Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The "Exception Clause" and 1 Cor 7 Collision



 Marriage is a holy institution between a man and a woman designed by God. It is no mystery that if you read my other posts, I believe the Bible proves that time and time again, those who divorce or believed that a divorce ended their marriage do so with hard hearts. The Bible also proves that in every case, that remarriage after divorcing a living spouse is adultery. The Bible also proves that anyone who "marries" a divorced spouse commits adultery and remains in adultery until there is repentance.

What the Bible will prove in this post is that a confessing believer in the Lord Jesus Christ will NOT divorce and remarry no matter what happens in their marriage. A believer will trust in God to restore their prodigal spouse to Christ first…Then they will seek for the restoration of their marriage. If you read yesterdays post, Paul calls all believers to renew their minds…

    Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In this particular post, scripture will contradict those who believe that the Bible offers an “exception clause” to divorce and remarry. The exception clause is Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9  In yesterday’s post HERE, I gave examples of how the exception clause causes confusion and wickedness to those who pervert this exception clause for their own selfish desires. However, if the exception clause refers to betrothal marriage, there are no contradictions and no misunderstandings.  

The Gospel of Matthew is the only Gospel that offers this exception clause. The two verses are Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9. For the sake of this post, I offered three popular translations. The King James Version (KJV), the New International Version (NIV) and the New Living Translation (NLT) I want to be clear that I rely on the King James Version and the betrothal view of marriage that is only applicable to Jewish Christians who understood that “fornication", can only take place in a non-consummated betrothal marriage. More on this here.  For the sake of this post, I want to approach this exception clause from an alternative, yet equally compelling view.  

Matthew 5:32

King James Version (KJV)  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

New International Version (NIV)  But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

 New Living Translation (NLT)  But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9
King James Version (KJV) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

New International Version (NIV) I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

New Living Translation (NLT) And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.

If we read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, we see where Paul makes a blanket statement at the beginning of his discussion of marriage, and a blanket statement at the end of when his is talking about marriage. Paul is actually quoting what Jesus already says about marriage….If you notice, there is no exception clause in this beginning verses. These verses point to the permanence of marriage. Till death do we part!

The beginning…
1 Cor 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

The end…
 1 Cor 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

For the sake of this post, we will focus on what Paul says to the believer. We already have knowledge of what Paul says in verses 10 and 11….But now he addresses a situation. A believer married to an unbeliever….

1 Cor 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 
16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

In both verses 12 and 13, the believing spouse must not put away his or her unbelieving spouse if he or she is pleased to dwell in the marriage. If you notice, Paul does not mention any exception clauses. If this is the case, if a spouse commits sexual immorality/unfaithfulness/fornication, does this elevate them to “unbeliever” status?

Like yesterday’s post, I believe it I best to use fictitious names and a scenario as an example. We will use the names of Joe and Mary.

Joe marries Mary in the eyes of God and man. Mary has an adulterous affair with her co-worker. We will call this man Bob. According to this exception clause, Joe has the option to divorce Mary if she does not repent of her adulterous relationship with Bob. However, if we go specifically by this exception clause, is it mandatory that Joe divorce Mary, or can Joe forgive Mary should she repent?

In additions, do Mary’s actions qualify her as an "unbeliever" if she does not repent? If so, should Joe not put Mary away because she yet desires to live with Joe? Let us say Mary denies the fact that she is having an affair with Bob, and she seeks to remain in the marriage with Joe…Should Joe divorce Mary?

As you can see, the exception clause and 1 Cor 7 collide. The scripture commands that the believer is not to put a way an unbeliever who seeks to remain in the marriage. Can you see the stress and pain this would cause a believer? What is a believer to do in this situation if they cannot exit the marriage? This is what is referred to as an unequally yoked marriage (2 Cor 6:14). The believer will never be in peace if he or she remains in a marriage with an impenitent unbeliever.Yet, this is exactly what Paul commands of the believer.

If Mary seeks to leave the marriage with Joe to be with Bob, Joe is not obligated to stop Mary.  
1 Cor  
7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

However, Mary is in adultery with Bob because a divorce does not break the marriage bond. Joe will be at peace because Mary is no longer in the home.  Joe should also be at peace knowing that he is not a fault for Mary's actions. This verse (1 Cor 7:15) does not give Joe the option to divorce and remarry. The option Joe has is to pray for the salvation of the prodigals, Mary and Bob. If Joe divorces and remarries, he will enter into adultery himself, and he will cause Mary and Bob to remain in their adultery. This is tragic.

This is another example of how the exception clause causes more sin. In fact, divorce is a hardhearted decision that never ends well. Both Jesus and Paul preach that only death breaks a one-flesh marriage covenant. If we believe any other way, we contradict scripture and cause confusion. God wants to restore a marriage and no marriage can be restored if one or both believe the marriages ends any other way than death.

 The following scriptures are called accountability scriptures or Church Discipline. They help us to restore a sinner to repentance.

Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

God loves the most disobedient prodigal, and so must we. God demands repentance form sin, so must we trust in His word and act accordingly to His will.. Marriage may require one spouse to patiently wait on the Lord in singleness, so that God can restore the prodigal to Him. We must believe and trust in God’s faithfulness. Do not let others convince you that your marriage ends with the actions of a sinful spouse. Let the Holy Spirit guide you with the truth of God’s word and the truth of God’s promises. Remember, it was God who waited patiently for you, when you were yet far from Him.

We must not live as if this world is all there is. A marriage covenant is applicable in this lifetime. If you entered into marriage without considering God’s design for marriage, there will be consequences. However, if you truly love others as Christ loved you, you will lovingly point a prodigal to the truth of their sin. You will forgive when there is repentance. You will give God the glory even in the darkest hour by saying, Thy will be done…You will be an ambassador of reconciliation, a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to the Lord.  

In Christ’s love,

Neil  







Monday, April 28, 2014

The Wickedness and Deception of the "Exception Clause"




Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When I think of the thousands of divorces in our country, it grieves my heart. I co-facilitated a divorce care ministry for nearly five years and the common denominator of every single divorce was that one or both spouses had a hard heart. Forgiveness was not an option and neither was repentance. The saddest part of all, in most cases these were professing Christians. Yet, Paul calls the believer to be a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to the Lord. He calls us to renew our minds so that we may do the will of God. Marriage is a sacrifice…from self to selflessness.    

During my extensive research on the covenant of marriage, I noticed a recurring theme among those who believe that the exception clause validates divorce and remarriage. The Gospel of Matthew is the only Gospel that offers this exception clause. The two verses are Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9. For the sake of this post, I offered three popular translations. The King James Version (KJV), the New International Version (NIV) and the New Living Translation (NLT) I want to be clear that I rely on the King James Version and the betrothal view of marriage that is only applicable to Jewish Christians who understood that “fornication", can only take place in a non-consummated betrothal marriage. More on this here.  For the sake of this post, I want to approach this exception clause from an alternative, yet equally compelling view.   


Matthew 5:32

King James Version (KJV)  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.



New International Version (NIV)  But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.



 New Living Translation (NLT)  But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.



Matthew 19:9

King James Version (KJV) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.



New International Version (NIV) I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.



New Living Translation (NLT) And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.

There is a recurring theme is that the ONLY person who may use this “exception clause” is the “innocent” spouse of the marriage. I say, “Use” as if the word is an option for the innocent party. In other words, this “exception clause” is only applicable to the innocent spouse of sexual immorality/martial unfaithfulness. What many scholars and pastors will say that Jesus gives this exception clause as an option, yet they believe it is best that the believer should remain in the marriage and preserve the marriage as best as they are able. More on this “grace” later…

I want to get a handle on the exception clause first. If this is an option in the case of an innocent spouse, what are the consequences for the unfaithful spouse? What is required of the innocent spouse after the divorce? Is remarriage an option? As you will see, there is a lot of confusion in the exception clause. I believe it is best if I  use fictitious names and a scenario as an example. We will use the names of Joe and Mary:

Joe marries Mary in the eyes of God and man. Mary has an adulterous affair with her co-worker. We will call this man Bob. According to this exception clause, Joe has the option to divorce Mary if she does not repent of her adulterous relationship with Bob. However, if we go specifically by this exception clause, is it mandatory that Joe divorce Mary, or can Joe forgive Mary should she repent?

One thing to note before we continue… Is “adultery” the same as sexual immorality/martial unfaithfulness? What defines adultery? What defines sexual immorality/martial unfaithfulness? In this case, we can presume that Mary commits “adultery” as in sexual intercourse with Bob. However, we need proof that this is the case and not merely based on assumptions...

If Joe divorces Mary, we must assume that the marriage is over and that Joe can remarry another woman. At first glance, this looks simple enough. We must assume that Mary will never repent and that she must now remain in singleness the remainder of her life. After all, she was the guilty party in the marriage. If she remains with Bob, she remains in adultery, right?

We assume that once Joe divorces Mary, the marriage is over. It is assumed that Joe can remarry another woman. Would this release Mary of her sin of adultery against the Joe?  If Joe enters into a remarriage with another woman, is Mary now able to remarry Bob? In Mary’s case, she could say that since the marriage is over and Joe remarried, Mary is no longer in the sin of adultery anymore.

What is the verdict?

Here is a very important question… If Joe divorces Mary, will Joe’s remarriage to another woman CAUSE Mary to remain in this sin of adultery with no hope of repentance?

If you say no, then you are saying that sexual immorality/martial unfaithfulness is not a sin. After all, Mary did not repent of her adultery thus forcing Joe to divorce her. The ONLY answer is yes, Mary will remain in her adultery UNLESS Mary repents of her adultery with Bob and remains single the rest of her life.

One could argue that since the marriage is over, Mary could repent of her adultery and God would forgive her and she could marry Bob. However, if that is the case, why would not Joe remain single so that IF Mary repents, Joe and Mary could save their marriage? Not to mention that unrepentant adulterers, or any sinners for that matter, will NOT enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Suppose two days after Joe remarries another woman Mary repents and seeks to restore her marriage with Joe? Since Mary was too late, she decides to remain single the rest of her life saying that Joe had no scripture to support his remarriage. Mary believes that she sinned against God and Joe, and knows that even though she committed adultery, the blood of Christ covers her sin and she seeks to restore her marriage making a claim that Joe must repent of his remarriage.

As you can see, the exception clause creates a lot of problems and scenarios that could deceive many. I can assure you that these are but a few examples and that many more problems can occur in the “exception clause” scenario. Ultimately, there would be less confusion if “remarriage” were not an option after divorce. Yet, many pastors and biblical scholars believe that God gives the innocent party the option to divorce AND remarry.

Paul says this to the married,… 1 Cor 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

If Joe would not have divorced his wife and Mary repented of her adultery, there would be no scenarios except reconciliation of the marriage. If Mary was divorced by Joe and Joe remained single, Mary is left with no options except repentance and reconciliation of the marriage. You would think this would be the case…yet the exception clause causes wickedness and deception.

Many churches will remarry a person without ever asking so much as one question as to why they seek to remarry after a divorce. Even IF the innocent party remarries, the “guilty” need not repent of their sin. They can just go down the street and make a claim the THEY were the innocent party of the divorce. Who would know? What is more alarming is that many "famous' evangelical (P)astors teach that once a "remarriage" is solemnized by an ordained clergy, and vows are exchanged, this new "remarriage" suddenly becomes a "marriage in the Lord". To be clear that one must NEVER divorce from a "remarriage" as this would be evil. (rinse,lather and repeat)

Go to your church on Sunday and ask if the remarried person next to you if they were the “innocent” or “guilty” party of a divorce. Ask them if they initiated the divorce because they were the innocent spouse or if they committed adultery and believe they can remarry because their “innocent” spouse remarried someone else. How can we know if the remarried couple divorced and remarried according to the exception clause? What if they divorced and remarried just because they said they had an incompatible relationship in their first marriage? Are they in adultery, or is this remarriage legitimate? Does God recognize divorces and remarriages outside the confines of the “exception clause”?

We must take this divorce and remarriage business very seriously. If “remarriage” is adultery, then this sin will face judgment if not repented. It is clear that this exception clause causes confusion, and if left unabated, it will cause great wickedness to enter into the church. Unfortunately, that has already occurred and has gone on to epic proportions. Divorce and remarriage is so common in the professing church that no one bats an eye anymore. It will be no surprise that within a few years, no one will bat an eye to same-sex marriage.   

What is even more shameful is that many say that grace covers the thousands of divorces and remarriages. This “cheap” grace is no more than disobedience and unrighteousness to God’s covenant of marriage.  Instead of grace that remains in marriage, we make exceptions and loopholes to demand this grace to divorce and remarry. Grace is extended to the humble and contrite of heart. Those who live in self-righteousness to divorce and remarry believe in an “exception clause” that offers nothing of grace or truth, let alone having bodies that exemplify a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.

The grace I extend to those who believe in an exception clause is this. God is merciful and full of grace for those who humble themselves and repent of their divorce and remarriages. If singleness is required to glorify God, then that is the consequence of your disobedience to divorce and remarry in the first place. I can assure you that the Lord Jesus Christ wants a relationship with you first. If this was not your reason to get married in the first place, then now is the day for a new life in Him. We cannot expect anymore of a God who made marriage a representation of Christ’s love for His church, even when we did not.

 Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.



In Christ’s love,

Neil  

      

   

   





Sunday, April 27, 2014

Romans 8:1a and b…is the difference of Spirit vs. flesh, and joy vs. happiness.



I know we all have favorite verses, but did you ever use a verse of scripture out of context? Did you ever use part of a verse? I believe we all have. The bible is set up in most cases with numbers and sections that make it easier to quote and remember. Yet if we are not careful, we can use certain scripture out of context.  The term of this correct use scripture is called biblical hermeneutics. Typically the verse that defines biblical hermeneutics is 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  

One particular verse that some will use out of context is those who quote Romans 8:1. What usually happens is that many quote the first part of this verse and tend to exclude the second part.


Romans 8:1a There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus

The second part makes a distinction of those who are in Christ Jesus. This is important because if one walks in the flesh and quotes this verse; they do so out of context. 

Romans8:1b…who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Here is Romans 8:1-8 (KJV)

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Are we to please God, or are we to please ourselves and other men? If we put this into context, think of the rising trend of those professing Christians that believe they may remain in their homosexual lifestyle, yet not call this sin. They will quote Romans 8:1a, yet ignore Romans8:1b. We must also consider those professing Christians who believe they can fornicate before marriage and then quote Romans 8:1a, yet ignore Romans 8:1b. For the sake of covering all the bases, what of those who believe that they can remarry after divorce. They too will quote Romans 8:1a, yet in their own minds, are they walking in the flesh, or are they walking in the Spirit?    

I think it is essential to understand the difference of living in the flesh as opposed to living in the Spirit. Freedom from sin and death is important to know. In Romans 8:2-5, we see that it is the power of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ who was full in Spirit and came in the flesh to free us from the carnal nature of the flesh so that we live in the Spirit. Carnal living is what defined us before life in Christ.  

We did not understand this life of Spirit before we have a new life in Christ. Yet, we are still in the flesh and we can at times walk in the flesh as Paul write about in Romans 7. Yet, we have the Spirit to guide us, convict us and reside in us to battle the flesh. We should be eternally grateful that this life of the flesh is only a short amount of time on this earth, and we should be equally grateful that God provided the Holy Spirit to take us to our eternal home when the flesh finally dies.

The danger is walking in the flesh without ever acknowledging that we are walking in the flesh. This is the person who says that they can remain in the homosexual lifestyle and not call this sin. This is for the couple who says that pre-marital sex is just an action that will eventually happen anyway once they marry. If that were the case, why does God have such a high regard for marriage? God calls it adultery for those who divorce into remarriage. Instead of remaining in singleness after a divorce, a spouse after divorce most often will say that God wants them to be happy. Therefore, they remarry to appease their flesh rather than remain in the Spirit. They are not walking in the Spirit because their actions and lifestyle is of the flesh. We must question those that walk in the flesh and continue to do so without repentance. They lack a regenerated heart.

Human sexuality is a gift from God for the flesh, yet if we use this gift without living in the Spirit, there is condemnation. We know this because human sexuality is reserved for this life and not the life to come. If we make sexuality a priority in our lives, we make this sexuality into an idol. Human sexuality is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman and God called this was good. Once human sexuality exits into any other area other than marriage, it is a fleshy desire of sin.

We can narrow it down to happiness vs. holiness. Living in the flesh is for those who seek and desire happiness. Living in the Spirit is for those who seek and desire holiness. If God wanted us to be happy, He would have said so. Instead, God wants us to have joy. If we remain in the flesh we will experience this desire of happiness as it pertains to the flesh, yet happiness is temporal and unfulfilled. Joy comes through holiness by living in the Spirit. This is eternal joy that can be experienced in this life and the life to come.     

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

In Christ’s love and joy,

Neil

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Divorce in the Case of Abandonment?…1 Cor 7:15



In Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, there is a part of this letter where Paul talks about marriage. Unfortunately, the professing Protestant church has used one verse in this whole letter as a means in which to believe God allows for divorce and then remarriage. The particular verse is 1 Cor 7:15
But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

This particular scripture deals with one or two situations, those who were married and come to salvation in Christ, and those who marry an unequally yoked (2 Cor 6:14) spouse. We find this passage in 1 Corinthians 7 and it follows what Paul says to the married.

1 Cor 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

The following is what many refer to as a divorce in a case of abandonment.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

  1. “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.” In verse 12, we see Paul addressing a husband with an unbelieving spouse. If we notice Paul says I, not the Lord. This is clear that Jesus never spoke of this instance because these marriages are post resurrection. This is not saying Paul is using his own words because the Holy Spirit directs his words. The command is that the husband is not to put his wife away even though she is an unbeliever.

  1. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.” Likewise, Paul commands that a wife is not to leave an unbelieving husband.

  1. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” Here we have reason that a husband or wife should not leave an unbelieving spouse. This is not to say things will be easy because we know from other scripture that a believer should not be yoked with an unbeliever. Paul speaks of this in his second letter to the church at Corinth.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

If we take into consideration that in this case a husband or wife comes to salvation in Christ and their spouse does not, they will be unequally yoked. Yet, the command is NOT to put away this unbelieving spouse. This is the foundation of the whole scripture from 1 Cor 7:12 to 16.  

  1. “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” Here is where many falsely believe that since the unbelieving spouse leaves the marriage, the believing spouse is free to divorce and remarry. However, this action would contradict other scripture. Notice that this is referring to a brother and sister in the Lord. A brother and sister in the Lord would not disobey God here because they know that the marriage is a binding one- flesh covenant. The idea is that a brother and sister are not bound anymore to endure or be enslaved by an unbelieving spouse.

    This refers to 2 Cor 6:14. The “peace” they have is not a license to remarry less they would contradict other scripture and break their marriage covenant vow. The peace they have is being in singleness and no longer yoked to an unbeliever and knowing that they are not to feel guilt or shame for the actions of the prodigal. Remember, Paul commands that they are not to leave an unbeliever. (vs. 14) Why would we believe that the marriage covenant is no longer valid if the unbeliever divorces his or her believing spouse? Scripture tells us otherwise.

  1.  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” – Who saves us from sin and death? If a spouse truly loves their unbelieving spouse, they truly would be a brother or sister in Christ. The power of the Holy Spirit works in the heart of those God calls to salvation. A believing spouse who gets divorced by an unbelieving spouse and remarries is saying that there is no hope for the unbelieving spouse. Would they pray to God for him or her to come to salvation because they love him or her as Christ loved us?  The decision of a self-proclaimed believer to give up hope that God will not bring their prodigal spouse to repentance tells more of their heart. 


I am very dismayed that the church would believe that the unbelieving spouse that divorces his or her spouse would have the freedom to believe he or she was divorced from a one-flesh covenant marriage. What is even more shocking is that a believing spouse would believe they could remarry someone else. Nowhere in scripture do we see that remarriage after divorce is anything but adultery. This certainly includes an unbeliever who abandons his or her spouse and then marries someone else. This would also include a believer who professes that they made a covenant vow of marriage regardless of the actions of their spouse.

The problem with the misinterpretation of this passage 1 Cor 7:15 is believing the covenant of marriage is broken. It is not. God certainly recognizes marriages of believers and unbelievers, therefore the one who breaks the vow of marriage will come under His wrath. Marriage is His design and not ours to change.

Then there are the questions…

“You mean to tell me I have to remain single the rest of my life if my spouse abandons me?”

Let us be honest, either you failed to obey God by marrying an unyoked spouse as a believer, or you made a vow of marriage as a professing unbeliever. Either way, there are consequences to your disobedience. A person who professes faith in Christ would not marry an unequally yoked believer expecting to believe that he or she can change that person. A person comes to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. This only can happen if we preach the Gospel. We cannot save anyone, only Christ can. You are only asking for trouble when you yoke with an unbeliever. An unbeliever hates God and is subject to the god of this world. Satan uses unbelievers for his plans, and his plans are destruction of marriages.

I am telling you need to trust in God in this season. If your unbelieving spouse abandoned you, they just abandoned the only person that they may know to be the shining light of Christ. You need to pray for their salvation first, and then the restoration of your marriage will be an after thought. They need to see Christ in you after they have gone. If they remarry, they should be reminded that their vow with you was never broken. Unfortunately, you are up against a flawed clergy/laity system that will not only marry unbelievers, they will marry divorced people. These pastors too need prayer because there will come a day when these false teachers who sanctioned adultery remarriage will have to answer to the Lord.

How can the marriage be a marriage if we were both unbelievers when we got married?

God honors your vow of marriage to your spouse just as much as He honors your spouse’s vow to you. You are both responsible to the vow and it matters not if you claim you did not know Him when you married. God honors ALL first covenant marriages between a man and a woman regardless of race, religion, or creed. Case in point …

Genesis 39 7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's(Potiphar) wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

Joseph surely recognized Potiphar’s marriage to his wife because he did not want to sin by sleeping with Potiphar’s wife. This was an Egyptian marriage sanctioned by God. Joseph understood the consequences of adultery.  

 As you can see, clergy have abused and misinterpreted this one verse (1 Cor 7:15) for quite some time. They use this verse to not only approve of the dissolution of God covenant marriage; they use this verse to promote adultery remarriage. This has incredible consequences. I am deeply saddened by the many who abandoned their covenant spouse, and I am even more saddened by the many who believe their marriage ended by the actions of an unbeliever.

Please, I urge you to seek the council of God’s word. This is a salvation issue and must be rectified before it is too late. If you believed your marriage ends on abandonment and you remarried, you are in adultery. You must break this adultery and repent of your sin. God is merciful, and full of grace to the humble and contrite heart. Remain in Him, for He is your refuge and your strength.

In Christ’s love,
Neil

Friday, April 18, 2014

Consequences of Impenitent Sin…Homosexuality and Adultery.



There is a very strong push for same-sex marriage and the redefinition of marriage from that of a man and woman. The bottom line is that conservative Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. Marriage is already defined by God, therefore the redefinition of marriage is man's attempt to change God into another image. This is idolatry at its core.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

If marriage would be redefined, would the believer recognize that same-sex marriage as marriage? Of course not, because we only recognize practicing homosexuality as a sin. So the questions raised...What are the consequences of those who remain in a homosexual lifestyle? If we take it a step backwards,what are the consequences of those who remain in adultery?

Let us start with homosexuality. If a professing Christian is a homosexual and believes that God made them this way and that they may remain in their homosexuality, does the blood of Jesus cover that sin?  This person believes God blesses them for who they are…a homosexual. We believers would say the homosexual must repent of their sin of homosexuality. Homosexuality is like every other sin. A habitual womanizer that fornicates must also repent of this sin or face the wrath of God against sin. If a homosexual repents of the sin and turns away from this sin, they will be saved on the Day of Judgment. Will there be temptation? Yes, but we must call on the name and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to help us with temptation. If they remain in their sin, and not call this sin, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin.

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!


What about a professing Christian person who remains in adultery? Can a person remain in adultery and not call this a sin?  

Here is a scenario (these are fictitious people): Joe and Mary stand before God and make one-flesh marriage covenant vows to each other. After 10 years of marriage, Joe has an affair with Sue. Joe seeks divorce so that he may remarry Sue. Mary does not want a divorce; she just wants Joe to repent and come home. According to Joe and Mary’s state regulations on divorce, Joe is able to divorce his wife without her consent. In a matter of a few months, Joe divorced his wife and remarried Sue. Joe remarried Sue in a church that will marry anyone, no questions asked. Mary remains single in hopes that Joe will repent and reconcile the marriage. Mary believes that God can restore Joe.

Question: Is Joe’s marriage to Sue legitimate?

According to the state in which they reside, the divorce was official. Yet, according to the word of God, Joe is an impenitent adulterer and so is Sue. God only recognizes Joe’s marriage to Mary, Joe and Sue will face the wrath of sin should they die before they repent of their sin of adultery. If Joe repents of his sin, what is his only course of action?
His only course of action is to repent and break his adulterous union with Sue. The pastor or minister that performed the marriage ceremony must also repent. If Joe repents and returns to Mary, they thus save the marriage and most importantly, this restoration saves both Joe and Sue from eternal judgment.

Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Let us change the scenario a bit: Joe and Mary stand before God and make one-flesh marriage covenant vows to each other. After 10 years of marriage, Joe has an affair with Sue. Mary is infuriated by the adultery and demands a divorce. Joe realizes his sin and seeks to repent and make things right between him and Mary. Mary will have none of it and divorces Joe. After the divorce, Mary meets another man Steve who was divorced from his wife, Karen. Mary and Steve remarry. Joe is left with no other choice but to believe that he has no hope to restore his marriage with Mary. He therefore continues his relationship with Sue. They never remarry and live with each other the rest of their lives.


 Question: What was the consequence of Mary’s bitterness toward Joe’s willingness to repent?  Joe, Mary, Sue, and Steve are all in adultery because of one person’s unwillingness to forgive. You may say that Joe had a right to remarry. No, Joe has a right to remain single because Mary’s divorce and remarriage was sinful because of her bitterness. Mary’s remarriage to Steve is illegitimate because her covenant marriage with Joe is still binding. Joe sinned and this was wrong, but Joe also repented of that sin and Mary refused to forgive him.

 Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

If you ask anyone why he or she remarried after divorce, they will usually say either they could not forgive their first covenant spouse, or they believed that their first covenant spouse would not forgive them. This is the bottom line. Divorce is hardheartedness to the core. Unfortunately, remarriage in every such case is adultery and remains adultery until the breaking of the remarriage.

So what are the consequences of impertinent remarried adulterer? It is no different from the homosexual who believes that he or she can enter into a same-sex marriage and call this a marriage. God does not recognize your adulterous remarriage that spawns from a hardened heart. You are in sin and must repent of the sin or face judgment.

1 Cor 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Know that anyone who does not repent of adultery will face the wrath of God. You have been warned by the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit convicts you of this truth. Repent before it is too late. There are millions in remarriages who live in impenitent adultery. Do not trust in the traditions of men, exception clauses and loopholes to divorce and remarry, but trust in the word of God.

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the sheep gate; He came to this world as the final solution for the sins of men. Now is the time to repent of your remarriage adultery. Now is the time to stand before the cross of Christ confess you sins and seek forgiveness from the One who forgives all sins and forgets all sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If you choose to remain in your remarriage adultery and not call it adultery, then you choose the second death and your name will not be in the Book of Life.

 Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


In Christ’s love,

Neil





Thursday, April 17, 2014

Legalism and the Permanence of Marriage?



 I have read many articles, books, and publications that approve divorce and remarriage. The fact is nearly all of these articles, books and publications will say that it is God’s desire that the marriage be until death. Yet, these same sources say that God provides us with certain instances where we may exit the marriage before the death of either spouse. These exception clauses provide instances that allow one or both spouses to divorce and remarry without any ramifications.These exceptions clauses also make us believe that there is no hope for the restoration of the marriage, let alone the restoration of a soul.

If you care to read any of my other posts on this blog, you will see that scripture supports the permanence of marriage and calls divorce a hardhearted decision and any and all remarriages after divorce nothing more than adultery. Scripture does not support the two main reasons people seek to exit a marriage. These two reasons are martial unfaithfulness and abandonment. In order to believe this one must clearly ignore the whole council of God’s word centered on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers are called to forgive our enemies, trust in God through faith alone, persevere through hard times, and we are to love others as He loved us.

Yet, some will call a person legalistic who believes in the permanence of marriage. They claim that since God provided scripture to exit marriage in certain situations, anyone who disagrees with this is clamping a yoke on an individual that few can bear.  

, the author of the post responded to a man who was told by his counselor that he was to remain celibate and faithful to his wife of covenant.

"In March 1998, I received a call from a dear friend, twenty-two years old, whose marriage was falling apart. He was seeing a Christian marriage counselor (fictitiously called "Bill Jones" below) who at the outset of their counseling asked him to make a vow not to remarry should his wife (fictitiously called "Jane") divorce him but to remain celibate and faithful to her for the rest of his days. My friend, also a Christian and a person of his word, was uncomfortable making such a vow. He called me and asked for my advice. The following is what I wrote him, after first showing it to three mature, trusted Christian friends, all of whom are teachers of the Word (two of them have taught for years at the seminary level)."

If you notice, the man with a falling apart marriage did not go to the word of God to determine if this counselor was giving him sound advice. Instead, he contacted a pastor who will give him what he wants to hear. Notice too that this pastor (the author of this post) confided in three mature, trusted Christian friends before responding. He also made it necessary to note that two of these three trusted men taught on the seminary level. What? Is seminary training necessary or is the word of God with the prompting of the Holy Spirit sufficient?   

The post then proceeds with the classic twisting of scripture of Matthew and 1 Cor 7 to allow for divorce and remarriage. The post then concludes with remarks on why it is legalistic to believe in the permanence of marriage.    


“God has chosen to provide three conditions when people who have been married can remarry: (1) when one partner dies, (2) when divorce takes place because of sexual immorality, and (3) when an unbelieving partner definitively deserts the believing partner. If God has graciously chosen to allow us to remarry under these conditions, we should be thankful for his mercy, kindness, and grace and not subject ourselves to a legalistic yoke that creates a heavy burden few could bear.
It is not "more spiritual" to demand more of ourselves than God does; it is just proud, misguided legalism. It's exactly what the Pharisees did. A vow that would require you to remain chaste, celibate, and unmarried should Jane divorce you is a false asceticism; and asceticism is a variety of legalism. Paul vehemently attacked false asceticism in Colossians 2:20-23, which I commend you to read. Any form of legalism involves putting confidence in our flesh (Phil. 3:3) and thereby making ourselves enemies of the cross (Phil. 3:18). God resists pride in any and every form, but he gives grace to the humble and exalts them in due time (1 Pet. 5:5-7; cf. Prov. 16:5; Isa. 57:15; 66:1-2). In your situation, what God greatly values is humbling yourself, throwing yourself completely on his mercy and grace, and casting all your anxiety on him (1 Pet. 5:5-7), not making a heaven-shaking vow.”

If you notice in this whole article that there is an assumption that the “guilty” spouse will never repent. In fact, this is the common assumption of anyone who uses the Matthew’s “exception clause” and Paul’s privilege of 1 Cor 7:15. Since when did we have the ability or foreknowledge to know who will come to salvation in Christ?  

After all, this breach of the marriage covenant, whether it is impenitent martial unfaithfulness or abandonment of the marriage is a salvation issue is it not? Tell me, will a person who abandons his or her spouse face judgment if they do not repent? What happens to a person who commits adultery, gets a divorce from his or her spouse, and remarries their adulterous lover? Is this marriage legal and binding if the innocent spouse refuses to remarry because they seek to restore the marriage?   Instead, this particular author believes it is legalism to wait for a prodigal spouse to repent.

Jesus says, whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery…Is this applicable to the one who abandons his wife? In addition, if an unbeliever abandons his wife, what church would remarry him to someone else? If a particular church does remarry him to someone else, is this marriage legal and binding?
Some will say…"If he repents of abandoning his first spouse, he may remarry."

Wait a second…If he can abandon his wife, and she remains single so that one day he would repent, should he not reconcile to his first marriage?  According to this article, the author says that it is legalistic to wait for the return of a prodigal spouse so the marriage can be restored. Not only that, the prodigal spouse repented and now is saved for eternity. Imagine if a legalistic spouse stayed in the marriage vow because she loved her husband and waited on the Lord to restore him to Christ. Is that legalistic?

I want to share a story of a woman who believed that God could restore her husband…

"I want to share a story. This is from a family friend who is now gone. This woman was a devout Christian, she prayed, read the Word daily, fasted, went to Church, and had a great spirit. For many years in her marriage her husband was "intolerable." He was known as a whore in the streets, a drunk, a gambler, evil and calloused toward her-although he didn't leave her nor she him. Of course people would ask her- Why? Why would you tolerate that? Why would you not leave him or kick him out? How could you? ... This was her simple response: "I may be the only piece of Heaven he will ever know" ... So what happened after YEARS, over a decade, of this "intolerable" behavior of her husband?? He got saved!!! Truly sanctified and became a man of God that EVERYONE thought was impossible.. but God."

According to the twisting of scripture by this author and men like Jay E. Adams, this woman had every legal right to divorce her husband and remarry someone else.  Tell me, is this woman’s example of legalism or is this example of a spouse who was obedient to God and His promises?  Is this an example of a woman who had faith in God to restore a prodigal because she would remain true to her vow of marriage? Is this an example of someone who loved as Christ loves us, or was this woman prideful in her legalistic stance believing in the permanence of marriage?  

When I read this ..."In your situation, what God greatly values is humbling yourself, throwing yourself completely on his mercy and grace, and casting all your anxiety on him (1 Pet. 5:5-7), not making a heaven-shaking vow.”

It is for those who kept their marriage vow despite the actions of their prodigal spouse. These spouses will stand on God's promises and not on the words of men who teach that divorce and remarriage is acceptable. They believe is the truth of God 's word for the permanence of marriage...until death do we part.

Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

In Christ’s love,

Neil

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all...

My heart aches for those who divorced and remarried. My heart aches for the many who kept their vow to God and who painfully wait for their prodigal spouse to return. My heart aches for those who repented of their adulterous marriage, yet they suffer the consequences of that union. My heart aches for the spouse who lives in constant fear of an abusive spouse. My heart aches for the children who never wanted daddy and mommy to divorce. My heart aches ...What will make the pain go away?

Yet, I know that nothing can compare to the heart ache of the One who paid it all so that we may live...the One who suffered and died on a cross...the One who said...Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?...My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?....and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.


In Christ's love.

Neil

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Of Wolves In Sheep's Clothing...



Denny Burk posted an interesting topic on his blog entitled,“How to identify false teachers.” I believe these points are right on target. In fact, they all point to the most serious problem in the church today: false teaching. Yet, this was just a common in the early church as it is today. We need to rightly divide the word of God in the days ahead. Yet, it is no mistake that there is already many false teachings and false Christ’s among us today. LDS, JW, Protestantism, and Catholicism all use the name of Jesus, yet there are clear flaws in every one of these religions.   

Denny Burk says...

The apostle Paul wrote to Titus that pastors must not only preach faithfully but also “refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). The idea is very simple. Pastoral ministry is not merely a building up, but also a tearing down. As Paul would say elsewhere, it involves tearing down every speculation and lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). To fail to do this is ministerial malpractice and harmful to God’s people.


There is a clear flaw in this statement alone...Since when is the elders of the early church and the modern hireling of "pastor" interchangeable? The pastoral ministry is not exactly the same as the apostles appointing elders who were qualified (1 Tim 3:1-5; Titus 1:5-9) to “refute those who contradict”. These men were not young men  fresh out of seminary. In fact, Paul warns Timothy that novices are prone to pride (a very serious problem in the pastoral ministry). 
  1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Also, I think it is a stretch to compare the modern pastoral system with apostle appointed elders. It was a church that relied heavily on the power of the Holy Spirit and not on traditions of men. EVERY believer is called to rightly divide the word of God in truth. EVERY believer should test everything to the word of God. This includes testing every word that comes from the pulpit.This includes testing minitries, websites, and blogs...mine included. If I am error, I need to know...I want to know.

Some of these flaws are evident, yet some are so subtle and hidden that very few are able to discern the truth…or rather; they seek to remain blind to the truth. This is not a lack of spiritual discernment among the body as it is a reluctance to exchange spiritual wisdom with traditions of men. Pride in self, and lack of humility usually elevates man above God. If tradition trumps truth, then it is a good bet there are major problems. The fact that there are thousands of congregations in Protestantism alone is a clue that there is division on some level.

Yet, I believe we can narrow this problem down to a few major traditions that have crept into the church unawares. One is the tradition of priests, bishops, and presbyters of the Catholicism running along side the tradition of pastors, ministers, and clergy of the Protestantism. Another is the substitute of God’s word as the standard of everyday living to reliance in human philosophy, scholasticism, and the institution of universities. These two traditions combined over the years. Universities (Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, Yale…) that taught clergy with a reliance to scripture soon faded into apostasy. “Bible” colleges and seminaries replaced these human institutions, only to see over the last century these too are slowly fading into apostasy.

The last and greatest problem is what the church has done to and continues to do with marriage. Traditions of men have greatly influenced marriage. It is no mystery that marriage has always been under attack. It started at the very beginning and continues today. Never mind the push for same-sex marriage.  What about divorce and remarriage?  What is glaringly painful is that most churches in the western world teach that divorce is an option and remarriage is not adultery. This teaching is so widely accepted that the world notices the hypocrisy of a church that pleads for the sanctity of marriage, yet divorces and remarries at the same rate of the unbeliever.How can a pastor claim that marriage is a sacred covenant and the same time recognizes divorce and remarriage?      


1. False teachers contradict sound doctrine.

Consider that most pastors preach false doctrine on what Jesus and Paul wrote concerning marriage, divorce, and remarriage. In fact, they use scripture that contradicts other scripture to promote divorce and remarriage. Case in point is saying that Matthew 19:9 and 1 Cor 7:15 allow for divorce and remarriage yet this exegete of scripture would contradict Luke 16:18 and 1 Cor 7:10,11 respectively. It also stands in contrast to Romans 7:2,3 and 1 Cor 7:39. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is comparing divorce and remarriage to what Jesus says about the one flesh marriage covenant…Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 

Scripture points to the permanence of the one-flesh marriage covenant which only ends in death. Unfortunately, the loopholes to divorce and remarriage have expanded over the recent decades from the popular “exception clause” and the abandonment of the unbeliever, to spousal abuse, incompatibility, financial woes, lust, and no-fault divorce. Then there is the redefinition of marriage itself…same-sex marriage comes to mind. This twisting of scripture concerning the permanence of marriage aligns with the first of the characteristics of a false teacher.

2. False teachers promote immoral living.

The second characteristic aligns with men who crept into the church as remarried individuals themselves. Endorsing remarriage and not calling it adultery is akin to the homosexual Christian that believes God allows him or her to remain, as they are…Consider that very few churches bat an eye when it comes to allowing membership for remarried couples. Dare we ask a remarried couple if their divorce from their first covenant spouse was lawful? Should we consider that the “remarriage” is really a marriage? Instead of remaining in singleness to restore a marriage there is a reason to divorce and remarry someone else as if our vows had not power. Never mind that God wants to make us holy as individuals and not happy, and that God designed marriage to make couples holy and not happy. 

I have heard that some call divorce a necessity…Really?!? I thought God hates divorce (Mal 2:13-16) and that the Lord Jesus Christ said that Moses permitted divorce because of the hardness of their hearts (Matthew 19:8 , Mark 10:5)…Unless of course you can change what Jesus said to mean that you may divorce a hardhearted spouse. Tell me, what blood bought believer divorces and then remarries someone else while they have a living spouse? I truly believe divorce and remarriage have everything to do with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. God wants us to call sin for what it is and forgive, repent, and reconcile within the one-flesh marriage covenant because He gives us no other options. Adultery is immoral living, and remarriage adultery is no exception.


3. False teachers deemphasize sin and judgment.

Then the third characteristic points these first two in perspective. Is remarriage adultery if first covenant spouse is still living? If so, are there consequences if there is no repentance of this sin?

Heb 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.


You say, what if she is divorced…That would contradict 1 Cor 7:10,11, would it not?
Here comes the deemphasizing the sin part. First, we hear that divorce is not a sin, and neither is remarriage if a person has grounds to divorce. What are the grounds? Scripture is clear that death is the only grounds to get married again because divorce never ends a marriage.

1 Cor 7:39The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

The Lord Jesus Christ says that whosoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever married her that is put away from her husband commits adultery. If we rightly divide the word of truth, remarriage for whatever reason is adultery. This is not a one-time act of adultery; it is the permanence of adultery until the breaking of the union. Deemphasizing that remarriage is not adultery could have very bad consequences. Yet, this is what the majority believes. Thousands believe God blesses their remarriage. They call their divorce a blessing. How can remarriage be the sin of adultery if God blesses the remarriage? How can there be judgment? Consider there are no ramifications, penalties, or convictions for adultery. This not only includes those who perpetrate adultery, it includes those who live in adultery remarriage believing it is anything other than sin.

1 Cor 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 4. False teachers are motivated by greed or selfish gain.  

Does this come into play in a divorce and remarriage? You bet your bottom dollar it does. Most marriages end over financial woes brought on by couples who live well beyond their means. If a marriage is headed to financial bankruptcy, the grass seems greener on the other side. Many opt out of marriage because their spouse could not keep a job, or one or both spouses shot up the credit cards behind the others spouse’s back. This seems that the couple lived beyond their means and loved the world more than God...  

Combine this with pastors who make a living off the number of congregants in the pews. If they preach the truth about marriage, divorce, and remarriage, they stand to lose over half of those in attendance. This includes the cohabitants that remain single yet fornicate while living together. Remarriage is more revenue, especially if the remarriage ceremony is held in the church building.

 Divorce also brings one or both back to church in order to seek healing. Some churches provide divorce recovery ministries that often bring more hurting people into the pews, yet these ministries provide less than sound doctrine on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Certainly, there is a need for divorce ministries, yet they should focus on singleness and the hope to restore the marriage. Unfortunately, the church provides a haven for the divorcees to search for another divorcee so that they can remarry.


5. False teachers cause division.

The division of divorce is catastrophic. Consider the many divorces and remarriages and the division of children, families, co-workers, and friends. Then consider the division among the body of Christ. There are many who believe in the permanence of marriage, yet will not say a word against divorce and remarriage less they create division. Who causes the division? Those who mishandle, misinterpret, and misquote scripture concerning divorce and remarriage cause division.

6. False teachers resemble the flock.


If the pastors is divorced and remarried themselves, the fruit is plain to see. This says more about the pastor/clergy system and the many problems that plague this “tradition of men.” A pastor believes they are elevated or ordained above the clergy, but the truth be told they have just exited the flock and entered the tradition of men. I will never say there are not godly men in the pastoral ministry; I am saying the pastoral ministry is not the answer to church polity. A simple way to find out if your pastor is a false teacher in this area is to ask them what they believe about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. If you tell them that you believe marriage is a permanent one-flesh covenant until death, and they disagree with you, they need to defend this with adequate scripture that displays the truth and grace of Christ.

That is the problem. No one can provide scripture that SUPPORTS divorce and remarriage because they first must explain why a spouse disregards the scripture to remain in a marriage vow they made before God. Nearly every pastor and biblical scholar will say, “Marriage is a covenant vow and God desires that this union stay together until death.” Yet in the same paragraph, they will say that God provides a way out and a reason to remarry if your spouse breaks his or her covenant. Why even get married or make a vow in marriage if there is reason to believe that death is not the only way to leave, break, or end a marriage?  

 God’s covenant to us intertwines perfectly with the marriage covenant. A pastor who disregards the marriage covenant for the sake of the individual who believes he or she can break their covenant marriage vow is a wolf among sheep and nothing more. They may not realize that they are a wolf because they only teach what they learned in seminary, or what they grew up to believe was true.

 I have been there, done that. I too fell for the lies of divorce and remarriage. I believed a pastor instead of the word of God. What made me see the light? It was the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. It was my brokenness and repentance of the sin of adultery. We need to abandon traditions for the sake of the Gospel. Humility is the only way God can do His best work in us. Marriage is and always will be God’s design and He alone sets the conditions and standards there of. If we enter into a vow of marriage and we do not keep that vow until death, He will hold us responsible. As for the person or person’s who led us astray…they have followed the traditions of men and loved the world more than they loved God. It is best we not follow their lead.

Perhaps James speaks loudly to the state of the church today…a church that gave into the traditions of men and became friends with the world. Today’s denominations think nothing of mixing culture with worship. It is those among the body who loved tradition more than the word of God and the fear of God is replaced by appealing to men. There is time to repent of false teaching and it starts with the clear teaching of marriage. James uses clear words to those who love the world more than they love God, and these words echo more truth than many will care to recognize.     

James 4 :4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

In Christ's love,

Neil