Summary: Is our inheritance in this life, the life to come, or both?
The Greater Inheritance (Part 1)
In the modern church we have lost the concept of our eternal promise. We sing about heaven and claim that
we believe in our inheritance in heaven, but when it comes to living out faith, the lives of most Christians
contradict these claims of faith. The church has lost sight of what it means to sacrifice. We have no concept
of denying ourselves in this life for the promise of the life to come. People will gladly sacrifice eternal
blessings for worldly goods and pleasures and even claim that this is the blessing of God. Christian TV and
radio is filled with teachers who claim to be living in God’s lavishness and teach others that wealth and
health is the measurement of spiritual maturity. This is in spite of the clear teaching of scripture. 1 Timothy
6 addresses this very issue:
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from
which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,
5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that
godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
This passage uses strong language against these teachers. The Bible says that these teachers are proud and
know nothing. They have corrupt minds and don’t have the truth of God, they believe that godliness
produces gain and we are commanded to withdraw from such teachers. Instead of withdrawing, people are
flocking to them. Why? It is because people love the world and do not love God. These teachers promise to
fulfill what our human nature wants and anyone who loves the world more than God will choose a false
teacher over the truth of God. Look at these passages:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father
is not in him.
Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or
he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
This is not a new phenomenon. When God’s people in the Old Testament began to turn from Him, leaders
rose up who taught this same message. God condemned such leaders in Isaiah 56:
10 His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark;
Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
11 Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot
understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.
The watchman and shepherd are the ones who are supposed to lead others and keep watch over the spiritual
health of God’s people. Because of the absence of sound doctrine, teachers arose who were self-serving and
completely blind to the truth of God. The Bible warns that the greedy person trouble’s his own house.
Proverbs tells us not to put our eyes on money. Riches are temporary and will fly away as if it has wings.
When wealth disappears, those whose hope is in wealth will fall with it. People who lose sight of Jesus
Christ will seek out anyone who promises fulfillment of their selfish desires. On the surface it seems
unbelievable that people will invest their money in `miracle spring water’, `prayer cloths’ and countless
other gimmicks these teachers will conjure up to market for money. When these gimmicks and the promise
of God’s blessing fails, they claim that it isn’t the `faith formula’ that is in error, it is the fault of the person
wanting the blessing. They either claim, "You don’t have enough faith to receive" or they use Buddhist or
New Age doctrine which teaches that negative thoughts or words overcame the good. And if the claim that
I can send $1000 and get $5000 in return is true, why aren’t the preachers who claim this doing the same?
Why don’t they give $1000 to every charity and needy person and let God flood them with cash? People
are not deceived by these gimmicks. People are deceived by their selfish desires.
A couple of years ago I watched a woman speak out against a telephone scam. She was called and told that
she had unclaimed money available to her. The crooks only needed $500 to process the paperwork and fees
and she would get thousands in return. She later said that she knew it was a lie, but the thieves told her