I’m picturing a scene…one that’s surely played out regularly all over the country. Family members of a recently departed loved one are gathered in a lawyer’s office, in various emotional states, to hear the reading of the loved one’s will. One is smiling and talking loudly, excitedly confident that she will be sitting pretty by the time she walks out of there. Another is sullenly staring at his dirty sneakers, pretty certain that he’ll be walking out empty-handed. A lot of potential for drama in a scene like that.
Don’t you love it when the patriarch uses his last will and testament to teach his selfish family members a lesson? The stuck-up, mean girl daughter gets a token savings bond, and the not terribly bright but always there for his family, down on his luck son gets the lion’s share? Making things right with the inheritance.
I’m fairly sure no lawyers will be involved, but we who believe and trust in Christ will receive an inheritance from him someday. And those who don’t…won’t. Not even a measly savings bond. But it will not be to teach them a lesson that they will be excluded; it will be too late for that. By their willing rejection of his offer of adoption by faith they have kept themselves out of the family and forfeited any share in the inheritance they might have had.
What is this inheritance that will be ours? The Bible describes it as “the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,”1”imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,”2 and as “in the kingdom of Christ and God.”3 So it’s a share in his kingdom, prepared from all eternity for us,4 never to be diminished or taken away. And that’s about all I know about it. What form the kingdom of God will take is, I think, little more than speculation because there just isn’t much said about it in the Bible. And it’s part of a whole new age…a new heaven and a new earth5. A lot of things will be vastly different.
Nevertheless, we can be confident that it will be more than we deserve because our Father the King is loving and generous.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:32
His resources and power to create and to give are limitless. To him belongs everything that is, and he brought it all into being with a word. If you’re familiar with the joy of experiencing the delight of a little child on Christmas morning when they open a precious and desired gift that you have been enabled to provide, then you have a glimpse into the heart of God for blessing those that are his.
However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.’ – 1 Corinthians 2:9
I believe that on that day, when we receive our inheritance, we will be more overwhelmed than we can even imagine. The joy that will be ours eternally because of the share we have in Christ and in his kingdom will stir us up to exorbitant praise and ceaseless thanksgiving. The only restraint on our joy will be the regret that in this life we failed to anticipate and expect that inheritance, and give him the thanks and praise he deserves now.