7 Reasons to Believe in a Pre-Gospel Covenant Between God and the World

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Joseph Mattera

The concept of a pre-gospel covenant between God and the world highlights the belief that God had a covenantal relationship with humanity even before the advent of the gospel.

In this article, we will explore compelling reasons that support the notion of a pre-gospel covenant, shedding light on God’s interaction with the world before the arrival of Jesus Christ.

1. World accountability and covenant: Isaiah 24:5-6 paints a vivid picture of God holding the world accountable. These passages portray the consequences of humanity’s disobedience and rebellion against God’s commands. The fact that humanity is held responsible implies the existence of a covenant between God and the world, where obedience and faithfulness are expected.

2. Genesis 1:28-29, God’s command to steward the earth: In the opening chapters of Genesis, and repeated in Psalm 8:4-8, God commands all humanity to be fruitful and steward the earth on His behalf. Psalm 115:16 says God gave the earth to men. This mandate showcases a divine expectation for humanity to care for and cultivate the world as part of their covenantal responsibility. God establishes a covenantal relationship that predates the gospel by entrusting humans with stewardship.

3. The universal sign of the rainbow: In Genesis 6-9, God establishes the universal sign of the rainbow as a covenant between Himself and the entire earth. This sign serves as a reminder of God’s promise to never destroy the world again with a flood. The fact that this covenant includes the entire earth implies a preexisting relationship between God and the world, indicating a pre-gospel covenant.

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4. Non-Jewish prophets as divine communicators: The presence of non-Jewish prophets such as Balaam further supports the idea of a pre-gospel covenant between God and the world. Balaam, a Gentile prophet, was chosen by God to convey His message to the people. This demonstrates that God’s communication and interaction were not limited to the Jewish nation alone but extended to those outside the covenant community.

5. God’s judgment on the gods of Egypt: The account of the plagues in Egypt is evidence of God’s supremacy over the gods of the world. Through these miraculous acts, God revealed His authority and power over the pagan deities worshiped in Egypt. This act of judgment highlights a divine covenantal relationship between God and the world, as He demonstrates His sovereignty and demands allegiance from all creation.

6. Elijah’s ministry to pagan leaders: Elisha’s ministry extended beyond the boundaries of the Israelite nation. He ministered to prominent pagan leaders like Hazael and Ben-Hadad, demonstrating God’s involvement in the lives of individuals beyond the covenant community. These encounters reveal God’s redemptive purposes and desire to establish a covenantal relationship with all people, irrespective of their heritage.

7. Amos held pagan nations accountable: The prophetic words of Amos 1-2 illustrate God’s accountability of pagan nations. These passages testify to God’s concern for justice, as He holds various nations accountable for their transgressions. This indicates that God’s covenantal expectations extended beyond the borders of Israel, emphasizing His involvement with the entire world. {eoa}

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Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, consultant and theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence culture. He is the founding pastor of Resurrection Church and leads several organizations, including the U.S. Coalition of Apostolic Leaders and Christ Covenant Coalition.

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