You may have seen this familiar plot line on TV or in a movie. A very wealthy tycoon dies. Soon after the funeral, members of the family crowd into a lawyer’s office to find out what is in the deceased’s will. They all sit there anxiously waiting to find out how much money they will inherit. The lawyer walks into the room with a copy of the will, sits down, and begins to read.
Sometimes the story continues like this. As the dead relative’s will is read, they discover that it had been recently changed so that no one in the room gets any inheritance at all. They are shocked to learn that they have been cut out of the will. They aren’t going to get the wealth they were expecting to receive. What follows is a tirade of bitter rage. Anger boils over, and often the family members start blaming each other in some very heated and ugly exchanges.
Think about what was happening in the lawyer’s office. It’s not hard to understand why they were fuming. They didn’t get something for nothing that they had waited so long to receive. They were upset! Think about it, though, in light of what they deserved. They didn’t do anything to earn that inheritance, and the deceased didn’t think that they deserved it, either.
I was thinking about all this because I ran across this phrase in 1 Peter 3:9: “… you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” God wants to put us into His will and give us a rich inheritance (more on that in a minute).
Did you know that the Bible actually says that there are two different kinds of spiritual inheritances? There is one kind that we all have, and there is another kind available that we all need.
Sadly, we all come pre-packaged with an inheritance that is corrupt and aimless—sometimes it’s called Original Sin. We know this is true because the Bible explains that every one of us came into this world with a “… futile [i.e. useless] way of life inherited from your forefathers” (1 Peter 1:18). Left to ourselves, eventually, we will become like those who are “futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21).
In other words, we don’t become sinners when we do wrong, we do wrong because we are already sinners.
Thankfully, God offers to give us a new and amazing inheritance. Jesus Himself offers to “… turn [us] from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that [we] may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).
Here are some of the provisions that Jesus offers in the “Will and Testament” He has for His followers:
-they will inherit God’s Kingdom (Matthew 25:34);
-they will own eternal life that starts in this life (Romans 8:1-2, Hebrews 9:15);
-they have access to all of God’s promises (Hebrews 6:12);
-they will spend eternity in God’s actual presence (Revelation 21:7);
-they own a host of other spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3-8).
-they will see Jesus in all His glory (John 17:24).
-they enjoy God’s protection and companionship in this life (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 41:10).
Wow! That is just a sample of the amazing wonders in the inheritance that God has for His followers. This inheritance, however, cannot be earned. None of us deserve it. The God of the universe offers it freely to those who turn to Jesus, who put their full faith in what He did to pay for their sins, to make them a part of His family, and to give them this wonderful, eternal inheritance.
We don’t deserve it. The One who provides it for us, though, does deserve our heartfelt adoration: “We have obtained an inheritance… to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:11–12).
Followers of Christ are those “… who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). If that reflects your heart’s desire, I think you would enjoy being here at Bethel Chapel as we worship Jesus and continue to learn more about the inheritance He provides.