Inheritance is a subject that is mentioned throughout the Bible.
ISRAEL’S EARTHLY INHERITANCE
Starts with the life of Abraham, then named Abram, in Genesis 12:1-3. The Lord told him to leave his country and go to a land that He would show him. There He would make him a great nation. The mention of an heir is first recorded in Genesis 15:2.
As the Israelites were approaching the Promised Land, the division of the land became a major subject. To the eleven tribes the land was divided according to the number of people (Numbers 26:53-56). The tribe of Levi had no land for the Lord was their inheritance (Deuteronomy 10:9 & 18:2).
GOD’S INHERITANCE AND THE INHERITANCE OF GOD’S PEOPLE
As we move on in our reading of Scripture, we note the emphasis on a spiritual inheritance which is linked to the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3-5). However we need to remember that this spiritual inheritance is not linked to the Church, it also applies to Israel as a people. God made with Abraham an everlasting covenant. (Genesis 17:7-9). This everlasting covenant with Israel is mentioned throughout the Old Testament (Psalm 105:10, Isaiah 55:3 & 61:8, Jeremiah 32:40, Ezekiel 16:60).
There are also a number of references where Scripture reminds us that Israel is GOD’S special treasure or treasured possession (EVS Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:6-7, Psalm 135:4). Further in Psalm 94:14 we are told “The Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance”. Malachi 3:16-17 refers to a book of remembrance, which is the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15), the day when the Lord makes up HIS jewels (NKJ) or treasured possessions (EVS). The Apostle Paul in Romans 9-11 makes this clear. The inheritance with Israel will be fully revealed when the Lord Jesus returns again, for in Zechariah 14:4 we are told that when the Messiah returns His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east.
THE CHURCH’S INHERITANCE
The inheritance of those whose names are written in the Book of Life, both Jews and Gentiles is referred to in many passages of God’s Word. The Apostle Paul in Romans 8:16-17 teaches that we are children of God by God's Spirit, then as such are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. In Ephesians 1:11, we are told that "we have obtained an inheritance according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the council of His will". "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light"(Colossians 1:12). What this inheritance is, is not revealed, but we are told that His servants shall serve Him (Revelation 7:15), and also in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 we are told that the saints will judge the world and also angels. This future responsibility is something we cannot now understand, but it gives a glimpse of what God has in mind for those whom He has redeemed.
CHRIST’S INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS
This amazing subject is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:18. We read "...that you may know...what are the riches of the glory of HIS (CHRIST'S) INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS". The subject is mind boggling. For those who have sought forgiveness for their sins by believing faith, have received the forgiveness of sins and salvation because of the finished and completed work of the Lord Jesus on the cross at Calvary, these have been given by the Father to the Son AS AN INHERITANCE. Our Lord while here on earth made many statements concerning the certainty and permanence of a believer's relationship with Himself: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out" (John 6:37), "I give to them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.......no one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:28-30). Believers are given by God the Father to the Son (John 17 6 & 9).
But there is yet more that is revealed in Scripture. In Matthew 19:4-9 our Lord was disputing with the Pharisees about the sacredness and sanctity of the marriage institution given to the human race in Genesis 2:20-25. He stressed in Matthew 22:29-30 that this relationship only existed in this life not in the life to come. Yet marriage was a symbol of the relationship of the Lord Jesus to those who comprise His Church. This is a covenant relationship which will last for all eternity. Thus in the book of Revelation 19:6-9 we are told that there is to be the Marriage of the Lamb which will take place when our Lord returns and believers are caught up to be forever with the Lord. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Then under the symbol of the Bride, the Church, Christ’s chosen ones, will fully become HIS (CHRIST’S) INHERITANCE. What a day that will be!
Should not these Scriptures keep us humble, wondering at the mercy and graciousness of our God in this "So Great Salvation" (Hebrews 2:3) which has been given to us so freely yet at such great cost to the Lord Jesus Himself.
What should be our response? Should it not be in the words of Hebrews 6:1.
LET US GO ON
R. John Wheeler
[If you would like a more in-depth study on this topic, there is booklet produced. Please contact John via firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.]