Question: Before I became a Christian I was married and got divorced. A few years later I go remarried still not a Christian. During that marriage I became a born again Christian. We have been married for almost 40 years and still serving the Lord Jesus.
Someone on our group said that I will go to hell because I divorced my first husband and remarried. Now that I am a Christian [but] was not at that time, does the Lord still hold that sin today against me?
If so what about the scripture that reads “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!” [“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)]
Do you have more scriptures that would help me see that the Lord does not hold the sins from my past against me now that I have become a Christian?
What is proper repentance in this case? If I have to dissolve my new marriage it would create more feelings of devastation. I desperately need to sense forgiveness. Please help me.
Answer: No, you will not go to hell for a divorce and remarriage. Yes, there are lots of Scripture verses about this. You may also want to look at our article about does God forgive adulterers. First, I would take the person to Matthew 12:31, 32 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
So God says here that every sin can be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit. By the way you might wonder what is that sin that can’t be forgiven. It is rejecting the message of Salvation unto death. The message is given to us by the Holy Spirit. If you are worried that you have committed the sin against the Holy Spirit you have not committed it. God would not put you under conviction for sin in your life that could not be forgiven.
Notice, though in the Matthew 12:31 verse that ‘every sin’ except the sin against the Holy Spirit can be forgiven. So can adultery be forgiven? Yes, that is what Jesus said.
Then I would take a person to Romans, you might also want to study more on this from our Romans study as well. But the verse specifically I would take a person to, that thinks you cannot be forgiven for adultery, and that is Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus …”So if they are trying to condemn you they are not speaking for the Lord!
Now does that mean we can go on sinning? Scripture says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1, 2)
You may want to take them to Micah 7:18, 19 also. “Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
I hope this helps,
Gary T. Panell
For more information email me.