The part of the chapter that I want to focus on is beginning there in verse number 14 where the Bible reads, "Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously."
The part of that I really wanted the focus on is the part in verse 16 where the Bible says that Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away. What I want to preach about this morning is the [inaudible 00:00:57] that God hates divorce. That's what's putting away means. Flip over to Mark chapter 10 in the Bible, in the New Testament, just a few pages. The Bible uses the terms divorce and putting away synonymously in the Bible. Here he talks about divorcing or putting away the wife of your youth and the Bible says that God hates putting away. Therefore, I hate divorce. Therefore, we all should hate divorce if we are going to have the same mentality that the Lord has according to the Scripture.
Now, this sermon will cause a lot of people to be angry and to bristle because some people do not want to accept the truth and sometimes the truth will be close to home with people, but it is the truth nonetheless. We as God's people need to conform to what the Scriptures teach and not come up with our own ideas, and our own opinions, and say, "Well, I just think," but it doesn't matter what we think. We need to let the word of God be our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
This sermon is not to attack or to chastise those who've been divorced because none of us could go back in time and change the mistakes that we've made in our lives. Some people who have made the mistake of getting divorced, and it is a mistake, and it is a sin, and it is something that God hates, they can't go back and change that; and so there's no reason for us to beat them over the head with this because, honestly, whenever we commit sin in our lives what we need to do is just confess and forsake that sin, and move on, and repent, and I've our lives. The Bibles teaches that we should forget those things which are behind and reach forth onto those things which are before.
The Bible teaches in John chapter 4 that there was a woman had actually been married 5 times and yet God used her greatly to win people to Christ. Obviously, Jesus showed her love and compassion. We're not saying that if you've been divorced you're a wicked person that can never do anything good for God. That's not the point. We're not attacking those who've been divorced, but this needs to be strongly preached in 2014 to those who are married that they need to remain married until death. Young people need to hear this before they get married so that they understand the gravity of the commitment that they're making when they get married and so that they realize that when they get married they need to go into it with an attitude that says this is a lifelong commitment and divorce is not an option.
Now, if you're here today and you're divorced and you get upset at the sermon, you're not right with God. You have your own issues and your own problem with God. Don't come to me and talk to me after the service. Go talk to God after the service because that's who you have a problem with because everything I preach this morning is going to be directly from Scripture and it's all Bible. If you're divorced, I love you but I'm not going to condone of your sin. If you're smart, you will realize that getting divorced was a sin, you'll confess it to God, and then you can just forget about it, and move on, and live your life.
If you're on your second spouse or your third spouse, and I'm going to prove this later in the sermon, you need to just stay faithful to the person that you're married to right now and have a new start and say, "You know what, I might have made mistakes in the past, but the person I'm married to right now I'm going to be faithful to the death." That's what the Bible teaches and I'll prove that later in the sermon.
Look at Mark chapter 10. In Mark chapter 10 the Bible talks about Jesus and says, "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?" Saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" The Bible says here that they are tempting Him. They're trying to test Him. They're trying to trip them up. It says in verse 3, "And he answered and said to them, 'What did Moses command you?' And they said, 'Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.'" Saying, "Moses allowed us to divorce our wives.
Verse 5, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, 'For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." That's His answer, but the disciples wanted even more clarification. That answer is clear, but yet the disciples, they wanted to really pin Him down and make sure that they understood exactly what Jesus was saying just that there's no mistake about it, and let's just make sure that amongst our church right now that there's no mistake about it.
It says in verse 10, "And in the house His disciples asked Him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, 'Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.' Period. Period. That's what the Bible teaches. Then He clarifies it again in another way. He says, "And if a woman shall put away her husband," because when the Scriptures talk about this it usually talks about men divorcing their wives, men putting away their wives, but here He even flips it around and says, "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." Period. Very clear.
Go to Luke 16. Flip over to Luke 16. I'm going to go to all the pertinent passages this morning because we're going to leave no stone unturned to prove this doctrinally this morning what our position is on this as a church and as God's people. Luke 16:18, it says this: Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
From Mark chapter 10 and from Luke 16 we've learned a few things so far. Number one, we've learned that if a man divorces his wife and marries someone else, he is committing adultery. We also learned that if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she is committing adultery. We also learned that if a man who's never been married, a single man marries a divorced woman, he's committing adultery. We've already condemned here with Scripture three groups of people and three types of sin. That's what Jesus Christ has taught.
Go to Matthew chapter 5. Matthew chapter 5. You say, "What is the point of preaching on this, Pastor Anderson?" Because today, more people are getting divorced than are staying married. More than half of marriages will end in divorce, statistically speaking. It's become the norm for people get divorced and remarried instead of staying with their spouse until death do them part. Let me say this: if this doctrine were being preach and if the Bible were being heeded in this area, you would not see the rampant divorce that you see today.
The reason why people get divorced today is because they believe that they can divorce their spouse and find someone better. They don't look at it as okay, I have two options: divorce my spouse and be by myself or stay with my spouse. That's not the two options they're looking at. Those are the two Biblical options. The Bible teaches if you're divorced you remain unmarried. If that were the option in people's minds, if people are thinking to themselves, "Let see, I can either stay married to my spouse that I'm not happy with or I can go just remain unmarried for the rest of my life," they'd probably just stay with who they're with.
It's this attitude that says, "Hey, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I'm going to find someone better," that causes people to get divorced in the first place because they're trading up. They're not trading being married for remaining single for the rest of their lives because most people would not want to take that option. If you have this permissive doctrine that most churches are teaching today that says, "Hey, you can get a divorce. You can get remarried," then it just creates a temptation for people to think to themselves, "I could do better. I could find something better."
By the way, most people when they get divorced and remarried, the first one was better. A lot of times, people have marriage problems and they think that the problem is the other person when really the problem is them. They think, "It's just my awful wife or my awful husband. I was just so foolish. I was so young. I was so stupid that I married this wrong person and if I could just get rid of that person, then everything's going to be great if I could just find a decent person." What happens is the problems come with them because of the fact that they were often the problem, especially, I'll say that about men. Why? Because in marriage, it's usually the man that's the problem. You say, "Why in the world would you say that?"
Okay, well what if you have a bad church? Who do you think is probably the problem, the pastor or the members? Who are you going to blame? I mean look, if you see a church that's a bad church, that is a dead church, who would blame first, the church members or the pastor? You'd blame the pastor. You'd say, "Look, the pastor is failing." What if we were in the store, and we saw parents and their children, and the children are awful children? Would you blame the child or blame the parent? Why?
Because leadership is responsible and part of leadership is not just a privilege of being able the be the boss, but you have to pay the cost to be the boss, my friend, and you have to take responsibility for what happens in that church, in that business, in that family. I mean, if you looked at a company that's failing, you'd look at the CEO. You'd go to the president. You're not going to blame the guy at the bottom rung of the ladder that's just working and clocking in and clocking out. You're going to blame the leadership.
Let me tell you something. The Bible teaches clearly that the head of the wife is the husband and that the husband is the of the home. The Bible says that the husband is in authority and he's the leader as Christ is the leader of the church, then he's got to be the one that ultimately takes responsibility for the success of that marriage. That's why I would say that, normally, I would blame the husband. It's who I'd blame if it fails, if it falls apart. Why? Because he's the leader. He should be held responsible for keeping the thing together.
That doesn't mean that there aren't wives that disobedient, and rebellious, and disobedient to God's word. That's not the point, but the point is though that if you're a man ... because what does the Bible talk more about? Husbands putting away their wives or wives putting away their husbands? It talks a lot about husbands putting away their wives. If you're a husband that just think, "The problem is I'm trying to lead but my wife won't follow." You are probably failing as a leader is what's really going on and you'll find some other wife and you're probably going to have the same problems with her, and on, and on, and on.
Even wives who think that they can marry a different husband and all their problems are going to be gone, you're probably just going to take those same problems with you and not only that, but is God going to bless you when you violate His word? When you look at the word of God which says marriage is 'til death and if you get divorced and marry someone else, you're committing adultery. If you look at that and say, "I'm just going to do that anyway," is God going to guide and direct you to a great second spouse? God's not going to bless that disobedience and so you're on your own, buddy.
I wouldn't want to go out into the world just completely on my own, completely freestyle, living my life, making important decisions about marriage and so forth. I want to believe that God is guiding me as I make decisions. The Bible says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord," and the Bibles says, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are called according to His purpose." Look, if we love God, and obey God, and walk in the will of God, He's going to guide us to the right person, and He's going to guide us to the right type of people, and He's going to guide us in the decisions that we make. When you just violate Gods word and cast aside His commandment, well now you're on your own. You might marry a person that's much worse than the original spouse or whatever.
Be that as it may, the Bible is real clear that this is sin. That it's adultery, that it's ungodly. We need to go into marriage saying it's 'til death do us part. You say, "Pastor, what is the secret to staying married?" Who in here has been married the longest? Let's find out. Let's start with Brother Jordan. How long have been married Brother Jordan?
You're in the doghouse, buddy. You're in trouble. You're busted. What year did you get married in?
We've been married 31 years.
Thirty-one years? Okay. Has anybody here been married longer than 31 years? Anybody in the room longer than that? How long have you been married? Thirty-three years. All right. Anybody else got that [beat 00:14:49]? Okay, so we've got someone who's married here for 33 years. We got somebody married for 31 years. If we were to go to them and say, "What is the secret to staying married for 31 years? What is the secret to staying married for 33 years?" I personally have been married for 13 and a half years, which I think is a lot but it pales in comparison, and people will say, "What's the big secret?" Here's the thing, it's not a secret.
Having a great marriage, there could be secrets to that, but staying married is so easy and so simple. This is what it is: divorce is not an option. That's the secret. I mean, as long as both people just decide, "We're going to stay married 'til death. This is a lifelong commitment," then it's never going to end. It might be miserable, it might be a nightmare, I'm not saying it's going to be enjoyable, but I'm saying this, it's impossible to fail as long as both people just decide, "We're staying married 'til death."
What I'm saying is there's not a secret to staying married a long ... no, you stay married a long time by cutting the word divorce out of your dictionary, by never using it in an argument, it should never come out of your mouth, it should never be threatened, it should never even come into your mind. It's just not even an option. You just get married with a view that it's 'til death do us part. You will stay married if you and your spouse have that in your mind and you go into it that way, you can't fail.
Again, that doesn't mean you're going to have a good marriage, it doesn't mean you're going to enjoy your marriage. That's another sermon, though. This sermon is just talking about how to stay married. Believe this doctrine. That's the secret. Listen to the words of Jesus Christ and believe them and you will remain married. Period. End of story.
Now, look at Matthew chapter 5. We've seen this in Mark, we've seen this in Luke, let's look at this in Matthew. Matthew 5:31 says this, "It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." Now, this is the passage where people get confused. Was there any confusion in Mark?
Was there any confusion in Luke? No. In Matthew, some people will become confused. They'll look at this and say, "Well, there's an exception," and they'll say, "You can get a divorce if there's been adultery." Now, let me ask you something. Is adultery given as the exception in Matthew 5:32? Does it say adultery?
That's what people say and why do they say that? Because modern Bible versions have changed this verse to say adultery. If you have the NIV it'll change fornication to adultery. You say, "Come on, Pastor. Fornication, adultery, what's the difference?" Oh, there's a bit difference. Fornication is when someone who is unmarried commits sin by going to bed with someone that they're not married to. Whereas adultery is when someone who's married breaks their marital vow and commits adultery.
Now, why have the modern Bible versions change this? You say, "Well, if you go back to the Greek," yeah, if you go back to the Greek it's fornication consistently. You go back to the Greek about adultery and, guess what, it's adultery. That's why there's no point in going back to the Greek and that's why we're not going to. I'll say this, though, the modern Bible versions have changed this word in order to fit their doctrine, in order to fit their agenda.
Now you say, "Well, Pastor Andersen, why would someone divorce their spouse because of fornication?" That's what it says. If we go back to Deuteronomy, and I will have you turn there, but before you turn there, go to Matthew 19. If we go back to Deuteronomy we'll find that the teaching about divorcing due to fornication is found in the Old Testament and that's what Jesus is referring to. You have to understand when you're reading the Book of Matthew, Matthew is the book that, more than any other of the four gospels, quotes the Old Testament. Okay? You've got Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Book of Matthew has more quotes from the Old Testament than any of the other four gospels and it very heavily quotes and every chapter is that it might be fulfilled, that it might be fulfilled those written in Isaiah, which is written in Psalms. It does a lot of quotes from the Old Testament because it's written to an audience that knows the Old Testament. That's how the Book of Matthew is. Whereas Mark, Luke, and John, not as much. That's why in Mark and Luke it just clearly stated it, no caveat, no exceptions, just don't get divorced. If you do, you're an adulterer. If you marry again, you're coming adultery. Whereas in Matthew, he's expecting us to know the Old Testament law and the Old Testament scripture because Matthew deals really heavily with a lot of Old Testament principles and Old Testament concepts. That's why this is found in Matthew and it's easily explained.
Go to Matthew 19:3. It says, "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, 'Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, 'Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?'"
Now look, are the people he's talking to people who know the Old Testament law? They're bringing it up. They're Pharisees. They're the scribes. They're the people who have spent time studying it. They're the ones who keep coming to Jesus tempting Him, these people that are scholars of the Old Testament. They bring up to him what Moses taught about divorce to try to challenge Him.
He says in response, in verse 5, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, 'For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, 'Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery ... '"
Oh, good night. Am I reading in the wrong place? I'm reading from Mark. Sorry about that. Okay, let's start over. Everybody's thinking I'm losing my mind. Okay, Matthew 19. Where did I leave off in Matthew 19? Verse 7, okay. Sorry, I switched to Mark on you there. You know what, I just wanted you to compare Mark and Matthew. I was trying to make it easy for you to compare. Look at Matthew 19:7.
They say unto him, why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife," and here's that same thing from Matthew 5, "Except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, "If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry."
What did they say? Wait, you mean I have to stay married for the rest of my life? You mean it's still death do us part? Maybe we just shouldn't get married. He said to them, "Oh guys, yeah, actually, it is okay to get divorced sometimes. Didn't mean to offend you guys. Here's what He said, "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given." He doesn't back down on it. He just says, "Well, if you don't like it, not everybody can handle this kind of preaching."
It's the same today in 2014. All men cannot receive the same that I'm preaching this morning and we have had more people leave our church over this than a lot ... I'm not kidding. I've had four or five couples, in the history of me pastoring for eight years, come to me and say, "Would you perform our wedding ceremony," and I said, "Have either of you ever been married before?" "Yes." They're divorced. "Sorry. Can't do it." Never see that person again. Four or five couples. I've got a choice to make. Am I going to preach what people want to hear or am I going to tell the truth? I've chosen to tell the truth and I've lost people.
You say, "I don't like this sermon. I don't like this preaching. I'm one of those people who can't receive this saying." Let me tell you something, you will have no problem finding an independent, fundamental, King James [inaudible 00:24:16] church that does not believe what I'm preaching this morning. Just flip open the yellow pages, go to Independent Fundamental Baptist, and start calling down the list, and you will find plenty of preachers who will disagree with what I'm preaching, but what I'm preaching today is what Jesus Christ taught 2,000 years ago, and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. I don't care if our society embraces divorce and even Christians are getting divorced as the world. I'm not going to change. I'm staying the same just like the Bible is the same. If you're looking for something else, it's easy to find. Pastors who will justify divorce. Very easy to find.
He says, "All men cannot receive this saying." Isn't that the truth? Then He says, "Save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
Let me just say this. I shouldn't have to say this, but Jesus is talking about, in this passage figuratively speaking. He's not telling anyone to mutilate their body. I mean, I shouldn't even have to say that, but I don't even want to take the time to turn to all the scriptures that would contradict mutilating your body. There is a guy, one of these church fathers, and people will often say, "One of the early church fathers teach," and I call them paleo Catholics. Paleo Roman Catholics these church fathers.
By the way, guys like Origen are very much responsible for these modern perversions of the Bible. Origen's book, the Hexapla, and a lot of other books and manuscripts that were produced by Origen are behind a lot of the scholarship behind these new versions that twist and change scripture. Origen was a man who castrated himself. I mean, leave that church father on the shelf. No, thanks. Not interested in what you have to say, buddy.
Look it up. It's a historical fact that Origen, a lot of the scholarship behind these modern versions come from some of his works and including his Hexapla and so forth. He was a guy who cut off his own stones, as the Bible calls them, and so I don't want to hear anything he has to say, but he misinterpreted his verse. If there's one verse in the Bible you don't want to misinterpret, this is the one. Misinterpret something else. Don't misinterpret this verse.
in this verse, what Jesus is saying here is He's saying, "Look, some people have chosen to remain celibate for the kingdom of heaven's sake." He's not saying that they actually mutilated their body. He's saying they remained celibate for the kingdom heaven's sake. What's the context? He's talking about people who've been divorced and they realized, "Hey, I have to remain unmarried," or some guys that are just single guys like Apostle Paul, for example, he just chose to remain unmarried, but He said that's not for most men.
Most men, He said, should get married to avoid fornication, but He said, "Some people have a gift of God where they can remain single and they can live their life," and there are people out there who can remain single, and live for God, and so forth, and He said, "You know, you could do more for God. You don't even have to worry about domestic matters." You got to cook your own food, but whatever. Anyway, you can just serve God with it and that's what Apostle Paul did. I just wanted to throw that out there.
Let's go back to Deuteronomy 24 and let's get the Old TEstament's teaching on divorce from the Mosaic Law because isn't this what the Pharisees are bringing up to Jesus? The Pharisees did not like when Jesus taught against divorce. When Jesus said, "Look, divorce is a sin. God hates putting away, God hates divorce. It's 'til death. It's one flesh. What God has joined together, let not men put asunder. Look, if you're a man, and you get divorced, and you marry another, you're committing adultery. If you're a woman, and you get divorced, and you marry someone else, you're committing adultery. If you're a man and you marry a woman who's been divorced, you're committing adultery." Pharisees don't like this and so they're like, "Well, what about what Moses taught? Moses taught to give a bill of divorcement." They're bringing that up.
Here's what's funny. If you preach the sermon that I'm preaching today, you'll be called a Pharisee. Define irony. Define irony. A preacher getting up and preaching that divorce is not allowed under any circumstances labeled a Pharisee when it's the teaching that the Pharisees hated and Jesus was the one telling them. "Oh, you're a Pharisee. You're a legalist." Well, the legalist, the lawyers, the scribes, they were all about condoning divorce and they said, "Can a man put away his wife," for every cause.
I mean, the Pharisees wanted to teach that a man could just divorce his wife just for any reason. That's what they were teaching. You don't like her, you're sick of her, incompatible, irreconcilable differences, burns the food, whatever. Isn't that what Islam teaches or something supposedly? I don't know, but if so, that's the least of Islam's problems, but Islam has got some serious issues.
Anyway, let's just go back to the source. Let's go back to the fountainhead here in the Book of Deuteronomy, the Old Testament, and let's figure out what are the Pharisees referring to and what is Jesus referring to when He says that the exception is fornication because He didn't say the exception was adultery. He said the exception was fornication.
Let's look it up in Deuteronomy 24:1. It says in verse 1, "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her ... " Everybody in Deuteronomy 24:1? "And it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife."
Now, here the Bible is not only teaching that a woman can be divorced, but that then she go be married to another man. Is that not what it says? You say, "Well, wait a minute. Does this contradict the New Testament's teaching? Is Jesus contradicting this?" Hold on a second. Why is He putting her away? It says because he found some uncleanness in her. This isn't saying that she didn't take a shower and she just wasn't clean enough. She didn't use Ivory or her fingernails, dirt under the fingernails. That's not what this is referring to when it says he goes in under and finds uncleanness in her.
I think to help understand what He's referring to, flip back to Deuteronomy 22, just 2 chapters earlier. You're in Deuteronomy 24. The word uncleanness, just look up throughout the New Testament what uncleanness refers to. Look up what it often refers to in the Old Testament. It's talking about what? It's talking about committing sins of fornication. It's talking about committing those types of sins. Those types of sins in the Bible are referred the as uncleanness. Why? Because the Bible teaches that fornication is filthy and unsanitary.
By the way, it is very unsanitary to go out and commit fornication that's why there's so much disease that's spread through fornication. That's why there's so much syphilis, and gonorrhea, and AIDS because of all these unsanitary practices. See, our bodies are filled with bacteria and it's fine that we have bacteria living in our bodies. There's some good bacteria, bad bacteria, neutral bacteria, but we're filled with literally just millions, and billions, and trillions of bacteria in our body. All different types of bacteria. I'm okay with my bacteria, but I don't want your bacteria because my body is not compatible with your bacteria.
If I marry one person, there's going to be a little bit of exchange of bacteria going on. You know what? Between two people, no big deal. What happens is when you just start exchanging bacteria with everybody, and one person's got a disease, and then they pass it on to somebody else, and then that person's with 10 other people who were with 10 people who were with 10 people, and you have this exponential spread of disease. You have this exponential spread of bacteria and harmful, unhealthy, unsanitary things that can cause uncleanness to exist. Everybody understand?
The Bible says here in Deuteronomy 22:13, "If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, and give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid." What is he referring to here? He's not just saying, "I don't like her cooking. We don't get along. She nags me too much. She wants me to fix things around the house. She squeezes the toothpaste from the wrong end of the tube. She's got the toilet paper roll coming over the top. I want it to come under the bottom." Is that the problem here? No. He's saying, "Look, I married this woman that was presented to me as a virgin, as a maid, and I went in under and found her not to be a maid." That's the problem and look what it says next.
The reason this is such a foreign concept to you is because 99% of women today are not a maid when they get married. That's why that's foreign to you, but guess what? There have actually been societies throughout history where people actually had morals. No, really. Really. Every society has not been as sinful and wicked as the United States, and just completely debauched, and fornicated our lives away. Actually, some people have lived a clean life throughout history, believe it or not. Some cultures actually valued virginity when you got married.
Obviously, there are many of God's people today they are still virgins when they get married, thank God. Don't use this excuse, "Everybody's doing it." No. Everybody's not doing it because I can name for you, myself included and many other people, who are virgins when they got married. It does still exist. Unfortunately, because 99% do not follow the teachings of God's word in this area, it's few and far between and, therefore, this might seem foreign to us. Everybody, let's take a little trip in time back to a time and a place where actually most women were virgins when they got married. Everybody want to get into the time machine with me and go there?
Now that we're there, read the passage and here's a guy who's saying, "Look, I went in unto her and found her not to be a maid," and this is something that matters to him because he's from that society, because he's living in that world. What does it say? It says, "Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; and, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in a hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days."
Now, this is where we get our defamation lawsuit, by the way. A defamation lawsuit does have a Biblical basis because here we see that this man has to pay a fine for slandering this woman by saying that she was not a virgin when she really was, so there's the defamation lawsuit there. Notice, if it's not true, if she really were a maid or a virgin, those words are synonymous in the Bible, if she really were a made, then he cannot divorce her. He cannot put her away all his days. Let's keep reading.
It says, "But," verse 20, "If this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you." Then it goes on to talk about adultery as a separate issue, "If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel."
Go to Matthew 1. Matthew chapter 1. Let's just assess what we've learned so far. We started out by learning a man who gets divorced and marries another woman, that's adultery. A woman who divorces her husband marries a different man, that's adultery. A man who marries a woman who's been divorced, that's adultery. The Pharisees come to Jesus and say, "Jesus, what about Moses? What about when Moses said you can give her a writing of divorcement?"
Then we went back and looked at what Moses said, and what Moses said was that if a guy goes unto her and finds uncleanness there, he can put her away, and divorce her, and she may be another man's wife; or that if it is presented unto him by the parents as this is a virgin girl, he pays the dowry according to the dowry of virgins, he pays that dowry, she's presented as a virgin, her parents thinks she is and it turns out she's not, then she is actually put to death, in that case.
Is the Old Testament teaching found in Deuteronomy 22 and 24 saying 10 years into marriage you've realized you don't want to be married anymore so you divorce your spouse? Is that what's even talking about? No. It was always right when they got married. It's like they get married, he finds uncleanness, he backs out. This is where we get the concept of an annulment. Again, obviously, annulments are abused and it's not what the Bible teaches. What I'm saying is that's where that philosophy comes from of saying, "Look, he thinks he's getting one thing. He gets there and it's something else, so he does not consummate the marriage and she can go be another man's wife because of that.
We have a perfect example of this in Matthew chapter 1. Isn't it interesting that the one verse that gives the fornication exception is found in Matthew, Matthew 5 and Matthew 19, which is the same book that gives us this perfect example in Matthew 1, which is the same book that is constantly pointing us back to Deuteronomy to get the truth? Look if you would at Matthew 1:18. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."
Put yourself in Joseph's position. Joseph has not yet been visited by the angel. Joseph does not know of any supernatural occurrence. All Joseph knows is that Joseph is espoused to Mary, they have not yet consummated the marriage, they have not yet come together and she's with child. Put yourself in his shoes. You're a young godly man, and you marry what you consider to be a young godly virgin girl, and upon being espoused but before you've come together it's found out that she's pregnant. What are you instantly going to think? You know you haven't been with her. She's pregnant. Fornication, right? I mean, is that not fornication?
Like, "Okay, we just got married. We have not yet consummated the marriage and here she is, it turns out she's actually pregnant. That means that she committed adultery?" No. Fornication. What is Joseph going to do when he finds out that he thinks that his wife has committed fornication because he hasn't been visited by the angel yet? He doesn't know she's with child of the Holy Ghost. He just knows she's with child.
Then Joseph her husband, being a bad person .... is that what it says? No. In verse 19 it says, "Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily." Was her wrong to put her away? No, because this is exactly what Deuteronomy 24 prescribed. This is exactly what the Bible taught was a situation where divorce would be used, where he would put her away. He hasn't even consummated the marriage yet. He hasn't been with her, but there's uncleanness there, he thinks.
Now, was there uncleanness there? No. She was pure, and virgin, and godly that's why an angel then in the next verse is going to come visit him and explain to him, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Once Joseph found that out, he believed the word of God, then he takes Mary unto him and he knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son. Joseph called his name Jesus because that was the name that Joseph have been told to name him; and then after Jesus was born, and after obviously the prescribed recovery period, then Joseph and Mary came together and had lots of children together. James, Joses, Simon, Judas, and all the sisters that were born. That's what happened.
Go to Romans chapter 7. Romans chapter 7. What is that exception? Is it adultery? No. It's fornication. Now, how did God deal with adultery? This is what doesn't make sense. They think that, you know, "Well, if there's adultery, divorce is warranted," but that's not what the Bible said. What did the Bible prescribe for adultery? Death. The Bible said that if your wife commits adultery, she's put to death or if your husband commits adultery, he's put to death.
If that were the case, because people say, "Oh no, I don't want to have to live with my spouse after they've committed adultery." Under God's law, you wouldn't have had to because he would have been put to death and then you could have married someone else. Today, if your spouse commits adultery, you cannot divorce your spouse and marry someone else. That is not taught in Scripture because that is not the exception that God gave and really the exception that God gave in Matthew 5 is not even really an exception because the marriage hasn't even really properly started yet anyway. That's why in Mark and Luke He didn't even give an exception because it wasn't necessary. He's talking to people who are married for an extended period and they're getting divorced.
How many people do you know got divorced after the wedding night? Think about all the people you know that are divorced. Did they all get divorced right after the wedding night? No. They got divorced after 1 year, 2 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, and people try to equate that with Joseph. You know, equate that Deuteronomy 24. Equate that with Matthew 5. It's because they just want to believe what they want. It's not scriptural.
What does the Bible teach? Go to Romans 7, let's see what the Bible teaches. Look, we've seen the teaching in Matthew. We've seen the teaching in Mark. We've seen the teaching in Luke. We've seen the teaching in Deuteronomy. We've seen the teaching in Malachi. Has it been consistent? Yes. Let's go to Romans because a lot of the people that I find, especially Baptist preachers who want to preach of permissive when it comes to divorce, they're often of the dispensational stripe. The hyper-dispensational or medium dispensational or I'm kind of dispensational, how about you? I don't believe in any of this dispensational garbage. None of it. I believe in testaments, two of them, old and new. I don't believe in seven dispensations.
Anyway, the dispensational, here's what they'll tell you. You have to get the teachings from the epistles of Paul because Jesus Christ's teachings are only for the Jews, and Deuteronomy is only for the Jews, and Leviticus is only for the Jews, and Matthew, Mark, Luke are only for the Jews. It's only what Paul taught. First of all, that's ridiculous because all scripture is profitable for doctrine and, especially I think that the most important part of the Bible is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It's all important. All of it is important.
I'll tell you what, if I were on a desert island and I can only have one part of the Bible, that's the part that I would take is the four gospels. You might have a different opinion about that. If you want to take the epistles of Paul, that's fine, but it's all profitable for doctrine. All scriptures give me inspiration of God. Dispensational is a man-made concept, but let's just go to the epistles of Paul. Let's go to Romans, okay?
Romans 7 says this, "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress." Is that what Christ taught? It's identical to what Christ taught. "But if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."
You say, "I'm a woman, I'm divorced. When can I get remarried according to the Bible?" When your ex-husband is dead. You say, "But I've been married three times." When all three of them are dead, I will perform your ceremony. That's what the Bible says. I mean, when your husband is dead, you're lose from the law of your husband. That's what the Bible says. But if her husband be dead," halfway through verse 3, "She is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." Clear teaching from Romans 7.
Go to 1 Corinthians 7. 1 Corinthian 7. Now, there are 2 passages that people will bring up. You say, "Well Pastor Andersen, if the Bible is so clear on this, why do so many churches perform these ceremonies and why so many churches teach that it's okay to be divorced and remarried if the Bible is so clear?" Here's what they do. They take Matthew 5, but we already put that to bed, or they take 1 Corinthians 7. These are the two things that they'll bring up and try to use.
I just Googled Statement of Faith, divorce, adultery, whatever, because I know that just through the years looking at Statement of Faith, which by the way, 9 times out of 10 are copied and pasted from someone else. They usually aren't even written by that church, but I've seen it a million times and I'm not ... yes, I am exaggerating. It wasn't a million, but I've seen it a lot of times. You'll look at a church's Statement of Faith and if they have a marriage section or a divorce section, if it's one of those really long Statement of Faiths, it'll usually say, "We are against divorce and remarriage except in cases of adultery and abandonment." Those are the two exceptions they give. Adultery and abandonment. They're getting adultery from Matthew 5, which is not what it says, and they're getting abandonment from 1 Corinthians 7, which is not what it says, but we'll look at that in a moment. They'll give those two exceptions.
What happens is when you start giving people exceptions like that, they're going to find a way to make that exception fit their situation. I've even heard pastors say this, "Well, he hasn't departed physically but he's departed emotionally," or they'll say like, "Well, I know your husband didn't really commit adultery, but he committed adultery in his heart because he looked at a dirty magazine or because he looked at a filthy movie or he looked at that woman that was walking by [inaudible 00:50:15] and he was clearly staring at her. There you go, grounds for divorce." Watch your eyes, men. You'd look at the woman and boom! You're divorced. That's ridiculous. See, when you give people exceptions they try to find a way to make that exception fit.
Then another one that sometimes is just tagged on with zero scriptural support. You know, Matthew 5, adultery? Not what it says. 1 Corinthians 7, abandonment? Not what it what it says. Then they'll just tag on abuse with no scriptural basis. Abuse. Then it'll be like, well, alcohol abuse. Good night, then every Catholic can get divorced because Catholics are against divorce but the Catholic Church will tell you can get divorced if there's alcohol abuse. Hey, have you ever known a Catholic who didn't abuse alcohol? Does it even exist?
Well, alcohol abuse or they'll say physical abuse. You know what, if we looked at our marriages we could all find some physical abuse. You know, he hit me with a pillow. She threw her hot dog at me. Literally, I know a guy who went to one of these anger management classes in Colorado because his wife claimed that he had domestic abuse, but it was all verbal. It was like, "He verbally abused me." Then he went to the class and there was a woman in the class with him and he says, "What are you in for?" She was taking the anger management class because her husband called the police after she threw a raw hot dog at him.
Look, if my wife throws a raw hot dog at me, I'm not calling the police. I'm going to take that raw hot dog, wash it off, put it on the barbecue, eat it, and then take care of business with my wife. I'm not going to sit there. Hold on a second, let's just digress from the sermon. What kind of a baby, what kind of a weakling calls the police on their wife for any reason ever? You need the police to come help you with your wife? Good night!
I had a friend, a co-worker who, literally, his wife was beating him and he called the police. Look, if that's you, don't tell your body at work that. I mean, first of all, that should never happen, you weakling, but if it does, don't tell your buddy at work. He's going to use it for a sermon illustration for the rest of his life about not being manly. I'm not saying that you need to go the gym, but if your wife can beat you up, go to the gym. I'll drive you down there. I'll pay for your membership because yeah, that's ridiculous. You need to be stronger than your wife. Anyway, your wife's beating you. Yeah, she's abusing me. How can you even say that without just being ashamed in embarrassment of yourself as a man?
You say, "Well, you know Pastor Andersen, it's usually the other around. The big strong man is beating up his wife," but a lot of times it's exaggerated. Are there times when someone actually beats up and injures their wife? Of course. Again, I would never condone of injuring and beating up your wife. I'm not condoning that, of course, but here's the thing, there are already laws against that, of just assaulting people and people who assault people. Our society already punishes that, just injuring someone. To sit there and say, "I'm getting a divorce," why did you marry that type of person? What did you do to make him so mad? I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding, all right? Everybody's going to quote that all day long. It was a joke.
Anyway, what I'm saying is, obviously, yeah. There are people, there are women who get battered and all this, but you know what, okay great. We already have laws and we already have stuff to do that. You do what you're going to do that. You know what? At the end of the day, you married this guy, and sometimes we do things, and we suffer the consequences of the things that we do. I'm not saying that if some guy is so violent to where there's actually serious injury happening that there couldn't be a time and a place to go to the authorities and deal with that, of course. Look, if you're a man, never. Never. You just don't do it.
What I'm saying is that these things can be twisted especially when you tag on abuse. Adultery, abandonment, abuse. You can pretty much make any marriage problem fit one of those three categories. Adultery? Yup, he looked at a woman to lust after. Yup, he looked at a magazine. Yeah, I think he might have one time possibly. I don't have any evidence, but maybe. Yeah, I mean, it's not a spectator sport. If you think he did, he probably did. Oh, abandonment? He's abandoned you mentally; or here's what it becomes, a game between spouses to see who can get the other to abandon them.
I've actually seen Christian people, I literally have known Christian people who believe this doctrine that, you know, in cases of abandonment, then they just start treating their spouse like dirt hoping that they'll abandon them. Then as soon as they abandon them they're like, "Yes!" Then they can go get divorced and remarried because they're abandoned. This is the way people are, this is human nature to find all the loopholes and find all the exceptions instead of just getting married and saying divorce is not an option. Who thinks we should just say, "Get married and divorce is not an option"? Amen. That's what the Bible teaches.
I just Googled it real quick, this is the first thing I found: John Piper. John Piper is this really famous, well-known pastor. His books are all over Barnes & Noble and everything. He's a Baptist pastor. This is the first I found when I just Googled it, but I've seen tons of doctrinal statements that tell yeah about these exceptions. Here's what this statement said: This statement on divorce and remarriage is the product of several years of study and discussion by the Council of Deacons of Bethlehem Baptist Church."
You know, my doctrine on divorce and remarriage took probably five minutes of study as a child. As a little kid when I opened the Book of Matthew and read it for the first time and the first time I got to Mark and Luke. That's why you're so wrong, Pastor. You didn't spend years studying it. Look, it doesn't years to figure out when Jesus said about divorce. I mean, it just takes a few minutes. Anyway, this is years of study.
Here are some quotes from it. "The historic protestant position that John Murray was defending was enshrined in the Westminster Confession of 1647. The pertinent part reads like this: In case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and after the divorce to marry another, as if the offending party were dead." Just pretend they're dead. I know it's still death to us part, but just pretend they're dead. That's what the Westminster Confession of 1647 says and that is the historical protestant position. Ask me if I care. What is Jesus' position?
Here's another point further down. Divorce may be permitted when a spouse deserts the relationship. Uh, that's ever divorce. Somebody deserts the relationship. Divorce may be permitted when a spouse deserts the relationship, commits adultery, or is dangerously abusive. Here's the scriptures they give: Matthew 19:9, which we already looked at, 1 Corinthians 7:15, and 1 Corinthians 7:11. We're going to hit 1 Corinthians right before the service is over.
Then they say, "We're not here dealing with remarriage." In this, they're just saying, "It's okay to get divorced." "Some of us want to stress that "divorce" in this statement should not imply a decisive and permanent end to the relationship while the spouses are alive and not remarried. Even after long periods of separation and alienation reconciliation can happen, as when the people of God return to the Lord after periods of waywardness (Hosea 2:14-23). Others of us want to stress that decisive divorce in certain cases is permitted, and that this leaves the deserted, or abused spouse free to remarry.
We all want to emphasize that the phrase "may be permitted" holds out the possibility that inquiry may reveal that the deserted partner engaged in a wrong behavior that drove the other away, so that a change is called for at home rather than divorce." This is really complicated. Basically, they're just saying like, "We don't want to take a position so we're just going to sail out of a complicated stuff and people who like divorce are going to interpret it the way they want to and people who are against divorce are going to interpret it the way they want to.
"The aggrieving partners referred to in point 3 (who were guilty of abandonment, adultery or abuse) should repent and be reconciled to God and to their spouses. If it is too late because their spouses have remarried, then they should remain single because they left their first marriage without Biblical warrant," because there's always a Biblical warrant to leave your marriage. No, there's not.
Let's go to 1 Corinthians 7 because that's what they keep bringing up, right? 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 7. They just keep repeating these teachings. First of all, if the Bible had all these exceptions, then the Bible would be contradicting itself because Jesus is just like, "Look, you get a divorce, you get remarried. It's adultery." People are like, "Whoa! I can't handle this preaching," and He says, "Well, if you can't handle it, join the club. Some people can't handle this preaching." Then all of a sudden, "Well, there's always exceptions, yeah, and it covers everything." There are exceptions that cover pretty much everything. I mean, anything could be abused. Anything could be abandonment. Anything could be construed.
It says here in 1 Corinthians 7, and the pertinent part, this always cracks me up, this is to go-to scripture on permitting divorce and remarriage, 1 Corinthians 7. The dispensationals throw out all teachings of Christ and just say, "Well, it's all about Paul and here's what Paul said," and anyone who's saying, "Abandonment, abandonment, abandonment," this is where they're getting it. This is going to blow you away. Just look at this. Verse 10: "Unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord." Who's commanding this, Paul or the Lord?
The Lord. "Let not the wife depart from her husband." Does that sound like one of the Lord's commandments?
Does it say unless?
Just, "Let not the wife depart from her husband. But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." That's what the Lord commands. Is that consistent with the teachings of Jesus?
That's what the Lord commands. Some people will twist it and say, "Well, it says if she depart in verse 11, so maybe He's making allowance for depart ... " No, no. Let's look at verse 10 again. "Let not the wife depart from her husband." Everybody got that? Who doesn't understand that? Okay, now let's move on to verse 11, "If she depart." See? Sometimes she can depart. No. The Bible says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father."
Just because He says if He just realizes that people are going to do it anyway. He's saying, "Look, God commands don't depart, but some people are going to do it anyway, so if they do, then they need to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their husband." It's just like when He says, "Don't sin, but if you do sin, we have an advocate with the Father." He's not saying, "Well see, sometimes it's okay to sin." It doesn't make any sense, does it? What does God command? God commands that wife should not depart from their husband. Well, it's okay for them to get separated as long as they don't get divorced. Is that what this says?
No. It says, ""Let not the wife depart from her husband. But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband." Why? Because if she marries someone else she'll be doing what?
That's what Romans taught. That's what Luke taught. That's what Mark taught. That's what Matthew taught. "And let not the husband put away his wife." That is the Lord's teaching, period. Done. Finito. Over. Ended. Then look at the next verse. "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord." Now, who's talking now? The Lord? Is this what the Lord teaches? Is this the Lord's commandment now? Read it again: "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord."
What He says next is what they're going to use to teach that it's okay to get divorced and remarried. Can someone explain to me why we're going to ignore the teaching of the Lord in verses 10 and 11, and then we're just going to get all hung up on what Paul's opinion is, then he clearly says, "This is not the Lord." You say, "Well, but it's in the Bible so it means it's from the Lord." Yeah, but the statement "not the Lord" is in the Bible and Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, wrote: Not the Lord. That means the words not the Lord are true. Who thinks the words not the Lord are true scripture?
Is this the Lord talking?
Let's ignore Jesus, let's ignore Matthew, let's ignore Mark, let's ignore Luke, let's ignore Romans, let's ignore Deuteronomy, and let's listen to something that specifically says, "It's not coming from the Lord." That's what they do because people are going to believe what they want. Some people are going to walk out of this sermon and just believe what they want. Go ahead because I'm not the divorce police. Go out and be Elizabeth Taylor for all I care, but I'm going to preach it. I want my children to know the truth, and I want every husband and wife to hear the truth, and stay married.
Let's read what Paul says, "Not the Lord." "If any brother hath a wife that believeth not." This whole teaching about if a wife has a husband that's not saved, if a husband has a wife that's not saved, this is not coming from the Lord. This is something that Paul is teaching. "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not." God's not speaking to these people, Paul is. These group of people that are married to unbelievers.
He says, "And she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him." Even Paul, who's not the Lord, even his teaching is lining up with what the Lord teaches, but it's just his opinion. He's adding his own opinion, his own wisdom, his own thoughts. Look, just because Paul gives his own thoughts doesn't mean their bad thoughts. I think Paul's thoughts are good thoughts, but that doesn't make them Scripture. It doesn't make them authoritative because he has specifically said that they aren't. You know, I have opinions about things that aren't based on Scripture. Does anybody here have an opinion that's not based on Scripture about anything?
Probably everybody could say, "I have opinions about running. I have opinions about running shoes and what type of shoes, I think, are the best running shoes." I didn't get those from Scripture, but it doesn't mean that I'm not right. Right? People just have opinions and thoughts. You know what, I have opinions that are based on Scripture, that are derived from Scripture, but they're still opinions. They're not commandments of God. I could say, "You know what, I think it's better to eat this type of food based on what I see in Scripture," but it doesn't mean that the Bible commands you to eat that type of food or not eat that type of food.
I might say, "Well, based on Scripture, I don't think you should eat at McDonald's based on Biblical principles," but I can't get up and say, "Thus sayeth the Lord, thou shalt not eat McDonald's," because I'd be adding the Scripture. If I commanded you not to McDonald's, I'd be adding the Scripture, I would be putting words in God's mouth wickedly, but I might be able to derive a ... who thinks that's probably a good idea to not eat at McDonald's? It doesn't mean it's Biblical, it just means my opinion is a good opinion. Does it have some basis in Scripture? Well, the Bible tells you to take care of yourself and to eat clean food, whatever.
This is an opinion of Paul. It's good opinion. I'm not down on his opinion, but I'm just making it real clear to you that it's not Jesus' teaching, it's Paul's teaching. It's just Paul is extrapolating things out and he's saying, "Look, if you're married to somebody who's not saved, you need to just stay with that person anyway." He's expanding on Christ's teaching. If you're married to somebody who's not saved just stay with them. Don't divorce them just because they're not saved. Stay with them. He explains why.
He says, verse 13, "The woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." He said, "Look, for the children's sakes, stay married. At least your children will then have one godly parent.
A lot of times you'll see a saved and an unsaved person get divorced, the kids spend half the time at each place. When they're with the unsaved parent, they get into all kinds of sin and wickedness, and there's no rules. Then when they're the godly parent, there's rules, then it doesn't workout. Whereas at least if you stay married he's saying you can, at least, have your kids with you everyday and teach them the Bible everyday, not just evenings, and weekends or summers or winters or whatever.
Here's the verse that the abuse, verse 15, "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." What verse 15 is saying is that look, if somebody departs, if you're married to an unsaved person, this is Paul's opinion, not the Lord, Paul's opinion is that if your spouse forsakes you, your unsaved spouse forsakes you, you don't have to go chasing after them and begging for them to come back. If they depart, you can let them depart. You shouldn't depart. You need stay with them, but if they depart, they depart.
Where does this say then go out and get remarried? Is that what it says? Then you can go get remarried. No. Again, somebody just takes 7:15 from Corinthians and they take it, it's not even from the Lord, it's Paul's opinion. The Lord's teaching is found in verses 10 and 11. Park it in 10 and 11 where the Lord is talking. They'll take Paul's teaching and then they'll just add to it. He just says, "Let them depart. If they depart, let them depart." He doesn't say, "And then get a divorce and then get remarried." That's the part that they've added. It's not in Scripture.
I've already gone long this morning. I've already preached as long as I'm going to preach. Let me just say this: God hates divorce. That's where we started. Malachi 2. God hates it. God hates putting away. We ought to hate it. Should we be mean to people who've been divorced? Absolutely not. Should we be unforgiving? No. We need to forgive our brothers and sister in Christ; we need to let them live that down; we should not hang that over their head; they should be faithful to the spouse that they're with. Deuteronomy 24 made it clear that they don't go back to the old original spouse. You don't get married three times and then go back to original. That's a false doctrine that's being taught today. It's false.
You stay with the person that you're currently married to. Not to be down on them, but you know what, if you're single you better go into marriage with this thought: it's for life. It's a commitment. It's 'til death. If you're married today, you ought to decide in your heart right now, "I will never get divorced. I'll never even talk about getting divorced. I'll never even think about getting divorced." If we do that, we won't have the same statistics that are out there.
You know what, I don't think anybody's ever been divorced in our church. I've been to churches where somebody's getting divorced every year. In an Independent Fundamental Baptist, King James only so on and church, somebody got divorced on a yearly basis in that church. Why? They didn't teach what I'm teaching. They taught the exceptions and it happens every year. Let's stay married, folks. Let's stay committed.
Bow our heads in a word of prayer. Father, we thank You so much for Your word and we thank You for marriage. It's a great institution. It's an institution that gives us a lot of joy in our life, but it's also an institution that can be a challenge. Marriage has its times when it's challenging, and it has joyous times, it has ups, and it has downs, but Lord, thank You so much for the wonderful, amazing wife that You've given me, and thank You for the great marriage that we've had that gets better and better over time.
Father, I pray that everyone who's here today would stay married and understand that even if they're maybe going through a low point right now in their marriage, things will get better if they stay in, and they stay in the Bible, and they stay in church that things will improve, and that eventually they will rekindle the joy, and love, and affection that they once had. Lord, help us not to be compromisers. Help us to stand on what You taught 2,000 years ago. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.