“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, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” (1 Peter 1:3–6, AV)
My father worked hard his whole life and built up his pension and various retirement accounts. Much of this came through Individual Retirement Accounts, IRAs that were invested in various mutual funds. He did not amass a fortune, but more than he and my mother needed to live out their days. So, combined with the sale of our childhood home and these IRAs, there was a little left over to pass on to my brother, sister, and me when they died. This was our earthly inheritance.
My wife and I followed the same pattern. We have been able to get out of debt, own a home, and set up various individual pension funds. I imagine that we will have something left to pass on to our two children when we leave to be with the Lord. I say that I imagine because there is no telling what will happen in our world between now and then. We could have a major economic collapse like nothing ever seen before that would make our accounts worthless. The Social Security System could dry up so that we would have to liquidate our accounts to get by. The government could become a totalitarian regime and confiscate and redistribute our property. No one truly knows what the future holds. There is no absolute guarantee that my children will ever get an earthly inheritance.
However, we as Christians have a different perspective. We have an inheritance in heaven. This is the blessing about which Peter wrote in these verses. What is this inheritance? It is all the blessings of heaven. It is a spiritual inheritance. It is to be a partaker of the riches of heaven and the blessings of God’s eternal kingdom.
Peter communicates something very important about this inheritance, the eternal guarantee, that we shall receive it. There are two parts to this. First, he indicates that this inheritance cannot be corrupted, defiled, or be caused to fade away. It is one that is eternally secure. He stated that it is “reserved in heaven” for every believer. The word reserved, tereo, is a verb that means to attend to guard (Strong G5083). Our infinitely powerful God has absolutely and eternally secured our inheritance in heaven in a way better than any IRA or bank vault, or earthly army can do.
Secondly, God guarantees that each and every believer will receive their inheritance. Peter went on to say that believers are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” The word, “kept,” phroureo, means to be a watcher in advance, i.e. to mount a guard as a sentinel (Strong G5432). God through His infinite power is guarding each and every believer unto that day when we will enter into His presence in heaven. God will never allow anything or anyone to separate us from His family. We have the guarantee of God that we who have truly believed will receive our inheritance.
In this life, there is no guarantee that anyone will receive their earthly inheritance. Some may see that their inheritance has been washed away. Some have passed on before receiving their earthly inheritance. However, for every believer, the inheritance is secure and the heirs are guarded. Nothing in all creation will keep us from receiving that glorious inheritance God has for us.