“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into…an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…” (1Peter 1:3, 4).
Some build it. Some fight for it. Some migrate to it. Some talk about it. Some dream about it…Almost all hope for it: a better place.
Now, if we came from nowhere…if matter and chance is all there is (as some “scientists claim”) where did this idea of a better place come from?
When disaster strikes resulting in pain, suffering and death, why do we long for a better place…for something better?
Christianity has the answer for these questions. God, the living God, is a God of a better place…of something better.
An inheritance is originally a portion (a something) which one receives randomly in the allotment process. The Hebrew people looked forward to an inheritance in the promised land of Canaan, with different tribes getting what has been their cast lot (Psalm 16:5).
In the New Testament it is the portion or heritage which one receives by virtue of birth or by special gift. In Jesus parable, the son was the one who stood to inherit the vineyard from his father (Matthew 21:38).
Anything we may inherit here on earth is temporary: it will perish; it will spoil; and it will fade.
This brings us to Jesus’ words, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19, 20).
The downside (if that) is the lack of any details about the particular inheritance. Paul had the privilege to see it all. Unfortunately, he could not/was not allowed to reveal what it was. He could not find words to describe it all. But the spirit of his words shows that he saw and heard marvellous things (2Corinthians 12:2). Our inheritance is outstanding!