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Until Death Do Us Part


"31 "It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 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."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an honor and privilege to have you here with us today. Prayer is so important, and our most powerful weapon against the adversary. In fact, I believe that a praying church on their knees is far more powerful than an army of their feet! We are so thankful your prayers and continue to pray for all of you. As we continue to work with a number of Middle-Eastern and Asian countries to introduce the Gospel of Jesus Christ, please continue to keep this ministry and those on the ground in these countries in your prayers.

In our culture today, few subjects have had as much confusion, as much deception, as marriage and divorce, by the many different things that are being taught. Due to the fact that sin has entered into the world, and the church, it has become very easy to get lost in the myriad of false teaching and opinions of so-called experts.  So, to begin, allow me to say that I am not here to offer you my opinion, I am simply here to tell you what the clear Word of God says regarding this subject of divorce and remarriage. 

Throughout our study of Matthew chapter 5, our Lord has been confronting the scribes and the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day, to illustrate to them that their standards of righteousness were, at best, inadequate. Verse by verse, He has been alluding to the fact it is not enough to maintain an external form of righteousness before God. He has repeatedly stated that you may well have avoided sin in terms of the external act, but if you’ve ever had the thought, technicalities aside, you are just as guilty of committing the act. To further illustrate this, He has used the phrases "It was said, you have heard, and you have heard that it was said." In other words, according to your teachers, according to the things that you believe, according to the rabbinic tradition, if you do these things, then you’ll be righteous before God. 

Based upon their wrong interpretation of Scripture, a  husband could divorce his wife, if in his eyes he had a good reason to get rid of her. That is to say, that if she did something he didn’t like, let him divorce her. In other words, they had turned around the meaning of the Scripture to force the idea that there be a divorce. By misinterpreting Deuteronomy 24, they taught that if you find something about your wife that’s obnoxious, you’re commanded to divorce her. This was the dominate view in the time of our Lord.

In Matthew 19:7, they came to Jesus and said "Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?" In their mind it was a command, they had rightly interpreted Deuteronomy chapter 24. I believe that this gives us some insight into how the Jewish people interpreted the Old Testament. What is amazing is, that they had turned verse 1 into a command. In the Targum of Palestine, written in the first century A.D., we find this interpretation given by the rabbis was exactly this. It is even more amazing, that is exactly translated that way in the King James, though that is not what the Hebrew text is saying. 

Jesus, knowing their interpretation, confronts them in our passage today. In His Word, God gave us everything we need to use it to speak life. We must preach the truth to restore, not to destroy. We must stop using God's Word to speak lies and deceit.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word, Your clear truth. We have thank You that You have instructed us in Your Word that divorce is a destructive, that it does irreparable damage. Help us to understand and communicate that You never commanded it, in fact, You hate it. May we realize that in Your Word, You've given us truth that it's always an issue of sin. Lord, we know that You have given us Your Word to deal with the consequences, to help us follow Your truth, not to buy into the lies being propagated by the world. Thank You for reminding us, that You have said that if husbands will love their wives as Christ loved the church and wives will submit to their husbands in a humble way, divorce will not happen.

Father, I pray, that You grant these dear people with us today, the necessary strength to fulfill the vows they have made.  Lord, bless their marriages, help them to be committed and faithful, preserve them to that end, all for Your glory and for Christ's sake.
In Jesus' name we pray
Today's Message: Until Death Do Us Part
Open your Bibles with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5. As we continue in our study of this marvelous teaching of our Lord, we come to verses 31 and 32. Jesus confronts their misinterpretation with the proper interpretation, revealing that they were really adulterous sinners. Any confusion about the subject of divorce, whether then or now, is not because God has not given us very clear instruction in the Bible. Rather, it's because sin has entered into the world, and has confused the simplicity of what God has said in His Word. The difficulty is not with God, the difficulty is with man's lack of standards.
I believe the problem is that our society has opened up the flood gates, and as a result, there has been attack after attack on the family. It doesn't require a theological degree to see that Satan is doing everything he can possibly to attack the family. We need to understand that from the very onset of our study. There is a very clear pattern here, all the trends that have been occurring in our society are causing the destruction of the family. Now, I understand this will be very controversial for some of you, and it won't be the first time something I've said is controversial.

I believe, one major problem is married women with young children working outside the home. Clinical studies have shown, by working outside the home, they are sacrificing either the quality of work or the quality of child rearing. Another trend occurring in our society is the tendency for families to move frequently. Young people have no sense of roots, no sense of extended family, or friendships. The average family moves approximately every five years. 
Another problem, I believe, is the lack of parental control. In other words, we no longer have any moral standards. And, studies have shown when a society has no moral standards, what invariably results is deep moral confusion, a rise in violent crimes and rampant sexual perversion. Sound familiar? Another problem, is with the invasion of technology and electronic devices, there is a lack of communication in the home. Parents spend more time online, and on their cell phones and children spend more time on video games and cell phones, then communicating with each other. 
However, the number one reason I believe is divorce. Over 13 million children under the age of 18 have one or both parents that are missing. Divorce occurs in every 1.8 marriages.The divorce rate has risen 700% in this century and continues to rise still today! The divorce rate increased 236% from 1960 to 1980. Now, there are over 1.2 million per year, and the rate is rising! I read somewhere recently, that in the United States, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds, and that study was a few years old. The quality of family life continues to deteriorate, at an ever increasing rate. And divorce is the number one contributor. I can assure you, this was not the Lord's intention when He designed the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is not just the unity of two individuals through paper and the law but rather, a sacred covenant with the Lord. There are plenty of pastors today, who will marry anybody to anybody under any circumstances. People are marrying the wrong people for the fulfillment of fleshly desire with little or no thought given to its consequence. The result is self-centered, sinful carnal people who cannot sustain right relationships. 
More than ever, I believe the church has to take a firm biblical stand on marriage. The Bible says God hates divorce, so I'm in agreement with Him. I hate divorce for what it does to children, the family, and society. 

Back to Matthew chapter 5, I believe this is the key to the scribes and Pharisees understanding of divorce, was based upon their misinterpretation of adultery. That's why Jesus confronted their view of adultery and says "When you get a divorce, you’re committing adultery." With little more than a cursory look at Deuteronomy 24, it does not say that Moses commanded people to divorce their wives, but they had constructed a whole theology justifying divorce in all sorts of circumstances. 

There are some people, who are teaching no divorce at all for anybody, under any circumstance. Others are teaching, yes to divorce under certain circumstances but no remarriage, under any circumstance, ever, for any reason. And, others are teaching yes to divorce and yes to remarriage, to anyone for any reason. It's all good. Still, others are teaching yes to both divorce and remarriage, but only under certain circumstances. So, there you have four separate views on divorce and remarriage. It's no wonder why people are needlessly confused!
In Matthew 5:31-32, two very simple verses, Jesus Christ sets the whole record straight. I invite you to follow along with me as I read these two verses, as we prepare our hearts for the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Matthew 5:31-32. Listen for the voice of our Lord.
"It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 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."

As you will remember, Jesus has been unmasking the hypocrisy and facing the sins of the scribes and Pharisees. They were unable to keep God's standard so they created their own and called it God's standard. Jesus has been confronting them with their error. God has a very clear command regarding marriage and divorce, the attitude of God was never in question. The problem is, they had essentially dragged God down to their level and to make it even worse, they misinterpreted the Bible to make it fit their standards. In other words, they wanted to justify their sin. And so what you have in verse 31 is their own misinterpretation of God's law and what you have in verse 32 is His view. In other words what you have heard is wrong, what I'm telling you is right.
That is exactly what Jesus has been doing in the Sermon on the Mount, in order to lay these people bare and naked as sinners before God, He says your interpretations of God's Truth are all wrong, because you twist and pervert the Word of God for self-justification. Jesus is forcing them to recognize their sinfulness, by not allowing them to get by with reducing the law of God to a level that they can attain. 

Some time ago, someone said to me, "If we can just stop divorce and remarriage we can clean up the church." And, while that may be true, the Bible does not say anywhere, there is to be no divorce, for any reason. You cannot just invent a viewpoint in the Bible that does not exist!  If we start making up new doctrine to fit the problems of our world, then, we are inventing a new Bible. And, you cannot do that, so, you have to deal with what the Bible says. You have to deal with what Scripture says, the way Scripture says it.

First, you have to deal with the issue of marriage. In Genesis 2:18, "Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." And, in verses 21 and 22, we find that "So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man."
In verses 23 and 24, "The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
What God is ordaining here, from the very beginning, is one partner female and one partner male, in a monogamous union. A marriage between a man and a woman. I do not believe there is any confusion about that here. One man, one woman. Then, notice "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." This is the way God intended it to be, "be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." One man and one woman, become one flesh. 
In other words, they become glued together, becoming one single individual, as it were. God created sex and procreation to be the fullness of expression of that oneness. Many people today, have no conception of what God intended. Sex is merely an act, and it doesn't matter with whom they indulge in it. I believe if people really understood God's definition of marriage they would realize that a divorce is like sawing a person in half. That's why Matthew 19:6 says "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Marriage, adultery, divorce and remarriage are major issues in the society in which we live. Today, marriage is not always under God, a commitment to cling to each other until death. Our society has distorted the fundamental basis of marriage. Not many hold to the value of a promise, to a commitment. We have a host of convenient excuses for not keeping our word.
We value pleasure above fidelity, inconstancy above loyalty, selfishness above generosity, and precariousness above responsibility. In our decaying society, we've become a generation marked by instant gratification, we want our fun and we want it now, no matter the cost. If something or someone no longer serves our present desire, just get rid of it. Despite what the culture thinks, marriage was not designed exclusively for your happiness, marriage was designed primarily to be an illustration on a human level of a divine relationship. Marriage is symbolic of the relation between Christ and His church. 
We cannot expect a fallen world to understand this, but for God's sake, His people need to understand it. In recent years, I've noticed an increasing number of Christians divorcing, I have to question whether or not Christians understand their calling. We have denuded marriage from its divine perspective. Divorce violates what God has designed for marriage. Furthermore, divorce is never God’s way to resolve marital conflict. In His Word, God set the standard for marriage, it has never changed. If both husband and wife are right with God, then you can make the relationship work.
Hebrews 13 makes it clear, "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
If we look at Hosea, he was to be faithful to his vow, no matter the pain, no matter her unfaithfulness, no matter the excruciating agony, no matter the cost, he was to be faithful to his harlot, debauched, vile wife, no matter what she did. God set for us the standard of relationship in a marriage, as is the image of God’s relationship to His people. It is a permanent relationship. By the way, I do not believe for one moment that God forced Gomer into her harlotry to be an illustration, rather His sovereignty worked with her own will. I won't go into the details of the story, but the point is God’s unchanging love, which is based upon His character. God is saying, "This is how I love you!" Thank God, He doesn't bail out on us because of our unfaithfulness! As for Israel, God will yet restore that wayward wife. In our society today, one wrong move and you’re out. That is not the way a Christian is to respond, our reaction should be always forgiveness. 
Matthew chapter 1 is another perfect illustration, Joseph could have divorced Mary, if she in fact had been adulterous. He could have done what was legalistic, and could have technically divorced her. I believe we are to look beyond that, and the grace and the mercy and the forgiveness of God. There is only one legitimate cause for divorce, but even that is only a technicality when compared with Hosea.

It is amazing to me how when we as Christians sin, God sustains us with one hand and chastens us with the other. God is faithful to keep His covenant. God still loves us, even when we’re unlovable. As those who claim to represent Him, should we not do the same? I believe we've missed the point of Genesis, missed the point of Hosea and have traded God's divine perspective for a worldly perspective. Here, in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus is confronting the scribes and Pharisees hypocritical religious standards, that were consistent with their legalistic approach. A bill of divorcement gave them the legal freedom to remarry. So, He is ripping the cloak off of their self-righteousness. Jesus is showing them, that is not what God's Word teaches at all.
Moses was not advocating divorce, but not to marry somebody defiled by adultery. That is exactly what Jesus is saying, God allows divorce in the case of adultery. In any other case, it leads to adultery beyond the sinful divorce. But that it's not necessary because a greater response to it would be to love, even as Christ loves the Church. They had perverted God's divine standard, and  in doing so, Jesus points to them as sinners.
So, in verse 32, Jesus says  "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." Jesus is saying "I’m telling you, you are not only adulterers but you’re making other people adulterers, by divorcing when you have no right for a divorce. Not only are you committing adultery, you're making them commit adultery. Because remarriage is inevitable, they consummate an adulterous relationship." In other words, you not only make your wife an adulterer, but when you remarry, you become an adulterer. Divorce leads everybody into sin, you're causing adultery all over the place. What an indictment!
In Matthew 19, "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."
The disciples got it. Look at the next verse, "The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry." But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given." In other words, when you go into marriage, make sure you’re going into it with a commitment to stay there. Because some can handle being single, but not everyone can.  He's assuming remarriage.  
Every time God mentions something in the Bible, doesn't mean He says everything there is to say on the subject. You cannot force God's Word to say everything on every subject, that's where you get into trouble. By the way, the term "fornication" is commonly used to encompass the word "adultery," and any kind of unlawful sexual relationship, whether with a man, woman or God forbid, a child or animal. The Greek word "porneia" is the same. By the way, according to the twentieth chapter of Leviticus, the death penalty was imposed upon marriage used for incest, sodomy, bestiality, every forbidden shameful sexual activity. So, God allows the technicality of divorce as a concession to the evil of men. 
To be very clear, Jesus never advocates divorce. He is only acknowledging there are times when it does not lead to adultery. Once you’ve tried every conceivable way to reconcile, to forgive and put it back together. Then you’re free, and if you remarry again it won’t be adultery. God's ideal design is still a monogamous, lifelong marriage.
In Closing..
Over the years, I've had a number of people say to me "I’m a Christian now, and I’ve got an unsaved spouse. And, I've met this terrific Christian at church, can I divorce my spouse and remarry this Christian?" Look, just because you've become a Christian and your spouse hasn’t, but they want to stay married, no, you stay and don't divorce. The best thing you can do for an unsaved spouse it to remain in that marriage and influence them, especially if you have children. Be God’s representative in your family.When people come to Christ and are married to an unsaved spouse, the first thing they want to do is shed them and get a Christian mate. Let me remind you that the pervasiveness of God’s presence is going to be of benefit in their life. However, if the unbelieving partner leaves, then let them go. 

That's is what Paul is saying in I Corinthians 7, "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." And, in Romans 7, he says "For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man." In other words, God does not want you to try to hold on to somebody who hates everything you believe in. That would not be peaceful. 
God does not condone divorce. He hates it. God looks at the heart. The moment you start playing around with technicalities, you’re going to come out a Pharisee!

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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