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1 Corinthians 15:54–57
From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles
Here too, there was nothing but anguish and misery, as some thought that they would never get out of purgatory because the old teachings declared seven years of penance were required for a single mortal sin.
Pulling It Together
Imagine the distress of a woman who longs to be with her husband but who has been told she will not see him again for another 50 years. Reunion is a lifetime away! Now, imagine a person who longs to be with Jesus. She has been told she will not only wait throughout this life, but then, have to continue waiting after death, for an indeterminate length of time in a purgatory. This is downright cruel—and false.
Victory over sin and death is not a matter of working off sins—let alone seven years of work for a single sin. Jesus has conquered our sin, triumphed over death. There is nothing left for us to do in this life or the next. Jesus has done it all. Believe that (have faith in him) and be at peace with God.
Prayer: Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen.
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In Harmony with the Word is an eight-session Bible Study focusing on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5-7. It is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. The study would serve as an excellent resource for monthly women's group meetings, or in an informal small-group setting.