THE QUESTION OF REMARRIAGE
Garden City, Michigan church of Christ
A preacher was asked what his stand was on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. His reply was “Whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” He was accused by his questioner of being a legalist. No, he was only quoting what our Lord said in Matthew 19:9. Jesus declares that, “except for fornication,” those who divorce and remarry “commit adultery.” This means that those marriages are not legitimate marriages in God’s eyes, for how could they be both adultery and a marriage? It is not possible that God would join two people in marriage through the act of adultery. Too long we in the Lord’s church have tiptoed around the subject of the remarriage of divorce persons. People’s souls are at stake!
But what if one does divorce and remarry? The Bible says in Romans 7 2-3, “For the woman which hath an 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: 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.” Notice if she is married to another, the adultery continues all the “while her husband live.” That which is sacred and holy in marriage is immoral and sinful outside of a scriptural marriage. So, “except for fornication,” if two people remarry while a former spouse lives the two live, in a continuous state of adultery.
The Bible says that an adulterer will not go to Heaven (I Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians -21). Our number one priority in this life must be to go to Heaven. The eternal destinies of souls are involved. As long as a person is living in adultery, this removes all hope of his going to Heaven. We cannot help but have compassion for adulterers in their lost and sinful state, but in our compassion we dare not change clear Biblical teaching lest we also lose our own souls.