Introduction

The doctrine of Purgatory, which the Catholic Church teaches, states that if one is not evil enough to go to hell but not good enough to go straight to heaven, they will spend a certain amount of time in Purgatory.  Purgatory is akin to a temporary hell to purge someone of their sins.  When a person has spent enough time in Purgatory to purge their sins, they are then released to heaven.

What Does the Bible Say?

The Scripture does not mention Purgatory at all or even anything like it.  However, the Scripture does not mention the Trinity or missionary either; therefore, it is necessary to see what Scripture does mention about the doctrine of Purgatory.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:39-43)

If Purgatory exists, both of the malefactors would spend a significant amount of time there, if they were going to heaven at all.  According to this passage, the second malefactor did not spend any time at all in Purgatory.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)