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Divorce Remarriage Bible Verses

Most of us have witnessed great anguish regarding divorce and remarriage. Over the years I compiled Bible passages pertaining to divorce and remarriage. For your convenience I share with you the outcome of the research to help you make the right decision regarding divorce and remarriage ... with confidence.

It would be good to now pray for the Lord's help in this matter: Father in heaven, I pray for discernment of Your biblical instruction about divorce and remarriage. Please have Your Holy Spirit help me understand and apply what You would have me do in this matter and refrain from sin. Help me dismiss any false teaching I may have accepted and quench any desires contradictory to Your will. I commit to be obedient to Your written Word no matter the sacrifice You might instruct me to make. Jesus is worth it. Amen.  

People smarter than us take opposite sides in this matter. Obviously both cannot be right. It would be good to study pertinent Bible verses yourself and make your own decision. This isn't difficult, these verses are clearer than you might expect. But all too often people’s hearts are swayed by personal preference and those who profit by telling people what they want to hear. We are instructed to rightly divide the Word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15. Instead of  letting others influence our decision, let’s let God have the final word on this one.

First, it's very important to keep in mind that divorce and remarriage are two separate issues with different conditions for each, i.e., a biblically permitted divorce doesn't automatically deem eligibility for biblical remarriage.

Let’s take a look at 1 Tim 5:14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;. It's interesting that this permits and encourages widows to remarry. That's self-evident and some might say isn't even needed in the Bible. So if the Bible so clearly tells us what's self-evident, then surely it must speak just as clearly about marrying a divorced person because there's a greater need for clarity on this issue that's so important for so many people through the ages. As expected the Bible does just that.

One of the passages that addresses this topic is Luke 16:18: "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery." Did you catch who the second emphasis is on in this passage? It's on the one who marries the innocent victim of a divorce, right? And that person is guilty of committing the sin of adultery. Could Jesus be more clear about His position in the matter of marrying the innocent victim of a divorce?

More instruction about divorce and remarriage can be found in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 and Romans 7:2-3: For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. NASB

If marriage to a divorcee is a good thing then why is that not stated here? Or anywhere else in the Bible? The reason is because that was already made clear by Jesus in Luke 16:18 and Mark 10. These verses tell us God considers a person married even after a divorce has been finalized in a secular court and He does not recognize second marriages. If this is not God's view, then on what basis does He call those involved in remarriage adulterers?

Back to 1 Tim 5:14. Why is this seemingly unnecessary verse in the Bible about allowing widows to remarry along with the legal justification detailed in Romans 7? I believe these are there to demonstrate the Bible speaks abundantly and clearly about who can marry whom and who cannot remarry. If there isn't one similarly clear Bible passage permitting divorcees to remarry, then what the Bible states about remarriage being adultery is true. Can you find any reasonable wiggle room within these passages or are they reasonably compelling?

If a second marriage for divorcees is okay, then three or more times should also be okay, right? But then the Bible would need to set a limit on the amount of divorces and remarriages. Otherwise life can become unbearable for innocent victims of divorcers and their children. As you know divorce is a devastating tragedy that causes overwhelming trauma to an incalculable amount of children and adults. God hates that (Mal 2:16) and wants that to stop! Even the world knows divorce and remarriage is a tragedy and should have restraint. But everyone thinks they should have special privilege for their personal situation. And all too often ministers allow their members to overcome marital problems with a new spouse instead of courageously referring them to Luke 16:18 and other verses.

If two marriages are good, how many more are just as good? That's a serious question that needs to be answered before someone moves the boundary stone of one. But there is no way humans can move that boundary and it remain set there if we are our own authority. God thought of the need for a limit on the amount of marriages. He clearly and abundantly conveys it is one, not two or more. One is rational, more is not.

Matt 5:32 & Matt 19:9 and Amazing Congruency
Some insist Jesus allows for remarriage in Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9. But if we look at the footnotes in Matt 19:9 we learn the earlier scrolls read: And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries another woman, makes her commit adultery and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” NASB   Thus Matthew is congruent with all the other passages stating marriage to the innocent victim of divorce is adultery and the strongest argument for divorcees to remarry is without merit.

Further explanation on this exception clause: Jesus' main intent in Matt 19:9 is to convey remarriage is adultery, not how to get remarried without it being adultery. Rom 7:2-3 explains that for us in detail. Next, who is the object for the exception clause? It's the initiator of the divorce only. Who are the objects listed as committing adultery? It's the second wife of the first man and the 4th party who marries the innocent victim of the divorce, not the first married couple! This is a succinct way to state everyone involved in every role of remarriage is committing adultery. Thus it appears the exception clause could only be applied for divorce, not remarriage. And the exception clause for fornication could be intended for the groom of a bride who lied to him about her virginity. Whichever way this passage is interpreted, it must be congruent with all the other passages on this subject, otherwise you create a contradiction.

There is amazing congruency throughout the Bible regarding no remarriage while a former spouse is alive. But if we twist a verse to conclude we can marry multiple people, one at a time, then the clear message conveyed by numerous verses must be explained away to fit that unbiblical doctrine. And we render the whole Bible unreliable to ourselves and anyone else. And then every sin can be justified with the same peculiar hermeneutics. Then we are at risk for imposing our own condemnation: Galatians 1:9 ..., if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed (damned)! (NASB) (Also see Rev. 22:18-19)

It is ironic that a passage that is intended to communicate remarriage is adultery is being used as justification for remarriage. The result of liberal interpretation of this passage brings unimaginable trauma to children who eventually become adults. And we wonder what the cause is of this depressed and angry world that is over medicated.

Divorce in the Old Testament
Some say, “Divorce was permitted in the Old Testament.” Yes Jesus said Moses permitted divorce. In Matt 19 Jesus merely clarifies the historical fact that Moses permitted divorce, not God. You will not find Moses' provision for divorce anywhere in the Old Testament! Moreover in Matt 19 Jesus makes it clear; one partner for life and remarriage is adultery.

Some claim God permitted divorce in the book of Ezra. Let's look at Ezra 9-10 where Ezra asks God, “And now, our God, what shall we say after this ... ?" But God does not answer! Later, during a shivering rain storm, Ezra agrees with a mob of Jewish women and their husbands' request to put away the foreign women, even though not everyone is in agreement about this, v15. Ezra 10 merely records a unique historical event without comment from God.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 If you highlight every word "or" and "and" in this one-sentence passage and note what is stated after the word "then," you will realize these verses applied to extremely few people in the old testament and the conclusion of this long sentence is remarriage is not allowed.

In Exodus 21:10-11 there is a provision for a woman (not a man) in a polygamous marriage to leave if she is neglected. But this Old Testament verse is not applicable today because of the marital instructions we are to follow in the New Testament.

So, there is no provision in the Old Testament for us to divorce or remarry. And we cannot remarry if there is no God-ordained provision for divorce and remarriage, Mark 10:9.

Abandonment Provision
1 Cor 7:15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.

Many Christians believe this means a Christian cannot get divorced if a Christian spouse walks out of a marriage but only if an "unbelieving one" walks out. And there's nothing here about remarriage.

Both Opposing Positions Blessed by God?
Christians often justify their position that remarriage after a secular divorce is permissible by citing what respected or famous Christians say. And those who take the opposite position, cite Bible verses. It seems some pastors feel if well-respected theologians take opposite sides in a matter, then God gives us liberty to chose either side and He would be pleased with either decision. That by no means sanctifies both positions, 2 Peter 1:20. That would indicate the Kingdom of God is divided and that would be absurd John 17:22-23, Mark 3:23-26. We are to be of noble character like the Bereans Acts 17:11 and fear God, not man Matt 10:28. The stakes are high in this matter. Why listen to misguided theologians when we can go to the source and decide for ourselves? As you know teachers are under a stricter judgment, James 3:1.

We need to have a King Josiah moment, When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes., 2 Kings 22:11. We all are role models. Others are watching. Our words and actions influences others.

Unfairness
I fully understand how unfair this seems to the many divorcees who are innocent and are devastated about their spouse walking out on them. All our hearts grieve for those experiencing such utterly tragic injustice! But that does not change the clear instruction in the Bible about remarriage that was there long before anyone on Earth got married. Nor should we allow individual circumstances to compromise biblical instruction. We need to develop our biblical convictions prior to encountering these circumstances and stick with them.  Rom 14:23

While many think it is not fair for innocent victims of divorce to remain unmarried, it makes perfect sense to children who desperately want their mom and dad to do whatever it takes to keep their family together. If your parents divorced, you likely remember that desire. Moreover our Creator wants parents to remain married and raise children together. And this makes sense to godly singles who remain single because of all the divorcees who thin God's flock by taking for themselves two or more spouses.

Dr. Erwin Lutzer's autobiography has a pertinent quote: "If I could shout this advice from the housetops I would do so. I would repeat for all to hear: IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE YOU SHOULD NOT MARRY! " [caps in original text] The full text is on pages 79-80 of this book.

Questioning God's Word ...
Gen 3:1, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" Apparently it did not make sense to Eve that she was allowed so many options but the one that enticed her was the one she could not have.

What if the tree with the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil were still on earth today? Do you think modern Christians would not find some justification for partaking of it with non-Christians? Let this sink into your soul ... that seemingly innocuous act by Eve set in motion major irreversible consequences. Be very, very careful of letting your mind doubt what God has stated, especially if your heart desires what God states is sin. That is extremely dangerous territory that Adam and Eve learned with some not-so-minor consequences. It is far better to stay away from a gray area than to stray toward a gray area. Nobody can say with absolute certainty they will not eventually suffer unbearable consequences for marrying a divorced person. When in doubt leave it out.

If someone twists the plain text of the Bible like the serpent in the Garden of Eden or the tempter in the wilderness with Jesus ... flee and don't look back. If you give this modern-day tempter enough time, they will find your weakness and penetrate till you get to a point of no return.

Other Sins Unquestioned
There are many sins we accept as sin without question and without Bible verses as direct, plentiful and consistent as those about divorce and remarriage. Such as slave ownership, racism, pornography, drunkenness, polygamy and taking communion in an unworthy manner. So if we are in agreement that the sins listed here are indeed sin, then we should be able to agree on scripture that even more directly and abundantly states marrying a divorcee is committing adultery. No less than three times do the Gospels record Jesus Christ as saying marriage to the innocent victim of a divorce is adultery: Matt 5:32, Matt 19:9 and Luke 16:18.

What is it about the text, whosoever marries a divorced person commits adultery, that is so difficult for us to understand/accept? But "understanding" really isn't the issue, is it? It's our hearts' desires and fear of man isn't it? If you don't classify remarriage as adultery, as Jesus does, by what authority do you reclassify it as holy matrimony?

1 John 5:3-5 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NASB)

Unequally Yoked Verse
There is less scripture and it is less clear to support this popular conviction than there is for remarriage being adultery. It would be bizarre for a pastor to require a divorced Christian to marry only a Christian because of this one vague verse and ignore all the verses clearly forbidding remarriage. Moreover, requiring a divorced person to only marry a Christian could cause never-married Christians to be in jeopardy of the grave consequences in Heb 10:26-27 and Rev 21:8!!!

If we can correctly interpret 2 Cor 6:14, about being unequally yoked to forbid marriage to an unsaved person, how can we interpret Luke 16:18, Mark 10 and Rom 7:3 to mean the opposite of what they state?

Marriage Vows are Unconditional and Life-Long
If you still are not convinced the Bible does not prohibit remarriage, the marriage vow is a separate issue that prohibits remarriage. Please realize marriage vows and covenants are unconditional commitments and are to be honored as such. Once a person proclaims their marriage vows before God and family, they of their own free will made an UNCONDITIONAL LIFE-LONG VOW to not remarry. Well not totally unconditional, there is one condition, "til death do us part." And no other conditions, right? Unless they made a vow "til death or divorce do us part," they made a life-long vow.

Some might say the death part of a marriage vow is self-evident and needless. But that is not the case because of the God-ordained seriousness of vows. The Bible strongly reinforces the need to keep vows and to not remarry. And I believe the reason the Apostle Paul went into the (seemingly unnecessary) legal detail in Romans 7 as to why it is permissible for widows to remarry after the death of their spouse is because of the unconditional nature and seriousness of marital vows. What other reason could there be? So vows made before God must be kept lifelong and neither secular courts nor pastors have authority by God to make provision for breaking the marriage covenant.

Covenants are a part of American law. People who buy a condominium enter into a covenant with the condo association. If someone stops paying their assessments to a condominium association, the association cannot stop providing service to the unit. If the association does not provide services, the condo owner cannot stop paying assessments. That's because condo agreements, like marriages, are covenants and not contracts. "All in" on both sides, not 50/50. 100% by each party. It is not over when one party does not meet their obligation. And each side can enforce the covenant in a court of law.

What we do know about divorcees is that they made a vow to be committed to their spouse for life. Marriage vows are just that, irrevocable. Married people need to focus their energy on winning their spouse’s heart back and pursue that relationship, 1 Cor 7:11,39. It is the responsibility of each marriage partner to do their utmost to make sure their spouse is satisfied with the marriage.

Statistics clearly indicate that people who compromise on their first vow, break the second vow at a higher rate. How can you trust a divorcee to restore their second marriage when the going gets tough? The energy to restore a second marriage usually is less than for the first one. And is another reason second marriages have a higher failure rate.

One of the pastors at my previous church told a good friend of mine that he should divorce his wife. I told my friend even though this pastor is giving you the liberty to divorce your wife, that does not mean you can biblically. My friend now is forever grateful to me ... very grateful! He has reconciled with his wife, even after her lies put him in jail twice and ruined him financially twice! Now they are happily married.

Do you believe there are God-ordained consequences for those who do not keep their promises? If God imposes consequences for violating a vow, are you comfortable being yoked to someone who may suffer consequences for breaking their previous marriage vow? Ecl 5:4-6, James 5:12 

If Christians are not willing to obey the Bible's instruction for marriage and if we grant waivers for "special" circumstances, then we are hypocrites for telling unbelievers they cannot redefine marriage.

Divorce in secular court is not a gift from God for remarriage
Which church grants divorce? None. And 1 Cor 6:1-11 tells us to not take believers to court before "judges of no account in the church." The Church marries people because that is a God-ordained institution but it does not grant divorce because God told us He hates divorce, Mal 2:16. If the Church does not grant divorces, and God hates divorce, then the Church should not recognize divorces in secular court for the purpose of remarriage. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate, Mark 10:9.
I believe God will not hold only the secular court judges accountable for their role in this great tragedy upon individuals and societies.

 

More Divorce Court Years After Divorce is Granted
Often after divorce is granted, divorce court does not end then. Appeals are filed by X-spouses for circumstances that change over the years regarding increased or decreased income, disputes about child custody and relocating. Even though the outcome of these follow-up lawsuits have a dramatic effect on second spouses, they have no say in the matter. They are bound to whatever the outcome is of future lawsuits. And that outcome could be intolerable to you or your spouse.

Communion in Unworthy Manner & Consequences
If your heart still is set on divorce or remarriage, do you believe you will be able to partake in communion with a clear conscience and have no chance of suffering the consequences described in 1 Cor 11:30 for taking communion in an unworthy manner?

Unanswered Prayers ...
In Mal 2:13-17 you can find that God is wearied by tearful prayers that He deliberately does not answer due to marital infidelity [NASB]. If you think you had dark days with unanswered prayers before ... you just might walk into a new dimension of darkness you never thought would happen to you. And there is no way to make restitution for adultery. If you lie, you can confess and tell the truth. If you steal you can confess and restore what was stolen. And then there is great relief. But with adultery all you can do is confess and suffer the consequences. And the shame often lingers life-long (assuming you repent).

If unmarried people were to fully comprehend the severe consequences for adultery (John 5:14; John 8:32,34; Rev 21:8), they would have higher standards for their mate before committing their life to them plus make extra effort to make the marriage work when the going gets rough. But we have so many poor examples and so few churches condemning divorce, remarriage and adultery that even Christians go along with the world's standards that God is trying to keep us from. Part of the problem is many Christians think when the Bible tells us to fear God we are to respect Him. They feel God is like an unconditional teddy bear, all loving and blessing and no consequences. He simply makes us wait longer than we want to for our "well-deserved" blessings. Good pastors say we should genuinely fear God as the Bible states (like Colin Smith's sermon on The Fear of God). The respect thing is not working. See Matt 10:28.

You may know of second marriages that appear to be blessed of God. While that might be what you see now, I do not believe that will be their feeling, or yours, at the Great White Throne Judgment.

The Way to a Hard Heart
Everyone knows the way to a hard heart is to do what you want in defiance of what the Bible states. And this is particularly true in regards to divorce and remarriage. In Matt 19:8-9 Jesus explains “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; ... " 
 

The Greatest Among Men Said
If marrying a divorcee is okay with God, then John the Baptist foolishly gave up his life and ministry for an unworthy cause (Matt 14:1-11). Long ago God had a choice in how He would set the stage for the martyrdom of John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest among men (Matt 11:11). I believe God feels this matter is so critical for our well-being that He chose that scenario to demonstrate how He truly hates divorce and adultery. If God permits divorce and remarriage, then why was this such a big deal to John the Baptist and God? John was not stupid, he knew telling people that they are living in adultery causes irrational responses. He also knew the king had power to assassinate him. No, the greatest among men did not give up his life and ministry for an unworthy cause. Standing up for righteousness and monogamous families is worth it.

If John the Baptist went to a western church today, he undoubtedly would be told: you are extreme, you are not practicing the love of Christ, you don't know all the facts, pastors say remarriage is okay, etc. In his time he likely had friends tell him something like that. If he listened to his friends, he likely would have missed out on meeting his destiny and being called the greatest among men. No pastor is great enough to overturn the biblical instruction John died for.

Since modern pastors consider a secular divorce as opportunity for another mate, people are viewing those of the opposite sex as a potential mate, married or not. Then being flirtatious with a married person merely is keeping options open in case opportunity presents itself. In this crazy world there are plenty of people who do just that and worse. I do not think God wants this nor do people who want to remain married to their spouse. We need to take a stand for righteousness and help people remain married and reconcile, instead of removing God-ordained consequences for divorce.

Shutting the Door on Reconciliation
Have you ever hoped and prayed for reconciliation of a divorced couple only to later have that hope crushed once you learned one of them got remarried? It is at that point all hope for reconciliation is crushed. If you marry a divorced person, you forever prevent them and their spouse from repenting and restoring their marriage. Even if both spouses now claim there is no hope or interest for reconciliation, that does not mean they could not have a change of heart later. Many couples have reconciled after they divorced and after both stated there is no hope! And you could prevent their children from having the whole family they are praying for. Do you really want to be the wedge that prohibits marital restoration? Did you hope your parents would reconcile after they got divorced?

Exception Clause for the Unsaved?
Some pastors claim if someone got divorced before they were saved, then that is justification for remarriage because they did not know what they were doing and now they are a new creation. That is conjecture. Nowhere does the Bible state the unsaved get a pass on consequences and consequences are imposed only on the saved. Yet the same pastors will marry an unsaved couple never married before. If they feel the unsaved really do not know what they are doing, then why would they marry them? And if the unsaved do not know any better about their sin, then on what basis does God condemn the unsaved at the great White Throne Judgment?

Unsaved people certainly understand what a vow is and they can be held accountable to keep a vow in a court of law and by God. We do not differentiate the penalty for criminals on the basis of whether they were saved, nor pardon the guilty if the offense was committed before they were saved. And the courts in every country don't release people because they didn't know better. Consequences are imposed regardless of ignorance of the law. And that is why every individual is responsible for learning to do right and held accountable for doing wrong. And James 3:17 tells us wisdom from above is impartial.

No church would knowingly let a man become the church treasurer, if he failed at his first church and was caught embezzling money there. The soul of any man, woman and child is worth far more than the largest church treasury. Statistics prove that second marriages have a higher failure rate. If you are going to err, err on the side of righteousness. Otherwise you are on shaky ground and at risk of not meeting the higher standard.

Hermeneutics & Context
If marrying a divorced person is a good thing, then we should not need complex hermeneutics to piece together verses, written years apart from one another, and then assert a conclusion that contradicts clear and complete Bible passages. This is worth repeating: We have Bible passages that in one passage gives us all the information we need for the remarriage of widows (which practically isn't needed). So if there isn't one similarly clear Bible passage for divorcees to remarry, then what the Bible states about remarriage being adultery is true. See Rom 7:3, Mark 10:2-12, Mal 2:16, Luke 16:18, 1 Cor 7:8-16.
 

To reinterpret passages that clearly and unambiguously direct us to not do something to the point of saying it is okay to do, is heresy. Rational people using proper hermeneutics do not let unclear or indirect passages overturn passages that are numerous, unambiguous and specific.

Selfless Loving Leadership Needed from Pastors
Think of the amount of divorced and remarried people currently attending church and serving on the deacon board. What would happen if the pastor quoted Luke 16:18 and said if you are divorced, you cannot remarry and those who do are committing adultery? It is obvious to everyone that a significant percentage would leave and donations would plummet immediately. Then salaries would have to be reduced. Therefore there is so little preaching against divorce and remarriage. Very sad, but true all too often. 

I understand there are many divorced and remarried people currently attending church and serving on the deacon board. We need to fear God, not man. And senior pastors who avoid this controversy for themselves by having associate pastors marry divorcees instead, are not any more righteous. If a pastor provides approval for violating this clear teaching he just might be in jeopardy of Matt 18:6-7 plus Matt 10:28.

Christ calls us to be the salt and light of the earth, but if we shrink from that responsibility then we are "no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men." Matt 5:13b. Pastors, please be the selfless loving leader you are called to be for your flock. Please do not ignore Bible passages about remarriage being adultery. Eventually the church will be more Christ-like and more effective. If your pastor refuses to marry you because of divorce, realize that it is very hard for him to say no and thank him and encourage him for upholding the biblical standard!

White people in the south in the 1700s could be slave owners and pastors in the south said that was okay. That caused a massive amount of kidnapping, rape and murder ... crimes punishable by death. It took a horrific civil war to stop what the church should have stopped earlier. Southern Christians in the 1700s got their teeth kicked in, in part, due to pastors' selfish tolerance of the hardness of hearts in their congregations. Even though they back then, and we now are prone to the influence of the culture, that does that make it right, especially when Bible verses clearly direct us otherwise.

Look where we are now due to the decline of the family: untold millions of divorces and remarriages in church, untold millions of innocent lives devastated, thousands of suicides and thousands of abortions and counting. Please think of the overwhelming trauma divorce, remarriage and re-divorce causes an incalculable amount of children and adults. America is no less susceptible to the plagues and foreign annihilation Israel suffered for their defiance during Biblical times! Do we really need to get our teeth kicked in before we will get on our face before God and repent of our compromises? [Note: This section was written before anyone heard of Covid-19]

His Church Should Not Be Like This ...
God clearly hates hypocrisy. We cannot profess to be a Christian or tell people to honor God and His commandments in the Bible and then live counter to His commandments. Hypocrisy in the church drives a great many people away from godliness and the church.

 

In a world with so many people unable to receive the blessings of living biblically because of censorship, it is ironic that so many in western churches live defiantly. And so few leaders in the church take a stand for biblical marriage and against sin. Compromisers weaken the church and disgrace His message and messengers. One of the greatest hindrances to winning the lost is hypocrisy in the church of Christ. We say we hate divorce as a cliché, but we commit divorce and commit remarriage nearly as much as the world. And it seems like everyone who wants to commit remarriage is granted it in the church. Then we wonder why the church is so weak.

 

The shock value of the divorce rate in the church near 50% has long worn off and we are not taking the steps needed to get back to the rate we had years ago. As long as Christians think they can get a better life with a new spouse and pastors are willing to marry divorced people, there never will be a significant reduction in the rate of divorces that plagues families and the church! Because of the ease of people getting remarried in the church, many people give up on their first spouse. AND when remarried people are allowed to testify from the pulpit how bad their life was before divorce and how "God blessed" them with a second spouse that causes even more people to divorce their first spouse and get remarried!

Many so-called "irreconcilable marriages" were saved when just one spouse went the extra mile for reconciliation. And a great many more would have been saved if it were not so easy for people to get remarried. You must admit that if remarriage were not an option, that alone would save a lot of marriages from divorce. And children could be spared from the huge amount of problems they suffer. Churches not holding people accountable for their marriage covenant does incomprehensible harm to children and society.

In Revelation 2-3 Jesus has some very sobering words for the seven churches of Asia. Among them is his disdain for immorality in the church and the church’s tolerance for immorality.

We have one chance at marriage and we gotta make it a good one and stick with it. Until the church gets back on track biblically about this devastating sin, we will not see any significant improvement. God has it right, no divorce and no remarriage except under the condition listed in the Bible.

Statistics of Christian Divorce Rates are Skewed
By now you likely heard the divorce rate among true Christians is inflated due to including people who are not true Christians and people who are repeat offenders. So what is the real statistic for true Christians who married for the first time? According to statistics reported on Moody Radio in 2017 it is only 45%! Isn't that just great? About 5% less than the world
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Marriage is Good ... Very Good!
By now you might think I'm down on marriage. The contrary is true. Marriage is a very good God-ordained act. He tells us to procreate and to fill the Earth, Gen 1:28. He who finds a wife finds a good thing, Prv 18:22. Children are a Blessing from the Lord, Ps 127:3-5. We should take Him up on these promises of His.

You are Royalty--A Child of the King of Kings
As a Christian you are royalty, Gal 3:26. Please do not sell yourself short. Do not let Satan convince you that you are less valuable than you really are or to lower your standards. You are a very valuable and precious child of God. A very special being. Your soul is far more valuable than any gratification you could get from marrying a divorced person who has no business trying to win your heart.

There are vast amounts of people who are in sexual relationships (marriage and otherwise) who feel powerless to get out of the relationship, even though they now realize they made a serious mistake getting into it. It is not wise to consider getting into a relationship that has high risk of significant consequences.

Consequences of Sin
Christians who willingly engage in repetitious long-term sin may suffer a new level of darkness they might not be able to withstand. Once you get to the point of no return, goodbye good-old-days. Be careful about getting what you want instead of what God feels is best for you. Each of us has great power to do what is right (and wrong). Your strength to do what is right likely is the strongest right now. If you meet again with your boyfriend/girlfriend, your power to get out of this relationship will diminish greatly.

Years ago I met someone who became so convinced that remarriage is adultery that he divorced his second wife merely on that basis. There is potential that at some time one of the parties involved could come under that same conviction and change the whole dynamic of the relationship.

The Children ...
Do you love children? I mean truly love children. Most people quickly say yes, but when it comes to the point of great personal sacrifice, all too many adults are out for themselves. Some even repeat the verse about God hating divorce as a cliché, but will not take a strong stand to uphold the sanctity of marriage. We all are role models. What parents allow in moderation, children abuse in excess. People look up to us and God calls us to take the high road. If not you, who?
Matt 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Deception During Courtship
Be very careful about getting the whole truth when love or money is involved. All too often I have listened to someone complain about how terrible their spouse is and how their spouse is the cause of a secular divorce. But when I probe for specific details and verification ... surprise! The whole story changes. You likely witnessed this also. The Bible encourages us to not believe one side of a story: The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps. 16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. 17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, ...  Proverbs 14:15-17

Everyone withholds the full truth and shows their good side. If you get engaged after only a few months of courtship, then you make it easy for them to hide issues that might be intolerable to you. Why do that to yourself?

At least 50% of the people who are divorced are guilty of causing that. Yet when we talk with most divorcees they lead us to believe their mate has the greatest guilt in the matter. And yes divorcees often admit to some faults. This admission often lowers our guard to think they are transparent, providing the whole story and honest. But that just might not be the case. Verification is needed.

If you are dating a divorcee, by now they likely told you some of their faults in their first marriage and that they learned from their past mistakes. The reason for such a statement often is to try to comfort any cautions you may have and lead you to believe they now are able to be a better spouse. This is another way to win your heart. Nothing new. This is commonly done.

If you were to ever get divorced, how different would you be in this regard? You probably still would want to get remarried and use the same approach with potential mates. So be very cautious about opening your heart to a divorcee. You can be assured there is more beneath the surface than is apparent. True underlying faults reveal themselves eventually, but rarely during short courtships. Pray for truth to be reveled and for yourself to have a godly response.

Question: If your spouse were to sleep with their first spouse, could that be deemed adultery biblically? Based on which verse(s)? See I Cor 7:11 and Rom 7:2. In God's eyes which spouse is the legitimate one? Not too likely it is the one the Bible labels as adulterous. This is another point that reveals an unacceptable risk for remarriages, especially if there is frequent contact with the first spouse pertaining to children.

If loving you is wrong I don't wanna be right
Not only are people singing this verse, more and more Christians are practicing just that ... and to their own detriment. What are they thinking? This is not a mantra to live by, but a temptation to flee. Is 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

True Love
If I truly love someone, I want the best for them, even if it means loss on my part. I wish restoration for marriages. I do not feel divorce is an opportunity for me to take advantage of and become the wedge who blocks restoration of a divorced couple. I do not want to be selfish or in sin. That leads to disastrous consequences that I may not be able to withstand. At the end of our lives we will realize how the sins of our past have robbed us of our future.

Justifying Our Actions ...
When we are angry with God (about singleness or divorce) we are all the more prone to yield to temptation and justify it. You might have heard that Go
d can handle your anger toward Him. While this is a self-evident truth, that does not mean long-term anger with God will go unanswered, Num 11:1. God is not like a teddy bear who you can set aside to sin and then pick Him up when you want and all is good. The greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, Mark 12:28. If we are not right with God we can expect consequences. Those who do whatever it takes to get what they want and claim peace from God about sinful matters, risk separation from God. If you believe God rewards good behavior, it would be foolish to not believe He punishes sinful behavior, John 3:36, James 4:1-4.

Many in evangelical churches believe in "Eternal Security" (once saved, always saved and you cannot lose your salvation no matter what you do after you became a Christian). I spent much time researching the Bible on this topic also. I compiled a list of verses that indicate "Eternal Security" and a list of verses that indicate a Christian can reject God's commandments and walk in sin and get their name blotted out of the Book of Life. After these verses were compiled, I was very surprised to learn ... the verses indicating the later are much greater in number and also in clarity. Just in case you think you have fire insurance from any sin you commit for any length of time, I would like to shed a little light on this topic with these verses: James 5:19-20 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.  (NASB).

Hebrews 10:26-27  For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Also see: Heb 10:36-39; Ephesians 5:3-11; 1 John 3:7-10. To claim these verses do not mean a saved Christian can reject the Lord's Way and be damned to hell would take a questionable amount of theological gymnastics to claim that these verses don't mean what they say.

Where's the Positive?
In the western culture we expect stories and sermons to have good positive endings. And we almost demand it. So much so that we deceive ourselves into thinking that if I defy God's commandments and warnings, somehow God will make it end well. So we proceed with what we want with the self-assurance that eventually it will be okay for me and those I hurt.

When a mom or dad justifies remarriage, often the children become bitter against their parent(s) and God. As children become adults they take out their frustration on others and the cycle repeats itself generation after generation and for millions of people. Where's the positive is in that? This is the well-known result of divorce and remarriage and God hates it. If you want a happy ending, I encourage you to do as God instructs. With the Holy Spirit's help, you can do it!

God allows us freedom to choose what we want and He is recording how we choose, Rev 20:11-15.

This is not an off-the-cuff message you can readily dismiss. This has been bathed in much prayer and justified with numerous and pertinent Bible verses in context. This is not new or unique. These Bible passages are 2000 years old. Many innocent victims of divorce are not getting remarried in obedience to biblical instruction. Others have resigned from ministry in obedience to 1 Tim 3:2 due their partner filing for divorce.

The Marriage Foundation
The Bible teaches us foundations are important. The foundation of a marriage that God classifies as adultery is a foundation built on sand at best. Don't expect it to be good for long. No matter how good the relationship seems now, such marriages can go bad at any time. And don't blame God when it doesn't work out.

Shaming Christianity
Christians all too often say their relationship is "so of God!" Or they say I feel peace in my heart about it. Or the circumstances are of God. Then they get married against wise counsel and biblical prohibition. But when expectations are not met and reality sets in, they're in the pastor's office for counseling, wasting his time because they never should've gotten married in the first place or because they will choose divorce regardless. When Christians publicly profess before family and friends their relationship is "so of God," and end up divorced, they make a mockery of our Christian faith and those of us who are called by His name. And rarely do divorcees humble themselves and ask for forgiveness before all those whom they deceived about their relationship being God-ordained or for the vow they publically broke.

Trying to Defy the Odds
Among my personal friends, I know of 15 marriages of divorcees. Three between unsaved couples. All of those three marriages seem good at this time. All of the 12 other marriages are of Christians. One is recent and I am unaware of any problems with that one. The 11others have terrible gut-wrenching stories that go with every single one. Most of those marriages have ended already, one by sudden death in his 30s leaving four small children. This is reasonably close to a 100% failure rate among Christian remarriages. What if you were to list all the Christians you know who got remarried after divorce? What results would you find? How well did remarriage fair for them? Are they and their children walking the straight and narrow path that leads to life? Euphoria before marriage all too often bends the knee to reality years down the road.

True Story
One of my close friends told me she would never marry a divorced man. But out of desperation she went back on her own conviction. Shortly after marrying the divorced man, she had continuous major health problems of one type or another. To such an extent she has been unable to work since nearly the time she married him ... over 15 years ago! And for most of the last year she has been bed ridden due to depression. The causes of her ailments and the remedy escapes everyone even though both are healthcare professionals.

I can't help but wonder if her chronic health problems are due to a marriage God deems as adulterous and if 1 Cor 11:30 is applicable (weakness and sickness due to taking communion in an unworthy manner). She has been such a generous, compassionate, loving and kind woman. Her husband also is an extraordinarily kind and remarkable man who I like very much. But ... MANY people keep praying for this wonderful woman, and nothing changes! It seems something spiritual is holding her back.

For Premarital Counselors & Your Fiancé
For premarital counselors, parents and your fiancé I recommend each person contemplating marriage provide written answers for their belief for the conditions that divorce and remarriage are permissible and cite supporting Bible verses with their answers. And to answer the questions at the bottom of this page. If they do not provide biblical answers, they are not a good potential mate.

Attending the Wedding of a Divorced Person?
This can be a gut-wrenching decision. How do we balance obedience to the Word of God and retain friendship with someone violating Scripture? By being obedient to what the Bible tells us and praying for everyone involved. Sure there is a chance you may lose a friend if you state why you are not attending their wedding, but don’t take it personal. A true friend will respect and be tolerant of your right to not attend a wedding based on your sincerely held biblical beliefs. And if they don't, it says more about them than you. You are on solid ground when you obey God’s Word while they are building their home on sand.

1 Corinthians 5 tells us how to handle someone who claims to be a believer but is in sin:  I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 NASB

WWJD? Sure, we are to extend love and forgiveness to each other, but the above passage is a specific command of the Bible to be applied as situations arise and is not to be ignored by us.

We may feel obligated to offer grace to everyone all the time. Grace is God's unmerited favor, and that is God's job. We are not in a position to offer them grace. Our job is to obey God.

Please chose the high road. We also need to be careful of our presence and friendships causing someone else to stumble. Romans 14:21,23 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. (23) But the man who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin., NIV.  

Miscellaneous verses that help us think and live biblically
Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. NIV

‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’ 20 The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 Then the Lord will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law. Deut 29:18b-21 (NASB)

The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. John 2:4-5 NASB

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:12-15 (NASB)

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1-2 (NASB)

If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Gen 4:7 (NASB)

If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; ... 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. ... 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 1 Timothy 6: 3-8 (NASB)

But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. ... Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. 1 Cor 5:11,13b

The Slippery Slope of Sin
Some say blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is about ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit over a long period of the time. I am told that is plausible, but uncertain. We do know blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is an extremely serious matter. We also know that over time our conscience becomes dull when we ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit and engage in sin. The Holy Spirit's promptings may eventually cease when we deliberately violate biblical principles. How long do we need to ignore the Holy Spirit before His promptings go away and lose the blessings of the Holy Spirit? We don't know. What are the beginning stages of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit or how great of a sin do we need to commit before we crossed the line and committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? We don't know.

Besides blasphemy, adultery is about the worst sin you would commit. It is not very likely that you are going to commit murder or worship a graven image. So adultery likely is the worst sin you would commit and should not be trivialized. Even though it is so common, adultery is a major sin God clearly hates and warns of severe consequences. Rev 21:8 states immoral people are thrown in the lake of fire along with murderers. So why flirt with immorality?

Trust God that your needs will be provided for in a Godly manner and be content with what God provides and does not provide.

A True Friend
If I did not present my concerns to you, I would not be a true friend Prv 27:6. I would hate to have you wait all this time for the love of your life and it ending as the biggest mistake of your life. We all are one decision away from ruining our lives and our character. I pray you make the right decision that will bring you eternal blessing and joy.

I'm sure you will find friends who will tell you to go for it if you feel peace in your heart. But all too often I had friends tell me what I wanted to hear instead of what I needed to hear. I suffered needlessly for their selfishness. I am not a friend like that.

You are an intelligent person and can understand the verses cited here. You do not need someone to explain what biblical marriage is or is not. I suggest you perform your due diligence and study the Bible and read all the verses about divorce and remarriage and comprehend the big picture of what each passage is trying to convey. Be obedient to biblical instruction and God Himself will help you through this difficult time. And please do not read books written by divorcees or those who profit from divorcees wanting to hear what their itching ears want to hear. Otherwise I am afraid you may make the worst mistake of your life.

Is Jesus worth it? Is your soul worth it? Will you live for Him? As He commands?

In His service,

 

Ron Ja.snowski

Palatine, Illinois  USA

Ema.il: Click here

P.S. If you feel one marriage is too few and want to discuss this with me, I kindly ask that you submit answers for the following

Checklist:

  1. Were you able to pray the prayer in the second paragraph at the top without reservation and with total sincerity?

  2. On what basis does God call divorced people who remarry (and their second spouse) adulterers if He recognizes remarriage? Romans 7

  3. How confident are you that one can commit remarriage and be able to partake in communion with a clear conscience and have no chance of suffering the consequences described in 1 Cor 11:30 for taking communion in an unworthy manner?

  4. If marriage to a divorcee is a good thing then why is that not clearly stated anywhere in the Bible which clearly, and almost unnecessarily, states it's good for widows to remarry? If you do not classify remarriage as adultery, as Jesus does, by what authority do you reclassify it as holy matrimony? Which Bible passage prevails over Jesus' instruction in Luke 16:18?

  5. If you feel Luke 16:18 is not applicable to a current situation you are thinking about, what is the applicability of this verse?

  6. If we accept the following as sin: slave ownership, racism, pornography, drunkenness, polygamy and taking communion in an unworthy manner (sins we readily accept with fewer and less direct verses); why is it so difficult for us to accept all the verses that forbid remarriage?

  7. If God wanted to communicate to humanity that remarriage is adultery, how do you suggest He put words together in the Bible so we could understand that remarriage is adultery? What is it about the wording in the Bible that makes this unclear to you?

  8. How can we reject verses that do not fit our desires without rendering the whole Bible as unreliable and create a pathway for anyone to justify any sin?

  9. If we interpret 2 Cor 6:14 about being unequally yoked to mean what it intends, how can we interpret Luke 16:18 and Mark 10 to mean the opposite of what it states?

  10. Do you feel it is okay for everyone to commit divorce and remarriage five or more times? If not, what is the maximum number of marriages everyone is allowed by God?

  11. If your spouse were to sleep with their first spouse, could that be deemed adultery biblically? By which verse? See I Cor 7:11 and Rom 7:2.

  12. Which provision in a marriage vow allows for divorce or remarriage? If God imposes consequences for violating a vow, are you comfortable being yoked to someone who may suffer consequences for breaking their greatest vow? Ecl 5:4-6, James 5:12

  13. Was the greatest among men (John the Baptist) foolish to give up his life and ministry for publically proclaiming remarriage is sin?

  14. What if an angel of God were to be sent to Earth to help us interpret the Bible and instruct us in life application? Assume this angel has no bias in the matter. He has no possibility of marriage or divorce, he does not get contributions from a congregation with divorced people or answer to a deacon board with a well-liked deacon who is divorced. Would he use a complex method of hermeneutics to bend the plain meaning of Bible verses to conform to modern society or instruct us to obey verses as written?

  15. If the Bible were to state it is okay for divorcees to get married two or more times "I" would agree with that. What if the Bible states remarriage is adultery, would "you" agree with that and refrain from remarriage?

  16. Do you think if respected theologians take opposite positions then God will agree with both positions and sanctify the actions following either choice?

  17. In light of the overwhelming difficulties marriages face today and the need for divine assistance, do you feel God will bless a relationship with a divorcee whose child has been praying for their mommy and daddy to reconcile? Matthew 7:24-27

 

 

In His service,

 

Ron Ja.snowski

Palatine, Illinois  USA

Ema.il: Click here

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

Divorce Remarriage Bible Verses
Is remarriage adultery?
Is it adultery to marry a divorced man?
Is it adultery to marry a divorced woman?
Is it adultery to marry a divorced person?
Is marriage to a divorced person adultery?
Is marriage to a divorced man adultery?
Is marriage to a divorced woman adultery?
Divorce Bible Verses

Divorce & Remarriage Bible Verses
Is Remarriage a sin?
Is it a sin to Marry a Divorced Person?
To Attend or Not to Attend the Wedding of a Divorced Person?
To Attend or Not to Attend the Wedding of a Divorced Woman?
 To Attend or Not to Attend the Wedding of a Divorced Man?
 What to Do about Attending the Wedding of a Divorced Person?
 Should I Attend the Wedding of a Divorced Person?
 Excuses to Not Attend a Wedding Second Marriages?
 Is it Okay to Attend the Second Wedding of a Person?
 Is it Sin to Attend the Wedding of a Divorced Person?
 Attending the Second Wedding of a Person
Attending the Wedding of a Divorced Person
 What Does the Bible Say about Second Marriages?
What Does the Bible Say about Remarriage?
How Not to Attend the Wedding of a Divorced Person?
 Gifts to Get for the Wedding of a Divorced Person?
 Gifts to Get for the Second Wedding of a Divorced Person?
 Gifts to Get for the Remarriage of a Divorced Person?
Christian Divorce and Remarriage
Christian Divorce & Remarriage
Divorce Bible Verses

Divorce Remarriage Bible Study
Bible Verses About Divorce and Remarriage
Bible Verses About Remarriage
Bible Verses On Remarriage
Bible Verses On Divorce & Remarriage
Is it Sin to get Remarried
Divorce Bible Study

What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage
Is divorce sin
Where does the bible say it is sin to get divorced
Where does the bible say it is sin to get remarried

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