“And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade– kept in heaven for you,
who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:4-5 (NIV)
Everyone was excited and hopeful. They had hoped to win the $675 million Powerball. People ventured near and far to find the magic numbers that would change their life forever. Forget the fact that the odds of winning were 1 in 175 million. I heard one commentator say, “The odds are greater that you’d be hit by a vending machine.” Yet Powerball players spent over $2 billion in lottery tickets. For believers, our hope lies not in earthly games of chance but in a sure thing—a glorious inheritance that is ours through Christ Jesus.
In this letter to the believers scattered throughout what is now modern Turkey, Peter wanted to share comforting news. In spite of the current persecution for their faith in Christ Jesus, their reward or inheritance was guaranteed. The irrevocable nature of their inheritance included the fact that:
It would never perish, spoil or fade. This described the nature of the believer’s inheritance. Inheritance in ancient times was based on an agricultural economy. A person’s inheritance would typically include property, livestock, or the products that could be derived from the aforementioned assets. All were vulnerable to the perils of unpredictable factors of crime, climate and catastrophe. The story of Job can attest to how quickly one’s wealth (or inheritance) can perish due to forces beyond one’s control (Job 1:13-19). However, the believer’s inheritance would never suffer the threat of such destruction for its essence is eternal. It was indestructible.
It was kept in heaven. This designates the repository of the believer’s inheritance. To illustrate this attribute, think of how we currently manage our monies. Instead of coffee cans or mattresses, we utilize the services of banks and/or credit unions. There we are able to access our money, 7X24 through the use of debit cards and checking accounts. We need not worry that we will be robbed or lose our money, it is secure in the bank repository. Our inheritance in Christ is equally accessible to us now through God’s presence, promises and provision AND in our future life with God in eternity. It was secure—“kept beyond the reach of change or decay.”
The most glorious aspect of our inheritance is that while it is kept in heaven, the believer himself is “shielded” by God’s power. “Shielded” (phrouroumenous) is a military term used to refer to a garrison within a city. What blessed assurance is ours in knowing God’s power guards us from within while we await our final inheritance when Christ returns. With earthly inheritances the benefactor, the provider of the inheritance, must first die. Our inheritance has already been “gifted” to us by God through our Living Savior, Jesus Christ. What a glorious inheritance!
Good to the Last Byte…
While our future inheritance is “kept” in heaven, we have the promise of that inheritance now in the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor. 5:5)