Opening Prayer: Father, help me to live my life for you. Let me reign with you after death.
Previous Knowledge: The Teacher should allow students to recall what constitutes the nature of those precautions that believers should take.
Bible Passage: 2 Cor. 5:6-8
Memory Verse: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
Some church denominations believe that all who die in God’s grace and friendship but are still imperfectly purified are indeed assured of their eternal salvation but will undergo the process of purification which they call purgatory, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of salvation. According to them, Purgatory is also a place of the condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are not entirely free from forgivable faults, or have not fully paid the price due to their transgressions. Is this doctrine of Purgatory in agreement with the Bible? Absolutely not.
To study the biblical position of the concept of purgatory.
Through this lesson, students should be able to:
- Understand the biblical position on purgatory.
- Debunk the wrong concept of purgatory.
To achieve the above-stated objective, teachers should:
- A teacher should also debunk the concept with appropriate scriptural supports as presented in today’s lesson.
- Summarise, conclude, evaluate and give assignments.
- Allow the assistant teacher to conduct the class, take the closing prayer and mark the assignment.
The scripture does not have support for purgatory in any sense. The true position of the scripture is to either be in the body or to be with the Lord. There is no vacuum or gap. 2 Cor. 5:6, 8. A look at the memory verse indicates that there is no vacuum after death. Heb. 9:27.
Teaching Method: Lecture teaching method.
Time Management: Two lessons outlines time allocation.
- WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PURGATORY?
The biblical passages wrongly referred to as the basis for purgatory are:
- 1 Cor. 3:15; 1 Peter 1:17. These scriptures clearly speak about works that shall stand the test of fire and be rewarded and those that shall not be able to stand.
- 1 Cor. 3:11-15. This scripture supports believers in Christ who make it to Heaven and would be rewarded according to the value of their works.
- The bible mentioned in Heb.9:17 that after death comes the judgment. Therefore, the ‘purifying fire’ is referred to as the judgment seat of Christ where work will be judged. 2 Cor. 5:10.
- The “fire” in this context is symbolic of the motive or objectives behind every work of believers.
- The sinners will go straight to hell. Ps. 9:17. The wicked shall be turned to hell. That is the destination of sinners who refused to repent while alive.
- In the expression “It shall not be forgiven him in this world, neither in the world to come”, the expression “in the world to come” means among the Jew that, “it will never be done”.
- God’s wrath shall overtake sinners who refuse to genuinely repent their sins before death. Ps. 9:17, Matt. 13: 49-50.
Class Activity 1
Why do you think that anyone would wish to repent after death?
Lesson Outline 2: Debunking The Wrong Concept
- Purgatory like many other heretic beliefs is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of Christ’s sacrifice and of the scripture.
- Jesus’ sacrifice for sinners is a once and for all sacrifice. The sacrifice was perfect and absolute. Heb. 7:27.
- Those who believe in purgatory fail to believe that the work of salvation needs no additional contribution to what Christ has done. Eph. 2: 8-9
- They fail to understand that there is no need for another cleansing in addition to the one Christ has done with his blood. 1 John 1: 7-9.
- They fail to believe that praying for the dead for the forgiveness of their sins is baseless because Jesus by his death, has paid the penalty for all our sins. John 1:1,14
- Jesus died for our sins and paid the price once and for all. 1 Cor. 15:3.
- Jesus atoned for our sins, therefore, there is no need for any purgatory again. 1 John 2:2, Romans 5:8, Is. 53:5.
- The belief that man would not suffer for his sin after death has no basis in the Bible. It is also contrary to the true biblical teaching on salvation.
Class Activity 2
Identify any other wrong teaching which is contradictory to the bible.
Summary: There is no purgatory for cleansing of sin after death.
Conclusion: There is no basis for purgatory in the bible. Therefore, make your way right before you die.
Evaluation: Why is purgatory heretic?
Closing Prayer: Father, set free all your children who have fallen victim to heretic doctrines.
Assignment: Find five reasons why people believe false and heretic teachings.
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