Posts Tagged ‘“Always look on the bright side of death.”’

Inheritance in the kingdom of God is often misunderstood because of a warped view of personal ownership, satisfaction and identity in things. This will not be the case in the new creation.

Simply the inheritance of the saints, as members of this new humanity (in Christ), is one another in unity of all things in God. As the Bible says in Ephesians 1 a Christian’s inheritance is in the saints (i.e. the union of the saints). As such it becomes the rebirth right (after having been reborn into Christ) to take their place in Christ as lords of the new creation, possessing one another and all things given by God (head and all-father) for the common good.

having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…
(Ephesians 1:18 ESV)

This holds true for the crown given to those who are united in Christ. Philippians 4:1 clearly states that the crown Christians will receive is one another. Paul calls the Church at Philippi his love, joy and crown. Not only the Philippian church but the church in Thessalonica too, because it is these who were known to Paul through his ministry and position in Christ as apostle.

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
(Philippians 4:1 ESV)

And again in 1 Thessalonians:

For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?
(1 Thessalonians 2:19 ESV)

In 2 Timothy it is stated that this crown is the crown of righteous and as such is a direct result of Paul living out his union with Christ now, completing the work Christ started. This crown is for all those who are united in Christ. God is laying this crown up by securing his work in Christ. So that those whom have ministered to and are in Christ will not slip away.

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
(2 Timothy 4:8 ESV)

The Bible states that there is a direct link between a Christian’s conduct in Christ now and the crown they receive on the last day. Showing the importance of understanding the continuity of relationship (unity) from the present age to the new creation. In 1 Peter 5 elders are urged to use their authority and position in Christ for the good of those Christ has given to them. Not seeking their own benefit or oppressing them, rather as an example for living in Christ now. Knowing that those whom they have faithfully served in the present age will be there on the last day as members of the same union.

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
(1 Peter 5:1-5 ESV)

However those who do not faithfully live out their union in this life, using all that they have given by God (in union) for their own gain, may still be saved from hell but will not know the joy of seeing those they loved on earth persevere untill the end. This is not telling Christians to “convert”, do as many ministries or befriend as many people as is humanly possible. It is a call for perseverance in unity (relationship) through faith in Christ, knowing that God has given all Christians to one another to others for their good. If you are indeed united to Christ you must act like it, otherwise you risk taking no one with you into eternity.

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
(1 Corinthians 3:10-15 ESV)

So seek out the joy of unity in Christ, faithfully serving one another until you are called home to be with him face to face and share in the saints.

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