“Biblical Grounds for Divorce” July 24

 

Biblical Grounds for Divorce

I’ve often heard that the rate of divorce in the US is about 50%, but I’ve discovered that statistics are hard to pin down. Some say the rate of divorce has dropped in the last decade and that as high as 70% of marriages make it to their 15th year. While that’s good, what about the 30% who don’t? And is it possible that the divorce rate is going down because many couples simply live together without marrying?

What does the Bible say about divorce? Is it allowable to divorce because we’re not happy or no longer in love? Is it OK if we’re unequally yoked? Are there, actually, any biblical grounds for divorce?

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezra 9 & 10
Psalm 88.6-10
Proverbs 21.23-24
Acts 24.1-27

 

Biblical Grounds for Divorce

 

Ezra 9 & 10:

Marriage and Divorce when Unequally Yoked

 

59 years had passed since the completion of the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel. In these passages, the second group of former captives had returned led by Ezra. He had learned that the Jews who were already there, including many of the leaders, had taken pagan wives. This was strictly forbidden by the Law, had repeatedly led the people into idolatry, and had caused the nation to be taken into captivity. Yet, they went back to the same practices!

John MacArthur points out in his Daily Bible notes that even though there was a decision made that these wives as a group were to be “put away”—that is divorced—each marriage was examined individually, probably to learn whether the wives had become believers. He also notes that other gentile women like Ruth and Rahab who had embraced faith in God were accepted and even included in the lineage of Christ.

So what about today? Can we divorce an unbelieving spouse? Matthew Henry in his commentary says, “As to being unequally yoked with unbelievers, such marriages, it is certain, are sinful, and ought not to be made; but now they are not null, as they were before the gospel did away the separation between Jews and Gentiles.”

2 Corinthians 6.14 says:

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

So while it is wrong for a Christian to marry a non-Christian, if a believer is already married to a non-believer, divorce is not an option in most circumstances.

 

Is Divorce Ever Allowable for a Christian?


Biblical Grounds for Divorce


So what does the Bible say about divorce? Is it ever allowable? Jay Adams, in his book Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible, says, “Contrary to some opinions, the concept of divorce is biblical. The Bible recognizes and regulates divorce.”

When Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant, “being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly (Matt. 1.19). He was going to divorce her until an angel convinced him that she had not committed adultery. Continue reading

“Could We Turn the World Upside Down?” July 12

 

Could We Turn the World Upside Down? - In the first century a small army of believers turned the world upside down in a matter of a few years without TV, radio, or mass media. They simply believed in the power of the Gospel to change lives and the Holy Spirit working through them. And they did it in the face of intense opposition. Could we turn the world upside down again if we had the same faith and commitment?

Also:

What’s the real problem with the leadership in our nation? Is it party affiliation? A lack of compassion for the poor? Too much politics or too little experience? The answer is really pretty simple.

One of the greatest evils in our nation today is our failure to defend unborn babies. Will God hold us, as a nation, responsible?

Can being unequally yoked in marriage, in business, and in our close friendships affect our walk with God?

And finally, today’s readings contain one of the greatest prayers recorded. It was prayed by a man who fell short like us, but who understood where to turn for help.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 19 & 20
Psalm 82.1-8
Proverbs 20.29-30
Acts 17.1-15

 

Could We Turn the World Upside Down?

 

Acts 17.1-15:

Faithful Men & Women

 

In verse 6 the Thessalonians said about the disciples, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

Beginning with the original Apostles, as they evangelized and discipled others who in turn evangelized and discipled still others, the world was turned upside down in a matter of a few years without TV, radio, or mass media, just the Word of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I wonder what you and I are doing or could do to turn the world upside down. Are we as committed to share the gospel as those in the first century? Would we still be willing to blog about God and His Word if knew we could be arrested? Would we still attend worship services? Do we invest the time and effort necessary to influence the world around us for Christ?

Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 

This is discipleship. Discipleship takes time and faithfulness. It’s coming alongside someone. It might mean going through a book on marriage with a young wife or a new believer. It might mean working through a book or Bible study on the character of God, the basics of the faith, or some other subject. It might mean teaching a young couple how to be godly parents or a newlywed how to keep house for the glory of God.

 

Could We Turn the World Upside Down?- Are we so busy with the things of this world that we are too entangled to come alongside someone else?Paul went on:

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 

Are we so busy with the things of this world that we are too entangled to come alongside someone else?

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

The Gospel is not limited to our great persuasive ability, a huge platform, or who is in the White House … just our faithfulness.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1.16).

Let’s turn the world upside down with the Gospel!

Today’s Other Readings:

 

2 Chronicles 19 & 20:

Ungodly Friends

 

Yesterday, Jehoshaphat, a relatively good king was hanging out with, of all people, Ahab, one of the most wicked kings of the Northern Kingdom. He and his wife Jezebel took the nation of Israel deeper and deeper into idolatry. Today’s reading begins:  Continue reading

“The Slippery Slope” June 1

 

"The Slippery Slope" - We're never standing still when it comes to the things of God. Either we're growing and becoming more like Christ or we are heading down the slippery slope. But often, like Solomon, we play around with sin, thinking we're too smart to get caught in its snares.We’re never standing still when it comes to the things of God. Either we’re growing and becoming more like Christ or we are heading down the slippery slope. But often, like Solomon, we play around with sin, thinking we’re too smart to get caught in its snares.

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 11 & 12
Psalm 69.5-15
Proverbs 17.20-22
John 12.1-26

 

The Slippery Slope

 

1 Kings 11 & 12:

Our Slippery Slope

 

Once we begin to focus on things other than God, we can easily slide into greater and greater sins. Here we find Solomon taking foreign wives—women who worshiped other gods. He loved them and became sympathetic to their desire to worship their own gods. He was headed down a slippery slope (Rom. 1.18-32). Eventually, he worshiped them, too!

We can easily do the same thing by dating or getting into close relationships with people who aren’t serving God whole-heartedly or at all. We reason that we’ll change them, but most of the time they pull us away from God. Becoming unequally yoked with unbelievers is still forbidden for that reason and others. Continue reading

“Why do you follow Jesus?” May 19

 

Why Do You Follow Jesus? - Recently I heard of someone who said he was willing to come to church to "see what God has to offer him." That's understandable for an unbeliever who is just beginning to explore the claims of Christ. But sadly, many professing believers seem to follow Him for much the same reason.Recently I heard of someone who said he was willing to come to church to “see what God has to offer him.” That’s understandable for an unbeliever who is just beginning to explore the claims of Christ. But sadly, many professing believers seem to follow Him for much the same reason.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Samuel 9 & 10
Psalm 65.1-8
Proverbs 16.20-21
John 6.1-21

 

Why do you follow Jesus?

 

John 6.1-21:

What’s in it for Me?

 

Verse 2, “Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.”

They didn’t follow Him because they saw their need for spiritual change, but for what He could do for them. Sadly, that hasn’t changed for many people.

God does bless those who love Him, but that should never be our primary motive for serving Him. We are to live our lives to please God out of our desire to bring glory and honor to His name, not with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

2 Samuel 9 & 10:

Don’t Be Unequally Yoked

 

Chapters 9 & 10 give us a glimpse of David’s heart—first as he showed kindness to Mephibosheth as a way of honoring his covenant with Jonathan and in chapter 10 as he sent representatives to comfort Hanun at the time of his father’s death.

Sadly, David’s gesture toward Hanun was not only rejected, but met with ridicule by Hanun when he shamed and humiliated David’s ambassadors. Should we be surprised when our gestures of peace and kindness are met with rejection? Those in the world often find it hard to believe we don’t have ulterior motives, because of what’s in their own hearts.  Continue reading

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 15 “Living with an Unbeliever” LINKUP

 

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 15 "Living with an Unbeliever" - Many believers find themselves married to unbelievers who have no interest in the things of God. While it can be challenging, God didn't leave us without instructions for such situations.Many believers find themselves married to unbelievers who have no interest in the things of God. While it can be challenging, God didn’t leave us without instructions for such situations.

 

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.

 

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 15 “Living with an Unbeliever”

 

We’re wrapping up a series on God’s design for marriage. If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series, you can read them here. In today’s post we’ll talk about living with an unbelieving spouse.

 

Marrying an Unbeliever

 

First, let me say that if you’re single and contemplating marriage, you are only free to marry “in the Lord.”

A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord (1 Cor. 7.39).

That phrase “in the Lord” means “in Christ” or “in the common faith.” While Paul is speaking, specifically, to women in this verse, the principle applies to men and women who are single, biblically divorced, or widowed and is addressed in 2 Corinthians, as well.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God (2 Cor. 6.14-16).

This is not a suggestion. It’s not Old Testament. It’s a command. Unfortunately, some people come to the Lord with the idea that His Word is just a nicer way to live, perhaps the ideal, but we’re still free to do it or not. That has never been the case.

We women are, particularly, prone to try to justify dating and marrying unbelievers:

“Well, he comes to church with me.”

“I think he’s close to getting saved.”

“How will he come to know the Lord if I break up with him?”

“He believes in God.”

“He’s OK with me going to church.”

“It’s not a problem for us.”

“He’s a Christian, but he doesn’t believe in going to church.”

Need I go on?

I’ve counseled many women who were dating or engaged to unbelievers. I have explained God’s clear commands and warned them of the natural consequences of choosing to disobey God (Gal. 6.7-8). Sadly, few listen once they are emotionally attached, especially, if they have further disobeyed God by becoming sexually involved.

Many have come back later and said, “I should have listened.” Because …  Continue reading

“The Unpopular Truth” December 15

 

The Unpopular Truth - The Bible is the unpopular truth to many today. And those who speak the truth are being told, "You can't say that here ... 'there's separation of church and state.' " Or, "You're trying to impose your religion on us." Others demand that we, "give hardy approval" to the sinful things they do. How does God expect us to respond to those pressures?The Bible is the unpopular truth to many today. And those who speak the truth are being told, “You can’t say that here … ‘there’s separation of church and state.’ ” Or, “You’re trying to impose your religion on us.” Others demand that we, “give hardy approval” to the sinful things they do. How does God expect us to respond to those pressures?

Also read about praying in difficult times, a word to Christian singles, and Jesus the soon coming King.

 

Today’s Readings:
Amos 6 & 7
Psalm 142.1-7
Proverbs 29.27
Revelation 5.1-14

 

The Unpopular Truth

 

Amos 6 & amos 7:

Speaking the Unpopular Truth

 

Chapter 7.12-13:

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos.
“ Go, you seer!
Flee to the land of Judah.
There eat bread,
And there prophesy.
13 But never again prophesy at Bethel,
For it is the king’s sanctuary,
And it is the royal residence.”

Rather than hear the truth and heed their warnings, the people of Amos’ day banished the prophets. How very much like the world in which we live. Today the cry is “separation of church and state” or “don’t try to impose your religion on me” or “you can’t say that here!” Those who talk about God’s standard are called intolerant, homophobes, judgmental or worse.

Many even demand that we approve their lifestyles and their right to live anyway they choose. Some people give in to their demands out of fear of criticism, intimidation, or misguided acceptance. Continue reading

“Bad Company & Politics” November 24

 

Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals

Bad company corrupts good morals. That is true of friends, advisers, co-workers, business partners, spouses, and anyone else with whom we spend a great deal of time. It’s true in our personal lives, in our work lives, and Proverbs tells us, even in politics.

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 39 & 40
Psalm 132.10-18
Proverbs 29.5
James 5.1-20

 

Bad Company & Politics

 

Proverbs 29.5:

Bad Company Corrupts Morals & Politics

 

“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.”

The king represented their system of government. Romans tells us “bad company corrupts good morals.” That is true in politics, as well as, in our personal lives. Let’s pray that our president-elect, politicians and other leaders would surround themselves with godly counselors.

But we also need to be wise in our personal choices of friends and associates.

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6.14).

Bad company corrupts good morals

We can’t always choose our co-workers, but we can be wise about how much time we spend with them during breaks and after work. We can be careful not to listen to gossip, complaining or advise from those who are ungodly.

If we’re already married to an unbeliever we need to fill our hearts and minds with God’s truth and seek to love them biblically while continuing to be salt and light. If we’re single we should only date someone who would be a godly spouse.

We need to choose our friends wisely. It’s not that we should never spend time with unbelievers, but our closest friends should be those who love God and will speak truth into our lives not tell us what we want to hear all the time.  Continue reading