When one marries another it is a commitment to each other and a benefit to society insomuch two have agree to walk as one. The act of marriage, in part, was designed by God to stem the decay of society. As pointed out in these marriage pages, Jesus never indicated that a divorce actually dissolved a marriage and nowhere is there permission to remarry: in fact remarriage is forbidden unless one party dies. This point is well carried over into post-apostolic Christian writings.
In my mind, there are three groups of those who are divorced AND remarried that need to be addressed, viz., those who divorced and remarried...
|1.||... before they were saved (came to personally know Christ)|
|2.||...after they became saved|
The reason why three groups have come to mind is because God does wish to forgive everyone, but the levels of responsibility in repentance are contingent upon how much a person is accountable. We are to "...go, and sin no more", but, in "Christendom" today the idea is "...go, and sin more" or even "...what sin?". Once we have discovered we have sinned, we must truly be sorrowful asking God to forgive us and determine that we will not sin again NOR ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SIN.
Those who divorced and remarried BEFORE they were saved.-
I trust that as you read the Scriptures that you realize you have sinned. However, unlike the two other groups, you may not have known remarriage was a sin and, indeed, being unsaved, you did not have the power and know-how to obey the Scriptures. If you are truly sorry, God will forgive you if you ask Him.
Those who divorced and remarried AFTER they were saved-
I personally know one poor man who did this after his wife turned against him and went with another man. I cannot fully imagine the pain and the horror this man has gone through. I definitely would not want to be in his shoes. Yes, he did sin, but Jesus is very clear that his first wife drove him to this sin (please see why she is primarily responsible. ). She was the cause, and, unless she truly repents, faces great displeasure before our Lord.
Others, on the other hand, think that once the divorce "goes through" they have a "free ticket" to remarry. Such bear the responsibility of their sin, because, by their very actions, that of remarrying, they declare the Word of God to be a farce. They should have known the Word of God and obeyed it with the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, grant it, many were "taught" it was OK to remarry by ministers who did not rightly divide the Word. THERE IS NOT ONE SCRIPTURE THAT GIVES PERMISSION TO REMARRY WITH A "FORMER" COMPANION STILL LIVING. Anyone claiming that there is may refer to the Scriptures regarding this matter. How can God say it is OK to remarry when He clearly calls it adultery in Luke 16:18?
Now, even though these may have been taught by others to sin, EACH CHRISTIAN BEARS THEIR OWN RESPONSIBILITY IN MAKING SURE THEY KNOW THE SCRIPTURES AND FOLLOW THEM.
Christians who have divorced and remarried have taught other Christians to do the same. They have, by their actions, declared to the unsaved, that Christianity is "just another religion". God will forgive you of this too, but, you must be sorry you have done this.
Ministers that have divorced and remarried-
Yes, I realize you can hurt too, but of all people I know for a fact that if you have had any ministerial training you should have at least read the Word of God! Some of you know very well in your heart it is kind of a stretch to make Jesus say it is OK to remarry. Where? What verse? Go ahead and email me, but you may want to review the Scriptures again. Hopefully you are acquainted with the Christian writings after the apostles. Where, during the first hundred years after the death of John do we find a Christian writer indicating it is OK to remarry?
YOU OF ALL PEOPLE BEAR THE GREATEST RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS SIN! Think of how many YOU have caused to sin by your actions and your teaching!
But, yes, my friend, God will forgive you too, but I beg you to study the Scriptures. Publicly declare you have erred. Tell your sheep, and vow that you will rightly divide the Word.
If you are a pastor or deacon you must not hold that office (1 Tim. 3:2, 12, Titus 1:6).
Display A Scriptural Attitude-As the situation arises, you need to share with others where you have erred and speak as the Scriptures would have you to speak. For instance, to declare that God delivered you from a previous marriage is wrong. God hates divorce, would He then initiate a divorce? Also, to go around saying that God gave you your second / third (whatever) spouse cannot possibly be true in the light of Luke 16:18 and other Scriptures. You mean to say God says whoever marries someone that is divorced commits adultery, but for some reason He gave YOU permission to do so? God never gives permission for ANYONE to remarry while their companion still lives!. Now, either you are truly sorry for remarrying, or you have a root of pride within you that makes you feel that God is going to ignore His Word for your sake.
Seek Not / Hold Not The Office of Elder/ Pastor / Bishop, etc.-
Again, see 1 Tim. 3:2, 12, Titus 1:6. Denominations/ fellowships / churches should not grant credentials to those entangled with earthly matters, including those who are remarried with a spouse still living. You are making the Word of God a farce and not a force. Do the research and you will see that the Church prior to 200AD never permitted the remarried to hold these offices. We should not need more reasoning as to "why"; we should just obey the Word! If you belong to such a denomination either try to change it through prayer and their established by-laws or leave. Go independent if you have to, but do not encourage your people to sin by exposing them to groups that will not honor the Word of God on marriage and the sanctity of the pulpit. There actually is a Pentecostal fellowship that believes correctly in the Trinity that adheres to the Biblical standards of marriage and the sanctity of the pulpit. That fellowship is Zion Fellowship International.
You Still Can Serve-
Being divorced and remarried does not make you "a second class Christian" because you cannot hold the office of pastor, deacon, etc.. Think about it- are pastors, deacons, etc. first class Christians and everyone else is not? Of course not! You may feel you have the call of God to be a pastor, but would God contradict His Word? The feeling you have is a rightful desire to serve and you can do so in myriad of capacities within the body of Christ as long as you speak what the Scriptures speak. Just remember that as you teach, tell the truth that all divorce and remarriage is sin.
Grace, Divorce, And Remarriage
Invite Jesus Into Your Life / Lives
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Text ©2002, 2012 Peter Macinta. You may copy, store, redistribute, UNCHANGED in content and not for sale.