Those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the earth…The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever….Hope in the Lord and keep His way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it….Abraham was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God….They were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. (Psalm 37:9,18,34; Hebrews 11:10,16)
Mom’s Riches for Her Children
An older Christian Mom promised an inheritance to her adult children. She kept saying, “After I’m gone, keep your eyes out for the gold.” The son and daughter didn’t think much of it. After Mom died and was taken home to Christ, the children kept their eyes open, just in case Mom was right. As they sorted through her things, they looked under drawers, behind cabinets, anywhere she might have hidden some gold, but they didn’t really expect to find any.
Later they went to Mom’s bank to get the life insurance policy from her safety deposit box. Under the papers was a brown lunch bag. Inside were two, 3-inch long rolls of gold coins. The children laughed out loud. The contents of that crinkly paper sack were very valuable. That gold was still as shiny as the day Mom purchased it 40 years earlier, but it was much more valuable. It had been kept safe for Mom’s kids, as part of their inheritance. They hadn’t done anything to earn it yet it now belonged to them.1
The Bible calls our salvation in Christ (and all its aspects) our inheritance and it is worth far more than gold. Jesus, our Elder Brother, did all the work for it and then He banked it in heaven where He is keeping it safe for us.
Another Look at 1 Peter 1:3-4
This is an important passage on our Christian inheritance. It says: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.” Notice several more things from this passage:
Our Inheritance in Jesus Cannot Spoil.
Our salvation in Christ is unsoiled, pure, free from contamination. After Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God, nothing on earth can be perfect, until the Lord returns to make all things new.2 By God’s grace, our world is still full of beauty. But even the most beautiful things are flawed, bent, and damaged by human sin. We human beings are also bruised and broken by the Fall.
Thankfully, God remembered us in our lowly condition and imprinted us on His heart, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.3 And God the Father appointed Christ His Son to be our high priest and advocate to represent us and truly meet our deepest needs. We (Christians) are not blameless as Psalm 37 above requires for receiving God’s inheritance. We (Christians) still think, say, and do evil and wicked things to one another. Thank God, Jesus our Savior is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sin, exalted above the heavens.4 Christians are not like Adam, starting all over again. We are united to Christ, not only innocent, but declared to be as righteous as Jesus is, because He clothes us with His personal righteousness.
And our inheritance in Christ cannot spoil because Jesus will make us perfect when He returns for us. “We know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”5 And in the new heaven and earth (the New Jerusalem), nothing impure will ever enter, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.6 Having this certain salvation motivates and enables Jesus’ people to practice purity, more and more, with the Holy Spirit’s empowering.7
Our Inheritance in Christ Cannot Fade
Our salvation in Jesus is indestructible and immortal. Peter is purposely heaping up descriptive terms to remind us that all our blessings in Christ are an enduring possession. Nothing can take us away from the Lord or take away our inheritance from us. As creatures on planet earth, it is hard for us to imagine colors that never fade, excitement that never wears off, or value that never lessens. But our Christian inheritance is not an earthly thing; it is heavenly. The Lord says: “I am making everything new! Write this down, for His words are trustworthy and true.”8 Not only will our inheritance not fade; it and we will get better and better. We will contemplate the Lord’s glory and be transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.9
There is nothing boring about Heaven. Don’t’ let Satan deceive you. Scripture says: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart can imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Prayer: Father, make us ready for Jesus’ return, when He comes in glory. Make us ready for His kingdom banquet, faithfully serving God and other people, watching and praying, being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Let people see our good deeds that you enable us to do, and let them glorify you, our Father in heaven. Help us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.10
Notes: 1 Illustration from Clark Cothern. 2 Rev 21:1-8. 3 Psalm 136:23. 4 Heb 7:26. 5 1 John 3:2. 6 Rev 21:27. 7 Rom 8:29-30; Phil 3:12; 1 John 3:3; 1 Thess 5:23-24. 8 Rev 21:5. 9 2 Cor 3:18. 10 Prayer alludes to Matthew 5:13-16, 22:1-14.