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22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.

Reading this statement of Luther causes us to think of the separation of this life and the afterlife. From scripture we know that we can only come to believe while we live, when we die it is too late to decide to believe.

In I Corinthians 15:19 it says, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” In these words Paul is reminding the Christians that if we are believing in Christ just to make our life here on earth better, we are misinformed.

Christ never promised that our life would be better or easier if we believed in Him, in fact He tells us just the opposite He says our life will be harder. That is not to say that God does not bless us in this life because there are blessings that we receive right here on earth. But when this life is over we will be blessed in a whole new way.

This causes us to remember that we can only come to believe and trust in Jesus while we are living. When we die it is too late to believe. That is why as followers of Christ we live with such a feeling of urgency for others to come to believe, before it is too late. That is why we tell of His love to anyone who will listen, before it is too late!

Prayer

Dear God, fill me anew with the power of Your Spirit that I may believe and live! Give me the courage to proclaim You and Your plan of salvation to all that I meet. Please bring many more people to come to believe, before it is too late. In Jesus name, Amen.