Mailbag Page 12


3/24/00

Navigation

Is it okay for a soon-to-be-married couple to live together?

Can Satan read our minds?

Why doesn't God destroy Satan?

Will we eat food in our resurrected bodies?

Site Map

Home

Email W.P.T. Bellgamin


Is it okay for a soon-to-be-married couple to live together?

Larry writes: Is shacking up wrong??? I live with my girlfriend and I plan to marry her soon. Can you lead me in the right direction?

Bible Bell's reply

Marriage has two aspects...

  • Legal - marriage is a legal contract between husband and wife, recognized by civil authorities. As such, it entitles both spouses to certain protections under the laws of the land (as to ownership of assets and property, etc.)
  • Holy - marriage is a holy contract between husband and wife and God. That is, the husband personally contracts with God, AND the wife personally contracts with God. As such, the marriage contract with God REQUIRES both spouses to love and care for each other until parted by death.

In a holy marriage, the Bible says that God Himself joins together husband and wife (Mt 19.6).

  • A legal marriage can easily be dissolved by a legal divorce, done by civil authorities, for various reasons (irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, etc.)
  • A holy marriage must not be dissolved except for reasons of sexual immorality (Mt 19.9).

There are several reasons why God holds the marriage union in such high and holy estate. These include but are not limited to the following...

  • Marriage is to be a picture of Jesus Christ's relationship to His bride, the church (Eph 5.22-33).
  • Marriage provides a secure and loving environment for both spouses, for the rearing of children, and (if needed) for the care of parents in their old age.

Now, let's get to your question. As I understand it, you are asking how God might feel about your living together with the person you intend to marry.

  • First off, you and your intended spouse are (I presume) having sexual relations. Sex outside of marriage is fornication, and is a sin in the eyes of God (Mt 15.19, 1 Cor 5.9-11, 1 Cor 6.9, 1 Cor 6.18, Rev 21.8).
  • Thus, you are not only sinning yourself but, worse yet, you are causing your intended spouse to sin. A husband is responsible to protect his spouse from danger, even if he must die trying (Eph 5.25), whereas you are placing your intended spouse in danger of judgment.
  • Marriage is commitment of one person to another for LIFE. To delay marriage is to say (in effect), "I am NOT ready to commit myself to you, but I want to enjoy your body in the meantime."
  • Ergo, your intended spouse has no security. Yes, I'm sure you have a good heart. Yes, I believe you are a Christian. But the fact remains that, for whatever reason, you have not chosen to commit yourself to her in legal and holy marriage. You can walk away from your "arrangement" at any time. Yes, I'm sure you absolutely don't intend to. The fact remains, however, that you CAN do so. Thus (I repeat) your intended spouse has no security. Neither do you.

In the final analysis, this issue is between you and God. Since you are the man in this relationship, be aware that God holds YOU primarily responsible for the spiritual leadership of your family, and for protecting your family from sin.

You need to discuss this matter with God right away.

May God bless you and your intended spouse, and grant you the knowledge of His will (and the strength and love to obey it).

Can Satan read our minds?

W C writes:

I have read and heard that Satan cannot read our minds. That when we resist him, we should say it out loud. Is this true?

If Satan can't read our minds, isn't it better to not pray out loud? So that we do not give Satan free information to our mind?

Bible Bell's reply

The Bible does not directly answer your question. However, consider the following...

  • Second Corinthians 4.3-4 refers to Satan as "the god of this age" and tells us that he has the power to blind people to the message of the gospel. This indicates he has at least some ability to interfere with a person's mental processes.
  • Judges 9.23 tells us that God sent a spirit to cause ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. Since "ill will" is a mental emotion, we can conclude that spirits have some ability to insinuate thoughts and emotions into a person's mind. (The spirit God sent wasn't Satan but, since Satan is himself a spirit, we can assume that Satan has equal or greater powers.)
  • First Samuel 16.14-16 reports that a "distressing spirit" troubled King Saul. First Samuel 16.23 makes it clear the distress caused by this spirit was emotional, hence mental. (Here again the spirit was not Satan, but we can assume that Satan has equal or greater powers.)
  • Acts 5.3 relates that Satan planted the idea in Ananias's mind that he should lie.
  • John 13.26-27 shows that Judas was under Satan's influence. This would seem to indicate that Satan controlled Judas' thoughts or (alternatively) was able to plant ideas in Judas' mind.

Based upon the above references I conclude that Satan does have some degree of ability to know and influence our thoughts. However, I remind you that the Bible does NOT specifically say this. It is just my OPINION.

Praying aloud does not open up a weakness for Satan to attack. To the contrary, praying -- whether you do it aloud or silently -- is your great strength and defense against the forces of evil. Remember...

He (the Holy Spirit) who is in you is greater than he (the evil one) who is in the world. (1 John 4.4b, NKJ)

Why doesn't God destroy Satan?

Neale writes: Can you please tell me why God doesn't just destroy Satan and his angels and get it over with?

Bible Bell's reply

God will never out-and-out destroy Satan. Instead, God will imprison Satan forever...

And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev 20.10, NKJ)
Why doesn't God imprison Satan right now? The Bible doesn't directly answer this question. In other words, God has not seen fit to reveal His reasons...
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deu 29.29, NKJ)
Genesis 15.16 may offer a clue. In essence, this verse seems to say that God gives sinners a "certain amount of rope." Perhaps this applies to Satan as well...
(God said...) But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete. (Gen 15.16, NKJ)
God endowed us with the ability to make DECISIONS (Deu 30.19). To test our decisions, God has always presented us with CHOICES between good and evil, obedience or disobedience, and love for Him or hatred.

Consider the fact that there were two trees mentioned as being in the garden of Eden -- a tree of life, and a tree of death. Thus, it may be that God has not yet imprisoned Satan so that, even today, we are confronted with two primary choices -- God and life, or Satan and death...
(God said...) I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days...'' (Deu 30.19-20a, NKJ)

Physical bodies build strength & stamina by lifting weights. Our faith builds strength & stamina by resisting temptation. Perhaps Satan functions as barbells??? :o)

NOTE: For a later, more thorough study of this topic -- CLICK HERE

Will resurrected people eat food? 3/24/00

Judy asks: Will we eat food in our glorified (resurrected) bodies?
The Bible does not directly answer your question. However, we do know that the resurrected Lord Jesus partook of food with His disciples...
So they (the disciples) gave Him (Jesus) a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence. (Lk 24.42-43)
We also know that our resurrected bodies will be like the glorious body of Lord Jesus...
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (Philippians 3.20-21)
AND we know that there will be a marriage supper in heaven...
Then he said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' '' And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God.'' (Rev 19.9)
Accordingly, we can safely conclude that we will be able to eat and enjoy food, even in heaven.

Go to Navigation