I am confused about a matter that you have previously discussed. I know a sister who divorced her husband (both of them church members), and she married another man, and they have children together. The man did the same, he married another woman, and has children with her. Consequently. both of them, live in adultery. Let’s say both of them start coming to church again, with their new families. If they repent, can they still be saved or should we blame them for living in the habitual sin of adultery with their current spouses? Could you, please, answer my question?
Let us differentiate between the one who initiated the divorce, and the one who became its victim
It is not right to consider the wife and the husband from this story equally responsible for the created situation. The person who innitiated the divorce, and chose to go and live with somebody other than his/her spouse is the adulterer. The victim though, since he/she was forsaken, has the freedom to remarry, exactly what the protagonist of our story did, and this is not considered adultery. It would have been adultery only if the woman he remarried left her husband for him, or if they would have had sexual intercourse before getting married. God’s Word says that the victim of the divorce is not bound to their covenant anymore:
But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15)
I know that you might say that both of them were unfaithful, but the person who breaks his/her marriage covenant in order to go with another person, cannot be considered faithful for sure. A true Christian cannot do such thing.
And still, can people who got married after comitting adultery, be saved?
Yes, there is hope for salvation for anyone who truly repents and turns to God, because it is written:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
If the person who has commited adultery will realize the gravity of his/her sin, and will sincerily repent, he/she will receive forgiveness.
Will the people who started their relationship through adultery live in sin for the rest of their lives?
Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5: 32)
The second marriage of the person who initiated the divorce started with adultery, according to the word of our Lord. Nevertheless, now, since they officiated their marriage and established a covenant, this is a new covenant. Now they have to stay faithful to their new covenant, while enduring the consequences of their previous actions. They should not add on top of the evil they have already done. It is enough that they have broken one covenant. They should not do the same with the second one, sinning before God and bringing a lot of pain in the lives of their partners and those of their children.
May God give us all wisdom to treajure our marriages and to never forget that marriage is a covenant established before God, the One Who instituted marriage and Who hates divorce.
Translated by Mihaela Florescu