Are you expecting to inherit? Will the family fortune come to you? For most of us the answer is probably – ‘No’! Our families are not wealthy and we have no long lost relatives with fortunes to leave.
But, would you believe me if I said that there is an inheritance waiting for you? One that surpasses anything you can imagine. You could receive a portion of your inheritance now, something in advance that will guarantee your acceptance into the family from whom you will inherit. So whose family will you become part of? And who died that you might receive this inheritance?
Jesus Christ was the one who died! He died so that we can be reconciled with God the Father from whom we will receive our inheritance. God said: “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be my sons and daughters,” (II Corinthians 6:18). If we have received His Sprit we are His children, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). And because we are His children we are heirs, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;” (Romans 8:16-17). What an incredible revelation! We are children of God and therefore heirs to all the blessings of the spiritual realm, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Ephesians 1:3).
As children and heirs of God we will receive many things. We will be given a new name, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (Revelation 2:17). It will recorded in the Book of life and we will be known throughout Heaven, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:5).
We are to inherit the earth, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5). We will receive a crown, “…and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10). It is an incorruptible "crown of life" (I Corinthians 9:25), a “crown of glory” (I Peter 5:4), a “crown of righteousness” (II Timothy 2:8), a “crown of rejoicing” (I Thessalonians 2:19). A crown that we do not want any man to take from us, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:11).
We will sit on a throne with Christ and the Father, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21). We will have some authority, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” (Revelation 2:26). We will serve as priests on this earth, “…and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth." (Revelation 5:10 RSV). We will be a royal priesthood that will glorify God, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (I Peter 2:9).
We are heirs to the Kingdom of God, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” (Matthew 25:34). And will be pillars in God’s temple forever, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Revelation 3:12).
Our inheritance has been prepared and is waiting for us, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3).
It is as if we are there already, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:5-7). Can you imagine that?
Often an inheritance has certain conditions that the recipient must fulfil before it can be received. All we have to do is fulfil the conditions of the incredible inheritance that God has prepared for us.
Although God sets conditions, He also provides the means to achieve them. Belief is one of the conditions. Those who believe will be rewarded with eternal life, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:15). And, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (I John 5:13).
The belief God requires is not superficial, nor is it something to hide, or be ashamed of. It must be from the heart and we are to make known our belief, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:9-11).
It is those who do believe Christ who are given power to become the sons and daughters of God, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).
We not only have to believe that God exists and that Christ died so we could be saved we also have to believe what God says. And when He says that He will give us the power to become His sons and daughters therefore heirs of what He has promised then we need to believe it! Belief is faith.
Repentance is another condition. We have all been subjected to the evil influence of Satan and God does not want the inheritance to be used for evil purposes. Ridding our lives of evil can only be done through a process of conversion beginning with repentance, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3). Repentance not only means feeling sorry for the way we have lived, more importantly it means making changes in our lives, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19). We have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2).
Not only changes to the way we act, but also in what motivates our actions and in the way we think. The sort of changes God wants to see can only be achieved by spiritual means. That is why He is so willing to give us the Holy Spirit - it is the means by which we can make those changes.
Those who believe what God says and begin the process of conversion are baptised in order to receive the Holy Spirit, “Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38). Baptism is a ceremonial commitment to God and His way of life. The Holy Spirit is the seal of approval that guarantees acceptance into God’s family and to receive the full inheritance, “…ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Our acceptance into God’s family is assured because the Spirit that He gives us can be likened to a spiritual DNA. It is the very essence and mind of God. It will reveal the things of God that we could not otherwise understand, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (I Corinthians 2:11-12). And the evidence of God’s Spirit working in us in us will be seen by its fruits, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Having the spiritual DNA of God within us means we are no longer strangers, but part of His very family, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Ephesians 2:19).
Although our sins are forgiven at baptism, it doesn’t mean we will never sin again. Being human we will make mistakes, however, having made a commitment to God we continue to repent of evil as it occurs in our lives until it is eventually conquered. If we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us (I John 1:9).
Christ has overcome and if we believe what God has said, we can also overcome the sins of this world through the help and power of His Spirit that is in us (John 16:33, 14:16, I John 5:5). God says, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall by my son,” or daughter (Revelation 21:7).
Having started the process of repentance, it is important that we continue in our commitment to overcoming no matter how long it takes. Although the going might get tough and the trials may seem overwhelming, God has promised that we will not have to face anything we cannot handle, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthians 10:13).
Keep in mind that -“all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). And remember that Christ our co-heir also offered to help when He said, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it,” (John 14:14). That is anything that will help us achieve what God wants for us.
If you are prepared to make the sort of commitment that is needed to meet the conditions for an inheritance that surpasses anything else you can possibly have in this life, then God is willing to give you a portion of that inheritance now to help you meet those conditions. Along with that inheritance comes membership into the very family of God.
What an incredible opportunity - your inheritance awaits you.