Today we take a final look at these few verses from Peter’s first epistle. Before we dive into some closing thoughts, I’d like to offer a few more insights into this idea of inheritance.
Inheriting the earth or possessing the land includes the idea that we will reign and rule with Christ on the earth. Consider these verses from the book of Revelation.
“And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying…”
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” – Revelation 5:6-10
I think it’s important to note that the Bible doesn’t speak of the destiny or goal of those who are in Christ being that they get to go to heaven when they die. In the verses that we’ve considered just now, it seems clear that our destiny is the same as that of Abraham, to inherit the land of promise as an everlasting possession.
Jesus constantly promised his followers that they would inherit the Kingdom of God when he returns. The passage in Revelation that we just read confirms this promise of Jesus as well. Being heirs of the world and heirs of the kingdom are synonymous ideas. Eternal life, future reward, future glory are all terms that refer to our inheritance of the kingdom of God.
This leads us into the final sentence of the 1 Peter passage that we’ve been exploring together. Let’s read it again.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that is, into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – 1 Peter 1:3-5
It is reserved in heaven for you can be a problematic phrase if we come across it already believing that heaven is the goal and final destiny for believers in Jesus. It’s problematic because we read that phrase and understand it to confirm for us that heaven is where we will spend eternity with Jesus.
As mentioned earlier, the promise of eternal life means that we will inherit the land also promised to Abraham as an everlasting possession and reign and rule with Christ. This phrase about God’s gift of new birth and an inheritance being reserved in heaven for us is simply a way of telling us that it’s as good as done. Let it be said, let it be done! Period. This secure promise of God enables us to entrust ourselves to God and His protection and embrace our future destiny with a living hope.