By Rob Zins


As a little boy, I was always mindful of saying my prayers

before I went to sleep. I can still remember a little invocation

rhyme which must have been the most popular night time prayer

for children.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord

my soul to keep, if I should die before I

wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Since becoming a Christian, I have come to know that God will

take my soul should I die. I no longer have to pray this prayer.

As a young boy growing up in the Roman Catholic religion, I was

taught to pray for people in Purgatory. Night after night I imagined

an infinite line of suffering people who were all chained together.

They were waiting for someone to pray them out of their sufferings.

I took the responsiblity very seriously. But it seemed the more I

prayed, the longer the line. Until at last, fatigued and tired, I

would fall asleep. Inevitably, I felt guilty for not praying at

least on more person out of suffering. I always promised God to do

better the next night. I never really did much better. I consistantly

fell asleep with many more stranded in Purgatory for yet another day.

Eventually, I simply gave up. I stopped praying for the endless faces

of those in torment.

But the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory was imbedded deep

within me. Finally, the guilt of not praying for "the tormented

souls in Purgatory" became too heavey when added to all the other guilt

associated with the Romanist religion. Eventually, I left the Roman

Catholic church.

It wasn't until becoming a Christian that I found out that

Purgatory was a lie. There is no such place as Purgatory. I had

been lied to all those years. All those guilt ridden days and

nights spent as a child were for the sake of a lie.

Today, I am a Christian. The doctrine of Purgatory seems so

long ago. Having been trained in the Scriptures, I marvel at

how i could have been so foolish. But a child is trusting. A

child believes his elders especially about things such as Heaven

and Hell and Purgatory. I am most grateful to God that he has led

me to the truth of His word and freed me from the despair of

Romanism. He has taught me the Bible is trustworthy.

The Bible does not teach Purgatory or any other doctrine of

"self atonement" related to personal "purgation of sins"

(Isa. 64:6).

It is my hope that Roman Catolics will believe the truth about

the Gospel of Jesus Christ and just say "no" to the horrid inven-

tions of men. Purgatory is one such invention (Col. 2:8).

In Contrast, the "Good News" of the Gospel is that Jesus died

on the cross so that all those who believe in Him do not have to

suffer for sins commited. Not here or in the life hereafter.

The essence of the Gospel is that one perfect offering satisfied

the penalty due to sin. He [Jesus] was crushed for our iniquities,

Isa. 53:5.

Purgatory is a terrible lie because it violates the value of

Christ's death. Purgatory shatters the comfort of the precious

grace gift of God. God's forgiving love is endowed without penalty

because He is appeased with the full payment in the death of His

son, Jesus.

Purgatory threatens the soul with untold aeons of agony. This

nullifies the "Good News" of the gospel and replaces it with a

self affliction as the penalty for sin and thus contributing to

one's own justification before God (Luke 16:15, Gal. 2:16).

The roman Catholic religion teaches the work of Christ is not

enough to end the terror of punishment due sin. Catholics are taught

that God forgives sins but the saints need to add their own agony

for final purification. This suffering is said to be the distress

of Purgatory.

The Romanist arrives at purgatorial suffering on the basis of

false distinction between "forgiveness" of sins and paying a

"penalty" due personal sin. By contrst, in Christianity, for-

giveness is the removal of all penalty based on the sacrifice of

Jesus Christ. Sad to say, the self sacrificing nature of the

Roman Catholic religion absolutely denies full satisfaction.

Christians believe Christ offers forgiveness and freedom from

paying the penalty of sin once and for all. The two cannot be


Purgatory, like its earthly sisters Penance and Indulgences,

absolutely ruins the significance of the death of Christ. The

damnable doctrine of self purgation of sins is simply one of the

many logical consequences underlying the ugly truth of Rome's

works-righteousness system of salvation. The Biblical witness

tells us that there is "no condemnation for those in Christ

Jesus" Rom. 8:1. Also, those who believe in Christ have eternal

life and need not fear suffering for their own sins. Our peace

with God is based on the fact of Christ's atoning work, Rom. 5:1.

We no longer have to suffer the penalty of sins. We no longer

dread the presence of God. We are not involved in any attempt to

"pay the price" of our sins in our bodies. We believe that anything

added to the death of Christ, for our acceptance before God, is

another gospel and needs to be rejected.

We can only hope and pray that those who see the folly of Rome's

Purgatory will leave it. We hope that forsaking it will be the

first step in arriving at the Christ of Scripture. This mighty

Savior came to die in place of those who could NEVER pay the penalty

due their sin. For by His stripes are we healed.

Hebrews 7:25: " ... He is able to save them to the uttermost..."


Rob Zins, is the Executive Director of Christians Evangelizing

Catholics. He has a Th.M. in Historical Theology. If you have

further questions about the Roman Catholic church, feel free to

write Rob at:

P.O. Box 6409

Rutland, Vermont 05702

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