Dealing with Continuous Sin and Wilfully Unrepentant Spouses
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THE QUESTION ON THE LIPS OF SO MANY BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS IN CHRIST IS, "WHAT ABOUT UNBELIEVING SPOUSES?"
Facebook post, 2019
When Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 7, “The unbelieving husband is sanctified [or made holy] by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else your children would be unclean, but now they are holy,” he was not referring to either the doctrine of ‘sanctification,’ (growing in church ‘holiness,’) or the baby sprinkling as a baptism. Sadly, baby ‘baptizing’ denominations grabbed this declaration as Scriptural ‘proof’ that the babies of Christians must be ‘baptized’ to be ‘holy and saved.’ Paul was not speaking about even Biblical water baptism; he took the time to explain the difficulties that arise from marriages between born again believers and unbelievers. (This passage does not mean that believers may marry unbelievers. It pertains to a situation where only one spouse comes to salvation in Christ after marriage, while the other one remains an unbeliever, 1 Cor. 7:14.)
Here, Paul said that divorce is not the norm for such marriages. He explained that God creates a holy environment for the sincerely believing spouse in an ‘unequally yoked,’ previously unholy marriage! The believer must not divorce the unbelieving spouse if the unbeliever is willing to live with the believer, not the other way around. Should the believer agree to submit to the sin of the unbeliever, the home would be in chaos and the believer’s salvation would be in danger.
God’s supernatural holiness for unbelieving spouses and the little, young, or teenage children of sincere believers has nothing to do with sacramental (or so-called atoning) ‘church rites’ – just as this ‘sanctification’ has nothing to do with the personal salvation of the unbelieving husband or wife, or their children. The holy spiritual position of truly born again spouses, which so favourably affects their unsaved spouses and children, only covers their children under God’s holiness until the children are able to leave home and make a life for themselves. Salvation is always a personal matter between the person and God, (Jn. 1:12-13.) Nevertheless, unbelieving children must also submit to the truth and holiness of Christ, which must govern the believing spouse as a Godly parent.
Nevertheless, if unbelieving but holy children of this ‘mixed’ marriage could be ‘baptized,’ then the holy but unbelieving spouse can also be ‘baptized’ - which is impossible. No one can ‘stand in the gap’ for another person to be saved or redeemed, not even for their own children, (Deut 24:16; Ezk. 18:4, 18-20.) God declared, “The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” That is why one may only baptize self-confessed, true believers in Christ. I say it again: this passage does not mean that the ‘holy’ spouse or children of believers should be ‘sprinkle-baptized’ - or even baptized by immersion if they are still too young or choose not to personally accept and follow Jesus!
Facebook post following the above
Some people misunderstood me concerning 'not tolerating' the sin of an unbelieving spouse, while Scripture commands that a believer “must not divorce an unbelieving spouse as long as the unbeliever is willing to live with the believer,” and not the other way round. (1 Cor. 7.) This is not about separating from unbelievers about silly things, nagging, and “bringing division in families” by “being intolerant of their sin.”
I have seen many believers go back to the world on the insistence of unbelieving spouses, because they refuse to withstand the pressure of unrepentant spouses to join the sinful world again, not wanting to ‘spoil the fun in the home,’ or thinking “they are holier than thou…” Under such strain, believers, who did not “count the cost” to follow Jesus, fall prey to the devil that work through their misplaced loyalties and love for their spouses, children, and other family members. God commanded believes to, “if possible, as far as depends on you, live in peace with all people,” but this is certainly not always possible, because of the bad choices of unrepentant people, (Rom. 12:18.)
To bring the true Gospel and Holy Spirit to people is bringing God's Peace and Highest love to them. This is always necessary, but it does not mean we may bow to sin in the process. When people unrepentantly reject Jesus and the Truth of His Word, we must ‘shake the dust from our feet’ and leave them to their choices, (Mt. 10:14; 18:15-20.)
The reality of brining the Gospel to unbelievers, is that we should not speak to the unbelieving world about sin without declaring the Gospel of Peace to them first. But clinging to decidedly unrepentant believers and unbelievers severely affect our own lives in Christ. Thus, 1 Cor. 7 actually forbids the believer “to live” with the unbeliever, (meaning, allowing unrepentant sin and consequently following the lifestyle of the unbeliever,) because Jesus commanded in Mt. 10:37, “If you love father, mother, spouse, brother, sister, children… more than Me, you are not worthy to be My disciple…” We must not confuse humanism and passiveness in the face of sin and abuse with Godly love — which is God’s Truth and Scriptural obedience to Him according to the precepts of His inward Moral Law, (Jn. 13:34.)
The first and most important commandment of God’s Moral Law of Love is, “Love the Lord your God [Who Is Truth Himself] with all your heart, soul [or mind] and strength, and your neighbour AS yourself,” (Mt. 22:37.) To love God is to obey God’s Moral-Law commandments (which is not humanist love) and to hate all sin (our own sin included.) Therefore, we must always love the sinner (and ourselves) enough to tell him or her the truth about all things, confront all serious sin as Jesus commanded, (Mt. 18:15-20,) pray the conviction and help of the Holy Spirit under all circumstances, and so withstand the wiles [schemes] of the devil by standing in the whole ‘armor’ of God. His armor is not a quick-dress ritual, but steadfastly standing against all evil in complete Holy-Spirit integrity and the entire truth of God. When it come to choosing between standing in God’s Truth or pacifying people, we must remember His warning in Jam. 4:4, “Friendship with the world is enmity with God [and with yourself.]”
DISOBEYING THE MORAL LAW COMMANDMENTS OF GOD IN DEALING WITH SIN AND UNREPENTANT SINNERS, ENDANGERS OUR OWN SPIRITUAL SAFETY
God will hold us accountable for not warning, teaching, speaking openly and honestly, etcetera, if through our disobedience to Him (and thus through our support of sin,) that person ends up in hell. Ezk. 33, “[If you warn the sinner and he or she does not listen,]” his or her blood will be on him or her. [If you did not warn the sinner] his or her blood I will require from your hand…”
This is why Paul declared in Acts 20:26, “I am innocent of the blood of you all… I did not neglect to teach the whole counsel of God…”
Thus, tolerating sin in your home or anywhere else for that matter, is not Godly love. “Bad company [always] corrupts good morals or character, (1 Cor. 15:33.) To live passively in an unholy atmosphere will bring you down, if you cannot eventually flee.
This does not mean we may choose to divorce for just any reason. (We may choose to divorce in the case of adultery, Mt. 19:8-12.) It means we may separate (not divorcee) from the spouse to bring conviction of sin. In all my years working with people I have not seen a single hardcore drug addict, adulterer, etcetera repent from sin, except when they truly accepted Jesus. For unrepentant people, it is simply a case of, “If I can have my spouse… AND the bottle, AND the porn, AND the… why should I repent?”
So, hardened sinners must be dealt with in ‘tough love,’ although this also places the believer between a rock and a hard place. Refusing to tolerate unrepentance can lead to divorce because the believer might choose this way out. It is then good to let that person go for the sake of everyone concerned, (1 Cor. 7:15.) However, when the unbeliever or the believer cannot separate or flee because of complicated circumstances, the situation can become unbearable. The believer cannot accept or tolerate sin, but has no choice to “live with it” - without sinning, of course.
This will then become a constant, multilevel fight for personal sanity and spiritual, emotional, and even physical safety, and not to become passive and submit to the manipulation, lies, wiles, and pressure of the unbeliever — which will give the unbeliever the immeasurable power to, as an agent of Satan, even destroy the eternal life of the believer, (Rev. 3:11.)
Of course, Godly love [Moral Law obedience] can change a lot of people, and we should be patient with unbelievers to a certain degree, so that the Holy Spirit can “convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment, (Jn. 16:8.) But should the unbeliever refuse to stop his or her sin and continue to disrespect God, the believing spouse, their home and family, this believer then has no other choice but to resist [constantly fight or flee] all this evil, while “taking up this cross” [the realization that none of us can save or change a soul that does not want to be saved or changed,] and so, trapped between ‘the devil and the red sea,’ such a believing spouse must just keep on following Jesus no matter what…
Casting Lots to Determine the Will of God for a Particular Situation — is it still valid under the New Covenant?