(Apologetics) John Vs Mike – 9

Posted: January 11, 2011 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

From the website: http://www.pro-gospel.org, by Mike Gendron. 

The Biblical Rebuke of Purgatory

God’s Word leaves absolutely no possibility for sin to be purged away by anything other than the blood of Jesus Christ. The beloved apostle John penned these words with irrefutable clarity. He wrote, “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” and “all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9). John did not say “some” sins or “most” sins, but all sin! This soundly rebukes the need for a sin-purging fire. God’s Word also declares, “All things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). When Jesus “made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). Those who desire to have their sins purged need to trust a person, not a place. The blood of Christ is the only cleansing agent for sin! Those who come to the cross of Christ must come with empty hands of faith, bringing nothing but their sins.
Every blood bought believer is instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death. To be “absent from the body” is to be “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6-8). This good news was affirmed by the Lord Jesus with the promise He gave to the repentant thief at Calvary. He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). This habitual sinner did not need a fire to purge his sins.
Catholics who believe in Purgatory need to be asked: “Who is in charge of releasing souls from the purging fire?” It cannot be God because of His promise to believers. “Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more” (Heb. 10:17). After conversion, God no longer counts sins against His children (2 Cor. 5:19).
Purgatory is a travesty on the justice of God and a disgraceful fabrication that robs Christ Jesus of His glory and honor. He alone satisfied divine justice, once and for all, by the perfect and finished sacrifice of Himself. The fatal deception of Purgatory blinds Catholics from the glorious Gospel of grace. It is one of Satan’s many lies which keep his captives from knowing and trusting the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. It is Christ alone that will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory” (Jude 24).

——————————————————————————–

Mike Gendron

The Biblical Rebuke of Purgatory

God’s Word leaves absolutely no possibility for sin to be purged away by anything other than the blood of Jesus Christ. The beloved apostle John penned these words with irrefutable clarity. He wrote, “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” and “all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7,9). John did not say “some” sins or “most” sins, but all sin! This soundly rebukes the need for a sin-purging fire. God’s Word also declares, “All things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). When Jesus “made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). Those who desire to have their sins purged need to trust a person, not a place. The blood of Christ is the only cleansing agent for sin! Those who come to the cross of Christ must come with empty hands of faith, bringing nothing but their sins.

John Martignoni

To make the claim, as he does here, that Purgatory and Jesus’ death on the Cross are completely unrelated is due, quite frankly, to either ignorance or malice.  How is it that anyone ends up in Purgatory?  They are in Purgatory because they have died in a state of grace, but they are not yet free from imperfections.  How is it they are able to be in a state of grace?  By the merits and grace earned for us by Jesus with His death on the Cross.  And what exactly is the burning fire of Purgatory?  It is, in essence, the burning fire of God’s love for us.  And how is it that we are able to be purified by God’s love?  By the merits and grace earned for us by Jesus with His death on the Cross.  In other words, the purging of imperfections that souls experience in Purgatory is as a result of the merits and grace earned for us by Jesus with His death on the Cross.  It is by the blood of Christ that souls in Purgatory are perfected.  There is no other means of perfection available to us.

The thing is, Mr. Gendron is perfectly aware that this is Catholic belief.  We know this because of what he himself stated earlier in this very same article.  Did not Mr. Gendron complain that Catholic priests “extract” untold riches from poor frightened and fearful Catholics by telling them they need to offer Masses for the souls of their loved ones in order to get them out of Purgatory?  What is the Mass?  It is, according to Catholic belief – which Mr. Gendron well knows – the re-presentation before God of Jesus’ death on the Cross.  So, in one part of his article, Gendron complains that Purgatory is used by the Church to gain riches from people by saying Masses for those in Purgatory, and in another part of his article he says that Catholics believe that those in Purgatory are purged of their imperfections by something other than the blood of Christ!

Now, Mr. Gendron obviously does not agree that the Mass is a re-presentation of Jesus’ death on the Cross, but he has to admit that it is Catholic teaching that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and that the Mass is all about the Body and Blood of Jesus.  Therefore, if Masses are being offered for those in Purgatory, then it means that any sins and inclination to sin and punishment due to sin that are purged in Purgatory are purged by the blood of Christ.  So, to represent the Catholic Faith as teaching that the purgations of Purgatory have absolutely nothing to do with the blood of Christ, after what he said earlier about Masses being said for those in Purgatory, seems to me to be a deliberate misrepresentation of Catholic teaching.  So, once again, Mr. Gendron, I adjure you to retract these falsehoods.  You claim to be a Christian, well, let us see your faith by your works.

Mike Gendron

Every blood bought believer is instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death. To be “absent from the body” is to be “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6-8). This good news was affirmed by the Lord Jesus with the promise He gave to the repentant thief at Calvary. He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). This habitual sinner did not need a fire to purge his sins.

John Martignoni
Gendron claims: “Every blood-bought believer is instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of their death.” Where in Scripture does it say this?  Oh, I know, he quotes 2 Cor 5:6-8 to “prove” his assertion, but those verses do nothing of the sort.  He actually splits up the main segment of the verses he quotes in order to make it say something it doesn’t actually say.  The verse he quotes from above is 2 Cor 5:8, which states, “We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”  It does not say, as Gendron tries to make it say, “to be absent from the body [is to be instantly at home] with the Lord.” There is nothing in this verse, when properly quoted, that rules out the existence of Purgatory.  Paul is not saying it’s either Heaven or Earth with no in-between, he’s saying he prefers Heaven to Earth, and that is the extent of what he said. 

Regarding the repentant thief at Calvary being told that he would be with Jesus “today” in Paradise, well, exactly what does that mean?  There is only one day in Paradise, and that day is “today.” How do you count time outside of time?  “Today” is forever in Paradise. Plus, 3 days after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus tells Mary not to touch Him because He has “not yet ascended to the Father.”  Which seems to contradict Gendron’s private, fallible intepretation of what Jesus said to the good thief.  After all, if Jesus, 3 days after His crucifixion, had not yet ascended to the Father, then how could the good thief have been with Jesus “today” in Paradise, when “today” was 3 days ago and Jesus apparently has not made it there yet?

Plus, Gendron again seems to be ignorant that Catholic teaching does not say everyone has to go to Purgatory before they enter Paradise.  If the temporal punishment due to sin has been remitted in this lifetime, and one has been freed of their attachment to sin, then when they die they go straight to Heaven.  Is it possible that being crucified might suffice to requite the temporal punishment due to sin?  Which means that if the Good Thief did indeed go straight to Heaven, it does absolutely nothing to disprove Catholic teaching on Purgatory.

All of which is to say that Gendron’s Scripture citations here do not prove his point, rather they prove that his private, fallible interpretation of any and all Scripture verses should be held as being highly suspect.

One last point to make on this.  Earlier in this article, when trying to argue that 1 Cor 3:15 – “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” – does not teach anything about purging of one’s sins, Mr. Gendron nonetheless admits that there is a purging of a man’s “spurious works,” as through fire, before he gets into Heaven.  His exact words were: “Clearly, the context of this verse is the testing of a man’s works by fire. The works that survive are the ones done for the glory of Christ and are called gold, silver and precious stones (Eph. 2:10). All the other superfluous works are burned in fire and are called wood, hay and stubble. It is not man’s sins that are being purged, it is man’s spurious works that are being burned and destroyed.
So, in one part of his article, Gendron admits that there can be a purging, as through fire, that a man goes through before he enters Heaven, yet in another part of your article he claims that there can be no such purging because a man is “instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death.” Could you please explain, Mr. Gendron, that contradiction?  By the way, Mr. Gendron, where does this purging you claim takes place, at least in one part of your article, actually take place?
Apparently Mr. Gendron believes that a man having his spurious works “burned and destroyed” in fire does not run contrary to his claim that a person is “instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death,” but a man having his sins or his punishment due to sin “burned and destroyed” in fire, does.  Seems we’ve found yet another inconsistency in his argumentation.  Why does having your spurious works burned in fire not slow you down on your way to being with Jesus, but having your sins or punishment due to sin burned in fire does slow you down on your way to Jesus?  After all, in both cases a man is being purged “as through fire,” so what’s the timing difference between the two, Mr. Gendron?
Mike Gendron

Catholics who believe in Purgatory need to be asked: “Who is in charge of releasing souls from the purging fire?” It cannot be God because of His promise to believers. “Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more” (Heb. 10:17). After conversion, God no longer counts sins against His children (2 Cor. 5:19).

John Martignoni

Here we get a little of Gendron’s once saved always saved theology which leads him, as it does many others, into taking absolutely ridiculous positions based upon their private, fallible interpretations of Scripture.  A soul is released from Purgatory once they have been purged of their imperfections.  Hebrews 12:22-23, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”  How were the spirits of the just in Heaven “made” perfect?  Hmmm.

To answer Gendron’s question, God is “in charge” of releasing souls from Purgatory.  God is “in charge” of all things. But let’s look at Gendron’s logic, or lack thereof.  Let’s go, for the moment, with Gendron’s private, fallible interpretation of Heb 10:17 and 2 Cor 5:19.  When does someone get released from Purgatory?  When all their sins and imperfections are gone.  Or, to say it another way, when their sins have been “remembered no more.”  So, why does Gendron think God cannot be in charge of releasing a soul from Purgatory after they’ve been cleansed of all imperfections…after their sins have been remembered no more?

Now, regarding the Scripture verses he is twisting, let’s take a look at them.  Heb 10:17 does indeed tell us that God will “remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.”  But does that mean, as Mr. Gendron apparently contends, that after you’re “saved” God will just give you a free pass on sin whether you confess your sins and repent of them or not?  That is a ridiculous thing to contend.  1 John 1:9, which Mr. Gendron cited a few paragraphs earlier, states that God will indeed forgive our sins “if” we confess them.  And Jesus states several times in the Gospels the need for repentance of sin.  So, even if someone is “saved” according to Mr. Gendron’s theological system, in order to have their sins forgiven, the Bible tells us they still have to confess those sins and repent of their sins.

So, my question for you, Mr. Gendron, is this: If someone is saved, and they commit a venial sin after being saved, and they do not repent or confess that sin, do you contend that if they died immediately after committing that sin, they would not need to be cleansed of that sin before entering Heaven?  Does God “remember their sins and their deeds no more” even if they do not repent and confess their sins, as you seem to be contending?  Or, does God remember their sins up until the point they repent and confess their sins and their sins are purged?

In addition to Gendron’s scriptural consistency problems with how and when God forgives sin, let’s look just a few verses down from Heb 10:17.  Heb 10:29 states, “How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace.” Who is the man described here?  He is a man who was sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Is that someone, according to Gendron’s theological system who has been saved?  You bet it is.  I don’t know how he could say otherwise.  Yet, what happens to this man who has been saved, whose sins, according to Gendron’s private, fallible interpretation will no longer be held against him, when he then spurns the Son of God and profanes the blood of the covenant and outraged the Spirit of grace?  Are none of those sins held against him?  According to Gendron, they are not.  According to Scripture, this man receives a “fearful prospect of judgment” (Heb 10:27).  Once saved always saved?  I don’t think so!  Once again Gendron’s private, fallible interpretations of Scripture get him into scriptural hot water.

Mike Gendron

Purgatory is a travesty on the justice of God and a disgraceful fabrication that robs Christ Jesus of His glory and honor. He alone satisfied divine justice, once and for all, by the perfect and finished sacrifice of Himself. The fatal deception of Purgatory blinds Catholics from the glorious Gospel of grace. It is one of Satan’s many lies which keep his captives from knowing and trusting the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. It is Christ alone that will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory” (Jude 24).

John Martignoni

The only travesty of justice here is Gendron’s spreading of misconceptions, half-truths, and outright lies about Catholic teaching on Purgatory.  There is nothing in the Catholic teaching of Purgatory that “robs Jesus Christ of His glory and honor.” The Catholic teaching on Purgatory is perfectly consistent with Sacred Scripture and does nothing but glorify Jesus Christ through Whom and with Whom and in Whom we are saved.  I am Catholic and I believe in Purgatory and I believe in the “glorious Gospel of grace.”  And I believe, as do all Catholics, that it is indeed Christ alone that will present us “faultless before the presence of His glory.”  Mike Gendron’s claims to the contrary are without merit.

 

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