The Christian's Inheritance
Writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter records: "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 from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Pt. 1:3,4). In this passage, we have a four-fold description of the inheritance promised to those that are in Christ. Notice:
Incorruptible describes things which will not perish being the opposite of that which is corruptible. Things of a physical nature, perish. They will see corruption. Even the most valuable minerals perish. Notice: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers" (1 Pt. 1:18). Both Gold and silver, tarnish, canker, and will like all other physical things be burned in the end (2 Pt. 3:11,12). To those at Corinth, Paul wrote: "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18). Notice the distinction made by our Lord between treasures upon Earth and those in Heaven: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break forth and steal" (Mt. 6:19,20).
The inheritance being spoken of by Peter is one which is undefiled. This word was taken from the original word amiantos which is an adjective. It is describing the inheritance. It literally means "unsoiled" and figuratively means "pure". The original word is used four times in the New Testament. Consider the following passages: "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled [amiantos]: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 13:4). "Pure religion and undefiled [amiantos] before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (Ja. 1:27). Though a different original word, a similar idea is expressed in Revelation 3:5 concerning those of Sardis. Jesus said: "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy." That which soils or spots will not be in Heaven. Listen: "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Pt. 3:13).
3) Fadeth Not Away
The joy of Heaven will not be momentary. It will not be something that begins great and loses its' grandeur over time. It is enduring. The phrase "fadeth not away” is a phrase coming from one original word which has the idea of unfading, perpetual, or perennial. Life in Heaven is described in the Bible by words such as eternal (Mt. 25:46; Jo. 17:3) and everlasting (Jo. 3:16). Paul penned: "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Th. 4:17).
4) Reserved In Heaven
Thayer says concerning the word reserved that it is something that has been reserved to be "used some day for some purpose". God has promised eternal life to those who will obey him (Ti. 1:2; Heb. 5:9). The Christian's inheritance is awaiting in Heaven. Speaking to the Apostles, Jesus said: "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" (Jo. 14:2). Truly, our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20).
God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit have done their part in the salvation of your soul. Have you done yours? Have you obeyed? If so, are you faithful that you might receive that blissful inheritance?
- Donnie Oliver