So, for anyone who wondered if I would ever stop talking about divorce, this is it. I have finished. There is always more that could be said but I am satisfied that I have spoken to most of the primary concerns that surround divorce.
I don't know who it has helped or who it has made angry, except for one person. One person that has followed this series approached me with both encouragements and questions. It was blessing to know it had spoken to at least one person and I am thrilled to be able to discuss anything with anyone so I was happy to answer their questions. They even gave me a little testimony of a past trial relating to the issue. So I wanted to acknowledge that and say thank you.
I entitled this series "2 Questions on Divorce" because of a couple of questions that I had been asked recently. Obviously it spawned thoughts much more in depth than just those two. One of those questions however, I have not directly answered and I want to make sure that I do. That question is "Am I going to Hell for my divorce?" So let's address it.
Does Divorce Send You To Hell?
The answer is NO! John 3:17 tells us that we are condemned already which is why Christ had to come and die. We are all guilty of sin from the first because we inherit the guilt of Adam's sin from the moment we are conceived(Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Psalm 51:5). Neither divorce nor any other sin is particular to spiritual death. It is simply our spiritual state from the beginning. That is the beauty of Romans 3:24 which states that we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Nothing is able to keep you from attaining, nor separate you from, the grace that is available in Christ Jesus if you truly trust in the cross, repent and believe(Romans 8:38-39).
I speak quite a bit about what the life of a professing believer in Jesus should look like. This is because if you already profess to be a believer then the initial work of "getting you into heaven" should be done. After that it is time to begin dealing with sanctification. That is simply a fancy theological word that refers to growing in Christ with the goal of becoming more like him every day. I speak to that process a lot, not based on the success of actions but because of the attitude of the heart.
We will spend the rest of our lives working hard, by God's grace and power, to attain progressive success in Christian living. However, the attitude of our hearts upon being saved should very quickly, if not immediately become one of a desire to please God, to pursue repentance from sinful ways and to achieve obedience to God's commands.
If we find these attitudes lacking, it is likely and indicator that more prayer, time in the word, and Christian accountability is needed. It is a warning sign that we need to evaluate our relationship with our heavenly Father. If we find that the desired attitude is lacking all together and we really don't care or want to know what God has to say about the way we live this life that He has given us, that may be a frightening indication that we do not have any relationship at all and the profession of faith was false. I am afraid there is a lot more of that going on than meets the eye.
Mistakes will be made, sometimes big ones. And sometimes they can happen over a period of time. King David is a prime example of this. He lusted after Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers. He got her pregnant and then tried to cover it up by having her husband killed. But God knew and sent Nathan the prophet to confront him about it.
David was repentant. He realized that He had sinned against God and was sorrowful in heart about it.
(2 Samuel 11:1-12:15). However, as you read on in this book of the bible you learn that, though God forgives David, there are still consequences for his actions in this life.
The big difference in someone who has real saving faith verses someone who does not is that when confronted with sin, the true Christian will realize their mistake, begin fighting against that sin and turning back toward God. The false convert will not.
Salvation is Simple!
Everything that I have described in this post describes battles with sin within the Christian life. So how do you become a Christian? What "get's you into heaven?" What is the gospel? The answer is simple, faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Several scriptures speak to this.
- There is the quintessential scripture that everyone learns when they are small as John 3:16. It states, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This comes after the well known conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus regarding what it means to be born again(John 3:1-15).
- In 1 Corinthians 15:3, the Apostle Paul states that "I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas(Peter), then to the twelve."
- In Romans 10:9-13, the Apostle Paul tells us that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. He makes no distinction between gender, color, creed, or race, as He defines them in His word. We know this because God's word in Revelation 7:9 tells us that there will be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language in heaven singing praises to God upon Christ's return. All who believe with their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord will be saved.
I believe it is important to emphasize that Jesus is not truly your Savior if He is not truly your Lord. The fact is according to Philippians 2:9-11, JESUS IS LORD and at the end everyone will bow the knee and confess this truth. The question is, will it happen on this side of eternity or the next? If he is not Lord over your eternal life now, He will be Lord over your eternal death later. Christ died so that you would have an option. Repent and believe. Surrender your life to His will. Choose life!
Trust and Obey
There used to be an old hymn in which the chorus read, "Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey." If you have made a previous profession of faith but you have struggled with repentance from sin and you feel out of touch with God, know this. No matter what you've done and no matter how far off the path of obedience you have strayed, all you have to do is return to your first love. A perfect, happy life is not guaranteed in this life, but hope for the future is. Trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. His grace is big enough to welcome you back.
If you have never put your trust in Jesus, scripture says that "today is the day of salvation"(2 Corinthians 6:2). Do it now. Don't wait another minute. Don't wait another day. Place your faith and trust in Jesus atoning work of the cross. There at the cross, He paid for every sin you ever committed or ever will commit. There at the cross, His blood removed the guilt and condemnation of your sin sick soul. There at the cross, Jesus set us free from the curse of sin and death. Your eternal future can be sure.
JESUS LOVES YOU! HE DIED FOR YOU!
TRUST IN HIM TODAY!
In Jesus Name I pray that it would be so,