Can I date and eventually marry someone who’s divorced? What should I do if I found the right person, but he/she is divorced? What does the Bible says about it and what does God wants us to do?
Dear Jim: If I marry a divorced person, will I have committed adultery and go to hell as the Bible says?
This question pulls together several things that are actually separate issues. God hates sin, there is a penalty for sin, and there are certainly consequences. Before we ‘shoot’ all the divorced people and send them to Hell, I invite you to consider the following:
- SALVATION: We cannot save ourselves. Ephesians 2:8 tells us “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”. If we cannot save ourselves (by action), we cannot lose our salvation by any act either. John 10:28-29 says “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” We cannot lose something that we could not work for. It is God’s grace that gives us salvation to go to Heaven, which we accept by faith.
- Matthew 19:9 states that the one who commits adultery do NOT have the option to divorce and remarry. However, the other one does. If the other spouse decides to divorce, then the marriage is ended Biblically and otherwise. However, I carry it a step further and do not think that the one who did the adultery is released at this time to remarry. I think that it is required of them to reconcile to God and their spouse to do everything possible to rebuild the marriage. It is only AFTER the other spouse has remarried that I believe the spouse who committed the adultery can CONSIDER marrying again. To do so, I believe that God requires them to confess their sin and reconcile themselves to Him before He will releases and blesses their marriage.
- If one marries a divorced person AFTER the above conditions, I do not believe there is any scripture that says that they are committing adultery.
- If you read the first words of 1 Corinthians 6:9 you can see that Paul is clearly talking about the unrighteous (not yet saved) before he proceeds to talk about fornicators, idolaters, adulterers . shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If they choose to refuse God and not change their ways from all the sinful ways listed thereafter, they shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. I know of NO scripture that says the ones who have accepted Christ and inherited Heaven can ever do anything that would change this. Recall point 1 above.
- What a Christian can do by acting like a non-believer is remove the peace and power of God to work in their lives. We cannot remove God’s salvation, but we can limit what He can do for and with us.
- Every one of us has committed a sin worthy of death – meaning separation from God. This applies to us before AND after we become a Christian. God does not treat one sin different from another – sin is sin! There is no one alive who does not continue to sin – even the Christian. The difference is that we are saved FROM our sins and should be broken when we do sin and repent and change our ways.
- I like what Galatians 4:5 shares about the fact that we are “adopted” into God’s family through Christ. This is especially important to those who heard Paul’s words. In that day, a Jew could disinherit his own children, but if he adopted a child, he could NEVER disinherit them. God does NOT disinherit us. He will allow us to suffer the consequences of our sins, but one of those consequences in not removing us from his family or Heaven.
Our God is a God of mercy and grace.
These are some of my thoughts on your question. God is a God of mercy and grace. Mercy in that He withholds from us the punishment that we rightly deserve. Grace because He gives to us what we certainly do not deserve.
Sin is sin! God does not change sin from one society to another. However, from the days of the Pharisees through today, there are those who attempt to MAKE God’s word serve as some form of legalistic arm of their definition in how God works. These have done a lot of damage to Christians in the name of God – and I am sure that God cries big tears for the damage that they do to His children.
May God guide you to a deeper understanding of His love.