The issues of divorce and remarriage are ones that have been hotly debated within Christian circles. As you seek for a true understanding, let me encourage you, first of all, to consider all that Scripture teaches on the subject. If our interpretation of Jesus’ words that we read today, for example, makes Him contradict other scriptures, then we need to re-think our interpretation. The Bible has one author, and He is not confused!
Second, let me encourage you to use that good brain that God has given you! If every person on the planet who is divorced and remarried is regularly committing adultery, then those people are all doomed to hell, because Scripture says that no adulterer will inherit God’s kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Thus there could be only two possible remedies. Those “adulterers” could get divorced, which of course is a sin Jesus condemned and one that God hates (Mal. 2:16). Or those “adulterers” could remain married, live together for the rest of their lives, love one another, hug and kiss one another, perhaps enjoy sex together to some degree (if adultery is defined as intercourse), but avoid “going all the way,” thus avoiding “adultery.” But does that make a bit of sense? What would be gained? Is the only thing that grieves God about divorce and remarriage the sexual intercourse in the remarriage? Or is there a greater reason why God hates divorce?
All of this is to say that it is obvious that Jesus was addressing an alleged loophole that Israel’s corrupt religious leaders had found in the Mosaic Law. Their very liberal interpretation of what constituted an “indecency” in Deuteronomy 24:1-3, along with some twisting of the words found there, permitted them to divorce with impunity (in their own minds) and quickly remarry another whom they were lusting after, all while maintaining that adultery was wrong. Anyone who is honest, however, knows that the person who divorces his or her spouse in order to marry another is doing what is no different than adultery. But that is not the same as the person who tries to save his or her marriage but fails, whose heart is torn apart in the process, and who slowly recovers so that years later succeeds in having a happy second marriage.
It goes without saying, of course, that there is no excuse for two genuine Christians to divorce. Those who do should be reconciled or remain unmarried (see 1 Cor. 7:11). I have written much more extensively on this topic here if you care to read more.
Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus took time to bless children? God could have populated the earth instantly with adults, but He gave us children to remind us continually of innocence and purity of heart—what is needed to enter heaven. The most wicked adults in the world at one time were innocent little children! Yet the hope remains for them to recover their lost purity through Jesus if they will repent and believe! Amazing grace!
This necessity of holiness to gain heaven is underscored by Jesus’ clear words to the rich, young ruler. Jesus unmistakably declared that inheriting eternal life is for those who obey the commandments, and if one is rich, that includes liberal giving to the poor (10:17-21). It is quite amazing how such clear truths are obscured by modern ministers who have no higher motive other than to keep goats coming back each week to their churches.
Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (10:25). If you earn more than $125 each month, you are among the top 25% of the world’s richest people. If you earn more than $2,100 each month, you are among the top 10% of the world’s richest people (see GlobalRichList.com). Thus it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for most of us to enter God’s kingdom. Thankfully, it is possible with God, but not because He will overlook our greed, but because He can transform us into generous people who care for the poor. Obviously, that transformation requires our cooperation!