Eternal inheritance.

Summary: An encouraging sermon that enables a person to focus on the eternal inheritance while facing difficulties and trials in this world.

Part 1 of this sermon

Everything in this world is time-bound. The world that we are living is aging and its beauty fading. Air pollution, water pollution, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, nuclear weapons etc has taken away the earth’s beauty. Take the prime of God’s creation, man. We are aging by the day. Man also is facing more problems, struggles, and sickness than he has ever faced since beginning. There are sicknesses like AIDS, cancer, hepatitis etc which shortens man’s lifespan.

When we see all this happening around us, we must understand that we have in the future something that will never age or never pass away. We have an eternal inheritance either in heaven or in hell, and every man can choose either of them.

1 Peter 1:3-5 3Praise 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Peter is writing to a church that is undergoing persecution in the first century. Nero blamed the Christians as the ones who set Rome on fire on July 19, 64 AD. The Christians were persecuted, killed, and stoned. The believers lost their loved ones, property, and had were not given jobs and were in utter poverty and pain. To comfort them, Peter is writing to them to change their focus from this world and look at the eternal inheritance in heaven.

Last week I started this message and I will briefly go through what we saw last week and then proceed to the remainder of this sermon.

What is our inheritance?

Salvation that is Coming.

Biblical Salvation.

  • Past Salvation. Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9
  • Present Salvation. 1 John 1:9, Philippians 2:12
  • Prospective Salvation. Romans 13:11

Elements of our eternal inheritance.

1. Source of our eternal inheritance. God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Motive behind our eternal inheritance. Mercy.

3. How do we appropriate our eternal inheritance? New Birth.

a. How does that new birth take place? By looking at the Son of God lifted up on a cross and believing in Him.

b. What is the result of the new birth? A living hope.

c. What has given us that eternal hope? The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Let’s move forward:

4. The nature of our inheritance.

1 Peter 1:3-4 3Praise 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.

Three things “imperishable, unspoiled, and unfading.”

a. Imperishable. The true meaning refer to something that was unravaged by an invading army. In the OT, God gave to Israel their inheritance, their inheritance was the land of Canaan. They had an earthly inheritance, but many, many, many times that earthly inheritance, Canaan, was plundered by invading armies, plundered by enemies, ravaged by enemies. The holy city alone, Jerusalem, was devastated and leveled at least 17 different times throughout history.

The Old Testament inheritance, the land of Canaan, an earthly inheritance given to Israel, was plundered and destroyed; but you have an inheritance that will never be ravaged, plundered, devastated. It’s imperishable. It is a treasure that can never be taken, stolen, robbed, plundered.

You see, that’s exactly what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 6:19-20 19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

In the early days wealth was stored in homes as gold and silver, grains, and expensive clothes. Thieves would make a hole in the mud house and often steal, moths would feed on clothes, and vermin would feed on the grains.

Illustration: The 2104 FIFA World Cup was won by Germany in Brazil. The cup is made of 18 carat gold costing $15 billion US. Do you know that the world cup was stolen twice in 1966 and 1983. Presently, the winning team is given the world cup for the celebrations but soon replaced with a replica because of the fear of theft. What Germany took back home is a replica of the true world cup.

Listen, there’s no place on this world where you can store. You think you’ve got your treasure over here and over there, and you’ve got your goods, and your bank accounts, and your bonds, and your stocks, and certificates, and whatever else you’re storing it up. It’s all perishable.

And if it happens to survive this world until you die, it will all perish when you die because you won’t be able to claim any of it. All the people you love will fight over it. And then when they go, they’ll leave it for the next group.

But the treasure that God has given us in the eternal inheritance of salvation yet to be revealed in the last time as our full and final glorious salvation is a treasure that will never be ravaged by an enemy, will never be touched by an invading army, will never be taken by a thief, will never be moth eaten or rusted. It can’t be touched.

b. Unspoiled.

This means unstained or unpolluted. Unstained with sin, evil, decay.

Everything in this world is defiled. Everything in this world is stained and spoiled by sin.

That’s why the Bible says in Romans 8:19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. The creation is stained. We live in a polluted world. We breathe infested and infected air and we transmit it to everything we touch. And the pollution isn’t air pollution, and the infection isn’t AIDS. It’s sin. All earthly inheritance is defiled.

Paul calls our earthly inheritance garbage: Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

Everything you have in this life is corrupted. Your new car will rust. Your new house will grow old and decay. Even money will be the victim of a shifting economy. Or your greatest treasure might be stolen from you but not that which you place in heaven.

But there is an inheritance which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is not defiled. 1 Peter 1:4 …and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

Where’s your focus? Where’s your treasure? Are you storing it up there to add to the joy of that eternal salvation?

c. Unfading.

This word is basically used for flowers that decay, that wither and die. And it suggests to us here that we have an inheritance that will never lose its supernatural beauty. It will never fade. It will never grow old.

You see, the kingdom of heaven has no decaying elements. It has no sin. Nothing perishes. Nothing fades away. All the strokes of time can’t touch it because it’s in a timeless place. All the taint of sin can’t touch it because it’s in a sinless place.

Peter says: 1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Oh, how wonderful, how wonderful.

Our homes here have to be painted, repaired. Our eternal inheritance is unfading.

4. The security of our inheritance.

Some of you might say, “Well, it would be wonderful if we could enjoy this inheritance, but I’m afraid I might lose it.”

Peter wants to answer that. 1 Peter 1:3-4 3Praise 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.

KJV says the inheritance is reserved in heaven for you. The word “reserve” means to guard. It’s guarded in heaven. And the idea is that it is an already existing inheritance is presently under guard in heaven, presently being and continually being guarded for you. Wow.

And where is it being guarded? In heaven. Is that a safe place? That’s the safest place. That’s the place where moth and rust doth not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. That is the safest place.

Do you remember in it says in Revelation 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Nobody’s going to go in there and take your treasure. Not Satan, not demons, not anybody.

Revelation 22:14-15 14Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

All the wicked are not up there. They’re outside of that kingdom.

Heaven will never know any invasion. Heaven will never know any spoiling of its treasure. Heaven will never know any decaying of its beauty. Heaven will never have armies tramping into it to fight against its inhabitants. Heaven is secure and that is where we are going.

Beloved, we never deserved this but it is God’s mercy, He has granted to us by the new birth an eternal salvation, which is reserved in heaven and cannot under any conditions ever be plundered. It’s secure. And as you serve the Lord Jesus Christ here, and as you live a life of adoring praise and worship, you continue to add to the reality of that treasure and the joy of eternal heaven as you invest in eternity.

And somebody might say, “Yeah, I know the treasure is secure but how secure am I? Maybe I could blow it.” “It’s reserved in heaven for you and you are protected by the power of God.”

6. The security of believers.

1 Peter 1:3-5 3Praise 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time

Not only is the treasure guarded, but you’re protected. Isn’t that wonderful? You’re shielded.

I’m protected. What am I protected by? The power of God. The omnipotence of God, the sovereign almighty power of God, continual military divine protection. You are in the process of being “protected by the power of God,” the text says. Satan can’t storm heaven. Satan can’t come up there and condemn you. But Satan cannot touch you even on the earth. You are protected. You are not going to suffer harm.

Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?

Illustration: Paton was a Bible student, a Bible college student in London. God called him to go to the New Hebrides Islands where there were man-eating cannibals. You know, that would be a hard thing for a young Bible college student to say yes to, wouldn’t it? I would have said, Lord, you’ve got the wrong guy. No sense in me being somebody’s lunch.

But John Paton didn’t argue with God.  The Lord said go, so he went. He took his wife, a ship let them off, they paddled to shore in a little rowboat. They were there on an island inhabited by man-eating cannibals whose language they did not speak. And they had no way to contact them. They set up a little hut at the beach and the Lord marvelously preserved them.  Later on when the chief of the tribe in that area was converted to Christ, he asked John who that army was that surrounded his hut every night. God’s holy angels protected him. After a matter of weeks there, his wife gave birth to a baby, and the baby and the wife both died. He was all alone and he says in his biography that he slept on the graves to keep the natives from digging up the bodies and eating them.

Philippians 1:6 … being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Jude 24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.

God not only keeps the treasure in heaven, but protects and keeps the believer.

Nobody can steal your treasure, and nobody can disqualify you from receiving it. You say, “Don’t I have any part in this at all? What if I just turn my back, and curse God, and walk away?” Well let’s look what the verse says.

7. What is man’s part in the eternal inheritance?

1 Peter 1:3-5 3Praise 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Faith. We are protected by the power of God through faith. That’s our part. God works that in you. Your continued faith in God and Christ is the evidence of God’s keeping work. When God saved you, He energized that faith in you, and as He keeps you, He energizes that faith. So we are kept by the power of God and the power of God works through our faith.

So that while you have on the one hand God in His power shutting the lions’ mouths and protecting Daniel, you have Daniel’s faith at its peak. The two always go together.

God doesn’t protect man though anything other than faith. So, faith is my part. Faith in the Lord is activated by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior. The moment you accept Jesus by faith, God’s grace is showered upon you and we are recipients of the eternal salvation and inheritance.

If you have never had faith in Jesus Christ, this is the time to do so. Accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior of your life.

If you are already in faith, friends, God is protecting you. In your difficulties God is with you. God also wants to remind you that he not only protects you here but you have an eternal inheritance on the other side of the shore. You have an eternal inheritance. Amen.


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