“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Cor 6:14
Does this passage forbid a Christian from marrying a non-Christian? Some people say it has nothing to do without marriage but refers to joining in idolatrous worship. I would answer that marrying a non-believer falls under the broader principle of not being unequally joined with others – in business, family, religion. It’s a recipe for disaster.
The troubles begin when we fail to heed the wisdom of God. One way the trouble becomes apparent is when we marry those who don’t love the Lord. Often this ends in divorce. Then it gets really hard. Don’t marry someone who isn’t going to help you get to heaven.
The reality concerning marriage, which is ignored or dismissed by those caught up in appeasement, is that marriage is for life. Jesus said, “what God has joined together let no man separate” (Mt. 19). There are many who are not heeding Jesus’ words and look for some escape from a previous marriage. A divorce paper doesn’t erase what is recorded by God. A person can get a divorce down here on earth, but must remain unmarried because God hasn’t released the person from the marriage.
“10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.”, 1 Cor. 7:10,11.
Paul shows that only remaining single or being reconciled/remarried will please God. There are sins that have long-term consequences regardless if we are forgiven for past mistakes.
A few years ago I thought a friend might be moving to Phoenix and so I did some investigating to find a Biblically sound congregation. By phone I spoke with a preacher at a large congregation in Phoenix and asked him a number of questions, including the hypothetical question about a preacher in the congregation running off with the church secretary: what would the congregation be obligated to do? He answered that the church would disfellowship. I said, OK, now say the two don’t repent, putting away the sin, but instead stay together and marry: what would the church do then if the married couple came back five years later to place membership? He said they would be accepted! All of this hypothetical is real enough and I proposed it all to the preacher from the Phoenix church. But he did not see the obvious error that a little or long bit of time doesn’t repair the sin when there’s been no repentance of putting away the sin.
In Matthew 19, Jesus said something that is more weighty than some want to admit. The Lord Jesus said that some will have to be without sexual relations for the rest of their life if they wish to go to heaven. The modern cultural appeasers don’t ever apply what Jesus clearly taught.
“10 The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”, Mt 19:10-12
Let’s admit that Jesus gave a very hard teaching with lasting ramifications. Some people were born eunuchs, some were made eunuchs, and some made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom. If Jesus didn’t mean for some people to never marry again, this would make no sense at all. A eunuch is someone who no longer has sexual relations. The continuing sexual relations in a second, unscriptural marriage, must be put away, abstained from, in order to go to heaven.
Concerning the liberal argument, what’s so hard about divorcing the wife of your youth, with committing treachery, and saying sorry and marrying someone else? What’s hard about that? Nothing. The disciples saw it different, saying, “if it’s like this, it’s better not to marry.” All of this is context in Matthew 19. The context of who can divorce and remarry and who can’t!
Finally, we should acknowledge this is a hard teaching and that some people don’t have the stomach for teaching something so hard. Actually, the liberals still fight, it’s just that they are fighting against Jesus Christ and against His people. Those who attack the church, as if we’re only following a tradition and not the truth, don’t really quit fighting: they just decided it’s easier to fight the sheep than to fight the wolves.