The Pure, Lasting Inheritance
(1 Peter 1:3-5) 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, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. An inheritance from an earthly father may be plundered by thievery, taxation or inflation (and these three are one, sometimes). It may be gotten hastily and promptly squandered (PRO 20:21), as was the case with the prodigal son (LUK 15:11-13), for if a fool and his money will soon be parted, a fool and easy money will sooner be parted. It may be sold for soup, as did profane Esau (GEN 25:29-34; HEB 12:16-17). It may be marred, as was the case with Naomi's kinsman (RUTH 4:1-6). It may be a corrupt inheritance of ill-gotten wealth, as was the case with the vineyard Ahab and Jezebel would have passed on to their son (1KI 21:1-16). An inheritance may even be a dangerous thing for the heir when wicked men want to seize it (MAT 21:33-39). Not even an inheritance consisting of precious metals is immune from corruption: “Your gold and silver is cankered...” (JAM 5:1-3), i.e., corroded or corrupted. There is no permanence in this world. Everything is overwritten with decay; the whole creation is under the bondage of corruption (ROM 8:20-22). Bless God that He has begotten us again by Christ's resurrection to a much better inheritance, per our text! Our inheritance is not in this corrupt and corrupting world; it is in heaven. It is not only therefore in a place not under the bondage of corruption (for in heaven neither moth nor rust can corrupt, MAT 6:20), it is administered by the resurrected Son of God Whose flesh saw no corruption (ACT 2:30-31), Who will never more return to corruption (ACT 13:34). And in the day of His return, His children will be like Him (PHIL 3:20-21; 1JO 3:1-2), for we will not only put on incorruption (freedom from corruption), we will be raised incorruptible (incapable of undergoing corruption), being so resurrected and changed (1CO 15:51-54). That inheritance is also undefiled (not polluted or sullied). For those who might be wondering, we will never see chem-trails there. In heaven, there will be no smutty reality shows, no internet, no porn, no sexting, no evil communications which corrupt good manners (1CO 15:33). “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth...” (REV 21:27). That inheritance fadeth not away, unlike this earth which mourns and fades away (ISA 24:4) or our present persons which “...all do fade as a leaf...” (ISA 64:6). Those who strive for glory here in athletic competitions strive for a corruptible crown (1CO 9:25). Those who hold political power today may not have it tomorrow or pass it on to their preferred political heirs: “For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?” (PRO 27:24). By contrast, there is a promise to the faithful that “...when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1PE 5:4). Nothing of value lasts here but everything of value lasts there. We should strive for the incorruptible crown (1CO 9:25). That heavenly inheritance is reserved for the elect (1PE 1:2). They are begotten again unto it by resurrection power, per our text. They are quickened inwardly by God's power and mercy from spiritual death by grace (EPH 2:1-5), appropriately “...born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1PE 1:23). When this new spiritual life within is confirmed by faith, the believer is “...sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (EPH 1:13-14). It is not uncommon for wealthy parents to allow their children to early partake of some of the inheritance which shall be fully theirs in due time. By a new birth worked within by God, and by believers working out their own salvation with fear and trembling (PHIL 2:12), heirs of salvation (for so they are called, HEB 1:14) can enjoy a slice of that heavenly inheritance now, and be “...partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2PE 1:4).