Clarify the Bible's guidance for remarriage.

Scripture: Matthew 5:31-32
Do I have grounds for remarriage? What does the Bible say? Matthew 5 lays out grounds for divorce. There are stories in the Bible showing how God takes people where they are and brings them forward. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin.
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Co-Host:  Ok next we have Donna whose been patiently waiting a long time in Port St. Lucy.  She's listening on station WCNO. Thanks for your patience. And your question?

Caller:  What I wanted to find out is if I have grounds to remarry. My husband and I have been separated for over 3 and a half years - well actually we've been apart for over 3 and a half but been divorced for about two. And when he left here, when my husband left, as far as I know, it wasn't on the grounds of his committing adultery or anything. He just wanted to up and leave after 10 years of marriage and went back up North. And then about 6 months, or a year later after he left, he had a girlfriend and they were living together and then, uh, let's see...

Pastor Doug:  Well don't - you don't need to give me all the details.  I could probably save you a lot of time by giving you the very simple Bible rules that are criteria Biblically for a Christian for divorce and remarriage okay?  Let me share some Scriptures with you.  Matthew chapter 5 verse 31 Jesus said...

Caller:  I read it. I read it over and over and over.

Pastor Doug:  ...okay now and you read verse 32 where He said whoever would put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, in other words, if there's infidelity in the marriage uh has your husband been unfaithful in his vows?

Caller:  After he left. After the separation.

Pastor Doug:  Uh huh.  So he's had other relationships?

Caller:  Not when we were together as far as I know. After the separations...

Pastor Doug:  ...but now that you're separated he's had other relationships.

Caller:  Yes. Yes - we're now divorced.

Pastor Doug:  You are divorced now?

Caller:  Yes.

Pastor Doug:  Well let me just tell you - uh there's probably, in most cases where there's a divorce, there are two guilty parties not always, but in most cases - there's selfishness and problems on both sides of  the issue. But God wants you. He's working in your heart right now. He takes us where we're at.  You know that story in the Bible about the woman at the well that Jesus met?

Caller:  I know, yes.

Pastor Doug:  Jesus said to her you know go call your husband and she kind of evaded that by saying well I don't have a husband.  He said that's true - you've got 5 husbands and now you're living with a fellow you're not married to. And He met her where she was at and He revealed to that woman with her scrambled past that He was the Messiah.  Now if there were no hope of her being saved, He never would have bothered telling her who He was. But I'm sure when she went home she probably married that fellow or kicked him out - but uh she needed to get things straight.  So you come to the Lord where you are. Divorce, without Biblical grounds, is a sin but the Bible does not say it's the unpardonable sin.  You know what I'm telling you?  You have examples in the Bible where Abraham took a second wife without consulting God her name was Hagar, brought all kinds of misery into the family. Finally Abraham went to the Lord and said what do I do now and God said you should have talked to me about this in the first place. He God said put her away - you know what that means?

Caller:  Uh-huh.

Pastor Doug:  He was commanded to divorce her.  He was not supposed to have two wives and it brought a lot of dissent into the family.  It broke his heart to watch his first-born son walk away with the mother.  And it was a sin. It was a problem. But it was not the unpardonable sin.  God did not leave Abraham because of that.  He was still the father of the faithful.  So, you know, no matter where you are right now Donna just give the Lord your heart - and there are a lot of friends listening out there. Ah, sometimes our past is scrambled with all kinds of different relationships especially people who come to the Lord with uh you know very colorful pasts.  You just come where you're at.

Caller:  Ok. This is what I want to say.  After my husband left me, then I accepted the Lord and I have been baptized.  It has been about 3 years now.  And I'm not - you know, we're separated, divorced, and, you know, he's moved on with his life and that's fine.  I'm happy with the fact that the Lord had found me in my distress.  But anyway my question is, because I've read this text, I've asked people, I mean I've spoken to other people about it and it's to the point where everybody I've spoke with is telling me that, you know I would have grounds to remarry if need be.  And I can't see where I have because he left me and I did not commit adultery and when he left me, he didn't leave me at that time for another woman....

Pastor Doug:  Well can I make a suggestion?  Now I don't know all of the details and I don't think you should share them with me - because when you do this you're automatically, as a human being, you're going to be biased in your own favor.  What I think you need to do is I think you need to give the Lord your heart where you are right now and it sounds like you've done that and then say Lord I'm going to serve You with all my heart and soul.  I'm not going to pursue a husband unless You direct me and give me clear indication from the Scripture and peace in my heart that this is Your will.  And just leave that in God's hands right now.

Caller:  Well that's basically where I'm at with it.  I just needed to know this because it's just a question I've had for years and I wasn't sure if it had been answered because, I mean, I see something different than what other people are telling me.

Pastor Doug:  Well one thing I would say is, you obviously, if your husband has got new relationships now, you may not be able to be reconciled to him.  And if he's rebuilding his life, it may be eventually time for you to rebuild also but don't rush into anything.  Hey you sound like our first caller tonight who would really benefit from our free offer.  It's dealing with holy wedlock or holy deadlock.  This is not only for people who are married.  This is for people who are thinking of remarriage or dating.  There are a lot of blessings and information in that.  Would you like us to send you a copy?

Caller:  Yes.  It's not necessarily about remarriage.  It's just that I need to know this.  I just like - when I read something in the Scriptures and if I can't see eye to eye with other people, I need to just know that I'm not wrong on it because when I go out to give Bible studies or whatever I need to know that I'm...

Pastor Doug:  You're in God's will.

Caller:  Right, right.

Pastor Doug:  That's right - and you want to have peace about whatever you do, or don't do it.

Caller:  Exactly and I just need to know...

Pastor Doug:  Hey Donna, let me have prayer with you now.  Would that be okay?

Caller:  Sure.

Pastor Doug:  Father in Heaven, my heart goes out to Donna right now because I know she also represents thousands of listeners w ho have similar struggles. We know that divorce is epidemic in our country, and it leaves a trail of broken hearts and wounded children.  And I just pray that You'll give her wisdom and help her to know how to rebuild from the pieces that she has right now Lord.  Guide her, especially in her relationship with You, so she can know how to proceed in any other relationship.  In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

Caller:  Amen.

Pastor Doug:  Thanks so much for your call Donna and if you call 835-6747, 800 number, they'll send you a free copy of that lesson. God bless.

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