Saw this and was appalled http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/16/vatican-indulgences-pope-francis-tweets?CMP=twt_gu
These are a way by which punishment for sin is reduced through a person’s own sufferings. An indulgence removes the time needed to be spent in purgatory. It has become a loose doctrine to some Roman catholics and they teach two kinds of indulgences: partial and plenary. A partial indulgence removes part of the punishment of sins. A plenary indulgence removes all of the punishment of sins. Granting an indulgence of a certain number of days or years means that is how many days or years is removed from the time of punishment a person must undergo in purgatory.
Is this biblical? Not at all. Its an awful, cruel and false teaching a way used to control people.
But how does a person cleanse himself of his own sins? The fact is we cant, its impossible. If there were a means by which we could cleanse ourselves of our own sins, then God would have provided that. Its all about God’s undeserved Grace for His creation…. us.
21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:21
This is saying that we are saved through our faith in Jesus, not by works, sufferings or payments to appease him, Jesus did it for you and me. This faith in Jesus then leads us (sinners) to live a changed life that God approves, that brings glory to him.
Being made right with God is not by our suffering, but by Christ’s.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:4-6
Theres one way your sins are atoned for and thats through the work of Jesus on the cross, he died as a substitute for our sin, resurrecting triumphantly over Satan, sin and death. He is now exalted as King of Kings, Lord of Lords; and he will come again to judge the living and the dead, sending the repenting to his heavenly Kingdom and sentencing the unrepentant to Hell.
Again be aware of what the Bible teaches after all it is the word of God, don’t let anyone fool you, mislead you or trick you into a false teaching and outright lie.