Marrying and Giving In Marriage

Dear Brethren,

In the “Countdown to the Return of Jesus Christ,” we often point out trends that indicate that time is growing short.  Indeed, Jesus often pointed out the conditions that would prevail in the end-time, just prior to His arrival to establish the Kingdom of God over all the earth.  It is only the wise in the Church of God who will be able to discern God's meaning for us (Daniel 12:10, Matthew 25:2).

In one very interesting discourse, Jesus points us back to the conditions extant at the time of Noah’s flood.  We do not know very much about life before the flood – in fact, all that anyone knows about that antediluvian time is contained within the Biblical record.  Antediluvian is a fancy way of saying, “before the deluge or flood.”  What is so interesting, however, is how similar things are today, compared to the pre-flood world.

Jesus spoke about the timing of His return: “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  (Matthew 24:36-39)

Why would Jesus choose an indicator as ever-present in society as marriage?  Within God’s Church, we are aware of the deep spiritual significance of a Godly marriage:  First, with regard to God’s plan to reproduce Himself and, secondly, as a figure and illustration of the Church’s intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the Messiah (Revelation 19:7-9).

Some have looked at Jesus’ reference to “marrying and giving in marriage” to mean that everything would be going along in a normal fashion.  But, a look back into the Old Testament reveals that conditions were so extremely evil as to bring about God’s wrath – the global destruction of mankind – save Noah and his immediate family.

Remember, Jesus tells us that, “marrying and giving in marriage,” was one of the categories in which the egregious violations of His will and law was taking place. 

“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…  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.  And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.  And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”  (Genesis 6:1-7)

In the same way that un-godly marriage practices brought the world to the very brink of annihilation in Noah’s day, un-godly marriage practices will be the norm when Jesus returns.  But, let us not make the mistake of pointing only to the terrible abuses of marriage in the world at large.  Yes, homosexual vows, extremely high divorce rates, and living together outside of marriage do make a travesty of God’s intended marriage covenant, and will incur God’s fiery wrath (2Peter 3:7).  But, infringement against the divinely instituted state of marriage among God’s people is inexcusable because judgment is now on the Church of God (1Peter 4:17).  If we forsake God's way, He will cast us off forever (1Chronicles 28:9).

How did Paul know to write, “Marry - only in the Lord?”  (1Corinthians 7:39)  The answer is – he looked into the Word of God and believed it.  It is not a matter of being intelligent enough, because it is the heart that is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9-10).   We cannot make the mistake of doing what is right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6, 21:25).

Solomon was the smartest and wisest man who ever lived.  “It came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father."  (1Kings 11:4)

“Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things?  Yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange [foreign] wives?”  (Nehemiah 13:26-27)

“Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange [foreign] wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.  Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do His pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange [foreign] wives.  Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do."  (Ezra 10:10-12)

Brethren, we have been called to be a light to the world (Mark 4:21).  Paul knew that relationships outside of the Church would have dire consequences.  It is spiritually dangerous to seek our own solutions rather than to trust God to fulfill our needs (Matthew 6:33).  God knows our composure and loneliness.  He is not asking too much of His people.  “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  (Romans 8:18)


Sermon:  "Marrying and Giving In Marriage"