Why Adulterous Marriages Must Be Terminated

May 29, 2020

Jesus said in Matt 19:9a “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.”  So if a person divorces their spouse for any reason other than fornication and marries another, Jesus calls that second marriage adultery.

Passages like I Cor 6:9-10 say “adulterers” (among other type sinners) “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” – they won’t be saved.  But one can repent of adultery and be forgiven just like any other sin.  The question is – how does one repent of adultery in an unscriptural marriage?

Let’s start to answer that question by talking about what adultery is.  Vines Bible Dictionary defines “adulterer” as “one who has unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another”.”  So adultery involves sexual intercourse.  We see this also from:

  • John 8:4 “They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.” – the woman was not caught in a wedding ceremony but she was caught having sex with a man other than her husband
  • Heb 13:4 “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – adultery is something committed in the bed
  • Matthew 5:28 “… whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – not fantasizing about a wedding ceremony

Now if adultery involves sexual intercourse, then we can see why a couple who are married in violation of verses like Matt 19:9 can’t just say “I am sorry” and stay in their marriage.  Because every time they sleep together the sin is repeated; they commit adultery.  Repentance leads to quitting a sin.  We see this from Matt 21:28-29 where a son was asked to go work in his father’s vineyard.  At first he said “I will not:  but afterward he repented, and went.”  His repentance there was a change of mind that led to a change of action.  So repentance means those who steal must quit stealing (Eph 4:28); those who cuss must quit cussing (Eph 4:29); those who lie must quit lying (Rev 21:8); those in homosexual relationships must terminate those relationships (Rom 1:26-27); and those in adulterous marriages must quit committing adultery; they must terminate those marriages (Luke 16:18).  There are no ifs ands or buts about it.

We see this fact illustrated by a story that occurred while the Old Testament was still in effect.  We learn from secular history that Herod had divorced his wife and Herodias had divorced her husband.  Now notice what Mark 6:17-18 states about this marriage – “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.  For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.”  John the Baptist didn’t just say it was unlawful for Herod to have married Herodias; he said it was unlawful for Herod to have her.

Here in Alabama we have a law against smoking marijuana, a law against selling marijuana, and just in case someone claimed they were going to do neither with their marijuana, a law against possessing marijuana.  So if you live in Alabama and you possess some marijuana and you want to get back right within the law, what would you have to do with that marijuana?  You would have to throw it in the garbage or give it to the police, because it is not lawful to have it.  It is the same with an adulterous marriage.  If it is not lawful for you to have her, then you must get rid of her, that is, terminate the marriage, right?

Jesus went on to say in Matthew 19:9b “whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”  So when a divorce occurs, not only is it wrong for the one doing the divorcing to remarry; it is also wrong for the one who was put away to remarry.  Neither party may remarry.  Why?

I like to say Matt 19:9 states the facts of the case, the divorced commit adultery if they remarry, while Rom 7:2-3 states the reason.  Here’s how that passage reads – “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.”  So the reason it is wrong for divorced people to remarry is because they are bound (obligated) to one another for life.  Just because the state of Alabama says I have a right to remarry a second time, that doesn’t mean God gives me that right.  He expects me to stay with my wife till she dies, and so if I divorce her for a reason other than fornication and remarry, I am committing adultery (cheating) against her because I am still obligated to her; I am still supposed to be married to her.

Sometimes preachers try to justify staying in second marriages with excuses like “that’s too hard especially with kids.”  But Ezra 10:11,44 illustrates that having kids doesn’t change this iniquity problem.  There the Israelites who married women they weren’t supposed to marry were required to separate from those wives, and the fact that some had children by the forbidden marriage didn’t change that required course of action.

Some say you shouldn’t terminate an adulterous marriage because they say “two wrongs don’t make a right.”  I agree two wrongs never make a right, but in this case, terminating an unscriptural marriage is not a wrong; it is a correct course of action; it is a requirement.  What if I did wrong by taking on a second wife (polygamous)?  Would it be a second wrong to repent and break up with the second wife, and go back to being monogamous with the first?

A passage that illustrates having to leave a spouse because it is the right thing to do is Luke 18:29 which reads “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”  Why would anybody ever have to leave their wife for the kingdom of God’s sake?; I thought God wanted us to stay with our spouses?  Well, if we are married to a woman we have no right to after an unscriptural divorce, then Matt 19:9 calls that marriage adulterous, and so we would have to leave that wife for the kingdom of God’s sake.

Noting how clear these passages are on divorce and remarriage, a friend recently asked me why so many preachers don’t hold to the truth on the subject.  I submitted the following quotes to him to possibly explain why:

  • Some conservative groups believe that divorced people who marry another spouse are living in sin.  However, the number of divorces in the United States has led most denominations away from that teaching. – Anthony Dunnavant in the Orange County (California) Register
  • The (Presbyterian USA) church should “re-evaluate its definition of sin to reflect the changing mores of society. … We feel that marriage is not what legitimates sexual gratification.”  (Roll Over John Calvin, Time Magazine, 5-6-91, p.59)
  • … the Rev. Gene Robinson (first gay bishop in the Episcopal Church) … cited the examples of ordaining women priests and accepting divorce in the church as departures … “Just simply saying it departs from … Scripture does not necessarily make it wrong.” (Birmingham News, Aug 6, 2003)

So preachers and churches have not changed on this issue over the last several decades because of honest investigation of the scriptures.  Instead it is because they have lost respect for the scriptures as their source of religious authority.

Conclusion:  If one can see why a gay marriage must be terminated upon repentance (to be right with God), then apply the same logic to adulterous marriages.  It’s that simple.

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Speaking Evil Of Rulers

May 28, 2020

We can certainly express disagreement with the views and policies or our rulers (Trump, Obama, Governors), but we are not to speak evil of them (call them derogatory names, ephithets, etc.):

Acts 23:5b … for it is written (in Exod 22:28), Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

II Pet 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Jude 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion (same Greek word as in II Pet 2:10 – “government”), and speak evil of dignities.

I Pet 2:17 … honor the king

Five Views Of Mark 16:16 by E.R. Hall

May 21, 2020

Mankind is certainly ingenious when it comes to inventing different views to tip toe around what God’s word says. Mark 16:16 is one such passage.

THE METHODISTS read Mark 16:16 like this: “He that believeth not and is baptized shall be saved”. One of their cardinal doctrines teaches the practice of infant baptism when the infant is way too young to know what’s going on much less to believe anything the Bible teaches concerning sin, repentance, and salvation.

THE ATHEISTS read Mark 16:16 like this: “He that believeth and is baptized shall not be saved”. They do not even believe in God to Whom man is accountable for his actions. Since there is no accountability to a God, there can be no such thing as sin and definitely no need for salvation.

THE UNIVERSALISTS read Mark 16:16 like this: “He that believeth not and is baptized not shall be saved”. They believe EVERY-BODY will be SAVED and NOBODY will be LOST.

THE BAPTISTS read Mark 16:16 like this: “He that believeth and is not baptized shall be saved”. They believe salvation comes at the point of faith and baptism has nothing to do with saving.

JESUS said in Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved“.

Now, which view are we going to take on this verse?

Trusting Jesus – An Illustration

May 14, 2020

A tight rope walker stretches his wire between two very tall skyscrapers in New York City. You watch him push a wheelbarrow across and back five times with no trouble. He asks if you think he can do it again. You respond “yes, of course.” He then asks you to get in the wheel barrow. Trust is getting in that wheel barrow.

The following three passages teach we should trust the Lord / Christ / God …

Prov 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Eph 1:12-13 “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”

I Tim 4:10 “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

It is not enough just to believe in Jesus; we have to be trust him; we have to be willing to go out on a limb for him. And in addition to trusting Jesus, we have to obey the gospel (II Thess 1:8).

Rom 3:24-26 – Jesus’ Death Makes God Just When He Justifies

May 7, 2020

Consider Romans 3:24-26: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption (“a releasing effected by payment …” – Thayer) that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, … that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  The word “propitiation” means “by which it becomes consistent with his character … to pardon … the sinner” (dictionary.com) .

Rom 3:24-26 teaches Jesus’ death declared God’s “righteousness.” That is, the only way God could be “just and the justifier of him which believeth” was because Jesus died “for the remission of sins that are past” (present, and future).  For God to forgive in Old Testament times (and New), penalty for sin eventually had to be paid, else God would prove to be unjust – just letting everybody off the hook (the spiritual consequences of sin) for no good reason.

I Don’t Go Along With All That My Church Does! by E.R. Hall

April 30, 2020

There are many people today who willingly and knowingly fellowship error. When their unscriptural practices are pointed out, they say, “I don’t believe everything my church teaches” or the statement in the title of this article. Are you one of those people? Are you willing to even admit that you realize that the church of which you are a member is getting farther and farther from the truth of the Bible? Many people are very uncomfortable with such things as the social, recreational, and entertainment craze that many churches are involving themselves in. But let it be understood there are many other things in addition to these.

Let me raise this question: Does recognizing and then denying wrongdoing in the church of which you are a member, free you from all responsibility in the matter? Let’s put it like this: Can a person close his eyes to error and willingly stay in a group that he knows is doing things contrary to what the Bible teaches? Are we willing to let the Bible give the answer? God says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11). “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” (Titus 1:13,14). From these verses we must conclude that one cannot continue to have fellowship with those who are believing and practicing error. Rather, he has the responsibility to reprove and warn them. Yet, if no one raises their voice to oppose, by their silence they give consent and thereby become a partaker of wrongdoing.

How can one repent of an error while at the same time be a member of a church which believes and practices error? For one to repent of error, he must completely give up that error. As long as a person is a member of a church that has error, he is associated with error and is identified with error.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:13 “..Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” Those who are in a church that has error will be rooted up along with others at the last day. Those who recognize error in the churches in which they are members need to come out and be identified with the people of God.

We cannot help but believe there are those of you reading this … who do not agree with the beliefs and practices of the church of which you are a member. We must all ask ourselves the question of who are we trying to please in religion. Is it man or God? There can be the wrong motive for the religion we have. “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10). If we seek to please men, it will not matter whether we condone things that the Scriptures condemn and give our silent consent to things that God does not approve of. But if our religion is to please men, “I should not be the servant of Christ“.

Matt 27:46 – Jesus Was Spiritually Separated From God

April 23, 2020

If our sins were laid on Jesus (Isa 53:6c), we should expect the following:

· Isaiah 59:2a the Son was “separated” from the Father

· Hab 1:12-13 “O mighty God … Thou … canst not look on iniquity”

Matt 27:46 and Isaiah 53:6c fit hand in glove. Since sin is a spiritual idea not a physical object, the words of Isaiah 53:6c mean nothing (are just hollow words) unless there were some spiritual ramifications for Jesus.

R.L.Whiteside said it best when commenting on Matt 27:46 in his book Reflections – “Jesus died … as if he were a criminal. … God withdrew his presence from him in the hour of death. Hence, in full measure he took the place of the sinner.” (p.197)

I imagine this was the hardest thing Jesus ever had to endure, even above all the physical pain and torture He had to suffer on the cross. It’s the first and only time in history Jesus was forsaken by (spiritually separated from) his Father.

Conflicting Voices by E.R. Hall

April 16, 2020

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,..” (Hebrews 1:1,2). Any voice not in agreement with God’s Word is a conflicting voice. We hear a lot of voices in the religious world and they all profess to be speaking God’s Word. Yet, they conflict each other and this has lead to the different denominations that are in existence.

I have yet to meet a preacher, or hear one preach, who does not say he is preaching what the Bible says. They all claim to preach only what God would have them preach. However, when I compare what they preach with what I preach, there are clear differences. Several years ago, I attended the funeral of my aunt. The preacher made the statement several times that he only wanted to preach what God would have him to preach. Well, that’s exactly what I want to do so I expected him to preach the same things I preach. As his sermon progressed it was obvious that he and I don’t preach the same things especially when it come to what a person must do to be saved. He was telling his audience to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and I’ve never preached that. Is he preaching God’s word? If he is, then what am I preaching when I preach something different from him? Is he sincere in what he preaches? I’m sure he is but, then again, so am 1. One or the other of us is right or it could be possible that we are both wrong but we both can’t be right. If I were to ask two people what is the sum of 3,250 and 6,750 and one answered 10,000 and the other answered 100,000, could I say both were right? So, in religious matters, we are divided and yet both he and I profess to be worshiping the same God and preaching the message of God.

What is the way to solve this dilemma? Can I compare him to me? No! “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12). There has to be a higher standard by which we can measure the things being taught in the religious world. That standard of reference is to be the Word of God.

We must take God’s Word and take God at His Word. It is not for me or anyone else to interpret what God says because God means what He says. If I tell my children to go to the store for milk and bread, they do not have to interpret what I said, they must simply do what I’ve told them to do. When Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16) that is not left up to anyone’s interpretation. We must simply do what He says. Since I can no where read in the Bible that a person must accept Christ as their personal Savior, I would be conflicting with what God says to preach such a thing. When we read: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24), anyone who teaches a person is saved the moment they believe is a voice conflicting with what God has said.

In all that we hear taught, let us compare it to God’s Word and be sure we are “rightly dividing the word of truth” (l Timothy 2:15). God means what He says and says what He means. No one needs to interpret what God has said. It is when God’s Word is interpreted that all these conflicting voices can be heard.

Two Types Of New Testament References To Old Testament Texts

April 9, 2020

There are at least two types of New Testament (NT) references to Old Testament (OT) texts …

One type is like Gen 12:3b (“in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”). Such promises and prophecies about future events are intended by the OT text to be fulfilled by an event described in the NT (in this case see Acts 3:24-26).

Another type is where the OT text is not intended to refer to an NT event, but the NT writer borrows the wording from the OT in order to make his point. This is not to say that God didn’t know from the beginning these OT texts would be used in such way. Here are some classic examples of that type:

· I doubt Psalms 109 is referring the replacing of Judas as an apostle when it says “let another take his office” in verse 8, but the wording fit so well Luke’s description of the choosing of Mathias as a replacement apostle, he used the wording to make his point in Acts 1:20.

· I am thinking Hosea 11:1 was talking about Israel as a nation coming out of Egyptian slavery, but the words “Out of Egypt have I called my son” fits Jesus coming out of Egypt so well that God used the words to describe such in Matt 2:15.

· Sarah used the words “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac” to refer to Hagar and Ishmael in Gen 21:10, but Paul saw fit to use the words in Gal 4:30 to talk about the OT becoming obsolete.

We don’t study the OT law because any of it is still binding today (Heb 7:12, Gal 5:3-4), but we study it because the NT constantly refers to it – so studying the OT will help us understand (Rom 15:4) the NT, which is our law for today.

Ezekiel 18:20-24

April 2, 2020

Even though Ezekiel 18:20-24 is in the Old Testament and we are not under that law today, there are still come critical things we can learn from the text …

Verse 20 reads “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Can’t we learn from verse 20 that the Calvinist doctrine of Inherited Original Sin is false? The text makes it just about as clear as one can make it that infants do not inherit the sin of Adam or anyone else. “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,” so Seth didn’t inherit sin from Adam and neither did I inherit sin through my father Kenneth. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (spiritually), not someone else. Eccl 7:29 reads in the NIV – “This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.”  So an infant is not born inherited the guilty of Adam’s, and is he is not born with inherited total depravity.  This verse says mankind is created upright, completely innocent of any such.

Starting in verse 21 of Ezekiel 18 we learn repentance is necessary to be forgiven of sin. Here is that text – “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” That’s always a big little word – “if” in the Bible. The statement that if the wicked will turn from his sins he will live, implies that if he doesn’t turn from his sins, he will not live, right?

And verse 24 refutes the modern day religious notion of Once Saved Always Saved. It says “But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.” We already learned that if the wicked turns from his sins he is forgiven, and verse 24 proves the reverse is also true. If a righteous man turns from his righteousness, then he will die spiritually. I didn’t write this verse; God stated it as fact.

Now, the Old Testament defined for them what wickedness and righteousness was. While the New Testament defines for us today what wickedness and righteousness is. But the facts remain that infants are not born guilty of sin (Rom 5:12b), repentance is a necessary condition of salvation (II Pet 3:9), and a Christian can fall from grace (Gal 5:4).