THE BELIEVER’S INHERITANCE:
One of my favorite, all time HYMNS is “When We All Get To Heaven” by Eliza F. Hewitt and Emily D. Wilson. The hymn was inspired by a verse in 1 Thessalonians (1 Thess. 4:17):
Chorus: When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus, We’ll sing and shout the victory!
What a glorious day that will be for those in Christ. It’s an INHERITANCE to look forward to!
And there are several New Testament verses confirming our spiritual inheritance, giving us continued HOPE in a confusing world.
11 In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our INHERITANCE UNTIL the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of His glory (New International Version).
So that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (NIV).
Too Many of God’s People Have Settled Into a Someday Mentality–
Joshua 18:2-3 (Amplified Bible):
2 And there remained among the Israelites seven tribes who had not yet divided their inheritance. 3 Joshua asked the Israelites, “How long will you be slack to go in and possess the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?”
“SLACK”: fail, (be) faint, (wax) feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone (go down), (be) slack, stay, be still, be slothful.
“In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises” (Hebrews 6:12 AMP).
Joshua’s Rebuke –
Joshua’s scolding of the people tells us that it was not a weakness or a failure on God’s part that they had not taken possession of their inheritance, but a slackness and slothfulness on their part.
Paul the Apostle put a great emphasis on the whole armor of God (Why put on the armor if there’s not a battle to be fought?).
It is to POSSESS that which has been promised to us, to take possession of our INHERITANCE!
“POSSESS”: to seize, to rob, also to expel, to ruin–cast out, to impoverish, consume, destroy, disinherit, dispossess, drive out, (take) possession, seize upon.
Why do I say this should be our focus as Christians? Because until we are in possession of our inheritance, we cannot help anyone else to receive theirs.
The Spirit of the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the Half Tribe of Manasseh:
The spirit that God is looking for in this day and hour…they took their INHERITANCE on this side of the Jordan (Numbers 32:32).
The reason the three tribes were able to go ahead and fight for their brethren was, they had received their inheritance already.
MOSES and JOSHUA didn’t give the people of Israel their inheritance, God did! Moses and Joshua were only instruments God used to bring them into their inheritance.
“JORDAN” = death.
Many Christians today have determined they have to cross Jordan–die before they can receive their inheritance.
7 Tribes = representative of the church.
They had not received their inheritance. Not because is was not theirs, but because they were SLACK to go in and POSSESS it.
Too many of God’s people have settled into a “someday inheritance.” But FAITH is always now. Like these 7 Tribes, they’re waiting to cross over Jordan to possess their inheritance.
Somehow, we’ve come to believe, we have to die (or, be “raptured”–caught up) before we receive our inheritance.
Since when does the BENEFICIARY of the Last Will and Testament have to die to receive what the Will entitles him or her to?
It’s when the writer of the Will dies that entitlement occurs; to take possession of the contents of the Will.
You don’t have to die to get your inheritance…you just need to show up at the reading of the Will in finding out what belongs to you.
JESUS Was the Express Will of God for Us!
All of the riches of Heaven are contained in JESUS:
Hebrews 9:15-17 (NIV)
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. 16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.
JESUS DIED to bring us into possession of our inheritance; to bring the kingdom of God to us (thy kingdom come, thy will be done).
Someday, Somewhere, Somehow…
Many of us were raised in the church [I wasn’t] with this idea, from our parents, from our pastor, through the songs and hymns when we remember: “When we all get to heaven…” THEN…!
A SALVATION that told us everything was just on the other side of the river in glory; where the soul never dies, and one of these days we’ll die and fly and eat our pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye.
While I definitely believe in what’s available in heaven and I definitely believe there’s more to come, this someday mindset is a total contradiction to everything the Bible teaches.
The Bible doesn’t tell me I have to WAIT to have power until I die. It says “you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
Galatians 3:29 English Standard Version (ESV):
“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
That means the COVENANT BLESSING that He pronounced on Abraham is mine NOW!
Deuteronomy 28:1-13 New International Version (NIV):
1 IF YOU fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these BLESSINGS will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
3 You will be BLESSED in the city and BLESSED in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be BLESSED, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock–the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be BLESSED.
6 You will be BLESSED when you come in and BLESSED when you go out.
7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
8 The LORD will send a BLESSING on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land He is giving you.
9 The LORD will establish you as His holy people, as He promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. 11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity–in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground–in the land He swore to your forefathers to give you.
12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse on His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
No where in those verses do I read that MY BLESSING is waiting for me, on the other side of Jordan.
Tell your neighbor:
I love you and I don’t want to offend you, and if you want to wait till we all get to heaven to get BLESSED that’s up to you. But don’t get mad at me, if I take mine now!
THE PROMISE LAND
Somebody has said, the Promise Land in the Old Testament is a type of “heaven.”
That can’t be true, because there are no giants in heaven.
I’ve come to the biblical understanding the Promise Land in the Old Testament is a type of THE BLESSING of God, belonging to us, which symbolizes our spiritual inheritance in Christ.
JESUS is the PROMISE LAND of the believer:
For as many as are the PROMISES of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 1:20).
How long are we going to be SLACK to POSSESS the land which the LORD has already given to us?
I believe I’ll take my INHERITANCE now!
CREDITS and RESOURCES:
Photo Credits: Google Search – Images
Word Definitions: Online Dictionary, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words.
Bible Translations: Amplified Bible, except where noted.