Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ready To Inherit?

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  Galatians 4:4-7  NKJV

Tell me you have never dreamed about inheriting a fortune.  Whatever the reason, most all of us have, at one time or another, thought or dreamed about what it would be like to suddenly find out a long lost relative has passed on and left us a fortune.  Yet more often than not, our lot would probably be summed up by the popular bumper sticker that says “We’re spending our children’s inheritance”.  Have you ever considered, though, that as believers in Jesus Christ we not only become children of God, but also heirs, and are guaranteed an inheritance which waits for us as a gift from our Father?

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  Matthew 25:34  NKJV

In all honesty, what sounds better to you?  An inheritance here on earth which will eventually pass away, or inheriting the kingdom of God which is eternal and everlasting?  Given a choice like this one, I find it hard to believe that there are those who choose to pass on what God offers us as a reward for becoming one of His own.  So let’s look briefly at a few of the things we are promised when we make the choice to become a member of God’s family, and give our love to Him because of what He has done for us.

We become His children.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.                          John 1:12-13  NKJV

In order to inherit, we must first become part of the family.  When we choose to accept the sacrifice of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ as payment for our sins we are given the right to become God’s children.  When that occurs, we also receive the legal right to inherit as one of God’s heirs.

As heirs, our inheritance is guaranteed.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.  Ephesians 1:13-14  NKJV

In this world, when someone is adopted there are legal papers which record the adoption and serve as proof that the individual has become a member of a new family.  Yet there is no guarantee that there will be an inheritance waiting in the future.  When we become members of God’s family, we immediately receive confirmation of our adoption in the form of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which also serves as the guarantee of our future inheritance. 

As heirs, we must to wait to inherit.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  1 Peter 1:3-5  NKJV

Here on earth, if in fact we are in line to receive an inheritance, there is really no way of knowing exactly when that might occur.  It also follows that if it is rooted in worldly possessions, there is always the possibility that when we finally receive it, it may not be worth as much as it once was, or possibly worth nothing at all.  When it comes to our heavenly inheritance, however, we know exactly when and where we will receive it, as well as God’s promise that it will always retain its value. 

Our rewards are different from our inheritance

According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  1 Corinthians 3:10-15  NKJV

Here is the best news of all.  Not only will we receive an inheritance, we are also given the right to earn rewards which will be our gift to God when we finally meet Him at the throne.  This is our way of thanking Him for the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection have provided the way for us to be adopted into His family.  Unlike our inheritance, however, rewards are not guaranteed.  The only guarantee we have is that on that day, our works here on earth will be tested by fire to show whether or not they were of value to the Father.  

Our inheritance is promised by the Father, and waiting for us in Heaven.  The question we must ask ourselves is just what are we doing here on earth that shows God how thankful we are that He has chosen to adopt us into His family?  After all, does anyone know just how much time we have left to do that?

Keep watching.