Cancelling Our Covenant with Death

Cancelling Our Covenant with Death

by Dempsey Collins

Isaiah 28:18“Your covenant with death will be cancelled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, then you become its trampling place.”

God, through the prophet, has warned Judah.  Her wicked days were coming to an end. God was going to judge and punish Judah for abandoning Him and chasing after idols.  The lies that filled the hopes of Judah and deceived the nation were going to come crashing down. Arrogantly, the nation thought that they had an agreement with death, a covenant.  They were so deceived that they believed nothing bad could happen to them.

The above verse is God’s response.  Your deal with death has been cancelled.  Your false gods, your idols, your lies, will not protect you from the wrath of God.  The lies that you have surrounded yourself with and are standing on will crumble.

The statement found in the verse, “Your covenant with death”, is an interesting expression.  It is well written. It speaks volumes for those today, who have surrounded themselves with lies and believe nothing bad will ever happen to them.

The Gospel of Goodness is the most popular belief today.  If you are good, whatever that means, you will go to Heaven.  Good people go to Heaven. Just be good. Mind your own business; don’t cause any trouble and you will go to Heaven.  Nice neighbors, quiet co-workers, sweet grandmas, they all get to go to Heaven because they are good. The guy who opens the door for you at the grocery store.  He’s good. He’ll be n Heaven. The person that points out something that you dropped will be in Heaven. He’s good.

This false gospel has deceived folks.  They believe that they have a covenant with death.  They are protected because they are good. Never mind that they may never worship God.  Never mind that they are too busy to open a Bible. Never mind that they couldn’t tell you anything about the Bible.  Never mind that they have no clue about what God expects from them. They’ll be in Heaven, they believe, because they are good.  Good people go to Heaven. That’s it.

And the Heaven that they believe they are going to is a fanciful make-believe world of fun, happiness and pleasure.  While the misguided Muslim terrorist believes he has dozens of virgins awaiting him in Heaven, our misguided folks believe that Heaven will be fishing and walking through parks with pets and theme parks and food and endless fun, fun, fun. The Muslim will realize too late that he has believed lies.  There are no virgins awaiting him. Worse, there is no Heaven for those who kill others. Likewise, many in this land will realize too late that Heaven isn’t about our selfish dreams, but rather about God. Worse, there is no Heaven for those who have not walked with Christ.

Our covenant with death will be cancelled.  We will not be protected by the lies that we have believed.

Jesus said:

  • Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins (John 8:24).

  • Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father, who is in Heaven (Matt. 7:21).

  • He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day (John 12:48).

Lies can seem so true.  They can make sense to us.  They seem reasonable and logical.  How could a good God send people to Hell?  That doesn’t make sense. How can He be good if He sends anyone to Hell?  Either He’s not good or He doesn’t send folks to Hell. That’s the thinking.  It sure makes sense to us. Yeah, we say, we ought to cut back on our drinking some and we ought to get down to the church house one of these Sundays, and we will, but all in all, we are good people.

This is what we are facing when we talk to our family and friends about Jesus.  Sure, they ought to know more about the Bible; however, they feel that they’re doing a fairly good job of being good.  And, remember, good people go to Heaven.

There are three lies in those statements and beliefs.

First, we are not good.  We are not righteous. We are sinners.  All of us are. Good compared to what? Good compared to a thug?  Good compared to a terrorist? Good compared to Hitler? How about good compared to Jesus?  We have sinned. We have missed it. On the current path, we are not going to make it. That’s reality.

Second, God wants us to be righteous people who are walking with Christ.  Faith in Christ changes us. It leads us to following Him and surrounding ourselves with godly choices and godly people.  Forgiveness is found only in Christ and we must continue to journey with Christ all of our lives. God is more interested in our holiness that our happiness.  Trials, dark days and hard times are not an indication of God’s displeasure with us. Often, it is through those things that we become stronger and more dependent upon the Lord.

Third, Heaven is a gift, not a right.  No one earns it. No one deserves it. The police officer who dies in the line of duty doesn’t deserve Heaven.  That’s hard for us to get. The lies are so thick that we feel certain people just ought to be there because of who they are and what they have done.  One person told me, “I know I’ll be in Heaven, because my life here has been nothing but Hell.” She was wrong. First, she has no idea how terrible Hell is.  There are no options in Hell. God won’t be found in Hell. She had options. She had the opportunity to follow God. Second, a person doesn’t “get Heaven,” because they had a hard life here.  Heaven is not owed to anyone. Heaven is God’s home. We are invited there by Christ, through His grace and our faith.

A person can’t ignore God all of their life and think that they will be in Heaven just because they were good.  You can’t be good enough for Heaven. We are to imitate Jesus. We are to love as God loves. We are to forgive as God has forgiven us.  We are to be holy as Jesus is holy. We are to walk worthy of our vocation. We are to be diligent, alert, watchful, spiritual and hopeful.  Christ is to be our life. Hand in hand with the Lord, following His word, we can have the confidence and hope of Heaven. It is because of Christ, not our goodness, that Heaven is possible.

Paul said that he had kept the faith, finished the course and fought the fight.  There is a faith that we must have and keep. There is a course, a journey, that we must travel on and finish.  There is spiritual fight that we must engage in. Can Heaven be ours? Absolutely. It will be because of Christ, not our goodness.

The covenant with death will be cancelled.  Our only hope is in Jesus. Know Him. Obey Him.  Walk with Him. Trust Him. Believe Him. Follow Him.  He will take you to Heaven. Nothing else will, including your goodness.

The way of the Cross leads home.

Matthew Poppa