A preacher in the news recently said such and such was a “moot point. It’s like asking a guy why he divorced his first wife when he is already married to his second wife.” This statement flies in the face of passages like Matthew 19:9, and reveals the approach almost all those who claim to be preachers and Christians take to God’s word.
Jesus said in Matthew 19:9, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” After reading that verse, how could anybody (who is serious about following God’s word) say the reason for a divorce doesn’t matter? The reason makes all the difference in the world. According to Matthew 19:9, if a man divorces his wife “for fornication” and remarries, he does not commit adultery. But if a man divorces his wife for any reason other than fornication and remarries, he commits adultery, and passages like Galatians 5:19-21 show he will be lost in such a state if he refuses to repent.
Though it was before the new covenant came into effect, history tells us Philip and Herodias were unscripturally divorced. Herodias had then proceeded to marry Herod. In Mark 6:18 we read that John the Baptist called this new marriage unlawful. Obviously he expected them to break up the marriage if they wanted to be right with God.
How many congregations do you know of who try to stand for and enforce this teaching on divorce and remarriage? They are very few and far between. But that is the kind of congregation that we should determine to attend – one that is faithfully following God’s word in belief, teaching, and practice. Most churches (and so called Christians) are just playing games.