A considerable number of churches (Denominational and the churches of Christ) are in a dilemma on the matter of divorce and remarriage. The denominations are already lost because they reject the gospel, but the churches of Christ, though they have obeyed the gospel, are right behind them because they reject what Jesus taught us about adultery. (Mt 19:9) A couple is divorced (not for fornication) and then one or both remarries and seeks to be a member of the local church. Here is the problem: The church must inform the couple that they are living in adultery, and cannot be in fellowship as long as they remain in that condition, and that they must repent of this sin (which means to put away the relationship they are in). There may be children involved, and if these people are turned away from the church, the children more than likely will grow up alienated from the church.
Facing the reality that not many will cease from such a relationship, many of our liberal brethren feel this course of action is too harsh, being void of love and mercy, and is too legalistic for them to accept. On the other hand, they realize what the Bible says concerning divorce and remarriage. To accept an adulterated couple into fellowship also seems unacceptable. Hence, the problem. Brethren, these situations just do not go away. They must be dealt with in a scriptural way. We must know what the Bible says on this matter, and have the courage and conviction of heart and love for the souls of others, to tell them the scriptural course to follow.
I’m afraid that too many members of the church have fallen into a false doctrine which says: “If they ask forgiveness for the sin of divorce, they are not living in adultery.” However, one cannot be forgiven of adultery until one repents of adultery; And one cannot repent and at the same time continue to live in adultery. If one is living with another that he has no lawful right to, he cannot just say that he is sorry, and then go on living with the one he has no right to live with.
Understanding what Jesus said on divorce and remarriage is not the problem leading to the above problem, but applying it to ourselves, our friends, and our loved ones is the thing that causes the problem. I have family members, friends and former classmates who live in adultery that I had to confront and tell them to repent or perish. Is it any wonder why most all of them refuses to associate with me anymore? This is the price of preaching truth in and out of season.
So, what has happened as a direct result of our lack of backbone to preach repentance in the church? Today, we have elders, deacons, and preachers who are living in open adultery! Adultery has literally devoured the church as we know it. It’s time to set aside family and friends and choose God. He that loves them more than God is not worthy of God! (Lk 14:26)
Jesus is very plain on this subject. No man can divorce his wife unless she has committed fornication, and this be the cause of the divorce. Don’t miss that subtle point! Unless the reason for the divorce is ‘Fornication’, no one can legally remarry and be acceptable to God’s Word. There are many today who have divorced their wife for any reason, and then later claim ‘fornication’ in order to be acceptable with the church. The problem there is that they will marry again, and be living in adultery. Then they will spread their adulterous doctrine to other members, who in turn will do the same.
Jesus said when people divorce, where no fornication is involved, both the one who does the putting away and the one who is put away are living in adultery if they remarry. Not only them, but the ones who marry them will also be living in adultery. So I address my family, my friends, and all who have walked into my life, I love you enough to tell you the truth about adultery. I had rather lose your love and friendship here on earth than to lose your soul in the hereafter. If I have become your enemy because I tell you the truth, so be it, because woe unto me if I preach not the truth. (Gal 4:16 f; 1 Cor 9:16) I choose to love God more than any relationship I may have in this life, that I myself may be pure from the blood of all men. (Acts 20:26,27) To this end, I beacon all brethren to adopt the same resolve, even as I, unless adultery not only devour souls of those who commit it, but those who have pleasure in them that do the same. (Rom 1:32)
Conclusion: Truly, the Devil himself has entered the church, and his weapon of choice is adultery. All who love God and their fellow man should be willing to forgive another of any sin when the sin is repented of and forgiveness is sought according to God’s law. However, to say that we as individuals, or the church, should set aside God’s laws on divorce and remarriage because it is difficult to apply in some situations is not tenable. Do we not remember that when we are the friends of adulterers and adulteresses, we shall be called the enemies of God? (Jam 4:4) Do we not remember that all adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven? (1 Cor 6:9)