Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Sure Foundation For All Things...Including Marriage.

This Genesis 2 blog is specifically designed to show the church and the world that marriage is a one-flesh covenant between one man and one woman for life. To say that this is my life ministry would not be far from the truth. I will be honest to say that I have directed the majority of these posts to professing believers because I believe the majority of the church has been lead to believe that there are other options that end a marriage other than death. I fully understand this  because I was once a person who believed in “exception clauses” and “Pauline privileges”. Yet, if you browse through my past posts, you will see I give many examples and illustrations using scripture that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman that can only end in death…no exceptions and no excuses. Understandably, an unbeliever or worldly person will read these posts and pass them off as nothing more than Christian bigotry. However, a Christian should read these posts and should strongly agree with the content of these posts, or at the very least be convicted by the Holy Spirit that marriage is more important than we were ever led to believe.

If we are all honest, whether you are an unbeliever or not, marriage is significant to a vow that requires a lifetime commitment of mutual love for each other. I am confident to go out on a limb that no one can deny that anyone who enters in a marriage knows that this action, vow, decision, commitment or however you want to word it, is for life. What some will argue is that marriage is not a product or creation of an all-knowing and all-powerful Creator. The believer cannot deny this fact however. A believer knows that marriage is God’s design by God‘s grace. An unbeliever could say that marriage is the best alternative for the betterment of a society. Regardless, the pre-supposition of marriage is that this union is a mutual lifetime commitment between two individuals. 

The reason for this post is the use this pre-supposition of marriage as a foundation to answer some questions people have once they understand that marriage only ends in death. The defined pre-supposition I will exclusively use is that marriage is God’s design. Therefore, any question assumes that marriage only can end in death and that exception clauses and Pauline privileges are null and void.  

The specific verses that point to the permanence of marriage are Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 7:2,3; and 1 Cor 7:10,11,39. Again, it is assumed that all others exceptions or excuses other than death of one or both spouses do not apply. Thus, a divorce or abandonment does NOT end a marriage. Therefore, any remarriage to a divorced person is “adultery” if the person they divorced or whom divorced them is still alive.

This would eliminate statements such as:

  1.   My pastor tells me that if I leave my current “remarriage” I would be getting another divorce, thus breaking another marriage.
  2.  God blesses my “remarriage”.
  3.  My pastor and the book I read tells me that a divorce ends my marriage.
  4. The grace of Christ covers my remarriage.

These are all similar responses by a believer who seeks to validate that a remarriage after a divorce of a living spouse is a lawful marriage. The overall answer to all these statements is that one cannot call a remarriage a “marriage” if Jesus calls a remarriage “adultery”. In Mark 6, John the Baptist refers to a “remarriage” as an “unlawful marriage.” 

Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.

Paul uses the example of an unlawful marriage in the letter to the Romans:

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

The first few questions are easy to answer because God cannot call the sin of adultery a “lawful” marriage. Surely, the government, state and local church could say this is a valid marriage, but they do so by rejecting scripture that calls this union adulterous. The Lord Jesus answered the Pharisees with a question about giving a tribute to Caesar,

Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

 We could say the same thing about marriage. Yes, the world recognizes and administers marriage and divorce certificates, yet marriage is God’s design, not man’s design. A “remarriage” after divorce of a living spouse is nothing more than sanctified adultery and at the very least this marriage is unlawful. 

The second statement, "God blesses my “remarriage”, comes with the assumption that God blesses “remarriages”. We already know that a “remarriage” is adultery, so is a person really saying that God blesses his or her adultery? This “blessing” is usually based on personal feelings, emotions, actions, or positive circumstances. A remarried couple active in a church, or has an impactful ministry, or is blessed with financial wealth; these are all noble good works that would appear to have God’s blessing, yet none of these works are a barometer of truth. There are many known preachers and evangelists who have lead many people to the Lord, yet their personal lives were less than exemplary. Is remarriage God’s will?

A couple of verses that come to mind is what Jesus had to say in Matthew 7:

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

It is dangerous to live in a sin and then not call this sin. Remarriage is unrepentant adultery.  You will know a believer by his or her fruit. A believer will not remain in adultery, and if they are in a “remarriage” and scripture convicts them, and they do not act, they are in danger of becoming apostate. This is usually due to the fact that many follow the ways of men and not the ways of God. 

The third statement "My pastor and the book I read tells me that a divorce ends my marriage", (we could include all these statements) points to the major problem with believers today. These sheep are following men and woman that are blind to the truth of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Again, I was once here until the word of God convicted me. The problem in the church is that very few believers will open their bibles and listen to the Holy Spirit’s convictions. Instead, these sheep listen and follow the pastor or preacher of his or her choice. 

Think I am wrong on this? No one picks a church that convicts them of his or her sin, especially if this sin is remarriage adultery.  People pick churches that cater to their liking. The whole idea that God makes His home in a church building is ridiculous to begin with. God makes His temple in mortal man with the indwelling of the Holy Spirt through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection. The caste system (Catholicism and then Reformation Protestantism) that evolved from the early church is not a direct representation of the early church and the writings of the apostles. This clergy/laity system originated many years after the writings of the early church. In this caste system, the laity listen to the clergy, and the clergy listen to the teachings of their professors, and both will fall into a ditch.

 In short, you will find many discrepancies with seminary training and how this scholasticism contradicts the power of the Holy Spirit in the early church. There is much more to say on the clergy/laity system that can be explained elsewhere. Safe to say that many clergy are blind to the truth and the laity blindly follow these “hirelings”. In truth, many pastors (not all) rely heavily on their income and will compromise the truth for self-preservation.

Please understand this is not directed to individuals, but to the clergy/laity system as a whole. I know some clergy who are true shepherds that live God-fearing lives and care for the eternal souls of many, yet the titles they hold bare credence that these men and women represent the Pharisees more than they represent appointed bishops of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. These early church bishops did not require seminary training and to say that seminary training is necessary today is a lie. Those who believe that seminary training replaced the Holy Spirit do so to preserve their own livelihood.The Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation of the church.

The last statement,  "The grace of Christ covers my remarriage", is the most important to understand why these statements must be eliminated. When someone says, 

The grace of Christ covers my remarriage.”

He or she that says this must do so believing that grace was not required to remain in a vow of marriage he or she made before the Creator of marriage in the first place.

In other words, a person that demands grace to remain in a remarriage must first display grace in a marriage….yet, he or she either divorced his or her spouse, or he or she believed a divorce ends a one-flesh marriage covenant. There is a level of bitterness in a person that divorces and remarries. There is a level of bitterness to believe that a marriage ends in divorce and that one can go and remarry someone else. Bitterness has nothing to do with grace. Grace is unmerited favor. An unrepentant sinner does not deserve forgiveness and compassion, but grace and truth extends beyond this...

It is similar to that of a murderer who says, “God made me this way (a murderer), so I can continue to murder because God’s grace covers my murders.” We would say this person is delusional or they that this is "cheap" grace. Yet, an adulterer is saying he or she can remain in adultery and God’s grace covers this sin. When you look at “remarriage” from this perspective, very few would enter into or remain in remarriage. A person would consider remaining in a marriage and never divorcing in the first place. 

Well, this is exactly what the Lord Jesus Christ is saying about marriage. He is saying, “Remain in a marriage even if it is falling apart all around you. When you made a vow to your spouse, I witnessed this vow and I will remain in this vow with you. You can trust in Me to remain with you even in the worst of times. I will never leave you or forsake you even if your spouse does. Besides, this, I love your prodigal spouse enough to die so that he or she may live. Trust me in this.”

When a person enters into God’s will for marriage, expect that God will do whatever it takes for the marriage to last until the end. This requires faith on your end to believe that God will take care of the other spouse should he or she stray from his or her vow of the covenant. God is concerned for both vows of a covenant and if either spouse strays from the vow, expect God to stand in the gap. This will mean that faith is required to trust in God and His word to restore a prodigal spouse. This also means that God will fight the unseen battles against a spouse who broke his or her vow against you. Ultimately, this prodigal broke a vow against God. The first step is church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17). The Lord provided scripture to take the steps when a brother or sister sins against us. This church discipline is very applicable to a marriage. If a spouse sins against you, go to that spouse and tell him or her the offense. If he or she repents, you forgive. If he or she rejects the repentance you take two or three witnesses so that every word is established. If he or she rejects to repent, you take it to the church. If this fails, your spouse is an unbeliever. 

Many will say, “Yes, my spouse has demonstrated time and time again that he or she is an unbeliever…I have a legitimate excuse to leave this unequally yoked marriage.”  This is false reasoning and not what God wants you to do. Paul already point this out in his letter to the church at Corinth.

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.

We also see other scripture that specifically points to a husband and wife that live with an unbeliever. Never is divorce an option. We are to love an unbeliever so that he or she too would enter into eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

When a spouse suddenly becomes an enemy, a believer needs to treat them like an enemy as Christ taught us to treat an enemy.(see Romans 12:9-21) I hear sermons all the time where we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Yet, it seems that these verses do not apply when it comes to infidelity of a spouse or when a spouse abandons a marriage. It’s as if infidelity and abandonment are irreversible sins. 

These are times where we as the “innocent” spouse need to humble ourselves before the almighty God. God does His greatest work when we admit that we are helpless. Scripture is full of instances where God stands in the gap for the one who humbles themselves and believe by faith that God is in control. If we are in covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ, and our spouse becomes the wayward prodigal, we must believe by faith that God will fight our battles to restore the prodigal. 

If we choose to fight our battles alone and without His wisdom and guidance, we not only disobey God, we send the message that God is not who He claims to be. The word of God gives us more than ample instruction to remain in Him when circumstances go horribly wrong. The person who divorces or the person who believed a divorce ends a marriage lacks true faith in Christ and His power. The pastor or clergy that unlawfully remarries a divorced person on Saturday has no right to preach on God’s restoring power on Sunday.      

Yes, I understand that unrepentant infidelity and abuse is not a good situation in any marriage. Certainly a spouse should take sanctuary in these cases, but by no means is this a reason to end the marriage. A spouse needs to be pro-active in reminding his or her prodigal spouse the consequences of his or her actions. If church disciple failed, this prodigal spouse is at the mercy of a God that says, “Vengeance is mine says the Lord”.

No one said this would be easy. Yet, in this season God is transforming your life when you wait on Him. If you have divorced and remarried, you need to let the Holy Spirit convict you of the truth and then you need to trust God in this. Marriage is a temporary gift of grace on this Earth, as well as an eternal representation of God's love for us. As believers, we must set the bar high on marriage, because the world system seeks to destroy marriage like never before. Since marriage is temporary, we need to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who is eternal and who gives us eternal life in Him. Once we stop believing by faith that God is for us, then we not only replace God’s power with a lie, we replace God with an idol made by our own hands. 

In conclusion, we must fix our eyes on Christ Jesus the Lord. He is our true sufficiency in all things, He is our strong foundation. If we exhibit a true love for Christ in the worst of times, those around us will surely see the light of Christ in our lives. This includes a prodigal spouse who desperately needs a Savior. After all, our walk with Christ in a season of marriage turbulence must reflect the grace that He showed us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Our prodigal spouse is yet a sinner; they desperately need the grace of Christ, the truth of Christ, and kindness of Christ that leads to repentance. Be that light so that all may know that even in a seemingly hopeless situation, Christ IS your sure foundation.

1 Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

All glory and honor and praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Christ’s love,


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