What happens to dead people? Part 2

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Matthew 7:14 “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.”  Extra Reading: Matthew 7:13-29

Where are the dead? What is your answer to the question? One Catholic friend of mine tried to answer this question for us. He said, “We are divided in our opinion, more than two-thirds of us holding the Catholic and nearly one-third the general Protestant view. Our teachings are very explicit along the lines of your question. We have canvassed the subject from every standpoint in the light of Divine Revelation. Our conclusion and teaching are that when anyone dies, he goes to one of the places; first, the saintly, of whom we claim there are but a few, go immediately to the presence of God, to heaven.” These are referred to by our Lord, saying, “Whosoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). Those who faithfully bear the cross are the “little flock,” the “elect.” Respecting these Jesus says, “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). These saintly do not include our clergy, not even our bishops, cardinals and popes; for you will find that when any of these die, it is a custom of the church that masses be said for the repose of their souls. We would not say masses for any we believe to be in heaven, because there surely is repose for every soul; neither would we say masses for them if we believed them to be in eternal hell, for masses could not avail them there. He continued to say that “we do not teach that many go to the eternal hell. It is our teaching that only incorrigible heretics-persons who have had a full knowledge of Catholic doctrines and who have willfully and deliberately opposed them-these alone meet the awful, hopeless fate’

He continued to tell me about purgatory. “The dead in general, according to our teaching, pass immediately to Purgatory, which is, a place of purgation from sin, a place of penances, sorrows, woes, anguish indeed, but not hopeless. The period of confinement here may be centuries of thousands of years, according to the deserts of the individual and the alleviations granted.” He believed that billions of the heathen are there; because ignorance does not save, does not qualify for the heavenly condition. All who enter heaven must previously have been fitted and prepared in a manner impossible to the heathen. Millions of Protestants are there. They could not enter heaven, except through the portals of the Catholic Church; neither would God deem them worthy of eternal hell, because their rejection of Catholicism was due to the confession of faith under which they were born and environed. He continued to say nearly all Catholics go to Purgatory also, because, notwithstanding the good offices of our church, our holy water, confessions, masses, holy candles, consecrated burying ground, etc. nevertheless, not having attained to saintship of character, they would be excluded from heaven until the distressing experiences of Purgatory would prepare their hearts for heaven. He further said that Catholics will not need to remain as long in Purgatory as will the Protestants and heathen.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to stick to Jesus until judgment. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise

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