I have been living with my girlfriend for the past year and have had a relationship for 3 years. We live together as man and wife but with no official ceremony. A friend(former) and I recently quarreled over the status of my relationship and he pointed out in Corinthians the prohibition against fornication. Ironically I am now inclined to agree with my former friend that I should be officially married to the woman I live with, but I still fail to see why God would care more about a ceremony and a band of gold rather than honest love and commitment between one man and one woman. I would be grateful for your perspective on this matter. If I abide in this relationship the Bible states I will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Does this mean that even though I believe I will go to Hell instead?
It’s not the ceremony or ring that counts with God, these are man made devices. What matters to God is the commitment they symbolize. It says the two of you have officially become one before God and man. Continuing in your current relationship cannot cause you to lose your salvation, and nowhere does the Bible say that. It says all the sins of your life were forgiven at the cross (Colossians 2:13-14) and your salvation was guaranteed the moment you believed (Ephesians 1:13-14).
But it also says God is pleased when we live according to His standards and blesses us for doing so. His standards are one man, one woman, one life. Many feel an official wedding ceremony is the best way to convey that idea to the world. If you’re persuaded that’s the way to go then you should follow through with it.