God alone knows our hearts and why we do what we do. From hence, we have no right to judge others wrongly and condemn them. However, we need to know with which people we can be open and which people we should beware of. Just yesterday I had two seemingly similar, yet also different experiences.
In one case I had to do with a Christian woman who was never married, yet had several relationships with men over the years. For some reason, she could not make these relationships work for a long time and is quite desperate about how things are. Listening to her, I believe I felt God’s compassion as, perhaps, Jesus might have felt it as he met the woman at the well. In fact, it is crucial to understand someone’s suffering by listening to them first instead of quickly passing judgment on another person. Nonetheless, it should be clear that we cannot have continued (spiritual) fellowship with someone who never repented from their sins because these evil spirits that ‘drive’ these people will easily find access to our own spirits when we open our hearts to them and pray together. I believe that prayer is the gateway, the entrance door, to the spiritual realm, either to God’s kingdom or to the kingdom of Satan and I don’t think that there is any ‘neutral’ realm in between.
The second case was the one that grieved me on another level. I read on the internet that a former pastor on whose blog I had commented a lot in the past would not only leave his wife and kids, but got divorced and lately remarried as the guilty party at that. Having prayed for him to repent beforehand, i.e. for him to return to his wife, coming to know that he got (happily) remarried grieved me a lot. Even more, as I read that he kept preaching about the grace of God while living in sin! He is alleged to have said that although he was no longer part of any clergy (which is good!), he would preach as God led him. Ouch!
Dear brothers and sisters, no, I won’t tell you who he is. Some of you might know it, though. I simply wanted to publish an earnest exhortation to not listen to preachers whose lifestyle is not biblical. If someone preaches about the grace of God because their soul and body feel happy due to their licentious life, you can be sure that these preachers are led by Satan. Really!! God is not mocked! We should not listen to someone’s sermon nor read their writings if they do not walk like Jesus walked as the apostle John told us.
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” ( 1 Jn 2:3-6 ESV)
Even the Old Testament prophets had a lot of things to say about divorce. I think the following verses speak for themselves. Malachi wrote,
So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” (Mal 2:15-17 ESV)
I would like to go one step further here and warn about having fellowship with those who believe they were led to live a licentious life by God (!). Whoever stumbled over my latest statement, I can tell you that these things happen way more often than you might think. We are a generation that is (being) more deceived than any other before us, as it sometimes seems to me. If someone wants to read a bit more about this, I described one of my own experiences with two Christians who had visited me about 1 ½ years ago here: Do not allow demons to speak! I cannot tell you how difficult it was after having opened the door to these people (and the seducing spirits that were involved) to finally get rid of the torment these spirits caused me in the following few weeks. That was a lesson I will never forget!
Just for clarification at the end of this article. It is not my intention to condemn anyone who stumbles and falls into temptation. We are all human beings and these things can happen to every one of us. I only wanted to warn about having fellowship with unrepentant sinners (read more here: Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals). Furthermore, it has caused me some concern to see how far deception can go. It always begins with some tiny little things that go wrong. However, a little leaven is enough to leaven the whole lump (Gal 5:9). If preachers do not return to their first love which is Christ, they will fall in love with this world and with everything this world has to offer (fame, riches, licentiousness etc.). Please, dear reader, be cautious to whom you listen and whom you believe. The kingdom of God is neither about reading the Bible, nor about knowing all teachings and doctrine, nor is it “a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.” (Rom 14:17-18 ESV)