Gods Covenant With Abram (Genesis chapter 15):
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,[a]
your very great reward.[b]”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.”
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
8 But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”
9 So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
The significance of this covenant that the Lord made with Abraham is very important. During Abraham’s day if two men made a covenant, they would cut animals in half and walk between them, signifying that if either of them broke the covenant, that person would end up like those animals. What is amazing is that as Abraham expectantly prepared for the Lord and himself to walk between the animals, that the Lord caused Abraham to go into a deep sleep. And then the Lord Himself walked between the animals alone, signifying that He would take responsibility for both parties. In other words, if the Lord defaulted, He would end up like the animals, if Abraham defaulted, the Lord would end up like those animals.
This covenant that the Lord made with Abraham was confirmed by the Lord 430 years prior to the Law being introduced (Galatians 3:17). We find in Scripture that the Law was added so that trespass would increase, so that when we recognized our sinfulness we would be led to Christ who went to the cross and payed the penalty for our sin. He went to the cross alone and ended up like those animals. He took responsibility for us and paid the penalty for us because we couldn’t keep our side of the covenant. This is the Covenant of His blood that Jesus tells us about. So anyone who comes to Jesus and agrees with Him that they are a sinner, thanks Him for paying the price for their sin, and asks Him to give them eternal life, He will do that.
Ephesians 1:13 and 14:
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
This brings me to the title of this blog post: What in Hell is Going On?
2 Corinthians 4:4, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
I was thinking this morning about all the “ism’s” in the world today. Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Buddhism, Muhammedism, and all the other “ism’s” out there. There is really no difference between any of these, except for the wrapper they come in. What they have in common is keeping people blinded to the covenant Jesus wants to make with a person. They reject that only He could pay the price and they teach we have to approach God through the Law. In their pride they are eager to walk in between those animals with the Lord. The problem is that they will end up like those animals because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. You see, God in His grace would not allow Abraham to walk in between those animals because it would have meant the end of Abraham. Abraham would have ended up breaking covenant and would have been destroyed as a result. And anyone attempting to approach God on their own merits will end up the same way.
“Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever.” Have you kept all of His commands all the time? Neither have I. That disqualifies us from things going well for us forever. But if Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, took them out of the way to never hold them against us again, and credited us with His righteousness, then wouldn’t we be qualified? Yes. Trusting in what Jesus did for us will qualify us for things to go well with us forever.
“The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”
The Law is not able to make us perfect. Only Jesus can, by taking our sin out of the way and never holding it against us again and by filling our account with His righteousness.
What is going on in hell is that the Devil wants to prevent you from coming to Christ and embracing His grace toward you by keeping you focused on the Old Covenant of the Law that cannot save you from judgement. If he can do that, then he can destroy you.
In our culture we like to embrace religious diversity. We talk about how beautiful it is. It is good that God has given people freedom of choice, but it’s important to understand the consequences of those choices. And there are really only two choices. Will you continue to reject the free gift of salvation that Jesus is offering you and seek to approach God through the Law (which Jesus set aside)? Or will you trust in Jesus alone to save you from judgement?
1 John 5:12
“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”