27 July, 2009

Discussion with Richardatf about the Communion of Saints and Soul Sleep

(richardatf) Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

(Cristoiglesis) OK, would you mind telling me what this verse has to do with what we are discussing? In any case, this is what the Church teaches from the New Testament that we wrote.

(richardatf) talking about Jesus here, but you pray to dead "saints" for intercession, and what is intercession asked for if not for salvation/forgiveness of sins?

(Cristoiglesia) Calling a saint dead is an oxymoron. One cannot be a saint and be dead in Christ. Yes we are instructed in Scriptures to pray for each other out of love for one another.

This is from my blog:

First of all it is disingenuous to state that the practice of praying for each other has no biblical foundation, we are instructed in Scripture to have a prayer life for others as it is part of God’s commandment to love one another.

(2Co 5:8 DRB) But we are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body and to be present with the Lord.

The Catholic Church does not teach that it is absolutely necessary for one to ask for the intercession of saints for salvation. The Church does teach that prayer to God is necessary for salvation for all believers. For a Catholic it would be wrong to ignore the liturgical worship offered to God at feast days for the saints and the prayers asking for their intercession.

The Communion of Saints is a dogma of the ancient Church and is recorded in the apostles Creed. It simply states that the faithful because of their relationship with Christ are alive even after the death of their flesh and worship with us. To us the Church is made up of the Church militant who represents all those believers living out their hope in the flesh.

(Phi 2:12 DRB) Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but much more now in my absence) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.

(Phi 2:13 DRB) For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will.

It consists of the Church Suffering who are those who are temporarily in need of further purgation from sin so that they may enjoy the presence of God.

(2Ma 12:46 DRB) It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

Lastly, the Communion of the Saints consists of those who have won the race:

(Phi 3:14 DRB) I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

Their immortal souls are in heaven in God’s presence:

(Rev 5:8 DRB) And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

The universal stream connecting all of God’s creation is His love, which we take on in our baptism into our journey towards sanctification. This is not an emotional but a desire placed in us by the Spirit of God that endures as a desire for those other than ourselves and this love extends even to our enemies. This is truly a love that comes only from God and is a foreign concept and nonsense to those who have not received God’s salvific grace. This desire within our souls does not end with the death of our flesh but continues into eternity where the saints through their intercession in prayer encourage us in our race and assist us to endure unto our union with God.

I think that some people of faith, who do not understand the Communion of Saints, somehow believe that asking saints to pray for us is detracting from our love or our trust in God. In truth it is impossible, if we truly love as God commands and has given us the grace to understand, not to pray to those whom we love and in turn we expect them to return that same love to us by praying for us and presenting our prayers to God.

(richardatf) Speaking of dead folk. Your damnable church teaches that people go to heaven at the time of theiir death.

1st Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

I guess, according to your church, the souls in heaven are stuck back into their bodies for the resurrection? stupidity! Why was Lazarus happy to be brought back from the dead if he was ripped out of heaven?

(Cristoiglesia) The Scriptures are very clear that our souls are immortal. Some will say that the soul is not immortal such as Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses. Their doctrine is used to deny the existence of saints in heaven and thus the “Communion of Saints.”

(Isa 14:9 DRB) Hell below was in an uproar to meet thee at thy coming, it stirred up the giants for thee. All the princes of the earth are risen up from their thrones, all the princes of nations.

(Isa 14:10 DRB) All shall answer, and say to thee: Thou also art wounded as well as we, thou art become like unto us.

(Isa 14:11 DRB) Thy pride is brought down to hell, thy carcass is fallen down: under thee shall the moth be strewed, and worms shall be thy covering.

(Isa 14:12 DRB) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?

(Isa 14:13 DRB) And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north.

(Isa 14:14 DRB) I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High.

(Isa 14:15 DRB) But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit.

(Isa 14:16 DRB) They that shall see thee, shall turn toward thee, and behold thee. Is this the man that troubled the earth, that shook kingdoms,

(Isa 14:17 DRB) That made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the prison to his prisoners?

(1Pe 3:19 DRB) In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison:

In both the verses from Isaiah and the verses from 1 Peter they indicate that the dead are conscious. Could Christ have preached to the spirits in heaven if they were asleep? Of course, He could not.

The following verses further contradict Ellen White’s and Charles Russell’s theory that the soul sleeps until the Parousia. Death simply allows the saint to be present with the Lord. The body is just a tent that does not last and man cannot kill the soul which lives after the death of our bodies and the saints in heaven offer our prayers to God while living in happiness.

(2Co 5:8 DRB) But we are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body and to be present with the Lord.

(2Co 5:1 DRB) For we know, if our earthly house of this habitation be dissolved, that we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

(2Co 5:2 DRB) For in this also we groan, desiring to be clothed upon with our habitation that is from heaven.

(2Co 5:3 DRB) Yet so that we be found clothed, not naked.

(2Co 5:4 DRB) For we also, who are in this tabernacle, do groan, being burthened; because we would not be unclothed, but clothed upon, that that which is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

(2Pe 1:13 DRB) But I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.

(Mat 10:28 DRB) And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.

(Rev 6:9 DRB) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.

(Rev 6:10 DRB) And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (Holy and True), dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

(Rev 6:11 DRB) And white robes were given to every one of them one; And it was said to them that they should rest for a little time till their fellow servants and their brethren, who are to be slain even as they, should be filled up.

(Rev 5:8 DRB) And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

(Rev 14:13 DRB) And I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me: Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours. For their works follow them.

We also learn from Scriptures that the soul lives eternal in hell as well as heaven:

(Rev 14:11 DRB) And the smoke of their torments, shall ascend up for ever and ever: neither have they rest day nor night, who have adored the beast and his image and whoever receiveth the character of his name.

(Mat 25:41 DRB) Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.

(Mat 25:42 DRB) For I was hungry and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty and you gave me not to drink.

(Mat 25:43 DRB) I was a stranger and you took me not in: naked and you covered me not: sick and in prison and you did not visit me.

(Mat 25:44 DRB) Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to thee?

(Mat 25:45 DRB) Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen: I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

(Mat 25:46 DRB) And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

(Luk 16:19 DRB) There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day.

(Luk 16:20 DRB) And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores,

(Luk 16:21 DRB) Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. And no one did give him: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

(Luk 16:22 DRB) And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell.

(Luk 16:23 DRB) And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom:

(Luk 16:24 DRB) And he cried and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame.

(Luk 16:25 DRB) And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented.

(Luk 16:26 DRB) And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither.

(Luk 16:27 DRB) And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren,

(Luk 16:28 DRB) That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments.

(Luk 16:29 DRB) And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them.

(Luk 16:30 DRB) But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.

(Luk 16:31 DRB) And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.

(Mar 9:42 DRB) (9:41) And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me: it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the sea.

(Mar 9:43 DRB) (9:42) And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire:

(Mar 9:44 DRB) (9:43) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

(Mar 9:45 DRB) (9:44) And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting than having two feet to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire:

(Mar 9:46 DRB) (9:45) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

(Mar 9:47 DRB) (9:46) And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire:

(Mar 9:48 DRB) (9:47) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

(Mat 18:8 DRB) And if thy hand, or thy foot, scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.

(Mat 8:12 DRB) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Certainly one can see from all the evidence in Scriptures that soul sleep is not a supportable doctrine.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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