Q. I was wondering if you could please give me some insight as to where the scriptures back up the belief of not entering Heaven if you are married to a person who has been married before and the person they were married to still being alive.
I have been married for almost 10 years to a man that has divorced 2 times in the past. However, I am told that since the 2 women he had married before are still alive, this makes me an adulteress because technically in the eyes of God, his wife is really the first lady he had married.
We are both saved now and have been for almost 3 years, I do not want anything to be in the way of my going to Heaven or his. Could you please help me to understand this better.
A. The Scripture being quoted to you is Matt. 5:31-32 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.” He repeated this admonition in Matt. 19:9 As you can see there is nothing there about being excluded from heaven.
The purpose of Matt. 5 is to clarify what constitutes a sin. In verses 21-22 Jesus said that our anger is sufficient to make us guilty of murder. In verses 27-28 he said that our lust is sufficient to make us guilty of adultery. And in comparing divorce to adultery in verses 31-32, He was identifying divorce as a sin as well.
He was also correcting the mistaken opinion among the people that as long as they obtained a certificate of divorce, they hadn’t sinned by dissolving a marriage. He was showing us that our behavior, even if it meets the external requirements of the law, is not good enough to escape the penalties of the law, because it’s the motives of our heart that matter. That’s why we need a savior.
When we sin, we appeal to the One who came not to condemn the world but to save us from our sins, and allow His blood to wash us clean. When we do that the sin is forgiven and forgotten and the slate is wiped clean. It’s as if we never sinned at all. (1 John 1:9)
It’s not our sins that keep us from heaven. It’s our unwillingness to confess our sins so we can be forgiven that will keep us from heaven.
If you’re truly saved, then all your sins are forgiven and your place in heaven is assured.