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“What happens to us after we die? Do we go to purgatory or to Heaven?”

That is a good question. The Apostle Paul wrote that those who have been faithful Christians go on to be with the Lord (Phil 1:21-24). The book of Revelation gives similar pictures of the faithful going on to be with the Lord when they die (Rev 6:9-11; 7:9-17).

The other side of the picture is a frightening one. Those who are not faithful Christians will spend eternity “away from the presence of the Lord (2 Thess 1:9).” The Bible calls this “Hell.” One of the descriptions given for Hell is the “lake of fire (Rev 29:15).”

There is no mention of purgatory in the Bible. Purgatory is a doctrine that developed in the medieval church with no Biblical basis. What about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luk 16:19-31)? This parable does not describe a “waiting place.” The rich man’s destiny was sealed because he could not leave his torment.

The Bible does speak of a resurrection (1 Cor 15:12-58; 1 Thess 4:13 - 5:11). The pictures of the resurrection show us that we will not be “dead” or disembodied spirits. We will have a body with which to serve God.

Then, there is the final judgment (Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11-15). Since a man’s destiny is sealed when he dies, the judgment is more a less a handing down of a sentence rather than a deliberation.

The Bible tells us that God is not willing that any should perish. He wants everyone to repent, turn to Jesus and be saved. If you would like more information on this on what it means to turn to Jesus, please write or email

John Telgren
P.O. Box 452
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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