Lesson for the Lord’s Day

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Ephesians 1:11

People who are to receive an inheritance can take different approaches to their situation. Let me explain by supposing two rich men who each have a son to whom they will bequeath their wealth. The son of one rich man takes a deep interest in his father’s possessions, and actively works with his father to build up the inheritance to even greater amounts. When his father dies, he receives far more than he would have if he had sat idly by waiting for his father to die. Sitting idly by is what the son of the second rich man does. He is satisfied to receive what is coming to him, and he takes little or no interest in his father’s business. The reading of his father’s will contains no surprises; he gets the bare minimum of inheritance and no more. Can you guess which of the two sons has the approach our Lord desires from His children concerning their inheritance? That inheritance is another of the great spiritual blessings mentioned in verse 3 of Ephesians 1.

Notice that our text today refers to receiving our inheritance in the past tense. That’s right, we have already received it. True, we have not entered into the full glory of it and we won’t until we are Heaven. But it is ours nevertheless. We cannot be deprived of it or disinherited, regardless of anything that we are or do as Christians. This inheritance is not based on ourselves, but on the Lord Who has given it to us and has made us worthy to receive it: ‘Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light’ – Colossians 1:12. Even if we take the approach of the lazy and disinterested son in our example above, we receive everlasting life and the joys and glories of Heaven forever. 1 Peter 1:3,4 declares, ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, t To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you’. But God has so much more in mind for us that that!

When we reach Heaven, we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) where we will receive the rewards for our faithfulness to our Lord while we were still in the flesh, or as 2 Corinthians 5:10 says: ‘that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad’. We have plenty of encouragement throughout the Scriptures for us to work toward a full inheritance, plenty of reminders that God has a bountiful blessing to bestow on us. For example, Colossians 3:23,24: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ’.

What all is included in our inheritance> That is not an easy question to answer, because our little minds are incapable of understanding the riches and glories of Heaven, the reality of eternity in pleasures forevermore, and the reality of the presence of God. Nor can we grasp the true significance of the rewards that God has in store for us: ‘But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him’ – 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Of all the spiritual blessings that God has brought us into by saving us, our inheritance is one of the most exciting and inspirational. – Jim MacIntosh

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