(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version)
The term “purgatory” refers to the condition, process, or place of purification or temporary punishment in which, according to medieval Christian and Roman Catholic belief, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for heaven. Purgatory (Latin: purgatorium; from purgare, “to purge”) has come to refer as well to a wide range of historical and modern conceptions of postmortem sufferings short of everlasting damnation (Carol Zaleski, Encyclopedia Britannica).
The concept of purgatory as a transient place of purifying torment and punishment, for souls of the dead who were not totally in right standing with God while alive, is deeply entrenched in Roman Catholic theology. This doctrine teaches that these souls, who were not perfect before God in their lifetime, need to pay for their sins, through fiery purging in purgatory, as well as through the…
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