The Church is often called the bride of Christ. Our relationship to our Lord is viewed as a marriage. When Jesus returns it will be to claim his bride. The vows of a marriage are founded upon a faithful love, a vow of commitment that pledges faithfulness in the face of whatever circumstances may come.
Yet, for whatever reason, marriages do end. Divorce, an event that God hates, (For I hate divorce, says the LORD, the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless. (Mal. 2:16 NRS) happens when relationships fail and one or both individual decide they do not want the level of intimacy of a marriage. One of the individuals may not want the divorce, yet, they may have no say in the manner. Even if one loves the person wanting the divorce they may have to let that person go.
Still love, true love, must allow for the possibility of rejection, for divorce. I do not believe God rejects us (I am my own best example) but I do believe we can reject God by our unfaithfulness and acedia. When this happens we are again separated. I believe God grieves this separation but allows it.
Too many people in the institutional church are like the Pharisees of old. They believe because of birth, ritual, or dependence upon some theological precept develop by a human mind that God owes them a secure relationship no matter what they do. They do not understand that, through their actions, they may divorce themselves from God. I believe the idea of once saved always saved is one of the biggest lies Satan has been able to promote. It is heresy. Yet, I know of many who hold to this teaching as certainty without any idea of the damage they do and the danger they promote.
It is not very hard to see how this destructive teaching has lead many to believe because they “prayed the sinners prayer” they are saved no matter how they live their lives. Many believe they can claim the title of Christian and yet support policies and politicians whose lives and behaviors are an insult to the life of Jesus. Many who think they are included in the wedding feast who never do anything in the name of Jesus. Individuals who only live for themselves and yet think God owes them a pass into heaven. No wonder Jesus warned “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.” (Matt. 7:13 NRS)
I will post more on this topic later. For now, I hope that all who read this are seeking to draw closer to our Lord. This desire should keep one away from the sin of certainty many mistakenly rely upon.