Written by Doug Miller
Thursday, 27 June 2013 17:20



(Matthew 19:1-9; Malachi 2:14-16)         

     Marriage joins a man and a woman (Genesis 2:18-24) together (Matthew 19:5-6) for life (Romans 7:2-3). Since marriage has a divine origin, God has given to it conditions, regulations and expectations that involve the physical, moral and spiritual sides of this “cleaving” and being “joined together.”         

     When God’s plan for marriage is not followed, separation occurs (I Corinthians 7:10-13). The Pharisees’ first question: “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (Matthew19: 3). Jesus answers that by saying: “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19: 6).   Then, they asked their second question: “Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement and put her away?” (Matthew 19: 7; Deuteronomy 24:1-4).          

     If we think about these phrases in the way God views them, we come to realize that any separation (“putting away,” “departing”) is a divorce; not the end result of the drawn-out legal proceedings we know today as a “domestic trial” or “divorce court” with persons known as “divorce lawyers.”         

     As Jesus answers this second question, He gives the reason why God had “suffered Moses” (and these Pharisees) “to put away your wives” – the hardness of your hearts due to “some uncleanness found in her” (Deuteronomy 24:1). Jesus now gives the only reason (other than the death of a “joined together” mate – Romans 7:2-3) that a second marriage can take place: the person who had “put away” his/her former mate due to that mate’s fornication is free to remarry (Matthew 19:9).          

     Any second (or third, or fourth . . . or twentieth) marriage, by two individuals whose first marriage ended for some reason other than fornication, is not merely wrong; it is adultery. In God’s sight, they are still married to their first mates!! Many have thought that since the laws of our country have “granted divorce” for various reasons, they have the privilege of “remarrying.” The laws of human government on this point are in direct conflict with the laws of God.    

     This is why the apostle Paul told those who were married and had “departed” to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their mates (I Corinthians 7:10-11). To “remain unmarried” for reasons of being the mate guilty of fornication or the marriage ending unscripturally seems too harsh for many people; but, Jesus spoke to that as he ended his comments here: “. . . there are eunuchs, who made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” (Matthew 19: 10-12). Eunuchs are persons unable to produce children.                    

     There are still others who believe that at the point of baptism (where we contact the blood of Christ and its power to wash away sins – Acts 2:38; Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 6:9-11), all is forgiven and forgotten by Almighty God. To say anything less would be calling Him a liar and diminishing the saving power of Christ’s blood. Not a single person who can read and understand these verses will argue against such.          

     However, we also know and understand that “there is a sin unto death” (I John 5:16), to which the Hebrew writer also referred to (Hebrews 6:4-6). What happens when a person becomes a Christian; then “falls away” and becomes “again entangled therein” in the “defilements of the world” (II Peter 2:20)?? Can a faithful Christian, who was forgiven of being a murderer or a thief in his former life, fall away and return to being a murderer or a thief? YES. Can he/she; once again, be restored to a faithful, obedient condition? YES. How does that happen? By repenting and praying for forgiveness (Acts 8:12-24). Has he/she truly repented (II Corinthians 7:10) if they continue to live as a murderer or a thief? Why would this not be true, as well, for any “defilement of the world” that is not truly repented of?? Does adultery come under this category?? If not, why not??          

     By obeying the plan of salvation, an individual cannot expect God’s law of marriage to be set aside and cause an adulterous union to become a righteous marriage. God does not change a sinful action or thing into something righteous and pure; He changes a sinner into a Christian. It is most certainly true that when God forgives, He forgets (Hebrews 8:12). But, that action on God’s part does not remove the possibility on man’s part of becoming “again entangled therein.” 

     True repentance is the only thing that will remove the possibility of him/her spending an eternity in hell.