Marriage was intended for life. Unless one puts away his wife for the cause of fornication, he is bound to his wife for as long as they both shall live. If he divorces his wife and she has committed no fornication and marries again, he has committed adultery. If his first wife then remarries after being divorced illegally, her first husband has caused her to commit adultery, and the man she marries has committed adultery (Mt 5:32 f; Mt 19:9). If a wife divorces her husband and marries again, she shall be called an adulteress (Rom 7:3,4). A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives, without exception. If he dies, then she is at liberty to be married to whom she chooses, with exception: only in the Lord (1 Cor 7:39). If she divorces her husband, she is commanded to never marry again as long as she lives, but she can be reconciled back to her husband if her husband hasn’t remarried (which he was commanded not to do) (1 Cor 7:10,11).
Forgiveness Conditioned On Repentance
Like all sins, adultery can be forgiven. Forgiveness for any sin is conditional: there can be no forgiveness apart from repentance (Acts 2:38 cf; 3:19; 8:22). This means that one cannot continue impenitently in any sin and be forgiven. A liar must quit his lying; a thief must quit his stealing; a fornicator must quit his fornication, and an adulterer must quit committing adultery. One who is involved in an adulterous relationship must sever that relationship for it is not ordained by God.
Even If It Preceded Baptism
Some think that since one is forgiven of his sins at baptism, he can continue living with whatever mate he has at the time of his baptism, even though the marriage is adulterous according to the scripture. Baptism does not bring forgiveness unless there is repentance (Acts 2:38). If the relationship is adulterous, one must quit it.
The extreme difficulty of ending an adulterous marriage cannot be denied. Whether one is willing to do so is a real test of his dedication and devotion to Christ. It demonstrates whether he really loves Christ above everyone and everything else (Lk. 14:26, 33). The one who is truly converted will stand the test and put away his adultery.
Hardships In Ending An Adulterous Marriage
Sometimes one will say that he loves his mate too much to end his relationship with her. In the first place, he should not love his mate more than he does the Lord. In the second place, if he really loves his mate, he will not want to see her lost, and he will be willing to sacrifice his relationship with her for the sake of her soul. Does one really love his mate when he continues in a relationship with her which will damn her soul for eternity? Love is sacrificial. To refuse to sacrifice his relationship with his mate for the sake of his mate’s soul is in fact an act of selfishness, not love.
It is especially difficult to end an adulterous marriage when there are children involved. Parents in an adulterous marriage are concerned about the bad effect it will have on their children if they end their marriage. There is not denying that the action will have a bad effect on the children. The fact, however, that there will be a bad effect on the children whether the marriage is ended or not. Consider the bad effect it will have on the children to grow up and lean that their parents are living in adultery! How will it make these children feel to find out once their parents have died that their souls are in hell because of their adulterous marriage. Many of these children will follow the ways of their parents and end up in adulterous marriages themselves.
Conclusion: Many preachers and elders of the church have gone astray in adulterous marriages and are teaching their members to do the same. The ones who haven’t committed adultery refuse to teach what the bible actually says in fear that they will be fired from their job. I for one am in fear God will cast me into hell with them if I teach them not the truth (Mt 10:28). I had rather be your enemy for teaching you the truth than to be the enemy of God (Gal 4:16). I had rather lose your friendship than to lose my soul. When it comes to an adulterous marriage, it is better to lose the love of your life than to lose your eternal life with God. One man for one woman for life. Believe me, you can’t go wrong with that!