2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Isaiah 56:11
Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds which cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
E. J. POOLE-CONNOR (1872-1962): What is the cause of the many religious delusions that have ruled the children of men? Doubtless the devil himself is at the bottom of all religious befoolment. But looking at second causes there can be no question it has often been, and is still practiced because it is a vastly profitable occupation. From the African medicine-man, who demands beads and koos-koos for bringing down rain or scaring demons, as to the Roman priest, who requires a mass-fee for the deliverance of souls from purgatory, religious befoolment is largely a question of personal profit.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): There is no such place as purgatory.
HUGH LATIMER (1483-1555): There be purgatory―the purgatory of Christ’s precious blood shed for us; that other purgatory, that of the Papists, that be the pick purse―Purgatory Pick-purse!
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): There is a place, they tell us, which is called “purgatory,” and I am allowed to go there to get rid of this remaining sin which is unforgiven, this post-baptismal sin that is unforgiven. What happens to me there? Well, my relatives who are still left are praying for me and they are paying money as they do so. So you have all the “indulgences” and all the “prayers for the dead,” and all your candles and the money paid. The more you pay, the sooner will these sins be dealt with in purgatory, and the sooner will this person be allowed to go on. You see nothing about that in the Bible, do you? Of course you do not!
AUGUSTUS TOPLADY (1713-1778): The way to heaven lies not over a toll bridge, but over a free bridge.
E. J. POOLE-CONNOR: Moreover, in addition to the tangible pence, [to motivate religious deceit], is added tangible power, which is sweet to all men. He that can persuade his neighbour that he has control of the supernatural becomes at once a person above the common herd; a person it is well to conciliate, and dangerous to offend. Hence, both the African medicine-man and the Roman priest have but to say to one, come and he cometh; to another, go, and he goeth. It is, therefore, clearly to the interest of both to befool their neighbour, the former with tales about demons, which if they existed, would not be scared by his tom-tom; and the latter with tales of purgatory, which has no existence at all.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): The notion of a purgatory after death, which shall turn sinners into saints, is a lying invention of man, and is nowhere taught in the Bible. We must be saints before we die, if we are to be saints afterwards in glory.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins, Hebrews 10:11. If the Levitical offerings, which were of Divine appointment, were unable to really meet either the full requirements of God or the deepest need of sinners, how much less can the contrivances of man do so! How vain are the Romish inventions of confession, absolution, indulgences, masses, penances, purgatory, and the like tom-fooleries!
J. C. RYLE: The Bible tells us of no third habitation. There is no such thing as purgatory, whatever some ‘Christians’ may think fit to say. There is no house of purifying, training, or probation for those who are not true Christians when they die. Oh no!
A. W. PINK: Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing, Matthew 5:25, 26.
This is one of the passages appealed to by the papists in support of their Christ-insulting dogma of purgatory: that they have to apply to such verses as these in order to bolster up their error shows how hard pressed they are to find anything in the Scriptures which even appears to favour their vile tenets. The Roman expositors are not even agreed among themselves. Some take the “adversary” to be the Devil, and the “judge” God Himself; but others among them suppose the “adversary” to be God administering His Law, the “judge” they regard as Christ, the “officer” an angel, and the “prison” to be purgatory; “the way,” the span of our life on earth. ‘Agree with God while thou art in this life, lest thou come before Christ in judgment, and He cause His angels to cast thee into purgatory, and there thou remainest till thou hast made full satisfaction for all thy venial sins,’ [they say].
But such a concept utterly ignores the context, where Christ lays down a rule of reconciliation between man and man, and not between God and man. Moreover, such an ‘interpretation’ pits the Father against the Son. Finally, it denies the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement, making the sinner himself the one who provides satisfaction for his venial sins.
C. H. SPURGEON: It is usually one of their cardinal doctrines, that no man can know he is saved, so that the only position they get in this life, is to slave on with a dim hope and to die with a grim rite, and according to one faith to go—even if it were the best man in the church—to go to purgatory. Ah, cheerless prospect! If I were a Roman Catholic, I should turn a heretic, in sheer desperation, because I would rather go to heaven than go to purgatory. I cannot see any advantage that is offered to a man: if he gets all he can get, it is not worth having. Who among you would slave his life away in voluntary humiliations, buoyed up with the cheering faith of purgatorial fires at the goal of your days?
JOHN ANGELL JAMES (1785-1869): It is a fearful thing to come to a deathbed with a religion so feeble as to leave the poor soul in dreadful doubt as to its state.
BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): Lazarus died, the Rich Man died, Luke 16:19-26. So far there was one event to each alike: but “after death, came the judgment;” and how different to each was the event in the judgment that followed? Lazarus died, and, by the judgment of God, went immediately to heaven; the Rich Man died, and, by the judgment of God, went immediately to hell. As this history is narrated by our Lord Himself, we know that it is pure and unmixed truth. How unanswerably, then, does it confute and overthrow the unscriptural doctrine of purgatory? Let no man deceive you.
THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): As death leaves us, so judgment will find us.
J. C. RYLE: This is the one true way of peace—justification by Christ. Beware lest any turn you out of this way and lead you into any of the false doctrines of the Church of Rome. Alas, it is amazing to see how that false Church has built a house of error near by the house of truth! Hold fast the truth of God about justification, and be not deceived. Listen not to anything you may hear about other mediators and helpers to peace. Remember there is no mediator but one—Jesus Christ. Remember there is no purgatory for sinners but one—the blood of Christ. Remember there is no sacrifice for sin but one—the sacrifice once made on the cross. Remember there are no works that can merit anything—but the work of Christ. Remember there is no priest who can truly absolve—but Christ. Stand fast here, and be on your guard. Give not the glory due to Christ, to another.