Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Purgatory?

QUESTION: What do you think of the following: "If a man will not let the Holy Spirit burn his selfishness out of him in this life, it will have to be done in the next"?

ANSWER: This is the doctrine of the Roman Catholics, who have borrowed from Grecian paganism purgatorial fires for curable sinful souls. It is also the teaching of modern Universalism that all the souls unfit for heaven when they leave the body will be purified by a limited punishment and will then be admitted to the life everlasting. The Scriptural basis for this doctrine is lack­ing. There is not the remotest hint that the work of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification of believers can be done after death, nor is there anywhere in the Bible any intimation that saving faith in Christ, followed by the new birth, is possible after the spirit becomes disem­bodied. There is positive proof that the sentences on the day of judgment are final and irreversible. It is equally certain that repentance and regeneration do not take place between death and the resurrection, for Christ says, "they that have done evil shall come forth unto the resurrection of damnation." The idea that good men will arise from bad men's graves implies the possibility that wicked men may arise from graves in which righteous men were buried! This is preposterous. The extension of probation till the day of judgment might solve some theological difficulties, but it would greatly weaken, if not destroy, the motive to repentance in the present life. Nothing that we have here said con­tradicts the possibility of a believer aspiring after perfect purity finding on his death-bed. All persevering believers belong to the new covenant which insures not only heaven but a fitness for heaven as the gift of God in probation.

Steele's Answers pp. 122, 123.