PURGATORY, DOES IT Exist?

Jesus. He is highly regarded in the Christian and Islamic faith. According to Christianity He is God and unto Islam He is a prophet. Either way these are the two faiths I do interact with often. As to whether He is God or prophet, I leave it there. If the two faiths esteem Him, then His life: actions and words do matter to us a lot. The two faiths also have eternity in the scene. The description to get where, heaven or hell, varies. Either Islam or Christianity is correct while the other is wrong- case for another day. What happens after death is my concern in this article. From a common point of view I’ll pick Christ.
What happens to an individual after death? Can anything be changed after death? Jannah. This is an Islamic funeral prayer offered in congregation to seek pardon for the deceased and ALL DEAD MUSLIMS. If no one fulfills it, then all Muslims will be accountable. This is not only done before the burial but also in the continuous life, that is, all along. No wonder Muslims always say this statement ‘peace be upon him (PBUH) everytime they mention Mohamed or one of his disciple. But they are dead, why pray for them to change or will God review His decision? This practice is also practiced by traditionalist who keep on conducting libations and offering sacrifices to the dead – classified as the living dead and the ancestors and spirits and such wayward believes. More to it Catholicism also practices this. I have been to burials where the mass was conducted by catholic and they prayed that the dead be forgiven and his/ her soul delivered from hell. Purgatory, the place for temporal punishment, is a belief they hold dearly. This makes me think then that there is no need to fear dying even if you are a sinner because if such a place exists you’ll still get to heaven after going through purgatory for just a shortwhile. Additionally I’ve heard of my friends and relatives who are Catholics take the names of their dead relatives for prayers, that’s long duration after burial, to pray for them so that their souls rest well and that God may have mercy on them. But, is that the truth? Dis Jesus Christ really teach that anywhere?
What does Jesus teach about life in eternity? Referencing Christ’s word from the Bible, since Quran doesn’t have His citations, He gave a description of what happens. Luke 16:19-31 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’
Mundu aakagirwo na miti iria etuiriire (your hut is built using the stalks you have gathered). How one lives this life dictates where one spends eternity. The prayer for the dead is an unbiblical doctrine for people who don’t want to come to terms that their friends/ relatives/ buddies never lived the way He (Christ) wanted. One can’t dispute Christ’s word unless with another of His reference. Indeed he said that He’s the way, truth and life John 14:6 and not only that but live in obedience to his word. John 15:1-15. He claimed this because He is the Saviour John 3:16. Just like the rich man, after death the book is closed and what awaits is God’s judgement and whatever the living do, it will never alter the place where God has dictated for your life. The earlier we accept that life is to be lived as God has ordained it, the better we are in securing our eternal destiny in heaven, otherwise, the destiny is the opposite. The conclusion of the matter is this: AFTER DEATH: JUDGEMENT.

WHEN WE GET HOME

When we were young we would go for holidays at our grandpa’s home under the instructions of Mama. Trust you me irrespective of the goodies and freedom experienced, one often felt that home was the best place to be irrespective of the duties and tasks and decimal freedom experienced. As a matter of fact even if one was experiencing privileges of that which they don’t experience at home, still home remained the best place to be.
Even now, as an adult, the feeling of wanting to be at my home still dwells in me. I miss being at my home place as opposed to being far away. No wonder we call it homesick. There is an attachment that is associated with the whole idea of getting to land home. Soldiers are more better to explain this. Fighting in a foreign land for a worth course of defending your nation yet when you get home you feel refreshed.
It is in a similar case with the hear of man. The Bible say that the heart of a man is restless till it finds its resting place in Him (God). Though there be a contenment of a kind, yet there is no completeness in it. This is so because the heart has been created with a deficiency which only the grand designer can fill: God. You fill it with all the luxury and thought and merry etc, still the space will leave an unsatisfied blank.
The thoughts about a glorious world will often cross an individuals mind. The same one will build castles in the mind yet work hard to achieve it, one has to think of heaven, hell, life after death even if one be in denial. I’m sure that all would like to be in the better place than in the worst place. In anycase, we always prefer good to evil/bad.
The earlier the better an individual summons themselves and asks if there are standards required to get there or the path or is it a place for anybody. The most certain way is to know that this imagination is of a place eternal. A desire to get home, eternal place, is not only longed for by the heart as at this moment but it is a place we long to go to and dwell. The desire rekindles ones flame to to be on the look-out and therefore guarding themselves and denouncing everything that may distract them from from getting to the place: home.

WE DEFINE CROOKED FROM STRAIGHT

In our day to day life we often feel, hear, experience and engage in affairs that trigger mixed reaction. It is C.S Lewis who said that a man can’t call a line crooked unless he had an idea of a straight line. I’m sure you and I can attest to this. We often talk of unfairness because there is fairness, injustice because there is justice, bad because there is goodness, evil because of right amongst others.
I frequently hear of oppression taking occurrence between employer and employee as well as experience it, individuals narrating of how in the pursuit of justice they were taken for a walk in the jungle and gave up on the course and how others got it through a backdoor. Such vices do create bitterness in the hearts of many who deep within are sure that they deserved, yet it was served to another. Bribery is recipe for the day just like coffee is in almost all restaurants. Unfortunately these vices are so popular that they been normalized by being baptized and sugarcoated with sweet nametags like handshake, chai (tea), kurudisha mkono (extending a hand of gratitude) amongst others. The nametags are in themselves good used for the wrong motive: cover-ups.
Sure enough the moment you state that it is wrong to practice such, people will look at you as if you want to hold their eyes in your palm. Facts are facts, truth is truth even if all people think it to be opinions and lies respectively. If these things are just but a feeling, then nobody should feel offended by the other person’s actions and responses because according to them they were right and fine in doing so. Then, why do we complain? It is because there is a standard higher than us. that’s the moral law giver: God.
These vices are not inventions that we’ve invented. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes dictates that all we can see happening was happening in the olden days: a replica. Throughout the Bible, the story of Israelite is a mirror to us of the ways in which we fail God yet he doesn’t crush us at a go because if willing, He can. He has allowed time. Himself, God, keeps on calling us to change for the betterment of ourselves as well as others. Total vengeance is his and he can opt to pass it on in this life or life after. In Amos 5, he declares of the signs he has laid open before them to just draw them to change yet it doesn’t occur to them that he is doing so. They continue in wickedness and injustice, shedding of blood of innocent people, oppression, etc just like our modernized society. The strong find it funny when they are told that God will revenge for the weak, the oppressor too, the judge too, etc. A time and again the ultimate judgment seems to be a thing unimaginable but the Lord always declare that it is near.
His, God, word is not in vain. His whip befell them just as forewarned, even after Amos pleading their case. 1 timothy 2 admonishes us to pray for all including them that are in authority. However, God ain’t a magician or one intending to create robots in that he may force one to change even upon being prayed for. There is a freewill whereby change has to be a personal initiative under his guidance if we let him be. Hence, our leaders and everybody else has a choice to make. To walk in justice or not, to love or to hate, to worship or not to, to be corrupt or not to, and so on but the equation will always have an ultimate answer: to whose drum beat is one dancing at and how will The Just Judge judge you. We have choices when it comes to making decision but we have none when it comes to the outcomes.