A ‘Strange’ Inheritance

inheritance

Fox Business Network has a reality show called, Strange Inheritance, which is about “bizarre artifacts” and “outrageous stories” suitable to the title. The host, Jamie Colby, presents fascinating stories such as the family that inherited gang member, Ma Barker’s house; the Houston man who inherited Houston Astrodome’s railcar; a woman who inherits 67,000 pieces of a hand-carved miniature circus; and the like.

What adds to the oddity of what’s inherited is that someone may be named unexpectedly in the will. Anyone other than the surviving members or friends of the deceased can, indeed, attract attention—for example, the Portuguese aristocrat who left his fortune to 70 total strangers randomly chosen from a phone directory; the waitress who inherited half-a-million dollars from a customer; and the teenager who inherited an Island with a buried treasure. Eyebrows are also raised if the inheritance goes to one’s pet—like the Terrier named Trouble who inherited a $12 million fortune. (oddee.com)

Sometimes those who don’t deserve to inherit anything, get exactly what’s coming to them. That reminds me of this joke:

A lawyer was reading out the will of a rich man to the people mentioned in the will:

“To you, my loving wife Rose, who stood by me in rough times, as well as good, I leave her the house and $2 million.”

The lawyer continued, “To my daughter Jessica, who looked after me in sickness and kept the business going, I leave her the yacht, the business and $1 million.”

The lawyer concluded, “And, to my cousin Dan, who hated me, argued with me, and thought that I would never mention him in my will—well you are wrong. Hi, Dan!” (selected)

Many might be surprised to know that the Bible talks about a “strange” inheritance. Let me qualify that by saying those who are NOT believers through Christ might find it “strange.” Due to lack of faith on their part, they might look at the believer’s inheritance as something that is full of fantasy and fiction. They are the skeptics who mock and belittle those who claim that someday believers will inherit a great fortune worth more than anything that can be imagined in this mortal life (for example, 2 Peter 3:3-4).

The Bible speaks of this “strange” inheritance in terms of property, power, and position. It is connected with the second coming of Christ and the establishment of his Kingdom when he rules and reigns as King over all nations of the earth (Psalm 2:8; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 19:11-16). He will reign in the restored and exalted Jerusalem on the throne of his forefather, David (Micah 4:1-4; Luke 1:31-33).

The property is the entire planet and its contents perfectly restored and renewed in pure beauty, harmony, and peace for eternity:

Jesus declared, “Blessed are the meek [humble] for they shall inherit the earth,” (Matt. 5:5). Jesus is talking about real land, not heaven or some other place. He has in mind, the Promised Land referred to in the Old Testament, a place of prosperity and blessings of joy. (See Psa. 25:13; 37:9, 11; Isaiah 29:19).

Inheritance of the land or earth goes back to the promises made to faithful Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3. 7; 13:14-17; 15:5-7, 18; 17:1-8; 22:16-18), and passed along to his sons, Isaac (Gen. 26:2-5), and Jacob renamed Israel (Gen. 28:13-15; 35:10-12), who passed it on to his twelve sons (Exodus 2:23-25) which constituted the nation of Israel (1 Chronicles 16:13-19).

The inheritance is confirmed through David, “a man after God’s own heart,” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22-23). In Psalm 16:5 and 6, David said, “The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; Thou dost support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritance is beautiful to me.” The portion or share of inheritance not only includes the land and the royal heritage promised through the line of David, but the LORD God, himself.  For God has given his Word and his Word is as good as the inheritance he has promised (2 Samuel 7:12-16; 1 Chronicles 17:7-14; Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-26). Verses 10 and 11 are a prophecy of the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus when he arose from death (Acts 2:24-28), the One who will fulfill the portion of that inheritance claimed by David when Jesus rules on his throne (Psa. 89:3-4, 27-37; Isa. 11:1-12). 

The property also includes a perfect environment: All the nations of the whole world will permanently be at peace (Isa. 2:4; 9:7; Micah 4:2-3). There will be no more injustice or unfairness for all wrongs will be corrected with righteous and perfect judgment (Psa. 72:1-7; Isa. 11:3-5; Rev. 19:11). There will be no more sickness (Isa. 35:5-6; Rev. 21:4). Animals will be made harmless (Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25). The earth will be restored to its original beauty and fertility as it was before Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden (Isa. 35:1-7; 55:12-13; Ezekiel 36:33-35; Acts 3:20-21; Rev. 22:3). And the entire world will be filled with God’s glory and knowledge (Isa. 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14).

The power is what believers (the church) will receive at the first resurrection when Jesus returns to earth. All the faithful throughout the ages in Christ who have died will be raised from death to receive immortality (Job 14:14; Psa. 17:15; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2-3, 13; Hosea 13:14). After that, those in Christ who are living at the time Jesus comes will be instantly changed from mortal to immortal, and from corruption to incorruption (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; Acts 24:15; Rev. 20:6).

Those in the Old Testament, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who served God in faith, believing in the promises of his Kingdom, will be resurrected and rewarded with eternal life in Christ’s Kingdom, as well (Hebrews 11:13-16; 39, 40; Matt. 8:11).

The resurrection power that all believers will inherit at Christ’s coming is based on the hope that we have through him. The Apostle Paul testified, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead,” (Philippians 3:10-11, New American Standard Bible, NASB). Our hope is to inherit the glorious power of our resurrected Lord and Savior at his coming (Titus 2:13; Phil. 3:21; Colossians 3:4). Believers strive to be found faithful and ready when Jesus comes so as not to be judged to receive the final sentence of eternal death (Matt. 25:24-30; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Rev. 20:5, 11-15; 21:8).

Another part of the believer’s inheritance is position. Along with the power of eternal life is the power of rulership alongside the rulership of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Believers (a.k.a., the church) are called, “joint-heirs,” “fellow-heirs,” or “co-rulers” with Christ in his Kingdom (Rom. 8:17; Galatians 3:29). They will be made “kings and priests” of God and of Christ and reign with him on the earth (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).

Jesus alludes in the Parable of the Talents that those who’ve been faithful, and used the gifts given to them in this life, will be rewarded accordingly in his Kingdom when he returns (Matt. 25:14-23). We want to be found serving him loyally and not hiding our “talent” at the time of his coming. Our aim is to hear the words of the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been found faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your Master,” (Matt. 25:23; See also, Matt. 26:31-46).

Those who’ve accepted Christ as Savior and Lord through faith (Rom. 10:19; Galatians 6:26; Ephesians 2:8), repentance (Acts 2:38-39; 3:19), and baptism (Rom. 6:1-11; Gal. 6:27-29; Colossians 2:12) have the hope of inheriting these three “p’s”— property, power, and position in the coming Kingdom.

And to all of this we could add another “p”—prosperity. For as we anticipate the many blessings that believers will inherit, we do indeed look forward to the prosperity that we’ll enjoy in that wonderful Kingdom to come. To some, this might sound strange; to us, it sounds glorious! (2 Peter 1:10-11).

Good News to YOU!
Pastor Michael

P.S. Those who look to inherit the Kingdom must first ask Jesus to enter into their lives. Here’s Hillsong Worship in “Jesus, I Need You,” http://youtu.be/qz_oad9XZ0o

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