Is remarriage allowed after divorce?

The question has been asked whether one must get divorced if one has remarried. To address this, first we have to realize that God hates it when someone sets aside (divorces) the spouse of their youth. According to Malachi, no one who deals treacherously with their spouse and sets them aside has a remnant of the Lord. Malachi 2:13-16

13 “This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. 16 For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

Second, we must realize that Jesus was asked if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife FOR ANY REASON. This can be taken to mean is there any reason a man can divorce his wife, or to mean can a man divorce his wife for what ever reason he can come up with. Jesus said the only acceptable reason for divorce is adultery.

Matthew 19:3-9

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Paul told people to NOT divorce an unbelieving spouse, but if the unbelieving spouse leaves, the believer is not under bondage (no longer bound by marriage). This can only be the case because it was expected that an unbelieving spouse would seek to marry someone else.

1 Corinthians 7:12-15

12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.

We know God said to not be yoked to an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14), and that is often applied to say we should not marry an unbeliever. But we have explicit instructions to not set aside (initiate a divorce) an unbelieving spouse. But if we are set aside, that is, if we are divorced, by an unbeliever, then we are free from that marriage. In this case, we are no longer bound to that spouse. Having been divorced, then we are free to remarry.

Having said that, if someone says that if you have remarried, after you have divorced (regardless of whether one has biblical reasons for divorce), that you have to repent by getting divorced, this is essentially saying one must answer one sin with another sin to stop doing the first sin.

Some want to claim that remarriage after divorce is not recognized by God as a marriage, that it is adultery, but this simply is not the case. We KNOW this is not the case because we know the punishment for adultery in the old testament is death. Leviticus 20:10 ‘If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. But Deuteronomy 24:1-4 tells us remarriage is allowed after divorce, otherwise both of the people in the new marriage would be guilty of adultery and have to be put to death.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4

1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, 2 and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, 4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.

So a certificate of divorce recognizes the relationship between the two spouses has been severed and makes it so they can marry again, with the caveat that if one has remarried, they can not divorce and remarry their original spouse. Some want to say that remarriage is spoken against by Jesus. But in fact, Jesus said if one’s spouse commits adultery, one is free to divorce and remarry. Some want to say that anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. But we must take Matthew 19:3-9 (which we see above) along with Matthew 5:32,  Mark 10:11-12, and Luke 16:18. The obvious exception to that is when one’s spouse adulterates the marriage covenant by committing adultery with someone else. Additionally, looking at the scriptures together, one can see  that divorcing someone and marrying someone else (essentially, leaving one spouse for another) is adultery. In the same way, who ever marries someone who divorced their spouse to marry them also commits adultery – adulterating the pre-existing marriage.

Matthew 5:32
but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Mark 10:11-12
 11 And He *said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12 and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

Luke 16:18

18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

These passages are saying that divorcing someone in order to marry someone else is the same thing as committing adultery. If you divorce, except because your spouse committed adultery, and remarry, then you are committing adultery. Additionally, if an unbeliever divorces you, then you are free to marry.  Once divorced for a valid reason, so long as it was not to marry someone else, then you are free to remarry.

All sin is forgivable, but you must repent and turn to God through faith in Christ

ALL sin (except rejecting Christ until you die) is forgivable. However one MUST REPENT of sin and turn to God through faith in Christ. without repentance, there is no forgiveness.

Acts 26:20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Acts 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.

Christ is the one God gave to grant repentance and forgiveness.

Acts 5:31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

If we believe, we receive forgiveness of sins.
Acts 10:43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.

But belief MEANS obedience to Christ (ie, stop sinning).
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

If we believe, we will confess our sins and be forgiven.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But if you do not have the belief, which leads to obedience, then you have the wrath of God still upon you regardless of what you say or do.
John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And people in those situations will be judged and enter the lake of fire.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:16-23 (NASB)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Revelation 21:7-8 (NASB)
7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.


Some would say “Repentance is between the sinner and God (or possibly a person the sinner has offended). It isn’t up to US to determine who gets to be forgiven, or under which set of visible conditions. I think a lot of people on this board miss that. WE (Christians) don’t have the right to decide the repentance level of someone’s heart before deigning to socialize with them. Or show them a basic level of respect.”

But CHRIST said otherwise.
Matthew 18:15-17
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 

Luke 17:3-4
3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

PAUL taught otherwise.
1 Corinthians 5:1-2
1It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

We must let people know they need Christ. If someone claims to be a Christian, they must know they need to stop sinning.

John 3:16 does not say man can choose to believe or not

Many try to use John 3:16 to say that God gives man a chance to believe or disbelieve in Christ. But no where does that verse say this.

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 does not say man has a choice. It explains that God loved His creation (universe) or the collection of those who would believe (depending on your understanding of the meaning of ‘world’), that He gave His only Son so who ever believes in Christ will have eternal life. It is a description of those who have eternal life – anyone who believes. That does not mean man has a choice – just that those who  believe have eternal life.

Different meanings of the word ‘world’

In John 3:16, we see

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

The original word translated as “world” in Greek is ‘Kosmos’. These are the various definitions for that word, and we will look at examples of these different definitions in scripture:

  1. an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
  2. ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens.
    1 Peter 3:3

    Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;

  3. the world, the universe

    Matthew 24:21

    21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

  4. the circle of the earth, the earth

    Matthew 4:8

    Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;

  5. the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
  6. the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ

    This is the ‘world’ – those who do not trust Christ.

    John 14:17

    17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

    John 15:19

    19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

    John 17:9,14

    I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;

    14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

    2 Peter 2:5

    and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;

    1 John 3:13

    13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.

  7. world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
    1. the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
  8. any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
    1. the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
    2. of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16-17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

      John 1:29

      29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God whotakes away the sin of the world!

      John 3:16-17

      16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

      John 6:33

      33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

      2 Corinthians 5:19

      19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation



1 Timothy 2:3-4 and 2 Peter 3:9

How does the idea that Christ died for the elect  line up with 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 ?

First we have to recognize that the connotation of a word is determined by the context. There are times when the phrases “all” or “everyone” or “whole world” do not automatically mean “every individual in the entire world.”

We see one example in Luke 2:1-3

 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earthThis was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Obviously “all the inhabited earth” did not mean “every inhabitant of the world.” Caesar’s decree did not apply to people who were not of the Roman empire, so it could not have means everyone in the world. The context for both “all the inhabited earth” and “everyone” was limited to those of the Roman empire.

A second example is when the Pharisees were speaking about everyone following Christ in John 12:19

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

The world did not go after Him – only those who followed Christ did, there were plenty left (in the local area and in the entire world) who did not – including the Pharisee who spoke and the one who heard it.

A third example is seen in Mark 1:32

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.

 We know not all the sick and demon-possessed of the world were brought to Jesus. So “all” doesn’t always mean “all”.

Another example is Matthew 8:16

16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill .

“All” were not healed – only all of those who were brought to Christ. The context limits the meaning of the word.

A fifth example would ‘everyone’ in  Mark 1:35-37

35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”

Obviously not everyone in the world was looking for Jesus – only a lot of people in the crowd of people who had been with Jesus the day before.

Now, having shown that the scope of the word “all” is limited by the context, we need to look and see what the context of  2 Peter 3:9.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We can see Peter was speaking of God being long suffering toward us, believers.  Since the context is believers, the “all” refers to all believers, not all people.  We see that God is long suffering toward us – toward believers. He is not willing that any who would come to believe should perish, but all who would come to believe should come to repentance.

What about the context of 1 Timothy 2:3-4? We only have to look back a few sentences before this passage to see what Paul was speaking about.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 tells us that christ came into the world to save sinners, and that Christ’s perfect patience is an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Just like Peter was speaking about believers in 2 Peter 3:9, so too was Paul was speaking about believers . The context limits the scope of “all” to “those who would believe in Him for eternal life. ”

So yeah, Christ died for believers.

When did it become wrong to fear God?

When did it become a bad thing to fear God?

I see so many pastors (famous men) preaching that somehow people have to have to “right” motivation to have “true” Christian faith.

Somehow if people want to avoid hell but do not want to have a relationship, they have “phony” faith. Some people START with fear of God, and God moves them towards love for God. When did that become wrong?

It seems to me that we should fear God. Too many Christians want to have a genie of a God but do not want to leave sin behind. They do not FEAR the wrath of God, but want to have a “friend in Jesus”.

It used to be that hell fire and brimstone preaching led many people to faith in Christ. People left alcoholism or adulterous relationships for Christ because of fear of hell. These days, people who are wanting to avoid hell, who are afraid of what God might do to them if they do not get right with God, are condemned for having the wrong motivation.

But God’s word TELLS us to fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28

 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

It seems to me that people need to repent, turn to God through faith in Christ, and have deeds which demonstrate repentance.

Acts 26:20

20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Does it really matter if they do that because they love God or because they fear God’s wrath? Is one motivation really better than the other? I have known children who love to please their parents and so obey because of they love their parents. I have known children who fear punishment more than they desire to do what they would be punished for, so they obey because they fear their parents’ wrath. Which is better? I think each is effective and good and needed – for that individual person. The same is true for God’s children. One motivation is not better or worse.



Here is an article someone wrote about the dangers of Harry Potter. I thought it might prove useful to some…
“I am writing this urgent message because I was once a witch. I lived by the stars as an astrologer and numerologist casting horoscopes and spells. I lived in the mysterious and shadowy realm of the occult. By means of spells and magic, I was able to invoke the powers of the “controlling unknown” and fly upon the night winds transcending the astral plane. Halloween was my favorite time of the year and I was intrigued and absorbed in the realm of Wiccan witchcraft. All of this was happening in the decade of the 1960’s when witchcraft was just starting to come out of the broom closet.”



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