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October 2, 2022 7:00 pm
Problems with Dighton with me if you want to 10 chapter Gospel Mark will start out verses 1 to 12 and he left there he went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan crowds gathered to him again and again, as was his custom, he taught them Pharisees came up in order to test him.
I ask, is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife he answered them. What did Moses command you said Moses allowed Amanda Rogers certificate of divorce to send her away. Jesus said to them, because of your hardness of heart.
He wrote you this commandment, but from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and holding fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder in the house. The disciples asked him again about this matter and he said to them, whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her and she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery that with me as we got our Lord in prayer. Heavenly father will lift up Kim Beauchamp as she is now in the Dominican Republic and will be there this whole week they'll be working with medical teams and also Lord given the opportunity to share the gospel.
Pray that you will bless their efforts this week and keep them safe.
Father I pray for the victims of the hurricane this week that she would be with them. Help them Lord to get back in their homes as soon as possible.
And Lord be with those who have lost loved ones. As result of that this week and ministered them give them comfort. Heavenly father day we study the teachings of Jesus on the subject of marriage.
Marriage is been horribly denigrated in our society so denigrated that often couples decide to avoid it. Instead of embrace it. We will also be studying our Lord's teaching on divorce. Father I pray for those who have gone through the hail of divorce.
We pray for healing and restoration.
Also pray for those who are contemplating divorce, they would understand the biblical grounds would trust you for guidance. If possible, avoid it, pray for husbands in this congregation may remember our calling to be spiritual, physical and emotional leaders in our homes.
Father helped the wives in our church to understand and embrace the calling to be submissive to their husbands. Lord, give us marriages that would honor you and fill our hearts with joy. 40 is the precious holy name of Jesus that we pray.
Amen. You may be seated on starting this message with a an illustration that I've used for 30 years and premarital counseling always uses illustration. The very first session of premarital counseling because all of the couple to come to grips with the strength and the importance of marriage. BB Warfield was a professor at Princeton theological seminary is a brilliant theologian, also a great author. Some of you have his books. One of my favorites that he wrote was the inspiration and authority of Scripture to great great book, but he went to Princeton seminary when he was finished his professors asked him if he would consider being a professor they are in and I gave him a job when long after that he decided to get married got married and took his wife on a honeymoon to Switzerland while they were in Switzerland.
She was struck by lightning and she was paralyzed from the neck down. They came back to United States. I went to one doctor after another. Each doctor said there is absolutely no hope of recovery.
So he went and he bought a house. It was right next to the campus and then he went to the authorities. They are at the school when he says I need to set up my teaching schedule so that I will not be away from my wife more than two hours at a time and they worked all that out. This was a man who did everything for his wife. He fed her with a spoon and a fork.
Every meal that they ate a base her. He closed her he picks her up in the morning, took her out of bed, put her in her chair.
That evening they would put her back into the bed.
He loved his wife with all of his heart. He was a great and in just as a steady theologian.
He had invitations all over the world come in and come to their place and teach and he always refused.
He said no I will not leave my wife by herself with anybody else. Mrs. Warfield passed away at age 80. They had been married for 60 years. When she was struck by lightning on their honeymoon.
That was the last of their marital intimacy. It was to be no more but he stayed with her and he took care of her and he loved her, as Christ loved the church. It was a radical unselfish love and commitment. What a message to the culture that we live in today. Maybe Warfield said, is not about self-actualization. It's not about personal happiness is not about self-fulfillment it's about obedience to the Lord and it's about loving your wife as Christ loved the church, BB Warfield died hundred one years ago.
To say that attitudes have changed since his day would be a vast understatement. Roderick Wilkin used to be the president of Columbia Bible College and the time that he was there. Columbia Bible College is putting out more missionaries than any other per capita than any others Bible school in the United States.
He had been a missionary himself.
We have a mission conference and my former church. I asked him to comment be the keynote speaker. He did it was absolutely amazing. He was a man of God, his wife several years ago contracted Alzheimer's disease.
What did he do, he immediately resigned his position as the president of the school and he came back to take care of his wife. He stayed with her day in day out for the first five years. Her memory was going down but when the five year mark hit got much, much worse, for she had no memory at all and she did not even recognize him. She had no idea who he was. People came to him and said Dr. McCook, and you should go back to your job. Somebody can stay with her. She doesn't know you are anyway. He said no no I will not do that.
He said she does not know me but I know her and I made a commitment to her that I would love her even as Christ also loved the church. That's a testimony that grips my heart United States in the year 2022, almost 60% of marriages end in divorce that didn't include all the people who just live in with each other outside of marriage. If it's a second marriage, the number goes up to 80%.
That end up in divorce, but the last 25 years in Mecklenburg County have been more divorces than there have been marriages in the second chapter the book of Malachi. The Scripture says and this is God speaking. He hates divorce, and then say that he hates divorce. People says he hates divorce because he knows the consequences of divorce in Ecclesiastes chapter 5 in verse verses four through six. We have a section of Scripture there that teaches us about the danger that the danger of breaking vials all read this to you. Solomon said this when you valve out to God. Do not delay paying it for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vile, it is better that you should not vile that you should bow and not pay. Let not your mouth, lead you into sin and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake.
Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the works of your hands, and premarital counseling. Always start with a deep deep look at Ecclesiastes chapter 5 that God takes vials seriously when you stand before a congregation. Are you stand before a judge. Are you stand before a pastor and you stand before God and you make of vile to marry this person. You need to take that seriously, you need to take it seriously, because later on. You might want to say where we got irreconcilable differences God just kind of outgrown this marriage.
I'm not happy with this person anymore and I need to move on folks when we say that we are in danger of God destroying the works of our hands.
In Romans chapter 1, the apostle Paul is teaching us about the process of reprobation and he says that when a person or culture start starts backing away from God, then God step-by-step gives them over to a reprobate mind and in verse 31. The Scripture says that they become people who are breaking the covenant, they are covenant breakers and Ecclesiastes 5 tells us that the result of that is that God will destroy the works of their hands. But as we become a covenant breaking nation people don't keep promises anymore. Politicians will live to us in a heartbeat now tell you they're going to do this and they're going to do that and and they don't care whether they get it done or not.
They just want to give you that promises they can get elected or reelected. People make business deals may be the buying of a piece of property they used to do that and then they would seal that deal with a handshake do that anymore. That takes about 30 pages of documents that have to be sailed because I know people don't keep their promises.
Worst of all, there's covenant breaking in marriage, divorce is common it's acceptable it's done flippantly and is done little regard to God's commands get Hughes has some tremendous insight into the failure of marriage in our day and time and I will read a few of his comments to you because they are true and they should be deeply convicting these gave a quote from a book that's written by two people judge John I. Adams, and Nancy Williams, and the books entitled divorce, how and when to let go. Listen to what he said.
Your marriage can wear out people change their values and lifestyles. People will experience new things change is part of life change and personal growth are traits for you to be proud of indicative of a vital searching mind.
You must accept the reality that in today's multifaceted world.
It is especially easy for two persons to grow apart, letting go of your marriage if it is no longer fulfilling can be the most successful thing you've ever done getting divorce can be a positive problem-solving growth oriented step. It can be a personal triumph. My pastoral experience has confirmed this over and over again said Ken Hughes is with a professing Christian woman who wrote me saying that though she had no biblical grounds for divorce.
She knew it was God's will because now that she was out of the relationship.
She was growing. She had never been happier in her life, and this would be best for her brokenhearted husband to she was praying that God would give him a wife who would loving helping grow her divorce. According to her was a healthy active love.
What a tragedy elevation of one's own self-fulfillment as the ultimate good functionality reduces God's word to an optional guidebook to meet one's emotional needs. The inerrant Bible is replaced with a humanistic value system in Christians lives.
This era is deadly that backgrounds take a look at the text I got four points and I will share with you this morning. Number one is the test look with me at verse two and Pharisees came up in order to test him ask, is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife. The Pharisees were weasels they were conniving, scheming, deceitful weasels and wanted asked Jesus this question not because they wanted to know the truth.
They wanted asked Jesus's question because they knew that no matter what answer he gave he was going get himself in trouble.
They also knew that King Herod animus and stolen away from his brother Philip stolen his wife. His name was Herodias and she divorced Philip and she married King Herod animus John the Baptist came along.
John called Herod animus out on that because this is wrong before God. Herodias got mad at that heading thrown in prison and then it had his head chopped off, I think the Pharisees had this in mind. Jesus condemns divorce and Herod very well may chop his head off the sermon on the Mount, Jesus had publicly stated his stance on divorce and the Pharisees knew exactly where Jesus stood. Jesus said this in Matthew 531 32 is also said whoever divorces his wife, leading give them a certificate of divorce but I save you that everyone who divorces his wife except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery now in Jesus's day.
There were two prevailing thoughts on divorce and those thoughts came from particular interpretations of Moses words that he spoke in Deuteronomy 4124 we read that to you.
When a man takes a wife and marries her if she finds no favor in his eyes because he has failed some indecency on what you think about that particular word indecency in her any rights or a certificate of divorce and he puts it in her hand and sends her out of the house and she departs out of his house and if she goes and becomes another man's wife, and the letter man hates her and writes her certificate of divorce puts it in her hand and sends her out of the house with the letter man dies who took her to be his wife and her former husband is in her way.
May not take her again to be his wife.
After she's been defiled for. That's an abomination before the Lord in Jesus day there was a conservative branch of Pharisees call the school Shema. They believe that there was only one grounds of biblical grounds for divorce and that was adultery, that if a man or woman went off, they were sexually active with a another person, not their spouse then that was grounds for the innocent party to to get a divorce and leave that marriage. There was another group called the school of Hill Lail. They were the liberal group in the school for Lail took that word indecency that I pointed out to your mom to go. They took that word and they they said this about it. If the wife does something that might embarrass or disgrace or displease or frustrate or aggravate the husband and the husband has a legitimate calls to divorce her and and walk away from the marriage. So if the wife burned the beans or if she was late for an appointment or she gained a few pounds or she got a few facial wrinkles, then man drop her like a hot potato and run out and get you a woman's going to make you happy. Guess what school had the most success. Yes, it was a school for Lail and the result in Israel is much the same as a result we see in Mecklenburg County right now more divorces than marriages. So Pharisees wanted to portray Jesus as intolerant hardliner and that way people would think he was unloving and harsh art .2 is the contention.
Look at verse 335 he answered them. What did Moses command you, they said Moses allowed Amanda write a certificate of divorce and send her away. Jesus said to them, because of your hardness of heart. He wrote you this commandment so Jesus knows what the Pharisees are up to Pharisees were not seeking truth. I didn't want to know what what this passage really meant they they they wanted to get around that.
They just wanted to do everything that could trap Jesus into my Campy appear harsh and unloving 44 years of ministry.
I can't tell you how many times I have had a couple come to me and say Doug were just not happy in her marriage.
We have irreconcilable differences.
We have outgrown each other. Things just aren't going whale. We want you to give us our blessing that we can give a divorce to get a divorce and just move on with our lives. We want this to be a blessing from you and a blessing from God that we can get this this divorce God help me never to give into that and I can't tell you how many times I've had people to come to me and share with me that they want a divorce like that and I said to them, listen, you do not have biblical grounds for divorce, so no I'm not going to give you my blessing on this, but I will tell you this, God can make your marriage something beautiful God can and a cat can take your marriage and bring you to back together and give you a love like you've never had before. There needs to be real repentance on on both sides. There needs to be prayer and needs to to be an understanding of the principles of what God says about marriage, see what God will do with that marriage and out. You listen this carefully. What if there has been adultery all legitimate grounds for divorce. God might steal give grace and say that marriage I'd only been here this church for very short period of time and I had a lady from my former church to call me up and she was just weeping. She said Doug my husband has told me that he wants a divorce. He's been seeing another woman they had moved out of the city and this man was a businessman. She told me where his office was and I went to the need other city and I went to his office. I walked into his office and they had a receptionist layer and us.
She said can I help you adjusted yes I need to see your balls need to talk to and she's a will, who are you and what you want us the monies Doug Aguiar Cinema pastor and I need to talk to him and she smiled and she said I'm a Christian. I been praying that cod would send a preacher here. She said yes, you go right on in and she said I'm not gonna know I'm not going to let them know that you're coming. Just open the door and go in so that he can get prepared and so I went in and he was shot I sat down with him for an hour and I shared with him been begged with him his need to repent and after just a little bit. He started weeping and he said Doug you're right I do need to repent and he got on the phone.
He called his wife and he said please please forgive me for what I've done. She did forgiving and then not even ask him to do this, but while I was there. He called it. The other woman, and he said I have I done a horrible thing I sinned against my wife and a sin against you in a sin against God. I'm asking you to forgive me but I'm telling you I can never see you again. That happened 33 years ago I was at a funeral service five months ago and I saw this couple together and happily together.
I use an illustration to say that adultery is a true, legitimate grounds for divorce. Sometimes God can save a marriage, despite having legitimate grounds. Here Jesus speaks of the Pharisees said what did Moses command you, and they arrogantly said this, Moses permitted Amanda write a certificate of divorce and send her away. We've already looked at the passage that they're referring to here lesson Deuteronomy 24.
The Pharisees were a Brion with Rabbi he Lail who misinterpreted of that word in indecency and what they were saying was if you get frustrated with your wife. If you're displease with your wife you get agitated with your wife and that's all you need.
Give her a certificate of divorce and move on. Gonna do what you want to do. Jesus said you don't believe that interpretation is that what God really say it and they need they knew they were wrong. They were pushing it anyway Texas to .3 the clarification with you versus 69 but from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.
As we worked our way through the gospel of Mark. We have seen that Jesus has very little use for rabbinic tradition door into the sermon on the Mount Matthew chapter 527 see this phrase over and over again. Jesus said, you've heard it said by them of all.
But I say unto you, you heard it said by them of all what I say and do you what was Jesus saying he was saying forget the rabbinic tradition junk and ballistic to the word of God. Can you imagine what would happen in America if there was a genuine God breathed heaven sent revival if politicians and movie stars and and just common people in America would be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and they would say forget which way the culture is trying to drive us and let's just stick to the word of God, man, what would happen if that would take place. Now I know it's probably not likely that that's can happen. That's what everybody thinks. That's what Jesus is saying to these Pharisees and I want you to know that that's exactly what happened in the nation wails back over century good nation wails.
There was a young man name Evan Roberts Evan Roberts was a ministerial student. He was in church. His church one Sunday night they had the worship service. After the service was over he went to the pastor. He said Sir he said we read need revival in this nation could could we stay and just pray for revival pastor said I'm not staying anybody else wants to, they can, but I'm gone and pastor and most of the people in the congregation left 13 people stayed. I got on their face before God and they pray for revival, they prayed all night long. They prayed until the sun came up the next morning they continue to pray and pray and pray within four days after that prayer meeting of revival begin just a breakout all over the nation wails 80% of the nation came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. They had to fire half the police department because the crime rate drop down to nothing. Most of the bars end up closing their doors and they sold their property to churches because churches didn't have enough room for all the people that were coming. I read one story where there was a farmer who had to sell his ox while you have to sell his ox because he used to give the ox directions by cuss words and he would use cuss words and scream at that oxen yell at that ox and then finally got safety when using those cuss words anymore. The ox could in understanding so its own folks, when God changes hearts and people commit to obeying the word of God. Culture changes marriages are saved put back together in Christ is glorified so that was Jesus clarification. He said to the Pharisees quit using your own interpretations to covert the true teaching of the word of God. Jesus said to them, God knows the hardness of your heart and verse six he says this from the beginning God made them male and female.
What white men, male and female. That means of just two genders is not what we hear and is it written that there are a multitude of genders and is just not what God see also statistic the other day that said over 50% of Americans today believe there is a that there's multiple genders instead of just two how horribly said Jesus said a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. In other words, marriage involves husband and wife glued together. He united in mind and spirit in body and in wheel and doing what pursuing each other hard pursuing each other with all their heart will why can marriage be so hard the answer goes back to the fall of man Adam and Eve sinned, God put a curse on mankind. God told man that his work was no longer going be a joyous can be tough and he was going to have to to work by sweat and toil in and with thorns and thistles. And it was not going be easy.
He also had a curse on the woman, and he said this, your desire shall be for your husband, that he shall rule over you. If you read that in the Hebrew says your desire will be to rule over your husband, but he will rule over you and so there's contention in Ephesians chapter 5 the apostle Paul told us how to make it work. He said this is what you do. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her and wives, wives, be submissive to your husbands. Husbands cherish your wife adore her.
Love her so much that you be willing to die for her if necessary and then wise, be submissive to your husbands and see what happens to your marriage all right point for the accommodation versus 10 through 12 in the house. The disciples asked him again this matter and he said to them, whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her and she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery. Mark leaves out a statement here that the Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to write in the sermon on the amine in Matthew 19, nine Susan whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery so the Pharisees were embracing this idea that divorce is acceptable for print pretty much any excuse they had Jesus had no divorces is acceptable only for adultery later on in first Corinthians chapter 7 the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit added this grounds for divorce and that was desertion where a spouse walks away from the marriage and absolutely refuses to come back with that said, how should grace church view marriage and divorce. We should view marriage is sacred and holy and permanent. We should say that there is only two grounds for divorce is grounds for adultery and desertion. As I said, an illustration that I used this morning repented of adultery and reconciliation is sometimes possible. I've seen it happen. I've seen it happen many times, and if you're in a situation where your spouse is broken and deeply repented over what he's done and God gives you the grace to hold that marriage together than my advice to you with all my heart is to save your marriage and what if you're here this morning you been divorce.
There was no biblical grounds.
Maybe you said we have irreconcilable differences. We just grown apart. Would you do will you can't change your past can you, so you must realize that is harmful is hurtful is divorce is is not the unforgivable sin in that situation there needs to be confession that the divorce was sin.
And then there needs to be a true belief that the blood of Jesus Christ can wash that CN and wash that guilt away. If you been remarried and you make this resolved. This marriage is going to be different. This marriage is going to honor Christ. This time, as a husband to love my wife as Christ loved the church. This time I is a wife and then be submissive to my husband and watch and see what God will do with that marriage. We should never take divorce lightly but also we should never forget first John chapter 1 in verse nine says if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness that can include divorce the spray father. The biblical view of marriage is being horribly mocked and maligned in our culture. The God-given command to be faithful to our spouses is almost laughed at. We know that RCN hurt your heart.
We beg for forgiveness. We been told by politicians, teachers and counselors that self-actualization and self-fulfillment will lead to personal happiness would open her eyes. We might understand what a lie that is. Help us to reject the temporary happiness that this lot leads us to help us to embrace your command to be obedient to your word, even in marriage, forcing the precious and holy name of Jesus that I pray, amen