Can you gain or lose salvation by being unequally yoked in the Christian faith?

A Christian marries a non-believer, not only that, an atheist. Is the atheist henceforth saved in the eyes of God, or is the Christian condemned? Beyond this, the Bible says it is best not to marry altogether regardless of whether or not the two are equally yoked. So is marriage good or bad in the eyes of God?

Updates:
Is there anything a person can do to lose their salvation once they have earned it?

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Most Helpful Guy

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?"

    So for a Christian to marry an unbeliever is to go against sound judgment and to go against this verse. However, God offers forgiveness of sins - He would forgive this, and would never condemn his children (Hebrews 13:5, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU").

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes about relationships where one spouse is a believer and the other a non-believer. In such cases, the unsaved one is "sanctified" through the Christian. I would not go so far as to say that the unbelieving one is now saved to go to heaven, but he or she does participate in temporal blessings that the believer receives.

    1 Corinthians 7:14

    "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy."

    As for the second part of your question ("So is marriage good or bad in the eyes of God?") I will simply say that it is good - He created it Himself, when He made Adam and Eve. He said that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He created the institution of marriage to join one man and one woman together.

    As for the update ("Is there anything a person can do to lose their salvation once they have earned it?") I'd like to address the wording of the question. Nobody can ever earn their salvation:

    Ephesians 2:8-9

    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    So salvation is a gift, not a reward that is earned. And referring back to Hebrews 13:5, God said that He would NEVER leave or forsake His chosen ones. So once God has granted salvation, a person can never lose it - all-powerful God secures it forever.

    If a person shows no sign of being a Christian, they may never have been saved. If a person lives for themselves but claims to be saved, they are probably deceiving themselves.

    1 John 1:6

    "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."

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    • I think I worded it "earned" because it is a gift that must first be received. I suppose saying earned makes it sound like it is something we all deserve. It isn't. But it does take effort, to gain salvation. Not a lot, but enough that not every one is saved because of it.

      1 John 1:6 seems like it is in direct opposition of Hebrews 13:5 or even Ephesians 2:8-9. If there is nothing we can do to earn or lose salvation, how can the quality of our fellowship be based upon our actions? What if our

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    • Thanks - you actually helped quite a bit :)

    • You're welcome - any time!!

What Guys Said 4

  • I think God judges each individual. Why condemn a Christian to hell for being around, or even married to an Atheist. Sure the bible says do not be unequally yolked with a non believer, but the bible also says to do/not do a lot of things that even many Christians don't do/do. I hardly think if the God of the bible is as 'merciful and just' as he claims to be, that would be reason to send someone to the fiery pits of a burning lake for an eternity. I believe the bible makes marriage an issue for those who would readily give into temptation, so they'd be doing themselves a favor just to get married so everything they did, was 'sacred' I've had issue with the update question because, if someone truly believes and accepts Christ as their savior, I cannot see them losing their salvation over anything, with the exception of them rebuking Christ for some reason in the future and turning completely away from him. But if they truly believed Christ was their savior in the first place, it seems they wouldn't let anything get them to that point. Which is what I believed before, I myself, turned from the religion I was brought up in. Turn your worry over to God, dear, No reason to fret over things we cannot change, and if I remember correctly, there won't be much time if any at all for worry in heaven, so why worry about such things here.

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  • Feel free to disregard my answer because I am an atheist, not a Christian, but if I believed that there was a god, and he was as loving and forgiving as everyone says he is, then I think that as long as your husband follows the same morality as you then you would both go to heaven. Atheists do not reject god because they don't like him. They reject him because they do not have adequate proof of his existence. If I die and I have lived a virtuous life, and it turns out god does exist, I think he will forgive me for not believing and let me into heaven. Life is not about what you think exists and what you think is out there. Life is about the actions you take and the choices you make. No just god would send someone to hell for being married to an atheist, as long as he lived a sinless life.

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    • I've always held this view, and have always prayed for God to have mercy on non-believers (from all walks of life); however, I have also had condemnation explained to me in the following way. It is not God who chooses or denies us - in all cases Jesus would choose His children; however it is His children who deny him. If Hell or Sin is viewed as the absence of God, then those who lead Godless lives, or who refuse to belief could be supposed to be condemning themselves. Is it loving and merciful

    • To force a relationship on some one who does not want it? I like to think that, that is what judgment day is for though. I hope that when we die, we do get to meet our maker, and that we do have that last instance to change and submit to him our sins and our penance. My faith is ever growing though - what I believe is subject to every human error there is - in the end, I do hope our salvation is up to him. I suppose we will all find out the truth someday, whatever it may be.

  • Why get married at all? What is so different about being married and just living together besides the title and 2 rings? No matter what you believe in, at some point in time there were the first people on earth... did they get married? Anyway, I don't think condemnation is a joint effort. I think its all a solo thing. Its what YOU do, as a person. Just my opinion, I'm not a theologist.

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  • it's better for them to marry than to be in a dangerous area of temptation and sin against God.

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What Girls Said 3

  • My mom is Catholic, my dad is Atheist. It works because they consider religion to be personal. They don't question each other's beliefs or put each other down for them. Their religious beliefs say very little about their relationship, so I don't see why they should be judged for the beliefs of their partner. And I find it hard to believe that their marriage could be bad considering that they've been happily married for 30 years and raised five well-rounded children together.

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    • Thank you for your input Cool-Relax :)

      Again - always love to hear your answers.

  • I'm not and expert but this is what I think.

    God is love and is forgiving.

    He understands that we are human and imperfect, that we will make mistakes. So I think that he forgives everyone including non-believers and people who marry them.

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  • IT'S BAD

    You are a Christian, he is not.

    You are not equally yoked.

    You know that so why are you asking? Not trying to be rude but its clear what the Bible says.

    You can try to convert him and change his beliefs but that is a hard, if not impossible thing to do. That is why you shouldnt marry a nonbeliever

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    • I realize it is less than ideal. I find it interesting that you are posting anonymously. I was saved a year ago during my engagement to my husband, and baptized after I married. I do not know that it is bad to be unequally yoked. I know that the Bible cautions against it. It makes my faith more difficult. The bible says it is best not to marry at all (1 Cor 7:1 and 7:8) unless you cannot help immoral acts (1 Cor 7:2 and 7:9). And what of 1 Cor 7:12-13? And eve 1 Cor 7:14 - the unbeliever

    • Sanctified through marriage. "Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to" (1 Cor 7:24). I was with my fiance when I was saved, and had made a promise to be with him forever long before that. The Bible also says that those who marry will face many troubles. So it isn't just the unequally yoked marriages. In any marriage the interest of the believer is divided - between God and their s/o. My question did not ask if it was bad or difficult. I asked

    • If salvation can be won and lost through marriage... or if it can even be lost at all. I realize this is likely not a question we human's can answer, especially since our salvation is in the hands of God; however, I was hoping some one could point me to some more scripture (God's word) on the matter (of salvation or marriage or both).

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