Question:

My question is this:

When studying with someone who is not in the Lord and they have remarried and their first marriage was ended and not for fornication or death; is it right to refuse that person study unless they leave their present husband since their first marriage wasn't for biblical reasons? Or, are we suppose to bind on people these statutes? It seems to me we should teach people where they are and let God work through them and if they accept God, confess their sins, repent and are baptized; wouldn't that previous sin be wiped away? I'm concerned that there may be people seeking the Lord and being turned away because of marriage, divorce and remarriage issues that I'm not sure applies to them.


Answer:

There is no reason to refuse to study the Gospel with anyone, except when the person doesn't want to listen to the truth. "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). The Gospel is for everyone and is already bound on all people. We don't bind it; we make people aware of its existence. "For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel" (Romans 2:14-16).

Past sins, which are repented of, are washed away in baptism. "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). But not all sins are one time acts, some sins are on going. If a drug addict wanted to be baptized, you could say that his past drug usage was forgiven and washed away in baptism, but what if he hasn't given up drugs? Then the truth is that he hasn't really given up his sin, there is no repentance, and thus no forgiveness.

When a person commits adultery, is adultery only committed the first time they have sex with someone to whom they are not married, or is adultery continuing to happen as they continue to live with someone to whom they are not married? The later is actually the case. "So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress" (Romans 7:3). Paul didn't say she was an adulteress, he said she will be (continuing) called an adulteress.

Yes, there will be people with whom you study who will not give up a particular sin that they are involved in. That simply means they need to study the issue further, learn why it is a sin, and fear the consequences enough to abandon their sin. A person baptized while hanging on to sin isn't saved. "Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin" (Romans 6:6).