Summary: God’s inheritance is worth preserving and persevering for and he offers a first installment here and now.
JESUS THE BETTER WAY: HE AWARDS A BETTER INHERITANCE
Big Idea: God’s inheritance is worth preserving and persevering for and he offers a first installment here and now.
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,
23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
My father recently gave me the “first installment” of my inheritance. He gave me a shotgun. It is not worth much but it ties me to him – the memories it provides are more valuable than I can explain. I am glad he made sure I got that gun.
I considered trading it off for a “better gun” – he gave another one to one of my brothers, Patrick. We, with my dad’s blessing, had decided to trade guns. I decided not to. Patrick’s is worth more on the open market but the one I learned to hunt with is worth more to me.
I really am glad dad gave me the gun early. Just looking at it brings back fond memories and it tells me they were fond memories for him as well.
From the perspective of faith, we also are assured of an inheritance. In fact, like my dad, our Heavenly Father also allows us to enjoy a “first installment” of our inheritance here and now. On three separate occasions the writer of Hebrews speaks of our inheritance (9:15, 11:8. 12:16) and many other New Testament writers do too.
In Peter’s first epistle he writes: “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” (1 Peter 1:3-4)
In his letter to the Colossians Paul says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
As I read through the latter portion of Hebrews 12 I begin to get a glimpse of our inheritance – His kingdom.
Let’s read the word of the Lord together:
JESUS AWARDS A BETTER INHERITANCE
HEBREWS 12:1-29 (PORTIONS)
Leader: Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy;
People: Without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Leader: See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
People: See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.
Leader: You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm.
People: You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.
Leader: You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
People: To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Leader: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
People: For our “God is a consuming fire.”
Thank you for your Word, Lord. And may I simply request: “Thy Kingdom come and thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Amen.
As I suggested earlier, God’s inheritance is not something we simply wait and wish for. It is something we can participate in now. God’s Kingdom is here – within us (Luke 17:21). It is not fully actualized yet but its existence does enrich us us even now.
It is very similar to a prince who will one day inherit his father’s kingdom isn’t it? The prince already experiences the benefits of the inheritance even though it is not fully realized yet. The coming inheritance impacts how the Prince lives and how he understands himself. That is true of us who follow the King of Kings too.