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Ask The Pastor

John, [Editor's note: name has been changed to preserve anonymity.]

I'll break what you shared into parts so that I can speak to various issues.

> Question:
>
> Hello, I am a born again christain with a problem. My problem is
> this..I got saved in January of 2000, and a month later my wife gave her
> heart to Jesus also..we had marital problems before we accepted the
> Lord, and they continued..in May of 2000 my wife left me for another
> man..here is where my problem begins..

I'm very sorry to hear this.

> We got saved in a "Old Time" Pentecostal church..dont get me wrong..I
> love my church and I still go there...only thing is ..they dont believe
> i can ever remarry as long as my wife lives....(she is in jail facing 21
> years for Malicious Wounding)..

Sure you can remarry. I'll explain further in the rest of my email.

Some of this depends upon whether your wife was ever a true believer. I don't mean this as a cop out, but it does have a major part in how you are to approach things. And it isn't a matter that a born again person is incapable of sinning. It is a matter of recognizing if a person has actually received their birth from above. The major sign that a person is born again is that they will have a new nature. If a person can continue in a life style of sin, this is proof positive that they never received life from above.

> I have made every effort to rewin my wife to Jesus but she has steadily
> declined into drugs and the party life...

See the difficulty. The apostle said that no one who is born from above can continue in a life style of sin. This is why it is so important to understand the difference between being born again, and someone simply having a religious experience. This is a major problem area for pentecostals. Because of such a stress on the emotions, a person may not actually be born from above. We should never gauge our birth-from-above on our emotions. It goes much deeper than that.

But neither am I telling you to give up hope. This is a case where you need a sense of direction from the Holy Spirit.

> Doesnt Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 and 1 Corinthians 7-15 say that i
> am not bound to her...

Let me deal with each Scripture separately. Matthew 5:32 says a divorce is permissible where there is 'sexual immorality' involved. If you wife has committed adultery, that is what defiled the marriage. In this case you are permitted to remarry.

By the way, the Bible says that God divorced Israel over her immorality, so we can be sure this same standard applies to God's people today. (See Jeremiah 3:8)

Matthew 19:9 is saying the same thing. The Lord allows divorce when the covenant of marriage has been defiled. The reason is because divorce itself is not what actually breaks the spiritual bond of a marriage. Adultery does this. So the spiritual bond was broken before the divorce. (Of course repentance and forgiveness can also have a part in this.)

1 Corinthians 7:15 is dealing with a different situation. If a believer has an unbelieving spouse, and the unbelieving spouse wishes not to live with the believer, and leaves, then the marriage covenant is no longing 'binding.' This simply means that the believer is not under bondage in a marriage to an unbeliever. The believer can remarry, but only in the Lord.

> i have 2 kids under 4 years old and they need a motherly influence in
> their life..but i dont want to sin by remarrying..

From what you have share with me, it appears to me that you are free to remarry. And, yes, your children do need a 'godly' mother in their lives. You need to have a sense of direction from the Lord, but don't let others put you under condemnation by injecting their thoughts into your situation. While your friends may be well, sometimes a lack of understanding the Scriptures can create a greater problem.

> (My church holds the position that Christ was speaking of a Jewish
> Espousal period when he said "Cept for! cause of fornication")..is this
> biblical?..

It could apply but not necessarily. The espousal period was considered just as sacred as the completed marriage, however, the Lord gave no indication that the He was addressing this period.

> Please help me and pray...thanks

I hope this has helped a bit. Feel free to discuss this with me further. I may be able to give you more personal counsel.

The Lord bless you,

Buddy

Bro. Buddy Martin - Ask the Pastor

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
Lawrence "Buddy" Martin
email: Bro.Buddy@ChristianChallenge.org
Web: http://www.ChristianChallenge.org

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318-640-4300