Sunday, May 25, 2008


The Great Commission

Part 20 – Divorce

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


Disciples argue about who is Greatest?

Jesus speaks to them about offenses and followers.

Attacking Children of God



Matthew 19:1 – 12

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things (speaking about attacking the Children of God), he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

10 The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." (Spiritual gift of Celibacy)

11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. (You must be given this Spiritual Gift) 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."


Jesus left Capernaum (Peter’s house) and traveled into Judea and across the Jordan.

Mark 10 - Crowds came to Him, as was His custom, and He taught them.

It was Jesus’ custom to let the people come to Him, He preached the word, and taught, and healed.

The Pharisees also came, to test.

The question was asked;

“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

They didn’t ask because they wanted to know, or understand, or gain knowledge of the Word, but because they were trying to get Jesus to say something against the Law of Moses.

I. What did Moses command you?

a. Moses permitted Divorce.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.

You see, God allows divorce for what Moses called “uncleanness”, which Jesus defined as marital unfaithfulness.

Which is not limited to adultery, which we will see in a moment.

But the Israelites took what Moses had said, and turned it into something else.

Divorcing because of selfish reasons.

God allows divorce if there is uncleanness (marital unfaithfulness) found.

Many have translated this to be fornication, but upon studying the Word, fornication means more than adultery, it can mean idol worship, or even abuse.

I have seen some stay married to abusers because they thought it was what God wanted.

I have seen people stay in situations where their children were being abused because they thought God hated divorce.

What does God hate more? Divorce, or children being viciously abused?

In Jude 1:7, fornication is described as “going after strange flesh…”

This would be going after anything other than what God intended...1 man, and 1 woman.

It’s also described as prostitution, adultery, incest…

For these reasons a man was able to divorce lawfully.

BUT, many read the law to say, if the man found anything displeasing about her, he could divorce her. And that is not what Moses wrote.

They were divorcing over the slightest displeasure, which gave way to a selfishness that was beyond reason.

Jesus said that Moses wrote this law to begin with because their hearts were hardened, this is usually the height of selfishness.

A hardening of the heart usually happens when God turns you over to your own mind.

Romans 1:21 – 24

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

Remember when the scriptures said that God hardened Pharaohs heart?

God had turned Pharaoh over to His selfishness and pride…

He turned him over to the sinful desires of his heart…

His heart was hardened.

b. Because their hearts were hardened.

i. They divorced over a whim or desire.

ii. They were selfish and uncaring.

iii. Used as a means of control / threats, etc…

II. In the beginning God created them male and female.

a. 1 man & 1 woman.

b. For this reason a man will leave his father & mother and is united to his wife.

c. And the two become one flesh.

III. What God has joined together, let no man separate.

a. Why does God hate divorce?

i. Our marriage is to represent the relationship between Jesus and the Church.

This is why we are only to divorce for marital unfaithfulness.

ii. Divorce happens because of selfishness.

iii. All divorce IS PREVENTABLE…IF!

1. God put you together.

2. You are both believers.

3. You both submit to Jesus Christ and each other.

iv. All divorce IS FORGIVABLE…IF!

1. You are saved.

2. You ask for forgiveness.

The ONLY unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Churches have made Divorce, homosexuality and abortion the ultimate sins…

And they are not.

Sin against God is sin against God, and all sin is forgivable if you are saved, ask for forgiveness and repent!

b. The great assumption, God has joined two people.

i. Did God put the two together?

ii. Without God, there is no marriage.

1. Covenant is between two people and God.

2. If you do not believe in God, you are truly married.

a. God will not ordain a sinful arrangement and call it marriage because that union is to represent Christ and the Church.

b. Dennis Rodman did not really marry himself.

iii. Jesus said, “Anyone who divorces for any reason other than marital unfaithfulness, and remarries is committing adultery.

1. Is adultery forgivable?

2. When you’ve sin is God “done” with you?

3. Is there no turning back to God when you have fallen?

If you are saved, ask for forgiveness, and repent.

We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and He wants us to turn back! The scriptures tell us He is QUICK to forgive!

The scripture tells us of the time God had to divorce Israel.

Here is a Bible example. God divorces His wife Israel.

4. God divorced Israel

a. Jeremiah 3:8 "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement…"

Marriage is a lawful contract. When God married Israel at Mt. Sinai, He did it according to law. Today, we call this marriage contract the Old Covenant. The prophets thereafter referred to Israel as God's wife. Israel's following after other gods was viewed in scripture as an adulterous violation of the marriage contract. The prophets were pointing out that, because of sin, Israel had "some uncleanness" in her.


All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…

If you belong to Jesus, simply confess your sin to Him, ask for forgiveness and repent!

He will forgive!

If you do not belong to Jesus, or you’re not sure, you can do it now by prayig with me…

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