Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
I heard Billy Graham say once that the cross of Christ is offensive. When we look out onto the world at large, we can see that to be completely true. From our unbelieving friends and neighbors in our communities to the news stories we see on evening TV, the world clashes with the cross of Christ more vehemently then with any other, “major religion.” The reason is simple Jesus spoke the truth.
This means that all roads do not lead to heaven. It means that every religion is not, “a little bit right.” It means that we can’t wait until the end of our days or until the rapture to make a choice. It means there is one choice, Jesus Christ and your acceptance of Him as the Son of the living God; sent as a sacrifice for you so that you could live in eternity and not die the death you deserve. The Cross of Christ is offensive because it draws a line in the sand demanding that a choice be made.
The battle between the cross and the world is something that Christians are accustomed to. It is a battle that is as old as the fall in the garden. The only way Christians can fight the battle is by following the very cross that the world opposes – by following Jesus. We can’t fight the devil alone and are told that we do not need to. The world is in point of fact, the devils playground.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
The devil can’t have the soul of a saved christian but he can certainly rip us off and more importantly, by causing us to react in our flesh he can rip off a non believer. How? When our actions do not match our worlds, a non believer has an excuse not to listen. Christians are always on trial.
As you know, this is a hard existence. I don’t know that it was in the materials when I became a believer. But Jesus brings us peace in His promise.
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
God also created two key things to shield us and give us rest from the spiritual battle: Marriage and the church. The Christians church family and marriage are designed to be bastions of safety, of solace and communion with the Lord. They are places of rest and rejuvenation, or at least they are supposed to be. If one of these is off kilter, unevenly yolked, it throws your walk with Christ out of balance. If you are not attending a bible teaching church, you are not yolked correctly. If this is true for you today, get a new church. As scripture says, shake the dust from your shoes. But what if your have an unequally yolked marriage? Can you just go and get a new spouse? The answer is no. Marriage is one of the most sacred gifts that God gave His people and it is truly, “until death do us part.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Marriage is unity; unity of purpose, unity of vision, unity in love. The reason? Because both partners do all things as unto the Lord. Meaning that each partner can rest in the other as they rest in the Lord. It has been said that a couple that prays together stays together. But what if one partner is a non believer? Simply put, the true power of the marriage commitment can not be realized and the lack of unity can be exploited by the devil to rip off the believer and non believer alike. How? The believer, in an effort to make peace in their household and appease their spouse can start to compromise. That can lead to old habits and ultimately damage their walk with Christ. And, because of the believer compromise, the nonbeliever is cheated out of the truth.
An unequally yolked marriage is destructive because of the strife the differing belief system because. Jesus demands a decision and the believer is often desperate to see their loved one redeemed. It is the first prayer breathed everyday and it is often painful in waiting for the Lord to move or, more correctly the spouses heart to soften. Jesus told us he would cause division.
Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
So what can you do? What if you’re reading this today and this is you? You are in an unequally yolked marriage.First and foremost know that you are not alone. There are many within the church that live in unequally yolked marriages. Take solace in your church family, they will encourage you on the tough days and rejoice with you on the good ones. Most importantly, they will keep you focused on Jesus.
Why produce an entire study on this topic? After all, the solution seems so simple; if your spouse doesn’t get it why not just divorce them? Because, in doing so, not only do you damage your witness by behaving as the world does but you also stand in direct contravention of God’s word.
“For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”
God says that divorce covers ones garment in violence. The word violence is striking here. One commentary explained it this way, ” …A gross act of sin which, like blood spattered on a murder victim from a killer, leaves evidence of the evil deed.” Divorce is not an option.
So then what? What do believers who are unequally yolked do to find peace in what is often a contentious existence? Trust Jesus, stay in scripture, and if you do not have a fellowship family, seek one out. Also, please understand that if you are in danger this morning; if you are in an abusive relationship go somewhere safe and work on your marriage from a distance. Remember, God loves all his children, even your unbelieving spouse and God doesn’t need you to speak on His behalf. When He wants you to He will let you know.
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Your unbelieving spouse, like all other non believers, cannot understand the spirit of the Lord without the Holy Spirit. I know how hard it is. There is so much at stake; eternity hangs in the balance. Trust that God knows that and loves your spouse more then you do. So, be at peace.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the worldyou will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Grace & Peace,