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Building up believers and the New Testament church

Divorce and Remarriage - The Significance of Union

A Personal Word of Encouragement

When truth comes to us, it finds each of us at a different place in life. This is true of all people and all truth, but some sins have more far-reaching consequences than others. For example, some turn to Jesus after they are in prison for committing a serious crime. Turning to Jesus does not necessarily mean they will be delivered from prison or from the judgment of man, but the blood of Jesus means a person can be forgiven by God even if they must die for their crime.

Perhaps the best time in life for the truth about divorce and remarriage to be established is in the hearts of young people who have not yet entered into any relationships. Our goal should be to reach every person at that age, that they may see the seriousness of relationships and avoid the crushing pain that comes from transgression of God's moral laws. Another place would be those who are in a proper relationship as husband and wife, but who are not yet convinced of the truth we are speaking about. (Some might think themselves unhappy in their marriage and even be considering divorce.) My encouragement to these is to search the scriptures and see if these things be so. Our lives touch many, and God wants us to be salt and light to the world around. If we give approval to sin, either by open agreement or passive avoidance of the issue, we have turned aside from our calling, often because we are not willing to take the persecution. John the Baptist lost his head for standing in truth over the issue of Herod entering into an unlawful relationship (see Mark 6:17-29). May God strengthen us that we may stand with Jesus in all things and commit to building our own marriages for His honor and glory.

Others have already gone through a divorce. Some might be contemplating a second relationship. This is often the time when believers consider what the scriptures say about divorce and remarriage. Unfortunately, by the time they begin to reflect on God's truth in this area, another person (and their own emotions and desires) may be already providing strong enticement toward a sinful relationship. If you find yourself here, I only plead from the depth of my heart: go back to the scriptures with a heart that is willing to do the will of God, and let God reveal His way. One mistake often made at this point is to go to someone else instead of to God and the scriptures. We can almost always find somebody we respect who will agree with us and tell us what we want to hear. When we stand before Jesus, will that person be there to defend us? I do not ask you to just take my word either. We will all give an account directly to Jesus. What does He say? What is the Holy Spirit saying to your heart? He is faithful. 

Probably the most difficult pathway of all is for those who are already in that second relationship. Perhaps they were not believers when they married, and gave no thought to the matter. Perhaps they were believers, but a pastor or trusted friend told them it was all right. Whatever the case, I feel deeply for these—yet there is still a way. I cannot say I understand, for I have never been that way, but Jesus does understand and nothing is too hard for Him. All the power of heaven is available to those who will come to Him and obey what He is speaking to their hearts. He will guide each step and not fail those who trust and obey.

Our natural thinking often cannot get us beyond one day. But this is where we must let God be God. He is working with eternity in mind. Israel left Egypt in a day as God drove them out, and they soon found themselves in a desert. The way to the promised land was not long if they would trust God, but through unbelief and disobedience it became 40 years, and an entire generation missed out on what God had for them. Let there not be any among us with a heart of unbelief, but let us be those who obey God and leave all consequences in His hands. As we do, He will be glorified and we will reign with Him for eternity.

Brothers and sisters, I trust these few words can encourage us to carefully consider the union that God has called us into. It is vast in scope but very practical in application. Jesus paid a great price for us to enter into union with God. He gave all. We have no excuse, for God has made every provision for us to live in this union of love. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? May the Lord open our eyes to see, and direct our paths this day for His glory.