Question:

Of late I have been pouring over the articles on the La Vista church web site. I came across a number of articles that have left me a bit confused. I wander if my girlfriend and I can still get married even though we committed fornication. According to "Why Sex Outside of Marriage is Wrong," I read asentence that said,

"This is why the marriages of people who have engaged in sex before marriage generally end in divorce."

And also the Bible passage,"God will judge fornicators and adulterers" (Hebrews 13:4).

Does this mean that even if we have confessed our sin to God that He will still judge us? Does it mean that if we get married we will still get divorced? These are among my worst fears.


Answer:

Pulling quotes from an article can be just as misleading as pulling a quote from the Bible if the context is not considered. The quote from "Why Sex Outside of Marriage is Wrong" addresses many excuses people give to justify having sex without being married. One of those arguments is that by living together first, a couple can find out if they are compatible before making a permanent choice. Supposedly this would lead to a more stable relationship, but statistics show that the opposite occurs. People who live together before marriage tend to have less stable marriages.

The full paragraph states:

A similar thing happens when a man or woman engages in intercourse outside of marriage. The person builds a strong bond with the first person with whom they have sex. When that relationship ends, as almost all do since there is no covenant holding them together, the person is devastated. His world has come to an end. Yet, eventually he finds another willing partner. When this relationship also ends, the pain is not nearly as severe. After all, he has experience in breaking up. Over time, a person becomes numb to the making and breaking of relationships. His ability to bond with another person is damaged. This is why the marriages of people who have engaged in sex before marriage generally end in divorce. They have developed a habit of solving relationship problems by leaving, and the leaving doesn't bother them because they have become used to the pain of severing bonds.

The situation under consideration is that people who have sex before marriage tend to have multiple partners over time. The repeated making and breaking of relationship builds a habit that frequently spills over into marriage. When problems come, the couple has a habit of "solving" problems by leaving; thus, leading to more frequent divorces.

It isn't a must happen. It is a strong tendency toward. I have married people who have lived together. I tell them about this tendency so that they know they must work extra hard to overcome the problem.

Besides, this isn't the case that you described to me. You and your girlfriend sinned and repented of fornication. You are not continuing to live in sexual sin. Your sin will have some impact on your relationship, but you know about it and are dedicated to work on it.

Yes, God judges the fornicators and adulterers -- He judges those who remain in those sins -- those are still guilty of the crimes. When people repent and confess their sins, God treats them as they didn't happen. "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins" (Isaiah 43:25). That is why Paul told the Corinthians some sins would keep them out of heaven. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). But that isn't permanent if people change. "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11).

The only reason you would get a divorce is because you and she chose to divorce. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). He would never force someone to sin (James 1:13). The articles are warning that people foolish enough to engage in fornication are undermining their reasonableness to reject divorce as a solution to problems.