and Tartarus.
Gehenna, the Greek work used in Mark 9, literally referred to the Valley of Hinnom on the south side of Jerusalem. This valley "served as the place where the offal of the city was burned." A town dump, with its continuous fire and decay, is a very gruesome picture of the place for sinners. Hades was well known in Greek literature as the place of the dead. Hades is also translated grave and depths. Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4) referred to the "lowest abyss of Hades." Angels who sinned were put in the gloomy dungeons of Tartarus to be held for judgment.
Most references to Hades do not indicate torment. Jesus was in Hades according to Peter, (Acts 2:31). The only time Jesus mentioned torment in Hades was in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, (Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus was carried by the angels to Abraham's side where he was comforted while the Rich Man was in torment in Hades. However, this is a parable, so we can't build doctrine on the details of the parable, only the main point that believers will be comforted after death while the unrepentant will be punished.
Hades is only a temporary place for the dead until they are judged in the final judgment, (Revelation 20:11-15). At that time, the sea, death, and Hades will give up the dead for judgment. "Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14). Therefore, when Jesus spoke of Gehenna with its continuous fire in Mark 9, he must have been referring to the lake of fire, not to Hades.
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur……… Jesus clearly taught that the bad people go to Hell, that is, Gehenna, the lake of fire.
just to throw a spanner in the works...SDA doctrine that when we die we all sleep would play havoc on NDE studys and personal testimonys.... all interesting discussions none the less.
Blessings to all....Mark
Actually, Mark I would think it is the reverse. NDEs play havoc with the SDA doctrine since people can clearly recount what happened around them whilst clinically dead. It is also a reminder that doctrine is not to be built on experiences but on a God's Word taken in context.
Hey there Kendall, it actually wasn't a definite statement that SDA doctrine is correct, just that the SDA's would have a ball with NDE. As for either, i have done little study about NDE and know just as little of the SDA doctrine.
Near Death Experiencers speak of a light which they come to realise as the unconditional love of God. But they don’t tell the whole story. They don’t know it all nor does anyone until Jesus returns and reveals Himself fully. I think God gives to each one of us glimpses of Himself. Yet none of us have really seen God nor can we say that we know the mind of God. The beauty of God’s unconditional love in its fullness will be revealed to us in His perfect timing. But what He gives to each of us in our lifetimes is enough to say that we understood what He wanted from us. That part is plain and simple. Love God and love each other.
'No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.' John 1:18
I'm so glad I can know all I need to know about God through His son, the living Word.
We can know God through the scriptures. However it isn’t the full image of God which He is yet to reveal. By saying no one has seen God, I’m saying in His fullness. Moses looked at the face of God inside the burning bush as they spoke. God communicated with a number of people in the bible, including Adam and Eve. God has revealed some of His character through His Son Jesus. I am open to the possibility that some people today have experienced God’s light and love and communicated with God through their Near Death Experience.
Disclaimer - The views and opinions on the discussion boards are those of our members and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Christian Connection.
is rated 4.4 / 5
based on 78 user reviews at ReviewCentre.