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Courtship and Marriage | Ostis B. Wilson, Jr.

Adultery and Other Errors

We must all be aware that for one to marry a divorced person is strongly taboo in the holy Scriptures. Jesus said that “whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”* (Matthew 19:19) Again, Jesus said, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”* (Luke 16:18) Also, we read these words in the teaching of Jesus, “And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”* (Mark 10:11-12) Then, Paul said, “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”* (Romans 7:2-3) In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 we see that adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

This was not Old Testament doctrine but it is New Testament doctrine, the teachings of Jesus and His apostles (the law by which we now live), and we see here that death is the only thing which will dissolve a marriage in God’s sight. We also see here that our souls are very intricately involved in this, and that to be an adulterer is to miss the kingdom of God.

Don’t ever even consider it, nor entertain any questions in regard to it. Don’t ever take the first step in that direction by dating a person who is divorced if you know it. If you should date someone who is divorced, not knowing it, and you find that to be the case, break it off right there and don’t ever go again. Up to this point you have God with you and He will help you through even though affections may have become involved. If you go on after you have knowledge, you step out from under the sheltering wing of God by disobeying His Word, and He will not be at hand to help you out of any entanglement in which you may have become involved in the case. Don’t ever give place to the devil by even wondering if there might be some extenuating circumstances, some exceptions in this particular case, and maybe by some means it might be permissible. Remember your soul is at stake at this point.

For a saved person to marry an unsaved person is also taboo in the Scriptures. “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband Iiveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”* (1 Corinthians 7:39) The phrase “only in the Lord” qualifies the foregoing statement that “she is at liberty to be married to whom she will.” To marry in the Lord would surely first of all involve marrying a saved person. Let us not make the mistake of thinking, that just because a person is saved, to marry him or her would be a sure guarantee of a successful marriage and happiness. All saved people are not compatible with one another in this kind of a union. At this point you need to seek the Lord earnestly, commit your way to Him, and wait patiently upon Him to determine which saved person He would have you marry. We read, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”* (2 Corinthians 6:14) Some translations apply this directly to marriage and read, “Do not be married to an unbeliever.” Both are saying the same thing and teaching saved people to not enter into this kind of yoke with unsaved people or unbelievers.

The passage goes on to say, “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”* (2 Corinthians 6:14) It is making it very emphatic that there would be no fellowship between them, but a constant hassel and tug-of-war between them, and surely, those who enter into such unions will bring down the wrath and displeasure of God upon themselves, have much trouble in the flesh and more than likely lose their souls in the end.

These Scriptures and many others make it clear that for a saint in light to marry a sectarian even though saved, but not in the light, is taboo. Read Deuteronomy 7:1-4. In this case the children of Israel were strongly forbidden to intermarry with the heathen nations around them and the reason given for it was that they would turn the hearts of the children of Israel from the true God to serve other gods. This thing happened when they disobeyed God, entered into marriages with these people and they wound up being idolators like unto them.

Ancient Israel was a type of spiritual Israel in this New Testament or New Covenant age of time—the Church of God. The nations around her were typical of the sectarian institutions—so-called churches—around the Church of God in the earth. I have seen this thing work out numbers of times; when a saint in light married a sectarian, or person of another faith, they nearly always wound up in the denomination their companion belonged to.

There is a reason for this thing, and when one does this he crosses over the plain teaching of God’s Word. He disobeys God and moves out from under His sheltering wings of mercy and protection and loses his drawing, pulling power to draw his companion to the truth.

I admonish you to take a hold of yourself, keep yourself in hand, don’t let your emotions run away with you, and don’t lose your head. Just remember what is involved in marriage. It is not just an idea of having a ceremony said as a matter of convenience or something like that, but it’s for a lifetime, and it’s going to involve you in many different things. Ponder the path of your feet through this period of your life—courtship and marriage. Remember your whole life is before you and eternity beyond that. Your soul and spiritual welfare are very intricately involved in this area, so commit your way to God, trust in Him, wait patiently upon Him, and you will be glad you did.