You yourself tell people off for not thinking things through. So, here is your chance to practise what you preach. Jesus didn't pay for everyone's sins and there is certainly a need for purgatory. Here is what Jesus did:
1) He paid for the sins of people who died before He came onto the earth. This is why the Catholic creed mentions his descent to the dead immediately after his death. This was to liberate worthy souls trapped in purgatory or "limbo" until His death and resurrection.
2) For those of us who lived after Jesus death, there is no free ticket to heaven and it is not black and white - heaven or hell. Jesus rebuilt the bridge back to God, his blood mixed in with the mortar. We now have 24/7 access to God through Jesus to ask for God's mercy and forgiveness for our sins. Those that reject this invitation and choose to live a carefree sinful life are completely and very riskily at the mercy of God who would look at their lives in their entirety before passing a judgement.
As you rightfully say at the end of your article Protestant Purgatory? "Pray for knowledge, wisdom and discernment. Those are all things God wants you to have and will gladly give you if you will ask Him."
My response is in Green:
You know I take a lot of flack because of my stand against the Catholic Church. I am told I don't understand what the Catholic Church believes, etc... I even quote Catholic doctrine straight from their own website and books and still I am told I don't know what I am talking about. I have even been accused of making up the letters I post, but I have to be honest I couldn't think up things as good as those that I get from people like you.
I am told over and over again that the Catholic Church believes in Jesus Christ as their savior, yet I get letter after letter from people like you telling me the opposite. I tell people that the Catholic Church believes in a works salvation, and I am told I am wrong, although I show them in Church doctrine where it says exactly that. Oh well, now I have you telling me that Jesus didn't pay for the sins of everyone. I really like how you backed up your points with Scripture that is very helpful.
But since I think at least one of us should back up what we say with Scripture I will. Let me start with point 1.
You claim that Jesus paid for the sins of those who lived before He came to earth. Okay, I would agree with that to a certain extent, He did die for the believers who lived and died before He came to earth, but that is as far as I can agree with you. He didn't go to purgatory or limbo, there are and never were such places. Where He went was to Paradise also sometimes called Abraham's bosom. It is part of the place that the Old Testament calls Hades. It had two compartments, what we hell where the unbelievers were held for judgment and then Paradise or Abraham's bosom, where believers went to await the Messiah who would open the way for them to go into the presence of God the Father.
Jesus even told a story that shows the two compartments that I am talking about:
Luke 16:19-31 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores  and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house,  for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'  " 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" [NIV]
This is also why Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him in Paradise that day, not purgatory or limbo. That brings me to number 2, where you claim it isn't black and white, that it isn't either heaven or hell. You claim that all Jesus did was build a bridge so that we could come to God the Father and ask for forgiveness, but that is dead wrong. What Jesus did was pay for our sins.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! [NIV]
1 Cor. 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, [NIV]
Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. [NIV]
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, [NIV]
Acts 13:39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. [NIV]
Romans 3:22-26 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--  he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. [NIV]
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [NIV]
Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. [NIV]
Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. [NIV]
1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. [NIV]
1 John 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. [NIV]
1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. [NIV]
Rev. 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, [NIV]
I could continue to quote even more but that should be enough to show you that Jesus did die for our sins and we are saved through placing our faith in Him.
We never have to worry about paying for our own sins, if we have to worry about that we better be very worried because eternity isn't long enough for us to atone for our own sins. Either what Jesus did was enough or we are lost. There is no paying for some sins in purgatory, or limbo, we are either saved or we are lost period.
I guess I should have added one thing to that statement you liked and that is; read your Bible.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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