Sunday, September 26, 2010

a heavenly inheritance

Heaven is the greater reality than this life because it is the ultimate destination for the ultimate timeframe (eternity).  We have trusted in Christ through faith and experienced delivery from sin's penalty and felt the very real presence of the Holy Spirit.  But we weren't set free to merely enjoy a higher quality of earthly life.  Indeed, we no longer see life the same way once we have found Christ as Savior and Lord.  We now know that Heaven is our inheritance.  Usually the prospect of a substantial inheritance is very appealing because we are very familiar with the benefits of money and property.  But we are neophytes when it comes to living for eternity and we are not nearly so familiar with its benefits.  We have come to measure prosperity as a relative measure of flourishing on earth, alone, where wealth is a convenient way to rank order the quality of life.  Peter refers to Heaven as an inheritance to motivate proper behavior.  In First Peter chapter 3, verse 7 he exhorts men to honor their wives and remember that they are "heirs together of the grace of life".  In verses 8 and 9 he reminds them that the bottom line of loving each other and showing kindness and restraint, even when others show hatred "knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing".  Peter ends chapter three with the illustration of Christ, Himself.  Jesus didn't experience His full reward on earth.  His work was completed in our midst on earth and He achieved the greatest of victories:
(verse 18) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the SpiritBut the full reward of Jesus' work came when He came into heaven: (verse 22) Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
Our eternal lives begin here on earth when we trust in the love and work of Christ on the Cross...but Heaven truly lies just ahead and the prospect of our inheritance of eternal life and the blessing of God ought to motivate "Heavenly living" that draws others, also, to seek this inheritance.
Rob Smith

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