This heartfelt message was posted to the Proclaiming The Gospel BBS by J.L. Desroches on Sunday, 9 January 2000
Today, January 9, 2000 is the 21st anniversary of the death of my father. He would have been 73 three days ago.
As a Catholic I prayed for him after he died, hoping that he was in Purgatory. He wasn't "that" bad so I figured that's where he was. My mother, for ten years, had Masses said for him; which in the first few years was a great financial drain on a new widow without even a high school education. Thank God, and I do not mean that flippantly, the Lord allowed her to she acquire a job at IBM and from then on out she made really good money.
My mother finally gave up on the Masses. Why? Not because she loved my father any less but her priest started saying the Mass; which was SUPPOSED to be for my father, for two or three other people at the same time. This really ticked my mother off. Unfortunately it didn't tick her off enough; she's still a devout Catholic.
I don't pray for my father any more. I certainly hope he's with the Lord in heaven but, I don't know for sure. Perhaps it's wishful thinking but I saw things in him that make me think now that he just might have been saved. He was a Catholic to his death but there were things...
Now that probably sounds awful to the Catholics reading this: (that I don't pray for him). The reason I don't is this. If my father is in heaven he doesn't need my prayers, if he's in hell (which I hope he isn't) then my prayers won't do him any good. There is no mythical place called Purgatory. When you die you go to heaven or you go to hell.
If my father was a non-believer (not saved) then he will appear before the Great White Throne Judgment:
Everybody at this Judgment is damned. They all go to the lake of fire.
However if my father was saved; I have hope because he went through two wars (World War II & Korea) so perhaps at some point God drew him to Himself, then he will appear at the Judgment seat of Christ.
This is the judgment of the Bride of Christ (All born again believers). Here we will either receive crowns (rewards) or lose them depending upon our works.
If our works were for the glory of God a crown, if to be seen of men the loss of that potential crown. Our salvation is NOT in jeopardy. We are saved. Here WORKS COUNT! Not to be saved or to keep yourself saved but done for the glory of God.
God has promised to reward us, to give us crowns, which once we have received we will cast them at His feet!
This doctrine of the Judgment Seat of Christ is taken from the same passage that Rome gets her "Purgatory". Which now the pope says isn't a real place but a "..state of being" whatever that means.
If my father was saved then I will rejoice with him at the Judgment Seat of our Saviour! If he was not? Perhaps this is why God will wipe away our tears.
No I will not pray for my father today. I will remember him and hope he was saved. It is most likely that he wasn't. I can only hope.
Nobody wants to think about their loved one burning in Hell for all eternity. What a terrible thought! But, God is just and he is not willing that any should perish.
Won't you receive the free gift of salvation from God today? Make sure YOU know where you will spend eternity so your children won't have to hope you're in heaven as I do for my father.
Rome's way is the broad way that leads to destruction. It is a false gospel my friends. Where is the Good News in her gospel? Rome's gospel is that Christ died for you but then it's up to you to keep yourself saved. If that's the way it is, then I am on my way to hell, for I am a sinner and worthy only of the damnation of God!
Praise God for His FREE GIFT!
Soli Deo Gloira