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Page 510

How does belief in the necessity of purgatory deny the truth of the all-sufficient cleansing of the sinner by the merits and death of Jesus Christ's mediatorial work?

How is the "Limbus Infantum" idea related to the doctrinal error that the sacraments actually give grace, rather than only being a sign and seal of it?

The belief in purgatory is not based on Scripture; it cannot be found there. In addition, its teaching contradicts several key doctrines of Scripture, including the following:

  • Entering heaven is based upon God's grace alone, not partially on my or others' good works and prayers

  • Jesus paid entirely for all the sins of those in heaven; the saints do not partially pay for their sins in purgatory

  • A believer is sanctified and cleansed by the Holy Spirit, not the flames of purgatory

  • After death, souls enter heaven or hell, not a middle state between the two

The Limbus Patrum, according to the Roman Catholic Church, was a type of "side-porch" or "fringe" of hell. The Latin word "limbus" means "fringe." This is the place to which the souls of the Old Testament saints were sent until Jesus' resurrection. According to this belief, Jesus descended into hell after He died to release all of the souls there and to carry them in triumph into heaven.

This belief contradicts the histories of Enoch, Elijah, Jesus' transfiguration with Moses and Elijah, the thief on the cross, and the rich man and Lazarus. Again, it teaches a doctrine which is not founded upon Scripture.

The Limbus Infantum, according to the Roman Catholic Church, is another "fringe" which borders on hell. This is the place to which all the souls of unbaptized children are supposedly sent, for the unbaptized cannot enter into heaven. The terrible flames of hell do not reach this place, it is said. Some believe that the unbaptized children will remain in the "Limbus Infantum" forever, and others believe that God will commission the angels to baptize them so that they can enter heaven.

This belief contradicts the histories of David and Bathsheba's unbaptized (uncircumcised) son who died in infancy and the unbaptized thief on the cross, whose souls both entered heaven. Again,


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