I was bought up to go to Sunday school every Sunday at a Free Evangelical church. I don't what that stands for, but I got lost in life with God and Jesus.
When I was young I had a friend who was a Jehovah's Witness and we were told we couldn't play together. We did anyway behind others backs because I did not care what she believed in but who she was and she was a good friend. I left the church because of this.
Several months ago I had a near death experience, I died but was saved by the good doctors and it made me think back to when I lost God and Jesus from my life. I needed to find it again, to have faith again.
So I started my search as to what religion I should follow. I have read all about the different religions and could not find one that I could go to. Since my search begun, I found out that I had a sister whom I knew nothing about. It turns out she is a Salvation Army minister. It was a good time, I think, for her to come into my life. I told of her of my dilemma. She did not try to convert me, as she herself believes that the Salvation Army was meant to help others, not preach any religion, so in the end we had a big talk about it and I started to read the Bible --the King James version. But it lead me to confusion.
When the Bible says man lived for many years more than we do now, hundreds in fact, well my sister said that in them days man thought of 370 years as 370 weeks or months. Basically that time was not the same as it is now. Still I was left in a state of confusion.
Then by pure accident I found†your site and I thought as I read through the questions and answers, now here is someone who is not doing what everyone else does and avoiding questions. You have an answer for everything. I made my mind up this is for me it all made sense.
Then I read your bit about forgiveness and sin and according to you, if I am not wrong, there is no hope for me, I am going to hell. I've been married and divorced twice once when I was sixteen and again when I was 20. Even now I am remarrying. I have been with my partner for 20 years. We have two lovely children together, and I want to get married because I am living in sin. Thatís how I feel, but I might as well not bother as the sin is already committed and I am doomed. So yet again I am facing†turning away from all religion as I donít meet any of its criteria, unless I follow one that is made up, because it donít suit people to except the truth, so they change it to suit themselves, like the Catholics and many more.† And I canít live like that. I am doomed to hell or am I not. Can you tell if I am right, am I doomed for hell?
"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26).
You didn't say why your first two marriages ended. I'm assuming because you are being hard on yourself that it wasn't because of sexual sins on your husbands' part.
What you seem to be wanting is for God to accept you without repentance on your part. Repentance is the idea of turning away from sin. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). I get the impression that you are hoping that religion will change your sinful situation into something righteous without any alterations on your part.
No one has to go to hell, but most do because of the choices they have made (Matthew 7:13-14). They want God, but often they want something else, which is sinful, more. That is why Jesus said the only way to be his disciple is to be willing to give up anything and everything. This doesn't mean that a Christian doesn't have family, they do. But family comes a distant second to following Christ.
So are you willing to give up fornication and possibly live a celibate life (at least until your first husband dies) so you can live a righteous life?
"Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it -- lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple"" (Luke 14:25-33).
Thank you for your reply. You're right in what you say.
I should of been a bit more clear on what happened in my marriages. My first husband died two years ago. We were always close friends. He found love with someone else and divorced me. I wished him well in his life. My second husband committed adultery with my sister. I had a child from my first husband and after I found out that my sister was sleeping with him, I left him. He tried to say sorry to me, but I was too angry. I guess I just needed some time, but he got angry and beat my son badly enough for me to call the police. He served eight years in prison, as my son was left with brain damage, so I divorced him. I met my current partner whom I've been with now for 20 years, but I was a bit worried about getting married again.
You asked if I was willing to give up fornication and possibly live a celibate life (at least until my first husband dies) so I can live a righteous life? Yes, I would have if he were alive. I do know that to follow a path with Jesus is to make sacrifices. I'm just not to sure what mine should be. What do I need to do?
Many regards and thank you once again.
Because both of your marriages ended because your husbands had committed adultery, it left you with the right to remarry. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9).
I can understand your hesitancy in entering into a third marriage. Your track record of picking husbands wasn't so great. But that isn't an excuse for committing fornication with the man with whom you are currently living. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
The first thing you need to do is to repent of the sins you are aware of and are committing. It wasn't right for you to have been living with a man unmarried. So get yourself down to the courthouse with him and get married. I assume that after twenty years both of you would be quite content living as husband and wife together.
The next thing is to start learning what you need to do to have your sins removed. Repentance is a part of what God requires of us. Most people understand that faith in God and Christ are also required. But there are a number other things needed as well to make a full change in your life. See "How to Become a Christian" for an overview. If you would like help locating Christians in your area or would like to talk to someone local about being a Christian, just let me know. I will be happy to help.
Well, that's very good news for me, My partner has been asking me to marry him for many years. Today I said, "yes," and now we will marry. He is living back at his mother's house until we marry. He is very happy as it's his first marriage, I'm happy to say.
We have a church of Christ here in our town and I am going to go along on Sunday and talk to the minister there. I am so grateful for your time and understanding in this mater. I am starting now with studying Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible and will also continue reading your web site.
Excellent news! You might be interested in The Gospel Accounts: A Chronological Harmony for your studies.