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Divorce and Remarriage.. Can That Be Washed In the Blood?


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#1 Guest_Ernie Yoder_*

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:55 PM

Years ago when I was a young married Amish man, this question troubled me deeply? Why did it concern me then? Several of my mom's siblings are divorced and remarried. One Sunday afternoon, while sitting under a shade tree, we got on the subject of divorce and remarriage... My uncle said, "A divorced person can not get into heaven."

That statement troubled me so I asked him for a scriptural basis. He lookad at me as though I didn't know how to read.

The burden on my heart that I got from that. How many ex-Amish have been married, divorced, and remarried and find themselves believing they are without hope of ever being forgiven?... God has written them off... because that was what they were taught while they were Amish. So they walk away from the presence of God.... condemning themselves. Yes, I've personally heard my aunt tell me that there is no way she can get to heaven. My uncle that married a divorced woman is currently a pastor in a church. He says he knows he is forgiven and 'right with God'. Is someone deceived?

God never gives a liscense to sin... nor does He 'turn away' a heart that is committed to Him.

This subject is almost as old as humanity itself. The law can't save anyone.. it can only condemn... Does Jesus no longer have grace for a person whose life is 'out of order'?

Is this what God's Word teaches?

Is this what Jesus taught when He walked among men?

This issue is troubling many souls that are now hearing "You're no longer good enough nor ever can be".

Simon Peter

#2 Henry Byler

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:18 AM

Simon,
Your question above is one I personally have had to deal with. Not only do I have to deal with it in my heart as I ponder what the Word has to say about it, I also have to deal with comments from Christians and yes, especially when anyone in my Amish family learns about it. The Amish comments have gone mostly like this, that I was really not married in God's eyes after my 1st wife. So they look as my wife now not really being my wife, since they believe God will ony see the 1st wife as my wife.

I would go a little further with the question, I have recently heard of a person who was happily married in a second marriage, she had 2 or 3 children in this second marriage, they were young children, not teenagers yet and she became convinced in her mind that the 2nd marriage was void/bad in God's eyes. So she felt she could no longer live in that marriage, (she viewed it as adultry) so she dissolved that 2nd marriage, left the husband and the children and lived as a single person, as she could not rejoin or remarry the 1st husband. I hear this is not an isolated incident, but is something that is taught in some circles.

My thought is that even in God's eyes, two wrongs do not make one right. Is not leaving that family and those kids a worse wrong than her divorce in the first place?? As we think about Simon's question and this whole scenario, what are the thoughts about this.

I believe divorce is bad, it hurts people and it hurts God, but I also believe we live in a fallen world where we make the wrong decisions a lot of times in a lot of different areas. If wrong and bad decisions condem us to be lost, who really has a chance?? Some of us make more bad decisions than others, but every person makes them. Personally, I have put myself in the Mercy of God in this matter and would rather He judge my heart in the matter than any man or woman. Since I have become a more serious Christian in these latter years, I do not feel comfortable with some of my decisions in the matter of marriage and remarriage, but I have not come to place where I feel God would have me do further damage by leaving my current family. If it was only myself, yes, maybe it would be right, but it would be doing damage to others, more than to myself.

#3 Guest_Ernie Yoder_*

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 05:28 PM

Henry,

I really appreciate your post above. Thank you so much for 'being real'. I almost get 'preachy' when I read your post.

There are things in life that some of us have messed up beyond repair. Our nature is to try correcting it ourselves, but let's turn to JESUS instead of making matters worse.

The deepest level of trust is when we are totally undone and totally rely on the mercy of God for our past, and the grace of God for our present and future.

Think about this... "If you found out that Jesus is coming into your hometown tomorrow to visit... would you want to leave town because you really don't need Him, or are you excited about meeting Him because your life is messed up?

Wise men still seek Him!!

Thanks again, Brother Henry.

Simon Peter

#4 Valerie

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 10:41 PM

Do not worry, Henry, I will not leave you out there alone with this, and it seems our friends may be extending grace to us, even now. Simon Peter, thank you for your heart in this, coming from an Amish background, I know what's been engrained in you and yet you have shown the heart of Jesus.

If He came to my town, I see myself running to Him because, regarding this topic, He knows my heart more than any person possibly could-He knows every unwise choice, and allowed the painful consequences, but lovingly restored me in his tender mercy. Until

We found a church, and it is an Anabaptist church, that I love dearly. It's different than any I've been to, made up of some former Amish, former Mennonite, and others-their messages draw me, and affect me like no other. Having studied Anabaptist doctrine, last couple of years, I was aware of the position on divorce & remarriage. So, in speaking with the pastors-they are unwavering on this issue-as Henry said, they don't recognize my husband but calls him "the man I'm living with" and I have felt like the woman at the well ever since. We would not be allowed to become members-and probably,even attend for any length of time unless we live apart. Now having listened to their view on the scriptures, I have to say, I'm in agreement-we were counseled, I believe now, incorrectly when considering marriage. The "exception clause" legitamizing divorce, does apparently not make remarriage, then, legitmate-I will say, both times we had meetings with the pastors, their hearts were tender and understanding-offering help, and weren't condemning-just firm on the decision and no exceptions-regardless of details which I won't go into here.

What do we do now? What would Jesus ask of us? We've considered that parting could be a radical step of obedience-does Jesus offer us grace in our situation? Yes-would the grace be to allow the marriage, or would the grace be in taking what may be a step of obedience, as the woman mentioned in Herny's post-it is not settled in us at this point in time-we did not have children together to consider-our biggest question has been as we've discussed it "what would bring God the most glory?" - what would represent Him most?

Tha church we (especially me) love, has made a valid point-the average church's incorrect teaching and pastors allowing divorce and remarriage so easily, to where we now have 2, 3 & 4 (yes, I know some) time marriages has only paved the way for what we're seeing now-the homosexual issues dividing churches. It's been a progression to that. If I'm allowed to continue in what has been taught to me in an adulterous marriage, because of grace, would we offer the same grace to a gay couple, that raised children, and then learned the truth about their sin, so encourage them to stay together for the children's sake? That question really made me think. I don't want to be a part of what's wrong with the church, it hurts. I know I'm forgiven, but is it a case of "go and sin no more"?

#5 Henry Byler

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 12:59 AM

Thanks, Valerie and Simon.
I have thought along the same lines as you have Valerie. The go and sin no more thought is one I have used in my mind two different ways. Does it mean, go forward as I am and live a God honoring life from here on, or does it mean, change my situation, and then go sin no more. At this point, I feel more inclined to stay as I am now, because I know my wife has no concept of these things, as I have not discussed it with her. She is from a different culture and has not heard the type of teaching that we are discussing here. That is why I said in the post above, it would be devastating to her, my daughter and all her family for me to take that kind of step.

I must say, even for me, this concept is fairly new, I knew how the Amish felt/taught about it, but had not really applied it to my situation until this past year, I began to really search my heart and try to hear from the Holy Spirit about this. God is a loving God, full of Mercy, because He knows we are but dust of the earth. He is not willing that anyone should perish, so I comfort myself with that. And try to be the best husband I can be, love my wife and my daughter, to the best of my ability. No, I am not trying to get to heaven by good works, only trying to honor God by doing the best I can in my marriage.

Like you Valerie, I feel that I am forgiven, but I guess it is harder for me to look back and see the "out of order" (as Simon would say) life I have had. So, I talk to God and and I ask Him, forgive me, a sinner, give me wisdom and help me to not depend on myself, but on you God, to get my life in order.

Thank you Simon, I agree with Valerie, you are showing the heart of a person who is close to Jesus, care and love is what He was/is about.

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 03:11 AM

Here's my meager two cents: I don't think a church should ever stand in the way of Grace.

#7 Valerie

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 06:37 AM

Here's my meager two cents: I don't think a church should ever stand in the way of Grace.


Thanks Dee, I think with inflation, that would be putting in a nickel at this point in time! :rolleyes:
I appreciate what you said. Okay, let's just look at their point of view for a moment-they offer grace for what's already been done. Just like we do. But, if they see the present relationship as an "adulterous" one because of Jesus words (Matthew 19) that whosoever marries a divorced person is committing adultery,(while the first spouse is alive) would they be wrong, in following that through to ask for the relationship to end? It did seem to "pain" them to tell us that-truly, in our conversations, they were loving and gentle, but the pastor we went to see in Pennsylvania, where we walked through all the scriptures about it with, said "we'd have a real mess on our hands if we started making exceptions"-I feel in their heart is grace, but obligation to not get something started that would open a door they'd be sorry for. For now, I listen online to their messages. Just a note about this church (Charity)they have a viewpoint that their is a "counterfeit Jesus" being taught in churches today-and we need to be sure we're listening to ALL of Jesus' messages-not just the feel good parts-I can see that happening coming from the Jesus movement in the 70's, and I can't help but wonder if they might be right-SOMETHING will be driving the Apostacy to it's fullness we know is coming.

I hope people aren't afraid to offer their thoughts on this, out of concern of hurting Henry or myself since we exposed our situation-reason being, we might help people either considering divorce, considering remarriage, or considering even first time marriages that best be sure it's God's will-and pastor's in my humble opinion, need to be careful what they guide people to in this process-they could be held accountable for misguiding- So I appreciate anyone feeling free, and I believe Henry would agree, to share whatever viewpoints scriptually backed, they see that would help (not as if we haven't heard them all, right Henry? Funny, Henry, I can hear your story and be completely at peace with where you're at NOW-your heart is so right in your pursuit to do be what God wants you to be, and I just know, the Lord is blessed in that)

By the way,Henry-do you know how that situation with that woman you mentioned is working out? That was a radical step.

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 09:09 AM

This D&R is an example of the difficulty we have in attempting to measure the grace of God... What is under grace and what is 'living in sin'?

Valerie brought up an interesting point with the 2 men that are gay, married, and have adopted children. Is it enough for them to confess that they sinned when they married... but its ok now for them to stay together since they have children?

Another point... Adultery can be a one-time act, and there is also a thing called 'living in adultery' which is living in the state of adultery.
Example; When John Doe, a married man, has sex with Julie, a single girl, he is a fornicator, right. Now John Doe can confess his sin but continue with his relationship with Julie?? If that relationship continues... John Doe is still a fornicator in the sight of God..or no?
Is it different for an adulterer?

Some sins have extremely painful consequences and almost seem overwhelming... the chastening of the Lord...brothers and sisters .. do not despise. When I neglect the chastening of the Lord I am as a bastard and not a son. In other words He is saying that He isn't my Father anymore.

When John the Baptist rebuked Herod .. notice he didn't necessarily rebuke just his initial act .. but the continuation of that act.

We live in a time when we want to justify sin, evade painful consequences of sin, and in the first chapter of Pauls letter to the Romans there is clear indication that when people v.25- turn the truth of God into a lie... v.28- God gave them over to a reprobate mind.. my friend this is absolutely scary to me... Why? 2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: Who are the deceived?... they that receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved.

What authority do I have to speak like this?? I know what it's like to live in sin. I've been in some serious sexual strongholds.
This may disappoint some of you because, I'm telling you up front, some things of my past was 'out of order'... I'm sorry.. please accept my apologies.

All this to make this point... Once we mess with adultery and/or fornication, or any sexual sins... It becomes VERY difficult to face the consequences of these types of sin... rest assured... God intended it that way... And I praise Him for it.

Sex = intimacy. This portrays our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Turning away from that intimacy with God to someone else..God will NOT be satisfied by just confessing our sin... He will not be satisfied until our hearts RETURN to Him.

If y'all have peace with God with whatever your current situation... Praise the Lord with me.... If there is still a ? or a doubt... That tells me the Holy Spirit is nudging you to do something ... I know not what... but I'm sure you do.. if you hear Him.

Let us all be FREE in Christ.

Love y'all with a Godly love,

Simon Peter



#9 Henry Byler

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:55 AM

Valerie said
By the way,Henry-do you know how that situation with that woman you mentioned is working out? That was a radical step.

I don't know many details of this. The information came on a Christian forum I was on and Christians were discussing this topic. And a person who knew this lady brought it up. This peson thought it was a bad move and said at the time, the husband and the kids were really devastated by it. But the lady who did it, was totally convinced it was what she had to do. I was surprised how many people came in on the discussion and thought it was the right move. Could'nt help but wonder how some of them would react if they found themselves in the same situation. I have learned, it is a little easy to be so sure of something, when it is someone else you/I am looking at. Yes a radical move, I am not sure it was the right move or not. I guess if you are following the Lord, and are so convicted of something??

Like Valerie said, I welcome people to give there unbiased opinions and beliefs. Having left the Amish, it is not as though I have not heard many opinions about my life. Some accurate and some not.

Simon, you do not have to apoligize to me for anything. You are not any different than many of us, before we really knew Jesus. I say really, because as former Amish, certainly we knew about Jesus. David, after his big sin, when praying to God said, against you God and you only have I sinned. I think those of us who have lived an "out of order" life can really appreciate the forgiveness of Jesus, maybe more than those whho feel they have lived an orderly life for the most part. The thought of my life and then at the same time the forgiveness of Jesus, I have been ovrwhelmed by the grace and mercy of God and the fact that He accepts us in our depravity, and if we have a repentant heart will change that life completely around.

I always try to pray, God give me wisdom that comes from you, so I can discern man's wisdom. I know my mind can justify just about anything, if I am not listening to God's Word on a regular basis.

#10 Guest_Ernie Yoder_*

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:22 PM

God has a special prescription for humans. The blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on Calvary.

He has a unique way of disconnecting people from their 'ugly' past and giving each one a robe of white... WHO ARE THEY? These are the saints, the redeemed, the rescued, the saved, the called, the royal priesthood, the chosen generation, that have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and are now white as snow. HALLELUJAH... OH GLORY!!

Thank You Jesus...Lord, please remove the criticism and condemnation from MY heart. Or I will NEVER be able to help resue the dirty, the lost, the confused, the deceived, the defiled, that are still in the grips of the enemy. Give me a burden for the lost. Amen

Simon Peter

#11 Esther

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:01 PM

Perhaps this would be a good time to set out Scriptures on the clearest issues of divorce and remarriage here. (NASB)

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

Mark 10:11,12 And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery."

I Corinthians 7:10,11 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
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#12 Joe Keim

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:30 PM

Perhaps this would be a good time to set out Scriptures on the clearest issues of divorce and remarriage here. (NASB)

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

Mark 10:11,12 And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery."

I Corinthians 7:10,11 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

So the question is, at what point does adultery stop?

1. After the marriage vows have been established the second time?
2. After one of the spouses in the second marriage seperates or passes away?
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#13 Esther

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:42 PM

Boy oh boy, if I knew the answer to that question...!

A connected question: Does "adultery" refer to the wedding, or to the marriage?

Another: Do the second vows become an issue in whether the marriage should be broken? Ecclesiastes 5:6: Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? I don't know.



Esther

"...The kingdom of God ... is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17

#14 Valerie

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:25 PM

So the question is, at what point does adultery stop?

1. After the marriage vows have been established the second time?
2. After one of the spouses in the second marriage seperates or passes away?

Joe, based on the scripture Matthew 19:9, it doesn't seem like it could possibly be #1. Because according to that scripture, the second marriage is the "start" of adultery-if the first spouse is still living because Jesus still sees the first marriage as a "one flesh" relationship.

#15 Joe Keim

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:45 PM

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

Romans 7:2-3
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 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.
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#16 Valerie

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:34 AM

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

Romans 7:2-3
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 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.

In my heart, I feel this is too important issue to let drop-reason being, all the lives affected, and the church being where it is now-

The two above scriptures-this is where the Anabaptist have not moved on their position. Matthew 19:9-would the "exept for immorality" allowing divorce, then make all other scriptures not apply to this particular case of remaining unmarried?

In other words, if there was marital unfaithfullness, and a divorce resulted (either by the spouse committing adultery, and then marrying another, or, by the spouse that couldn't forgive or get past it)-then does that exception then also free the person to remarry? This is where most pastors will feel the freedom to perform second marriage ceremonies-
The Anabaptists don't see this clause as a legitimacy to remarry-I was shown writings from the early church writers who also support the Anabaptist position, that even in the case of adultery leading to divorce-there was not freedom to remarry, scripturally.
But this is not what is being taught today- Please don't hesitate to share-it could really help people seeking Godly counsel.
Appreciate you're input-

#17 Joe Keim

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:03 AM

Here are some other things to consider, when discussing this topic:

1. If someone would, say, marry and divorce 6 times, and while married to the 6th spouse, then come to Christ for salvation; would Jesus forgive that person?

2. Would that spouse who just found out about the forgiveness and salvation of Christ, be asked of God to return to his/her first spouse, in order to be saved?

3. Could the unsaved spouse (upon receiving Christ as his/her Savior) be forgiven, since s/he was unaware of salvation during previous years, but as for the saved spouse, who got divorced and remarried after his/her salvation, s/he could not?

These are some questions that I have wondered about. Like Valerie pointed out, divorce has seemingly been allowed under one condition. However, most would agree that divorce and remarriage are two different actions. The Bible speaks much more on the remarriage issue than it does on divorce.

Mark 3:28-29
Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:


In light of Jesus' own words, there is only one sin that can never be forgiven; not now and not ever in all eternity. We would all have to agree, divorce and remarriage is not the same as blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. And if that is the case, then it would have to fall under the "All sins are forgiven unto the sons of man".

Right?

Well, maybe, depending on the definition of "blaspheming against the Holy Spirit".

Can a Christian blaspheme against the Holy Spirit? Or, is that only something that the unsaved can do?

1. If only the unsaved can commit this act, then "blaspheming against the Holy Spirit" is the sin of refusing to let the Holy Spirit convict them of their need for salvation.

2. If the saved can commit this act, then "blaspheming against the Holy Spirit" is the sin of refusing to let the Holy Spirit convict them of their ongoing and unrepentant lifestyle, such as possibly remarriage/ongoing sexual relationship with a second partner before the first one has passed away.

And now you know how I feel about this whole situation of divorce and remarriage. I hope I didn't loose my reader.
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#18 Valerie

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 06:44 AM

Joe, you didn't lose this reader. Thank you for sharing, John the Baptist lost his head, over speaking this same truth of remarriage. I thought to myself, Jesus could have bailed him out of that situation, being the Jesus of grace we see Him as, by simply going to John, and saying, John, offer Herod grace-I am the Jesus of second chances. Did Jesus do that? No. He did not change truth. Whenever Jesus said hard things, many walked away, (like the rich young ruler). Notice, we never saw Jesus running after them saying "wait, wait, I know that was hard, let's make this a little easier and more palatable, in the name of grace.

II Timothy 4:2: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. CONVINCE, REBUKE, EXHORT, WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND TEACHING. FOR THE TIME WILL COME, WHEN THEY WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE, BUT ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN DESIRES, BECAUSE THEY HAVE ITCHING EARS, THEY WILL HEAP UP FOR THEMSELVES TEACHERS; AND THEY WILL TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH AND BE TURNED ASIDE TO FABLES (am not shouting SP, am emphasizing).

We are in that time. I used to read that and believe it was referring to those outside the church only. We have been listening to some "unsound" doctrine, in the church, and it scares me!!

#19 Esther

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:50 AM

Joe, you didn't lose this reader. Thank you for sharing, John the Baptist lost his head, over speaking this same truth of remarriage. I thought to myself, Jesus could have bailed him out of that situation, being the Jesus of grace we see Him as, by simply going to John, and saying, John, offer Herod grace-I am the Jesus of second chances. Did Jesus do that? No. He did not change truth. Whenever Jesus said hard things, many walked away, (like the rich young ruler). Notice, we never saw Jesus running after them saying "wait, wait, I know that was hard, let's make this a little easier and more palitable, in the name of grace.

II Timothy 4:2: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. CONVINCE, REBUKE, EXHORT, WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND TEACHING. FOR THE TIME WILL COME, WHEN THEY WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE, BUT ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN DESIRES, BECAUSE THEY HAVE ITCHING EARS, THEY WILL HEAP UP FOR THEMSELVES TEACHERS; AND THEY WILL TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH AND BE TURNED ASIDE TO FABLES (am not shouting SP, am emphasizing).

We are in that time. I used to read that and believe it was referring to those outside the church only. We have been listening to some "unsound" doctrine, in the church, and it scares me!!


True, Valerie, and when good preachers falter in their teaching on topics such as this--to "err on the side of mercy," when clear Scripture is ignored, this warning of Jesus comes to mind:

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

And I don't believe this issue, of divorce and remarriage, would be classified as one of the lesser commandments.
Esther

"...The kingdom of God ... is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17

#20 Guest_Ernie Yoder_*

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 05:36 PM

And I don't believe this issue, of divorce and remarriage, would be classified as one of the lesser commandments.


You are absolutely correct, Esther, Valerie, and Joe. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church... when that picture is altered there are/will be consequences.

It is the law of God... same as stealing, killing, gossiping, lusting, railing,.. these will all have the same wages.. death.. that is the wages of sin. Romans 6:23. If we are currently involved in these things... it will die(die to sin) .. or we will die (die in sin) we are talking wages for sin that are eternal if not dealt with (died to) before eternity.

BUT.. the gift of God is eternal life.. through Jesus Christ our Lord... we must not distort His image.. nor His plan which if we walk in His plan as He wills thats when our lives are a testimony of His Grace.

Simon Peter




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