Adultery? Divorce? ... All Men Are Adulterers!

By David J. Stewart

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." —Matthew 5:28

It is tragic that the divorce rate in America is the highest in the world, and to no surprise, for most pastors and Christian counselors today are foolishly teaching that divorce is permissible in cases of adultery.  But is this what Jesus really taught?  No, not at all.  There are several Scriptural evidences against such thinking:

  1. According to Matthew 5:28, Jesus taught that sexual lust is EQUIVALENT to the literal act of committing adultery in the eyes of God... 

    This can only mean one of 3 things:

    1. Jesus didn't really mean what He said.

    2. The wife of every lustful man has a Biblical right to divorce her husband.

    3. The sin of adultery is NOT Biblical grounds for divorce.

    If adultery were legitimate Biblical grounds for divorce, than the wife of every husband who lusts upon another woman has a right to divorce him.  If you don't accept this, then you are saying that Jesus was wrong when He taught that lust and adultery are the same.  The only other possibility is that all of the people today recommending divorce in situations of adultery are false teachers, wrongfully dividing the Word of Truth.  I contend that the latter is true. 

    The truth is that there is not one normal, red-blooded, healthy man on planet earth who hasn't sexually lusted after numerous women.  It is hypocritical to think that Jesus would permit divorce in cases of adultery, when Jesus clearly taught that all men are adulterers... "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).

  2. What about other horrible sins; such as, murder, embezzling, or drunkenness?  It is ridiculous to teach that adultery gives one the right to divorce; but not murder, drunkenness, or shop-lifting.  What about bestiality?  Does such a wicked sin constitute adultery?  Where does one draw the line?  If, and I say "if," God were to allow divorce only in situations of adultery, as so many Christians today think, then what about all the other horrible sins that a spouse can commit?  What if one's spouse commits a crime and is sentenced to life in prison?  Does that give one the right to divorce?  No, certainly not, and you can't show me otherwise from the Scriptures.  To me it would seem absurd, to think, that God would allow for divorce in the case of adultery; but not in the case of murder.  Clearly, Jesus did not intend for adultery to be grounds for divorce. 
  3. Jesus condemned ALL divorce as sinful... "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so" (Matthew 19:8).
  4. Peter asked Jesus if he was supposed to forgive 7 times?  Jesus replied... Of course not, you ought to forgive 490 times!!! ... "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven [that's 490 times]" (Matthew 18:21,22).  In other words, unlimited forgiveness.  How tragic then it is, that a person will not forgive their spouse even ONCE of the sin of adultery. 

    Don't you tell me that God permits divorce in cases of adultery, even if it's habitual, when the guilty spouse is remorseful, tearful, and struggling with that sin in their life.  Divorce is nothing more than self-righteous hypocrisy, which says to the guilty spouse: "You are a bigger sinner than me, which gives me the right to divorce you, quit my marriage, and break my marriage vows."  No one has the right to divorce, because we are all guilty, hell-deserving, sinners under the condemnation of God's Holy Law. 
  5. God never disowns His children when they sin.  Jesus is our example to follow.  What if God disowned us for committing spiritual adultery with the sinful world (James 4:4)?  We would ALL be hopelessly lost without God.  Thankfully, God never leaves nor forsakes His own, even when they sin, and neither should we.  Hebrews 13:5... "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
  6. Everyone on their wedding day exchanges the same marriage vows... "For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness, as in health; 'til death do us part."  Then years later, when things go from bad to worse, one (or both) of the spouses want a divorce — frantically searching for every alibis they can find to justify a divorce.  Tragically, they go to their pastor, or some so-called Christian organization, which perverts the Scriptures and gives them the apostate advice they were seeking... divorce, divorce, divorce.  We're truly living in a world of fools... breaking us down... when they all should let us be.  Divorce is a horrible sin, and NO ONE should ever use the Bible to justify such a wicked and destructive action.  Divorce is a sin that perpetuates for a lifetime.

    There were no disclaimers in your wedding vows.  You didn't conditionally promise to remain faithful to your vows, ONLY if your spouse remained faithful to theirs.  Marriage is NOT 50/50; it ought to be 100/100.  We're living in a mambe-pambe generation of selfish, self-righteous, crybabies, who are ready to quit when things aren't going their way.  God deliver us from such heathendom.
  7. There is a beautiful account of God's unconditional love in the Old Testament in the book of Hosea.  The prophet Hosea married Gomer, and she became unfaithful to him, committing much adultery, and breaking his heart.  After years of living in fornication and rebellion against God and her husband, she ended up a slave, which is where sin always takes a person.  Sin always takes us farther than we wanted to go, costs us more than we intended to pay, and keeps us longer than we planned to stay.  Gomer was being sold on the slave market, and Hosea saw her, and bid higher than anyone else to buy her back.  Hosea pictures God, who redeemed us from the slave market of sin with His own precious blood.  Gomer represents the sinner, whom God loves so dear, that He gave His only begotten Son to pay for our sins. 

    Having said that, I just don't understand the temporal, shallow, and selfish type of relationships that people have nowadays that they dare call a "marriage."  God's love is unconditional, i.e., nothing we do can change it.  We ought to love our loved one's with an unconditional love their never faileth.  There's no such thing as "I used to love you."  You either still love your spouse, or you never did to begin with.  God's love causes a person to be patient, and suffer long if need be, and to prayerfully wade through difficult times in a marriage. 

    In sharp contrast, the heathen world's philosophy is to:

    • Get out while you still can.

    • Life's too short to be miserable.

    • Why waste the best years of your life?

    • God never intended for you to live in misery.

    • You're just finishing the evil he started.

    • Why go on living a lie?

    • Your marriage was over years ago.

    • The grass is sometimes greener on the other side.

    These are but a few of the retarded sayings I've heard people use to justify a divorce.  It is sinful and wicked for anyone to encourage a person to divorce.  God hates all divorce (Malachi 2:16).  I heard a pastor foolishly say that he "jumped up and down for joy" when a member of his church divorced her husband.  Shame on him!  That's the Devil talking. 

    The Word of God teaches in Ephesians 4:30-32...

    "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

    God's love is UNCONDITIONAL and never fails.  It causes us to be kind, patient, humble, gentle, forgiving, understanding, and to live in misery if need be for the sake of our loved ones.  Away with the sinful world's "only the tough survive" attitude.  The Bible teaches that only the "weak" survive... "for when I am weak, then am I strong" (2nd Corinthians 12:10).  Away with the world's conditional type of love which requires something in return.  That is no love at all.  The world is all backwards, and so are most believer's philosophies on divorce.

God Hates Divorce!

You know, why is it that many people who want a divorce go around quoting Jesus' statement on adultery; but I never hear these people quote Malachi 2:16 where God say he HATES divorce, "For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away."  "Putting away" is the Old Testament term used for divorce, which is an interesting phrase.  The term "putting away" comes from the Hebrew word shalach, and literally means "to forsake, to cast or push away."  When you divorce your spouse, you are literally shoving them away from you, forsaking them, and God HATES IT.

I've heard a divorced woman quote Malachi 2:14 concerning husbands who deal "treacherously" with their wives; but the context of the Scripture passage is strictly divorce.  That is, a husband who divorces his wife is dealing treacherously with her, especially if they've been married for a long time.  God HATES divorce!  Why don't I ever heard women quoting Jeremiah 3:20... "Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD."  It is divorce that is treacherous. 


The fact of the matter is that all normal, healthy men are adulterers according to Matthew 5:28.  There is nothing more natural for a carnal man than to sexually lust upon the opposite sex.  Howbeit, the Word of God teaches that Christian men ought to be "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2nd Corinthians 10:5).  Jesus condemned sexual lust in Matthew 5:28 as adultery.  Is there a Christian man today that does not falter at times in this area, especially in consideration of the sexually perverted world in which we live?  I think not.  If Jesus were to permit divorce in cases of adultery, then surely every wife would have a right to divorce based upon Matthew 5:28.  I am not condoning sin, I am simply saying that Jesus did not intend for anyone to divorce for any reason.

Let's look at Deuteronomy 24:1, which tells us the basis upon which Moses permitted divorce...

"When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house."

Adultery!  Moses permitted divorce in cases of adultery.  Now pay attention carefully to what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 19:8...

"Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so."

Don't miss this... who committed adultery? ... The wives!  But whom did Jesus say was hardhearted? ... The husbands!  In other words, Jesus accused the husbands of having hardened hearts, because they refused to forgive their wives of adultery.  The Bible teaches forgiveness through and through (Ephesians 4:30-32).  This is the exact opposite of what most so-called Christians believe today concerning divorce.  The average married person today has a chip-on-their-shoulder, and is prepared to divorce under certain circumstances.  The word "divorce" shouldn't even be in the Christian believer's vocabulary.  Marriage is not an agreement.  Divorce is an agreement.  Marriage is a lifetime commitment!

And finally, if Jesus were to permit divorce in cases of adultery, then He would be giving people permission to go back on their marriage vows, and that is unthinkable.  Just because a person dishonors their part of the marriage vows, doesn't give the other spouse the right to dishonor theirs... "For better, for worse; 'til death do us part."

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