Thursday, November 29, 2012

Today’s Show Notes: Thursday, 11/29/12

Update from Living Waters Asia!

Living Waters Asia recently returned from their yearly mission’s trip, called “Gospel Buzz.”

From LW-A: “. . . We made ourselves present in streets of four towns in Quezon--- Lucban, Tayabas, Luisiana and Lucena City.  We distributed thousands of Gospel tracts and allowed hundreds of people to hear the biblical Gospel through one-to-ones and open-air preaching.

We really saw God move during the days we were there.  There were people that expressed their appreciation for the work we did right after we saw them read tracts we gave them.  We saw in people's eyes how intent they were in listening to us share the Gospel to them.  God also, several times, brought people to us, with us, not needing anymore to find them.  An example was when after we got out of a public transportation vehicle back from evangelism in another town, about seven to ten buses full of high school students parked right in front of us.  The students were on a field trip.  We hurriedly stepped in front of bus doors so we can give each of the students a copy of the Gospel.

We thank everyone that prayed and supported financially this mission trip.  God really cares for souls as He did not allow that this opportunity to deliver the Gospel to a far away province be missed.  We are looking forward to next year's Gospel Buzz and we hope that you also can't wait to again be a part of it.”

For more info, visit 

Evidence Bible
“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.” Corrie ten Boom

(Email from Amy) "I am a born-again Christian from a Catholic background and am wanting to witness to my family. I role-play much and one of the things that I continue to come up against is: purgatory. I realize it isn't Biblical but wanted to pick your brains on how you would respond."

From World Religions in a Nutshell:

. . . Catholics believe in a “holding place” called Purgatory, for which there is no biblical basis. It is believed to be an intermediate stage that is used to purify souls that will eventually go to Heaven, but that still have some temporal restitution they must make.

“The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire: As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.” (#1031).

According to the church, a Catholic can help get someone out of purgatory and into Heaven “by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice. They also help them by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance” (Catechism, par. 211).

“An indulgence can be obtained through a good deed done, a Mass being offered on behalf of someone, prayer, abstinence, giving to the poor, or some other meritorious act performed in accordance with requirements set by a Pope or bishop having jurisdiction over that individual.”

However, according to Scripture, none of our acts are “meritorious”—no amount of good deeds or money can buy eternal salvation: “But Peter said to him, ‘Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!’” (Acts 8:20).

“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him—for the redemption of their souls is costly. . .” (Psalm 49:7,8)

The doctrine of Purgatory misleads people into thinking they can somehow be made right with God after this lifetime. Scripture clearly warns us: “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There are no second chances.


. . . Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins (Romans 5:8). Isaiah 53:5 declares, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Jesus suffered for our sins so that we could be delivered from suffering. To say that we must also suffer for our sins is to say that Jesus’ suffering was insufficient. To say that we must atone for our sins by cleansing in Purgatory is to deny the sufficiency of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (1 John 2:2). The idea that we have to suffer for our sins after death is contrary to everything the Bible says about salvation.

The primary Scriptural passage Catholics point to for evidence of Purgatory is 1 Corinthians 3:15, which says, “If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” The passage (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) is using an illustration of things going through fire as a description of believers’ works being judged. If our works are of good quality “gold, sliver, costly stones,” they will pass through the fire unharmed, and we will be rewarded for them. If our works are of poor quality “wood, hay, and straw,” they will be consumed by the fire, and there will be no reward. The passage does not say that believers pass through the fire, but rather that a believer’s works pass through the fire. 1 Corinthians 3:15 refers to the believer “escaping through the flames,” not “being cleansed by the flames.”

Purgatory, like many other Catholic dogmas, is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of Christ’s sacrifice. Catholics view the Mass / Eucharist as a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice because they fail to understand that Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice was absolutely and perfectly sufficient (Hebrews 7:27). Catholics view meritorious works as contributing to salvation due to a failure to recognize that Jesus’ sacrificial payment has no need of additional “contribution” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Similarly, Purgatory is understood by Catholics as a place of cleansing in preparation for heaven because they do not recognize that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are already cleansed, declared righteous, forgiven, redeemed, reconciled, and sanctified.

The very idea of Purgatory and the doctrines that are often attached to it (prayer for the dead, indulgences, meritorious works on behalf of the dead, etc.) all fail to recognize that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay the penalty for ALL of our sins. Jesus, who was God incarnate (John 1:1,14), paid an infinite price for our sin. Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2). To limit Jesus’ sacrifice to atoning for original sin, or sins committed before salvation, is an attack on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. If we must in any sense pay for, atone for, or suffer because of our sins – that indicates Jesus’ death was not a perfect, complete, and sufficient sacrifice.

For believers, after death is to be "away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:6-8Philippians 1:23). Notice that this does not say "away from the body, in Purgatory with the cleansing fire." No, because of the perfection, completion, and sufficiency of Jesus' sacrifice, we are immediately in the Lord's presence after death, fully cleansed, free from sin, glorified, perfected, and ultimately sanctified. 

To watch today’s “On The Box with Ray Comfort” episode, visit our YouTube channel: