A man once asked for some advice about providing his children an inheritance. It became clear that he was rather emotional about this. He wanted to know what the Bible said about giving his children an inheritance and giving his children’s children an inheritance. He was told that Proverbs 13:22 addressed his question.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. Proverbs 13:22a (NASB)
It is very clear from this verse that a good man will leave an inheritance for his children. But some do not stop to think about their grandchildren. Obviously, this requires one to change a will of inheritance to include one’s child and grandchildren. It requires a serious commitment. Then the last part of the verse adds,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22b (NASB)
Notice this verse contrasts the good man to the sinner. The good man leaves an inheritance, but the sinner does not do that. In fact, the sinner ultimately leaves his wealth for the righteous. Now more than likely a sinner wouldn’t want to give his wealth to a righteous person, but the message is that he does anyway, somehow.
Psalm 49:10 gives us more insight about wealth. The stupid man and senseless person live life as if life goes on forever even though they see men die.
For he sees that even wise men die;
The stupid and the senseless alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.
Their inner thought is that their houses are forever
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have called their lands after their own names.
But man in his pomp will not endure;
He is like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:10 (NASB)
The point is that the stupid man and senseless people leave his/her wealth to other people. They do not plan. They do not care. They are senseless and stupid people. I could not help but think about the descriptions of these individuals. If someone told them that they should leave an inheritance for their children and their children’s children, they might say, “Well, I don’t know why you would want to do that?” That is the reply of the senseless and stupid. And that is the message of the verse.
But a good man understands and leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children. You might say, “I do not have much money to leave to anyone.” Notice that the verse does not tell us how much to leave. We are free to leave however much we want. But the message is that you should want to leave something for your children and your children’s children. That is the heart of a good man. The heart of a good man says, “I will do that.”
Ecclesiastes 7:11 adds a little more about our children when it says that wisdom along with an inheritance is good and an advantage to those who see the sun. The first part of the verse is the key part.
Wisdom along with an inheritance is good . . . Ecclesiastes 7:11 (NASB)
The verse makes the obvious point that an inheritance and wisdom are good. They should go together. But stop and think what would happen if a person leaves an inheritance to one who was foolish? The answer is that the person will squander the inheritance. The person will not spend it wisely. So the message is that if you get an inheritance, it would be nice if you have some wisdom to go along with that.
Next, you might struggle with the question, “Am I going to leave my money to a child who might not be very wise?” Yes, that is possible. Therefore, you should pray for wisdom for him or her because James 1 says that God gives wisdom to anybody who asks. Then should we give an inheritance to a foolish child anyway and to our children’s children? The answer is, “Yes!” A good man does that.
The Christian’s Inheritance
Our Bible study is about inheritance. The message is about God’s inheritance to his children. We know from scripture that God is a good God and He leaves an inheritance to his children and to His children’s children. That is, God leaves an inheritance to believers and the believers after us. It was wonderful to read John 17 and find Jesus praying for his disciples and then talking about the people who would become believers as a result of the ministry of the disciples. This means that the Lord wants to use us to bring someone else to Christ. In a sense, they are your spiritual children. In fact, Paul uses almost that same terminology with regards to Timothy and other people to whom he wrote. So God is good! He gives an inheritance, and the question is, “What is the inheritance?” How does all of this work?
Our study is in Revelation 21:7-8. We are going to explore some questions that we have not asked yet. In our recent studies in the book of Revelation, we have discovered that on some future day, God is going to destroy the current heavens and earth. He is going to destroy everything and make new heavens, a new earth, and create a new Jerusalem. We saw in our last study that God said, “Behold I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5). And then he said, “It is done” (Revelation 21:6). “It is done” is a statement of fact. The message is God’s plan is so certain that God will do this. It is so definite! God can say it is done because it is going to happen. It is His decree! It is His will. It is His authority, and He is going to make it happen. Therefore, He says, “It is done!” It is final. It is complete. It is certain.
We also saw in Revelation 21:6 that God made this promise,
I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. Revelation 21:6 (NASB)
He made the promise to those who are spiritually thirsty. People who are spiritually thirsty are going to be able to drink from a spring called the spring of the water of life. It is another way of telling us that eternal life continues when we arrive in heaven. I believe the spring is real. We are going to see actual water in heaven. We are going to be able to drink water in the eternal state called heaven. Then we are told that it is without cost. Eternal life is a free gift. We do not have to do anything for it. Doesn’t that sound like Ephesians 2:8-9? That passage says,
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
Salvation is a gift of God, and that is a promise.
So the one who is spiritually thirsty, the one who recognizes that they have a spiritual need to be holy, will be forgiven. God is going to give to that person eternal life and He will give it to them without cost. It will not cost that person anything. Our study starts in verse 7. And it is actually a restatement of verse six, but uses different words.
In verse 7 we read,
He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and He will be my son. Revelation 21:7 (NASB)
I want you to notice that God says that He who overcomes will inherit these things. Inherit what? The answer is the new universe, the new earth and the New Jerusalem, the new everything. Those who inherit are overcomers. Can I ask, “Are you an overcomer?” Are you wondering who is an overcomer? Then turn to 1 John 5 and you will see. The apostle John wrote 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and he also wrote the Book of Revelation. So the books will all be consistent. It is interesting that John uses the term “overcomer.” 1 John 5:5 says,
Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:5 (NASB)
The Overcomer Is a Christian
So who is an overcomer? It is someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Now you say, “Well, what does Son of God mean?” I will not take time to turn to some of the passages of scripture, but you might want to take some notes and visit them later. In John 10:31-33 the Jews are upset with Jesus. They make the point that Jesus claimed to be God. That is, He declared He was God. It is very clear that the Jewish leaders knew He claimed to be God. The Jews were upset with His claim. In John 10:36, Jesus responds by saying,
. . . do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? John 10:36 (NASB)
Do you see that they were upset with him because He claimed to be the Son of God? They understood that the term “Son of God” meant that He was God. It is very clear from this passage what the term Son of God means. It is a declaration of Christ’s deity. So when we read in 1 John 5:5 that the one “who believes that Jesus is the Son of God,” it means the one believes Jesus is God.
Now some people want to claim that Son of God means that He was born. He is like an offspring or a child of God. Unfortunately, they have missed the point. They missed the message in John 10 that the Jews understood when Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, He was claiming to be deity. Only people who want to distort the truth for their own advantage to perpetrate a different doctrine or to push a different teaching will teach otherwise. So John tells us that the one who is an overcomer is the one who believes that Jesus is God. Therefore, the question is: do you believe Jesus is God? This truth is repeated throughout the Scriptures.
Meaning of John 1:12
John 1:12 is a great passage. Some Christians have it memorized. I have had this verse memorized since I was a child. In John 1:12, we read,
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name . . . John 1:12 (NASB)
The Greek word for “authority” is exousia. That is, we have authority to become children of God. This authority is given to those who believe in Christ’s name.
Now there are three things I want you to notice in this verse. The first is the phrase, “But as many as received.” The word received is a very common Greek word. It is lambano and it means “to take, to take hold of, or to grasp.” When I pick up a hammer to use it, I grasp the hammer because I want to drive a nail. If I needed to destroy something, I will grasp something else to use to destroy whatever I wish. The word has the idea that you can hold on to something. Therefore, the idea is that as many as received grasped him. They want Jesus. They want Christ. “To them” means that God gave us the right to become the children of God. He says, “Even to those who believe in his name.” The message is that if you want Christ and believe in Him, then you have become His child. These are signs that a person is a Christian.
The word “belief” is important. I want to stop to talk about this word. It is a perfect participle in the Greek. That means the person did not just believe in Christ at some time in the past. Often people say, “Well, I know somebody who believed in Christ in the past and they are not walking with Jesus anymore. But I am sure they are a believer because they received Christ once.” That is not what this verse says. This verse says those who are actively believing are Christians. The present participle implies that they are continuing to believe. They believed back then and they believe now. That is the idea. Notice what happens. If you are grasping for Him or you are believing now, you are a child of God. You belong to him.
Meaning of John 12:36
In John 12:36 the apostle John quotes Jesus,
While you have the light . . . John 12:36 (NASB)
Now who said, “I am the light of the world” in John 9:5? The answer is, Jesus did! Jesus said, “While you have the light.” That is, while you have Me here, you should believe in the Light. That is, believe in Me, so that you may be sons of light. The reason you are supposed to believe in Christ is so that you can be sons of light. If you believe in Christ, you are called a child of God, and you are also called a son of light. Now there was another interesting connotation with that phrase and we will get to that in a minute.
Galatians 3:26 communicates the same message using different words. Galatians 3:26 says,
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26 (NASB)
Notice that “For you are all” refers to believers. That is, the epistle is written to believers. Therefore the apostle Paul says, “For you are all sons of God,” through what? Faith! Through faith in Christ Jesus and not through works, not by trying to do this and trying to do that. Christians are Christians through faith. Christians become a son of God not through works but through faith in Christ Jesus. So the phrases children of God, sons of Light and sons of God are all synonymous terms, all different terms for the same thing.
Children of God & Children of the Devil
Now we will look at a very important comparison. In 1 John 3:9 we are told,
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9 (NASB)
Verse 9 is talking about the pattern of life of an individual. Now here is the key statement I want to look at,
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:10 (NASB)
Notice the contrast, “the children of God” versus “the children of the devil.” Remember the synonyms: children of God, sons of light, and sons of God. Who are the children of the devil? The opposite of Christians! Notice what the verse says, “Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” So the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious. This refers to your pattern of life. This refers to how a person behaves. This refers to how a person treats other people. This refers to the way a person responds to God. It refers to what a person does in private when nobody else is watching. John says the children of God versus the children of devil are obvious. It is not a mystery!
The phrases children of God and the sons of God also speak of ownership. If you are a child of God, this phrase tells us to whom you belong. God! It speaks of relationship. My wife and I have two daughters, and when they were still living in our home, we called them our daughters. If we had had some sons, we would have called them sons. And because they were part of our family, they had the responsibility to be obedient. We are sons of God and are children of God. We are always to be in submission to Him. There will never come a point in our lives when we will never be under his tutelage. There will never be a point in our lives when we will not be under His authority. We will always be under God the Father’s authority. Is it not interesting that Jesus told us to pray to God our Father who is in heaven? That is, we have a father. We have a father-child relationship. For those of us who have put our faith in Jesus as our God, our Savior and our Lord, we have a Father-child relationship and it is our responsibility to obey him.
In 1 John 3:9-10, we will discover that the phrase has another connotation. It is one of spiritual character. In fact, the phrase children of God implies that holiness is associated with it. Is it obvious to you that if God the Father is holy, then his children should be holy too? So not only is ownership implied, but there is also an implication that we should be holy even as He is holy.
Overcomers Have An Inheritance
When we are told in Revelation 21:7 that overcomers will inherit these things, we are told that those who put their trust in God and Christ are the ones who by their pattern of life demonstrate that they belong to God. They demonstrate that they are trying to be holy. They are the ones who inherit these things. I can change the words and say that the holy ones will inherit these things because the Holy One is in heaven and His holy children will be with him.
Now I want to explore five key concepts that are often overlooked when we are talking about our relationship with God the Father. When we are done, I want to look at a number of very specific things that we are going to inherit when we get to heaven.
Christians Have Been Adopted By the Father
The first key concept that we want to look at is in Ephesians 1:4. Now remember that when the Bible was written in Greek, it did not have chapter and verse divisions. The Greek text was not divided into chapters, and the chapters were not divided into verses. That happened later in time. Somehow in the process of creating the verses, the first two words of a new sentence in verse 4 were inadvertently disconnected from the rest of the sentence that occurs in the next verse, verse 5. Therefore, we want to pick up the sentence in verse 4 that starts with the two words “In love.”
In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:4-6 (NASB)
What is important about this sentence is this. He said, “In love He predestined us” to what? To adoption as sons! Did you know you have been adopted if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ? Did you know you are adopted if you received Jesus, if you grasped onto Jesus, if you wanted Him and asked for forgiveness? You are adopted. That is the Father-son imagery. We were adopted! He adopted you and you are part of the family. We sing a song called, “The Family of God” because we are adopted. Why did He do that? It is because He was indifferent to you? He is on a vacation and He just decided to give you this option? No! He did it because He loves you, and so He adopted you. He planned it and did it (Rom. 8:14-17; Eph. 1:5).
The Christian’s Inheritance Is Promised
Ephesians 1:13 reveals the results of our adoption. If you are adopted, then there should be something that comes along with it. Verse 13 says,
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 (NASB)
Here we are told that not only were you adopted when you put your faith in Jesus Christ, but God also gave you the Holy Spirit as a seal. He was your pledge. The word for pledge has the idea of earnest money, a deposit or a down payment. I could not help but think about real estate transactions. When you buy a house, you give a financial institution a down payment or earnest money. The down payment proves that you are going to come back later at another time and provide the rest of the money in order to buy the property. The Holy Spirit is a down payment. He is the “earnest money” or the deposit of your salvation. That is better than a house because we are promised heaven. We are promised eternity with God, so the Holy Spirit is a pledge for God’s promise of our inheritance.
The word “inheritance” is also important because it is really a gift. An inheritance is something you receive as a gift from somebody at the point of their death. Our inheritance is not the result of a lottery. It is not the result of a game show. I am sure there are some interesting game shows that you have watched where the participants received cash rewards. God is not running a game show; the prize you receive is the result of faith in Christ.
Now we have examined two very important concepts. The first one is that we have been adopted and made sons. Because we are sons, God gives us an inheritance. He is a good God. That is the message of Proverbs 13:22. He is going to give us an inheritance. The second is the inheritance is guaranteed.
The Inheritance Will Not Disappear
The third key concept also deals with inheritance. It will not fade away. In 1 Peter 1:3-4 we are told that our inheritance does not fade away.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you . . . 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NASB)
What’s the message? The answer is revealed by asking what will not spoil? What will not be defiled? You may wait a lifetime, but it is not going to go away. It is not going to perish. It will not fade away. Heaven will be there when you arrive.
The Christian’s Share in Christ’s Inheritance
Now the fourth concept. In Romans 8:16-17 we are told something that really boggles my mind and should boggle yours. It reveals something incredible about our inheritance in Christ. Romans 8:16 says,
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God . . . Romans 8:16 (NASB)
In other words, if you are truly a believer, the Holy Spirit will be resident within you and will be confirming to you that you have a relationship with him. He will confirm that you have a relationship with him. There will be indications in your life that you are a Christian. Verse 17 states,
. . . and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:17 (NASB)
Will you think about that with me? We are joint heirs with Christ. Whatever Christ owns, we own. There is nothing that Christ owns that you are not going to own. We are joint heirs. Did you know that every Christian here in this room is a joint heir? There may be somebody here in this room that you do not like. It is always possible in a group this large that there is someone you do not particularly like. But when we get to heaven, we will all be together because He loves us, He adopted us, and He has given us an inheritance. We are family, and we are family already.
The Christian’s Inheritance Is Riches
The last key statement is back in Ephesians 1. This is the fifth concept that we do not often hear about very much. In Ephesians 1:18, the apostle Paul says,
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints . . . Ephesians 1:18 (NASB)
When I read this verse, I stopped and thought for a while. Paul is praying so that the Ephesians would understand the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. What Paul is telling us is that we have an inheritance and we do not really understand it. So Paul is praying that they would understand the riches of their inheritance. Do you know what that implies? He says we will inherit riches. Think for a minute. If you get an inheritance, you want to be rich, right? What God is saying is that you are going to be rich. You are going to get some valuable things, and Paul is praying that the Ephesians would understand that.
Our Inheritance – Tree and Water of Life
One of the things I want to help you understand is what some of those riches are. Therefore, let’s go to Revelation 2:7. We are going to walk through seven riches that God is going to give us as part of our inheritance. Each statement is addressed to overcomers. Now remember who overcomers are — they are children of God. They are the sons of God. They are sons of light. Revelation 2:7 is written to the church at Ephesus. The verse says,
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God. Revelation 2:7 (NASB)
My first question is, “Where is the Paradise of God?” It is in the new heaven and in the new earth. That is where the tree of life will be too. Check out Revelation 22:1. In that passage you will find there is not only a tree of life but there is also the water of life. The water of life implies that there is water we can drink. The tree of life implies that there is fruit we can eat in the new heavens and the new earth. It is just fabulous to think about that for a while. I do not know if you think about heaven often or very much. I do not know if you think about eating and drinking in heaven or if your dream is to sit on some little, white, fluffy cloud playing a harp, watching all the angels go by. I do not know what you think about heaven. But here we are told we will have water to drink and food to eat. Heaven is not going to be a dull, boring place, just sitting in a chair or sitting on a cloud. It is going to be a fabulous place. So that is part of the riches of our inheritance. God has prepared it because He loves us.
Our Inheritance – Escape the Lake of Fire
Now the next piece of our inheritance is revealed in Revelation 2:11. It says,
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death. Revelation 2:11 (NASB)
Remember in our study of Revelation 20:14-15 we were told that those who will stand before the Great White Throne of judgment will be unbelievers, the unrighteous or the wicked dead? They are going to stand before the Great White Throne for judgment and their names are going to be looked up in the Book of Life. If their names are not in the Book of Life, they are going to the lake of fire and will spend eternity there. That event is referred to as the Second Death.
So when we are told that those who overcome will not be hurt by the second death, it is a promise that you are not going to suffer eternal condemnation in the Lake of Fire. Translated — those who overcome will all go to heaven. Thus, we are going to live forever with God.
Our Inheritance – Manna, Stone, & New Name
Now the third aspect of our inheritance is in Revelation 2:17. Here we read,
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. Revelation 2:17 (NASB)
Now there are several parts to this promise or this inheritance. The first is that we are going to receive some hidden manna. You might ask, “Where is it?” The answer is we do not know. It is hidden. We cannot see it. Most commentators believe, and I agree, that it refers to Jesus Christ. Remember in John 6:32 and 35 that Jesus said He was the bread of life? He is the hidden manna. He was not talking about ciabatta bread, sourdough bread, matzo or some homemade bread. We are being told that we will feed on Jesus Christ in a spiritual sense because from Him we get spiritual life. Therefore, Rev. 2:17 is referring to Jesus Christ who is the Bread of Life.
I was thinking about all the different statements about Christ and the Holy Spirit and life. Scripture speaks of the bread of life. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Jesus is the prince of life. Scripture speaks of the Spirit of life, the light that gives life, the crown of life and the fruit on the tree of life. We will drink from the water of life. The Bible is the book of life and it is the Word of life. Have you thought about all the “of lifes” that there are in the Bible? They are all connected to our spiritual life. It is fabulous to think about all of the “of lifes” that we can look forward to as believers.
Now you ask, “What is the white stone all about and what is meant by our names will be written on a white stone?” What is that talking about? We believe that this refers to an ancient custom. The ancient custom involved a white stone called a Tesseract. It was a cube shaped stone given to the victors in games. The winner’s name was written on the stone. It was like a ticket that victors use to enter a feast. This reveals that overcomers are “victors.“
This is a play on words – overcomers are victors. The stone is like a ticket to a celebration because we have won. The implication is that heaven is going to be an eternal celebration. Heaven is going to be an eternal feast. Heaven is not going to be boring and dull. It is going to be like a festival. That is a terrific concept to think about – heaven with all the joys and all that is going to be associated with it. We are going to see more about this in the studies to come.
Our Inheritance – Rule and the Morning Star
In verse 26 we are told,
He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 2:26-29 (NASB)
Here we are told we will reign with Christ. We will be given authority over nations by the Father and will be given the Morning Star. What is the Morning Star? We find in Revelation 22:16 that Jesus is the bright and Morning Star. The Greek word for “bright” actually means radiant. So we are going to receive the radiant star. We are going to receive Jesus. I think that is a euphemism that says we are going to be able to be with Him and be able to enjoy His presence.
Our Inheritance – Names in the Book of Life
Revelation 3:5 reveals the fifth part of our inheritance. It says,
He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5 (NASB)
Now we are told that the one who overcomes will be clothed in white garments. This speaks of our holiness or our righteousness. Since there is no sin in heaven, no wickedness, and no evil people in heaven, you will no longer experience insults. You will not be offended, hurt, or worry about any dangers, and your name will not be erased from the book of life.
Now this is a promise of eternal life. This is a promise that your name will not be erased from the book of life. This is a promise that a Christian will never ever have to worry about losing their salvation. That is, once you have truly put your faith in Christ, you are a believer forever. People who have truly been born again are going to go to heaven. Then we are told, “And I will confess his name before my father and before his angels.” That is an important promise. In Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus said,
Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33 (NASB)
In Luke 12:8-9, Jesus said,
And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. Luke 12:8-9 (NASB)
Revelation 3:5 is an echo of what Jesus said during his ministry here on earth. The message is that if we do not confess Christ before others, He is not going to confess us before the Father. Jesus also made that the opposite statement. He said, “If you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father.” So I must ask you, when you have an opportunity to share Jesus Christ, do you shy away from it? How do you respond? I do not think this verse is talking about what Peter did. Remember Peter denied Christ three times. Now remember he did not go to hell. He was not going to experience eternal condemnation. He was an apostle. What this statement is saying is that you regularly confess Christ before others. You are seriously committed to Christ. Remember Romans 10:9 says,
. . . if we confess Jesus as Lord . . . Romans 10:9 (NASB)
The point is that true Christians are those who tell others about Christ. Christ is your Lord. If you are a true Christian and you really understand your riches and the future glory, why wouldn’t you want to share Jesus Christ with other people, with everyone? Why wouldn’t you want to tell others about God? The whole point is that you have a relationship with God and that alone should drive you to tell others about Christ. That is the message.
Our Inheritance – Christians Are Important
Now the sixth part of our inheritance is given in Revelation 3:12. It says,
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. Revelation 3:12 (NASB)
Now this is a very interesting passage because we are told that we will be a pillar in the temple of God. This is not saying we will be made into an ivory pillar in some building.The Greek word for “pillar” has the idea of support or bearing. That is the idea. You are going to be foundational. You are going to be a key part of the heaven. You are going to be important. Sometimes the word was used of an important person. That is, every Christian will be an important person. Did you know that God considers you to be important or foundational to heaven? Therefore, He is going to write on you three things: the name of God, New Jerusalem, and then Jesus’ new name. And we do not know what that name is. There are things we will discover when we get to heaven that we do not know here on planet earth.
Our Inheritance – Sit With Christ
The seventh part of our inheritance appears in Revelation 3:21,
He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Rev. 3:21 (NASB)
What is the seventh part of our inheritance? From the early chapters of Revelation we have been told that we are going to sit down on His throne, even as Christ sat down on the Father’s throne. That implies we are going to reign with Him. That implies we are going to rule. And you say over what will we rule since there will not be any wicked people? There will not be any unrighteous. Do you remember 1 Corinthians 6:3? Paul is writing to the Corinthians and he says that we are going to judge a unique group. Guess what group that is? We are going to judge angels! That implies we are going to reign.
Those are just glimpses of our future inheritance. Think about what Paul is saying. He prayed that the Ephesians might understand the riches of their inheritance. We had a few glimpses of our inheritance in this study. There is much more to come, but we are not going to find out about all of it until we get to heaven. So how should we respond?
First, we should not become proud and arrogant about our inheritance. We need to be humble because James 4:6 tells us that God is opposed to those who are proud. We all fall into that category, but some of us are more proud than others. Second, we need to be grateful. That is the message of Hebrews 12:28-29. Finally, we need to be faithful and confess His name before others and tell others about Christ. Tell others about the great opportunities that they have. I would like to close with an illustration from “Our Daily Bread.” It goes like this,
When Theodore Roosevelt was President, he went on a hunting safari to Africa. And on his return to the United States, a missionary who was retiring after 40 years of service in a remote jungle village was traveling on the same plane. So here’s a plane and Theodore Roosevelt’s on it and this retiring missionary is on it. And when the ship docked, cheering throngs greeted the chief executive but not a single person was there to welcome the returning missionary. Momentarily, the man of God was filled with self-pity. He thought, when a President comes home after a short hunting trip, hundreds come out to greet him. But Lord, when one of your missionaries comes home after a lifetime of service, no one’s there to meet him. Immediately, it was as if the Lord whispered, “My son, you’re not home yet.”