November 19, 2018

Eternal Inheritance

When I was born, my mother was extremely sick. In fact, after her third child was born, the doctors told her, “Don’t ever get pregnant again; if you do, we won’t have anything to do with you.” But lo and behold, I came along as child number four. My mom needed some assistance after the birth, and her sister and brother-in-law (who had no children) came to help out. They cared for me for ten months, and by the end of that time they wanted to take me home for good, but my parents did not let them.

When my uncle spoke of the earthly goods I might have received, my heart welled with praise to Jesus because I knew that by growing up in a godly home, I was given a far greater inheritance.

After I was grown and married, I remember visiting that aunt and uncle, and he was talking about how much they loved me. He told me, “You never would have wanted for anything in this world if your parents had given you to us.” They were well-off financially, and some in our family thought they were going to leave a lot of their possessions to me. However, I’m glad my parents did not send me to live with them. When my uncle spoke of the earthly goods I might have received, my heart welled with praise to Jesus because I knew that by growing up in a godly home, I was given a far greater inheritance, which my aunt and uncle never would have given me. That night, I left their home blessing God and praying for them. Thank God, they did come to the Lord later on. And do you know who received the inheritance they left behind? They gave it to Jesus by donating it to the work of the Lord.

No doubt, many of us have inherited things in our lifetimes. An inheritance is something that we do not earn and probably do not deserve; it is simply passed down to us as a gift. It is a blessing, even when it is an earthly or temporal inheritance. However, there are problems with an earthly inheritance. One is that it can run out. It is also a finite amount, usually divided among a number of individuals. I’ve actually heard of people who were disappointed because they thought they were going to get a bigger inheritance than what they received.

In contrast, there is a spiritual inheritance for each of us, and I can tell you on the authority of God’s Word that it will never disappoint. First Peter 1:3-5 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” We have an assurance from the sovereign God of the universe that if we will surrender our hearts to Him, we will receive the inheritance of eternal life in Heaven. Heaven will never run out of space and it will never fade—it is incorruptible! It is one-hundred-percent secure. Nothing in this world is secure, but that which comes down from Heaven is secure beyond any threat because Jesus has paid for it with His own shed Blood. We could never have done it for ourselves, but He took the necessary actions to secure our reservation in Heaven. It is a real inheritance awaiting us someday. What a thrill that is to know!

Claiming our reservation

It is notable that the Scripture from 1 Peter says that our inheritance is “reserved in heaven.” Making a reservation for something is not a guarantee that we will actually use that reservation. Think of a place on earth that you would love to visit. You can make arrangements to go there, and even pay to book your place, but if you don’t show up at the appointed time, that reservation is forfeited. We will not enjoy any benefit from a reservation if we do not show up and claim it.

Likewise, our reservation in Heaven requires action on our part. Jesus came to this world to make a way of salvation for all mankind, but there is something we must do to receive it—we have to wholeheartedly embrace His offer of salvation, falling down before God and repenting of our sins. We do not deserve the inheritance God has reserved for us; it is a free gift. Yet, we still must claim it before it can be ours, and we do that by obeying what God has commanded us to do.

A wasted inheritance

It is possible to waste an inheritance. In Luke 15 we find an example of this in the familiar story of the Prodigal Son. He was a young man who had a great inheritance coming to him. We understand that in his day and culture, a son could ask for his inheritance even before his father had passed away, and that is what the Prodigal Son did. He took his money and lived it up by the world’s standards. As long as his money lasted, he had lots of friends. He was probably considered a popular person among his friends, and he did everything that many young people wish they could do. But, he wasted his inheritance and eventually he had nothing. No family, no friends, no parties, and nothing even to eat.

This parable is relevant today because the deception experienced by the Prodigal Son is still happening to people. The same deceiver who was lying to young people in Bible times continues waging war today, and he wants us to waste our spiritual inheritance.

We can ensure we will receive what God has prepared for us by obeying His commands.

That is what will happen if we neglect God’s instructions to us. Instead, we can ensure we will receive what God has prepared for us by obeying His commands. We must take the teachings in His Word and claim them for ourselves, applying them to our lives.

When we hear the preacher preaching, we should not think, Wow, that fits perfectly for somebody I know. No, that is not how the Gospel works. Everything in the Word of God fits us! It fits me and it fits you. In order to be sure that we are on our way to our eternal inheritance, we have to apply Scripture to our lives. This starts with salvation—repenting of our sins and placing our faith in Christ as our Savior. Then we continue to seek to know and do God’s will every day of our lives.

Despite how it may seem, the pleasures of the world do not last long. If the Prodigal Son could speak today, I believe he would advise anyone who is resisting God’s call, “If you are searching for something more out of life, it is not out there. You have been deceived by the enemy of your soul. Believe me; I went as low as the hog pen when I tried to find it.” The hog pen was pretty low, but one day, he came to himself and began to think of the love that was at home. He began to think of the provisions in father’s house. He said, “I will arise and go.”

If we just think about the love of God and the offering that Jesus Christ made for us, it is easy to go to Him and surrender our lives. Rather than listening to the lies of the deceiver, we can claim the true promises in God’s Word. The Prodigal Son’s inheritance only lasted a short time, but our inheritance in Heaven will last forever. It is not something we can afford to waste.

Treasuring our inheritance

If we want to better understand and appreciate what Jesus has done for us, we ought to think about it often.

We need to place great value on what Jesus has done for us. The Son of God has reserved an eternal place for us in Heaven, and we will inherit it one day! If we want to better understand and appreciate what Jesus has done for us, we ought to think about it often. Meditate on the goodness of God toward us; doing so will help us deal with the hardships in life. In fact, that was what Peter was doing in his message about our Heavenly inheritance. His letter was for a group of believers who were being persecuted, and he lovingly and powerfully reminded them that their hope and victory in time of trial was the great expectation of Heaven after this life is over. An inheritance awaits the children of God, and it is secure!

Peter’s message was not only for the recipients of his original letter, but for the entire Church of Christ. What a blessing to have these words as a sweet assurance from God! It puts things in the right perspective and encourages us to keep going, that we might receive our inheritance. Life can become crowded with many different influences, but we want to think on Jesus. When we choose to focus on Him, He will keep our perspective right and will lead us in the way we should go.

Moses was one who chose to embrace his inheritance, because he considered the reward from God to be far superior to the riches and pleasures of the world. We need to be like Moses, valuing what we have been given and standing up for it. It is more than the world could ever give us! It remains reserved for us in Heaven, but we must treasure it.

No rebooking

Two years ago, I flew to Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada, to pick up some of my grandchildren who were coming with me to the Portland camp meeting. I had booked tickets for three of us to fly from Fredrickton to Portland, and we got up very early in the morning to go to the airport. Upon arrival, the attendant told me, “We only have a reservation for you; we don’t have these other two passengers.” I pulled out my paperwork and explained that I had booked three tickets months before. I told them I was desperate, and I really was desperate. We needed to get on that plane! But the flight was crowded and they said, “We’re sorry; the computer is not showing your reservation.” We were out a lot of money, but we were able to rebook and they put us on the next flight.

That day, I was grateful that our family was able to make a new reservation and still go to camp meeting. However, our spiritual reservation will not be that way. The Rapture of the Church, when the saints of God are caught up to Heaven, will happen without a moment’s notice. As believers, we can hardly wait for that moment to come; we feel in our hearts that Jesus is coming soon and we want to go! But we want more people to make their reservation, too. If you have not yet made the decision to follow Jesus, you need to make your reservation for Heaven, and you need to do it now. You will not be able to rebook if you miss your opportunity. Don’t lose what God has reserved for you. Don’t forfeit your inheritance that was paid for by the Blood of the Lamb. God is calling you to be wise and claim it.

Recently I heard a song that said, “If you ever got a glimpse of what’s waiting over there, you’d never want to stay down here.” We do have a glimpse of it, because we have been told in the Word of God about that wonderful place. Our reservation there is secure if we have claimed His promises as our own and continue walking in obedience to Him. We are looking forward to seeing Him there some glorious day.

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