There is a sin that has plunged the world into judgment, literally, once before and is currently widespread. It is also a sin that only Christians can commit.
Each year I will receive phone calls from women. Sometime early in the conversation, the woman will say, “Will you marry me?” Although I would be a great catch for any woman out there, my current wife would voice vast disapproval. But alas, the callers are not asking for my hand in marriage, but they are asking for me to perform the wedding ceremony for them and the true man of their dreams.
Side note: In over 30 years of pastoring, I have never had a man call me attempting to arrange clergy for the wedding.
When on the phone with the bride-to-be, she will always ask what I charge for performing the ceremony. When I tell her I do not charge any money to do a wedding, a sense of happiness and sometimes relief comes through the phone. However, my next statement usually brings apprehension, “I only ask for one thing; I would like to talk to you and your future husband for about three hours. We can do this in one three-hour session, or we can cut it up into two or three meetings.”
I had one woman offer me $500 to “just do the ceremony; read the vows; say some nice words about marriage.” She explained to me the last thing her fiance wanted to do is to sit down with a preacher and talk. The couple had to find someone else.
If the conversation gets past the “I’d like to sit down and talk to you all” stage, I will ask if both the bride and groom know God. More often than not the answer is, “I am saved, but he is not.”
Here is the sin no one talks about – believers joining in marriage with unbelievers. Many people think this is an Old Testament requirement reserved for the Jews; The New Testament is clear on this as well, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14.
It was this particular act that started the free fall into sin that caused God to send Noah’s flood. Genesis 6:1-5, “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. … when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
When Jesus talks of the last days before His return, He brings up the practice of marriage in Noah’s day. Matthew 24:38, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,”
Twice the Bible records times of worldwide judgment from God – Noah’s flood, and the future tribulation period. In both instances, marrying whom you please is mentioned as a critical event before the judgment comes. Coincidence? Highly unlikely.
At matrimony, the couple becomes one, and it is difficult to teach the children that God is the center of the universe when one parent has the attitude, “God? That’s something your mother is into. I really don’t care one way or another. Whatever you think about God is fine.”
A weakening of the zeal for God occurs from one generation to the next because of the mixed messages coming from mom and dad. Because God’s word has been watered down, after a while, a generation comes along that knows nothing about God.
Instead of talking about God, marriage, and life when a couple wants to get married, Christendom seems more concerned about the details of the ceremony.
If you are a Christian in a marriage with someone unsaved, whether it started that way or you have become a Christian since your wedding, 1 Corinthians chapter seven gives the guidelines. Do not go looking for a divorce lawyer. Be the best Christian you can be under the circumstances, but if your spouse wishes to leave, let them depart (1 Corinthians 7:15).
Samson and Delilah, Solomon and his marriages with ungodly women, are only two Biblical examples of unequally yoked relationships that ended in spiritual ruin.
Christians should do everything to the glory of God, how much more, the choices we make that will affect every day for the rest of our lives (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.preacherjohnson.com. E-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUJTV2A If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.