In my personal opinion, Purgatory does not exist. I've been taught this since I was little and my dad would teach me about the tribulation. (yes, my family has discussions on these things regularly.) Up until just recently, all of my friends believed same as I: Purgatory doesn't exist. However, in discussing with a friend these things, I discovered that he believed in Purgatory and we proceeded to get into a long conversation about it. I did a great deal of research on it and then wrote him with my response to his entire premise. I thought I would post it here. If anyone sees something theologically incorrect, I would love to know about it. :)
I've done quite a bit of research about our Purgatory conversation. If you don't mind, I'm going to send you some of my responses. Okay now I'm going to split these thoughts into two different parts: atonement and sanctification.
First, atonement. Now, we talked a lot about "getting rid" of our sins and you basically say that humans can get rid of their sinful nature on their own. Here's my question: if we can get rid of the very thing that causes us to sin...why did Jesus have to die? If he wasn't the bridge between us and God, if we could rid ourselves of sin without him, then why did God subject Jesus to such an awful death? We already had the "law". We knew what we had to do in order to be perfect. And the Israelites did indeed try to be perfect sometimes. They strove to follow the rules but their sinful nature always got in the way. Another thing: humans cannot be perfect. The only perfect person is Jesus. By saying you can be perfect on your own, you're essentially saying that you can become God. We can only be perfect through God's help.
John 15:5- "Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
Our sins have been TAKEN away. Yes, they are simply "magicked" away by the grace of God.
Isaiah 4:7- "And he touched my mouth and said, 'Behold, this has touched your lip; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.'"
Hebrews 10:22- "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
Hebrews 9:11-28 (quoted here is specifically v. 26, however, the entire passage does support my point and v. 14 especially.)- "for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to PUT AWAY SIN by the SACRIFICE of HIMSELF." (emphasis mine)
Romans 3:20- "For by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."
Romans 4:5- "And to the one who does not work, but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness."
Romans 10:13- "For everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved."
All of the above passages support my point: God has taken away our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. Our sinful NATURE cannot be taken away. Our SIN is gone. And that's my second point underneath atonement; our sinful nature will stay until God removes it in Heaven. Yes, it is, as you say, "magicked" away. It cannot be taken away simply by doing good. Yes, I know you say that then "What is the point of sanctification?", but I will be addressing that later.
Romans 3:10- "As it is written, 'None is righteous, no not one.'"
Psalm 14:3- "They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one."
Psalm 53:3 says basically the same thing.
Now let's move onto sanctification. Basically, your question is, "If the purpose of sanctification is not to remove your sin/sinful nature, then what IS the purpose?" My answer? The purpose of sanctification is to learn who God is and to make Him known. THAT is the purpose of sanctification. We do good works, not to better ourselves for we all have "fallen short" as John 3:16 says. We do good works to glorify God and to learn more about who He is. It's a learning period, not a purging period.
1 Corinthians 10:31- "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (now, in this passage, he was referring to the specific example of eating food that has been offered to you, but the point still stands that your actions and your purpose should be to glorify God.)
Galatians 5:13 and 17- "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another...For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do." (point of this passage is two-fold: One, your freedom refers to your release from bondage from sin. Basically, Paul says use your salvation to serve one another NOT to rid yourself of your sinful nature. In fact (and this is the second point), he goes on to say that the "flesh" (referring to your sinful nature) is STILL THERE and it will always be there, battling with your conscience: the Holy Spirit.)
John 15:8- "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." (And again, we see Jesus saying that God is glorified through us BEARING FRUIT. And we all know that bearing fruit is referring to the fruits of the Spirit or doing good.)
I know that you don't have any actual Biblical evidence for Purgatory and I understand that and accept your arguments as valid anyway. However, I did feel that I needed evidence to provide as I am not quite as learned as you in these matters. (so now you know I'm not just making it up basically lol.) Also, I did try to make sure my points made logical sense so that you could also understand the point and see how it countered yours. Anyway, those are my thoughts! Let me know if something doesn't make sense and I'll try to clarify it...