“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 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. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”
(1 Peter 1:3-7 NIV)
NO ROOM at the Inn–
In 1976, my wife and I decided to take a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. We decided to rent an U-Haul Trailer; fill it with camping gear so our three kids (11, 9 and 6), would have plenty of room in the backseat in our almost new1975 Volvo without them saying, “he touched me”; “her elbow poked me.” Well, that was a dumb idea! Those conversations took place on the whole trip.
Now I am a pretty thorough person when it comes to planning, at least most of the time. In this adventure…thinking back on the good times–camping on the Snake River near Grand Teton National Park, and the not so good times in Yellowstone National Park–my planning was somewhat half-hearted. But I digress.
Earlier in the day, my plan in heading towards Yellowstone, was to pull into one of the many camp grounds located in the Park–pitch our tent and set up camp. Then after freshening up some, go into the Old Faithful Village for some dinner; fill-up the car with gasoline and the next day…enjoy God’s wonders! That was the plan.
Either my naivety, or my stupidity (I like the first choice), my thoughts were– there will be plenty of campsites in the largest National Park in America…even in August. WRONG THINKING! ALL Campsites… were full to capacity. NO VACANCY SIGNS everywhere!
So there we sat–in the Old Faithful Village parking lot– with no place to stay. Even the Old Faithful Inn had a NO VACANCY at the front desk. And to be honest, even if there had been ROOM AT THE INN, my family of five couldn’t afford to stay there.
And to add to our dilemma, we were advised by the Park Ranger’s Service...You can’t sleep in the car of this parking lot or any other parking lot…we needed to find a place to stay. With the ONE Gas Station now closed for the night, and little gas in the car, it was too far to drive to West Yellowstone located outside of the National Park. What were we going to do?
I began driving around the Village parking lot’s side roads in a daze (it was dark by now), and lo-and-behold, an empty parking space next to a log cabin. Now I hope you can visualize, three kids in the back seat with two reclining adults in the front bucket seats. trying to keep from killing each other. I couldn’t sleep of course…you know, bears…moose and other wild things making weird noises in the dark of night. Somebody had to keep watch.
At about 3 AM, there suddenly appeared in the blackness of night, a beam of light shinning on the hood of our car. And then, a soft audible voice: “Hello?…You can’t park here!” I began to crack my car window with some uneasiness–okay, a lot of uneasiness with embarrassment on my face. We had the misfortune of selecting a Ranger’s cabin and parking in his parking space to sleep for the night.
He politely asked us to move on, but to where? He shrugged his shoulders when asked, WHERE CAN WE GO? and said “The Old Faithful Inn opens for breakfast at 7 AM. You might be able to wait in their parking lot until the sun comes up.”
I felt like Joseph and Mary must have felt some 2000 years ago, when they were told there was NO ROOM AT THE INN.
If I had paid more attention in my planning– sending a check ahead to the National Park Service with an ADVANCE RESERVATION GUARANTEED…I would have spared the family ((me in particular) all the grief and desperation!
A GUARANTEED RESERVATION:
In Hotel jargon, a guaranteed reservation for accommodations is secured by “supplying the hotel with a guaranty of payment.” Typically, a guaranteed reservation is “an agreement between the hotel and the participating quest that the room will be available, regardless of what time the guest arrives.”
The Apostle Peter Was Not Shy Theologically–
In 1 Peter 1:3-7, Peter paints a picture of the invincibility of our inheritance in Christ. As ‘born-again believers’ [“the elect” verse 1; and “born again” in verse 3], he describes our inheritance in a multitude of ways in these five verses. But there is one particular string that stood out to me in my Word investigation describing our security of inheritance; our advanced reservations.
He says that the Father’s inheritance is “reserved in heaven for you and me who are protected by the power of God through faith.” If that doesn’t give you HOPE, nothing else will!
And speaking of HOPE. Peter mentions A Living Hope:
“…By His boundless mercy WE HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN TO AN EVER-LIVING HOPE...” (1 Peter 1:3).
First, we can rejoice…because, we have an “ever-living hope”–ongoing, not ‘past hope’– BELIEVERS in Christ Jesus have been “born-again” [“re-birth”] to a “living hope” because of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
When we can realize that our ultimate destination in this long, difficult journey we call “life”, is eternity in heaven–it makes the potholes, the breakdowns, the ‘all nights in a cold car in an empty parking lot’ worth bearing.
To the UNSAVED…
HOPE is nothing more than “wishing on a star”:
– “I HOPE I win the lottery.”
– “I HOPE my boy shapes up someday.”
– “I HOPE things work out for me in my job.”
– “I HOPE I make it to the next paycheck.”
BUT, this kind of wishful thinking differs noticeably from the “living hope”.
Christian Hope is grounded on the reality of Christ and His resurrection. Because JESUS rose from the grave, we too will be raised like Him in glorified bodies to dwell in heaven and the new earth for ALL eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 21:5).
A Permanent Inheritance Is Promised (1:4):
— “REJOICING IN SUFFERING”
I’ve had the privilege over my Christian life, through career opportunities and even family vacations, to minister in a small way. Including a three-month stay in Oahu, Hawaii in a job opportunity.
I’ve also entered a few hotels in the P.M., exhausted from a long day of travel, giving the guy a credit card…waiting, while he does some voodoo on his computer–and then he stares through you as if you are not there. Have you ever had the same experience?
If your name isn’t on the computer screen, you DON’T EXIST!
You give the person at the front desk your confirmation number, but it’s NO GOOD. So, you wind up in a flophouse two blocks down, with nothing but a half-hearted apology because…somehow, your RESERVATION VANISHED…faded away.
The Apostle Peter Offers Great News:
“THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO YOUR RESERVATION IN GLORY!”
Your heavenly reservation has been PAID IN ADVANCE–in FULL–by the BLOOD of Christ Jesus and CONFIRMED by His glorious resurrection!
Some celestial receptionist won’t look at you and say, “Now what was that name again?” Or, “Could I see your credit card just one more time?”
There will NEVER be a” NO-VACANCY” sign–
When the Lord calls us home, He has promised us that we have an eternal “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled…”
I think most of us understand the word INHERITANCE; either we have experienced it personally, or we know of someone who has come into an inheritance. In my investigation, I thought I would give you the LEGAL and a Biblical definition:
One Legal Definition:
“something that is or may be inherited , property passing at the owner’s death to the HEIR or those entitled to succeed, legacy” (The Free Dictionary).
And, the Bible’s Definition of INHERITANCE by God’s Heirs–Our Birthright:
“…if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also; heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!” (Romans 8:17-19 AMP).
“In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit. That [spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance, in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it–to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
OUR RESERVATION HAS BEEN GUARANTEED!
At JESUS’ death on the cross over two thousand years ago, and His resurrection by the power of the Spirit, as HEIRS…
“Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] FAITH [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] at the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
My HOPE on my journey through life on this earth is…”I’ve A Home Beyond the River”.
I’ve a home beyond the river,
I’ve a mansion bright and fair,
I’ve a home beyond the river I will dwell with Jesus there.
Tho the world is filled with sorrow
And the tear drops often fall,
There will be but joy and gladness Safely inside the jasper wall.
As God’s kids, our inheritance makes our RESERVATIONS GUARANTEED!