Saturday, June 28, 2014

My last post...for now.

I have not written a post for a few weeks and this is my last post …for now. I keep trying to remind myself that trying to make people understand and believe the truth about marriage, divorce and remarriage (MDR) is God’s work and not mine. To be honest, in the recent weeks I have been very sadden by the recent events of our nation. It saddens my heart to see a nation sinking deeper into immorality. Never mind that my home state of Pennsylvania just overturned marriage as between a man and a woman…This is happening all over the United States. What really saddens me is the “Christian” denominations that now recognize same-sex marriages. It is becoming more evident that each individual will have to make a choice in the very near future. Accept homosexual unions or face possible jail time or worse...

This would seem to most that this fall into an apostasy should come as a surprise. However, if we read scripture, this fall into apostasy is exactly what the Lord said would happen just prior to His return.  At first glance, a believer should rejoice in these times knowing that the Lord will return soon to make all things new. I do rejoice, yet I believe that if we have a heart for the Lord, we cannot but feel sadness and pain for those who are lost and will remain lost.

As believers, we should live in the righteousness of Christ. We should hate sin, but love the sinner. We need to be salt and light. This witness in our lives must include both grace and truth. When I see confessing believers say that God recognizes homosexuality and that we should embrace same-sex unions, I cannot help but feeling anger and disappointment for these apostate people. Yet, all this pales in comparison to the blindness those who believe in divorce and remarriage.

Perhaps the saddest realization of this redefining of marriage is the destruction it causes to the family unit. Many see same-sex marriage creating a perverted view of gender roles and social structure for generations’ to come. Yet lost in all this is the untold destruction that divorce and remarriage has already inflicted on society. I personally believe that divorce and remarriage has done more for the rise of evil in the family than any other device the enemy has used over time.  I will argue that divorce and remarriage destroys lives for generations to come. If we take into account that divorce and remarriage directly effects the individual lives of those who experience it…then we are ready to do all that is in our power to end divorce and remarriage.

I have written many blogs on this subject and every blog supports the fact that God hates divorce and that all remarriages are unlawful. What God hates more is the after effects of divorce. In fact, God has a word for every “remarriage” after divorce. This word is “adultery”.  If we seriously have a favorable view of remarriage, we would have a foundation that is not on the rock…it is a foundation on sand. No greater evidence is this when I see or read stories of families struggling in remarriage. There are thousands of ministries on recovering through divorce and remarriage. The majority of these have caved into believing that divorce and remarriage is acceptable in certain instances. This is a foundation of sand…

The past few weeks I listened to a few ministries that support blended families. I want to be up front and clear that there are legitimate blended families through widows and widowers who marry in the Lord (1 Cor 7:39) However, most of these ministries account for “remarriages” after divorce. These ministries cause more harm than anything they can add that will make us believe it is truth. In other words, these ministries will use information that not only stands contrary to the word of God, but these ministries will make the listener believe that their “remarriage” is acceptable by the Lord.

If these ministries do not stand on the rock as a foundation, they simply cannot give us good, sound, and truthful advice. This is the most deceptive tool of the enemy. If we are not wary of our adversary, he will devour us. The enemy has already entered into the pulpit of denominations that have caved into accepting no-fault divorce. These men and women twist the word of God to believe that marriage is not until death. Once this happens, the enemy can redefine marriage on other levels.

When I hear these false messages of restoring blended families, I cannot help to think of those who stand on the truth of God’s word. Imagine if you will the parent who has to deal with a spouse who left a marriage and divorced according to the laws of man. This prodigal spouse then remarries someone else and demands that his or her children recognize the authority of this new stepparent. The biological parent, that never wanted a divorce in the first place, is now faced with a reality that his or her children have a stepparent. God calls this unholy union adultery. Thus, these stepparents have no authority over these children.

This is difficult enough it were not for the fact that there are ministries that acknowledge these false unlawful marriages. Ministries like Focus on the Family and co-ministries Smart Stepfamilies support thousands of these unlawful marriages. When I attempted to expose these false ministries by giving the example that, what God hath joined together let no man separate…They respond believing false teachings on MDR, then they ignore me and then they block me. They will not respond in truth because they cannot respond in truth. These ministries are instruments of the enemy and they are deceiving millions of people. They will claim that they saved thousands of marriages, yet they will not include that many of these “marriages” are unlawful marriages of adultery. Thus, they claim they helped deceive these people…

This is very serious. I know that God sees all things and I know that Christ will return to make all things new. Nevertheless, where do we stand in all this?  Do we pray for the return of Christ knowing there is no hope for these false ministries, or do we pray for revival? I am so saddened by these broadcasts and ministries that continually deceive the masses. I want it to end. I really do…Yet, if we remain passive and say not a word…What will Christ say to us? I can only do what God has called me to do…Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. I know that more than ever that a time has come where many do not endure sound doctrine. The saddest part of all is seeing this in denominations and ministries that claim the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I know there are many in ministries that support one particular area such as poverty, child trafficking, abortion, persecution, and social injustice. I know the Lord leads many to these noble ministries in the name of Christ. Yet, I have been led down a road that many will not take. I do not know why…I just know that I have compassion for the truth of marriage and I have disdain for those who twist the word of God to support divorce and remarriage. I equally disdain ministries that benefit and flourish off those deceived into believing divorce and remarriage is an option. Nothing saddens me more than those who ignore the redefining of marriage that has already taken place long before the first same-sex couple walked down the aisle into apostasy.

This is my last post on this blog…for now.

I will leave this in God’s hands knowing I can only do so much…knowing I can really do nothing at all. If anything comes out of this, please know that my heart is for the grace and truth of Christ. I know that God can restore all situations where we have no power to change on our own. This is the picture of the Gospel. This is also true to any marriage where all seems lost. If you believe God designed marriage and He stood in the presence of a marriage vow…then it is best to trust Him to restore what He hath joined together. If you are the only one trusting in Him to restore a prodigal, let Him begin to restore you first. God wants each individual to submit to Him so that His work will be complete in you. Never submit to anyone who believes that a marriage is over. Only death ends a marriage and to believe otherwise is a lie from the pits of Hell.

 I leave you with Paul's final words to the Galatians...

Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

In Christ’s love,


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Responding to Convictions...Our Way or God's Way.

During a recent web search, I came across an article in Christianity Today "Is My Remarriage a Sin? that included the following concern.

 “I just recently became a Christian. Both my husband and I are divorced and remarried. So, according to Matthew 5:31-32, are we living in sin—committing adultery? Somehow I find it hard to believe that God would want us to divorce each other and return to our previous spouses. And in any case, we can't—they're each remarried. I so want to please God … but this really concerns me.”

Here is an example of typical response for many who entered into a “remarriage” after divorce. They become a believer and after reading scripture such as Matthew 5:32,32, 19:9; Mark 10:11,12 and Luke 16:18 there is this strong conviction that their divorce and remarriage is a concern. What usually happens is that the Holy Spirit convicts them that their remarriage is not a marriage and they seek answers on what to do next. In this particular case, the reader asks the writers of Christianity today for discernment.     

The writer in this particular case gives this advice…

“In your case, I think the answer is fairly straightforward. Two wrongs don't make a right; a second divorce isn't the answer. Christians may disagree about whether or not it is appropriate for a divorced believer to remarry—and under what circumstances. Each one of us has to seek God, study the Scriptures, and make our own peace with the issue. But once it's done, sin or not, like many choices we've made in the past, it can't be undone. All we can do is confess our part in the failures of the past, repent, and determine in our hearts to do everything we can to walk in obedience with God today. That includes making every effort to make your present marriage everything that God intended marriage to be—at its best, a beautiful reflection of the love Christ has for His church (Eph. 5:21-33).

This seems like a very good response and many in the professing church would not argue with this response. In fact, many professing Christians use this same rational to defend their own divorce and remarriages. However, is this response according to God‘s word or is this response according to what seems right in the writer’s own eyes?

I believe it is necessary to take the response to this concern and break it down with God’s word. First off, I will agree that two wrongs do not make a right… However…
We first have to assume in this case that the “two wrongs” are according to God’s word. Both the concerned reader and the responding writer make it known through conviction of the reader and the application of the responder that the first divorce was wrong. This is a very important assessment. This is not the concern; the concern is the “other” wrong in believing it is wrong to divorce from a “remarriage.”  
 Both the concerned reader and the responding writer both assume a “second” marriage or in this case, a “remarriage” after divorce of a living spouse is a valid marriage according to God. Yet, scripture tells us otherwise. For the sake of the concerned reader, we will stick with Matthew 5:31, 32.   

Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 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.

Notice in verse 32 that a husband that divorces his wife “causes” her to commit adultery. Notice too in this verse that one "commits" adultery when remarrying a divorced wife. We should therefore reason that "adultery" can only be committed if a husband and wife are still married in the first place. Therefore, anyone that marries a woman divorced by his wife commits adultery. Notice the text does not say, “Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced is in a valid marriage.” We need to discern the difference between a lawful marriage according to God and an unlawful marriage according to culture. The best example we have of an unlawful marriage is in the Gospel of Mark.   

 Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. 18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.

If we notice here in these passages, John calls Herod’s marriage to Herodias “unlawful”. It was a marriage according to the standards of that particular culture; however, this marriage was unlawful from John’s perspective. Historians believe Herodias divorced Philip to “remarry” Herod Antipas.

What is important to note is why John believed this marriage was unlawful and how does this particular instance relate to other passages in scripture concerning marriage, divorce, and remarriage. The word “marriage” in these passages relate to “unlawful” or “lawful” marriages. In the case of Mark 6:18, Herod’s marriage to Herodias was unlawful. Thus we can conclude that “all” marriages after divorce of a living spouse are not lawful marriages. This certainly corroborates with Matthew 5:32 since Jesus calls “remarriage” after divorcing a living spouse "adultery".

Thus, we can conclude that the responding writer is in error by making the concerned reader believe that a “remarriage” is a valid marriage recognized by God. Certainly, we can conclude that a “remarriage” after a divorce of a living spouse is not only unlawful; it is unfortunately readily acceptable by the majority of the western world. This should be a major concern today, yet as we see from the results of this article, remarriage is not only acceptable; the professing church readily approves these “culturally acceptable” remarriages.  

The responding writer continues with this….

“Each one of us has to seek God, study the Scriptures, and make our own peace with the issue. But once it's done, sin or not, like many choices we've made in the past, it can't be undone. All we can do is confess our part in the failures of the past, repent, and determine in our hearts to do everything we can to walk in obedience with God today.”

This response is fatally irresponsible and lacks true biblical discernment in not only the validity of marriage, but also for a lack of knowledge in the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. If a person “chooses” to have peace believing that he or she can remain in what God calls adultery, will this not have a profound impact on his or her eternal destiny and not to mention, his or her witness to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit through the word of God or do we seek validation from emotions, feelings, and other sources?

Repentance of sin means to do a 180 by declaring that “remarriage” is a sin. This would include a total divorce of “remarriage adultery”. Instead, this responding writer gives the concerned reader the idea that his or her “remarriage” is valid, approved, and sanctified by God. God does not sanctify unforgiveness and unrepentance of divorce to proceed to enter into a remarriage of adultery. Obedience to God is trusting in His word and remaining faithful to His commandments and His promises. In this case, thou shall not commit and remain in remarriage adultery thus remaining single so that God can work in the lives of the disobedient. 

Remarriage is not a marriage in the Lord. Remarriage is adultery and remains adultery until dissolved. The concerned reader errors into believing that his or her ‘remarriage” is lawful, and then doubly errors believing that the spouse whom they divorced are in lawful “remarriages”. He or she should be very concerned. In fact, I believe the Holy Spirit convicts everyone who seeks to remarry after divorce. Take it from someone convicted by the word of God and then sought council from someone else such as the responding writer of Christianity Today. I too believed it was “ok” to remarry a divorced woman.  I too was dead wrong.

In conclusion, two wrongs do not make a right…only repentance from sin through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ makes us a child of God. If those two wrongs are not first believing divorce from a first covenant marriage was the first wrong, and the second wrong is believing remarriage is a lawful marriage ordained by God, then it is time to make things right. There is hope for the remarried adulterer. Repentance is dissolving the remarriage and making others known that you no longer trust man’s definition of marriage, divorce and remarriage. This may be the hardest act of faith you will ever have to do in your life. Nevertheless, faith is required for all those who believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of humankind; He is also the Bridegroom to His bride, the church. Marriage is His design and to enter into or exit out of must be according to His way, or no way at all.

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.  

In Christ’s love,