When one is dealing with a financial issue, or an ownership issue of some kind, one of the first questions asked by those who would advise you of what to do in a situation is, “Did you sign a contract?” If an individual has signed a contract they have bound themselves to the terms of that contract and the breaking of that contract can have disastrous consequences.
The same holds true religiously as well. From the beginning of time, God has made covenants, or contracts, with men. In Exodus 19:3-6 Moses records: “And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” God offers the children of Israel a contract by stating that if they will agree to obey His voice and keep His covenant, they will be a peculiar treasure and a holy nation. They respond by stating, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” (Exo. 19:8). They have now bound themselves to a contract with God and from this point forward every time God punishes Israel it is because they have breached the contract to which they agreed at Sinai.
Under the New Testament we need to understand that we are also under contract. The contract of the Old Law has been fulfilled and is no longer in effect (Col. 2:14). However, in its place is a contract that is for all men. This contract will stand until the Lord returns. The contract was brought into effect by the death of the Savior (Heb. 9:15-17), and is binding upon all men (2 Cor. 5:10).
Unfortunately, it seems that many times we as members of the church do not understand that we are under contract. When man obeys the Gospel of Christ and enters into that watery grave of baptism he has signed the proverbial dotted line. He has acknowledged that Jesus is to be the Lord of his life and that as such he forfeits his own desires, wishes, and direction of life for the way God would have him go (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:3-23).
The aforementioned being true it must also be understood that breaking this contract will have dire consequences. The terms of the contract include: being faithful until death (Rev. 2:10); continuing to grow spiritually (2 Pet. 1: 5-9; Heb. 6:1-2); teaching the Gospel of Christ to others (Mat. 28:18-20; 2 Tim. 4:1-2); and helping others to live and work for Christ (Phil. 2:2-4; Heb. 10:24). If we do not fulfill the terms of the contract then the final clause will come into play. John closed the final book of the Scriptures by stating, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19).
We must make sure that we teach people that, when they obey the Gospel, they have signed a contract by which they have agreed to live. All men will be judged by this contract, but only those that have signed it with their obedience and fulfilled it with their faithful lives will receive the promised inheritance of the contract: eternal life in Heaven with God. Have you signed the contract?