There’s a story that has been going around for several years about a man named Tomas Martinez. He lived in Bolivia, he was homeless, and he inherited $6 million dollars. That’s right, $6 million dollars. Do you want to know the sad part of this story? He never received it. The story is told that when the police found him to tell him this fantastic news he ran away. They chased him, he escaped, and they were never able to find him. Supposedly news stations picked the story up and tried to find him as well. Everyone was looking for Mr. Martinez to tell him the good news. Why would anyone run away from such great news? According to the story Mr. Martinez thought that the police were trying to arrest him because of his substance abuse. How the story ends varies. According to one report the money was then given to his ex-wife because he was never found. According to another story the inheritance came from his ex-wife upon her death and still belongs to Thomas, though he is still living as a homeless man and is unaware of his fortune.
I don’t know if this story is true or not. Regardless, it applies directly to what we have been learning in Ephesians. Our study in chapter one continues by talking about the inheritance that is ours in Christ. The God of the universe who created absolutely everything – including you and me – has an inheritance for us! Can you even begin to imagine what that looks like? Verse one says that “we have obtained an inheritance” - past tense. It is ours. Just like Mr. Martinez we have been granted an inheritance. This inheritance, our salvation, comes through Jesus. Verses 13-14 tell us, “In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” When we believe in Jesus and what He did for us on the cross, God sends the Holy Spirit to guarantee our inheritance until we are able to fully acquire it when we see Him face to face. This inheritance isn’t for a lucky few; it’s for all of us – any of us. Anyone who has a relationship with Jesus qualifies.
What does this inheritance look like, and what does it have to do with living with a chronic illness? We get a glimpse of our inheritance and what it will mean to those of us who are chronically ill in the book of Revelation. Read these next paragraphs slowly and try to imagine what it will be like someday.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” –Revelation 21:1-7, ESV
These are some of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. I seriously cannot wait for the day when God will wipe away every tear from my eye, and I will be in a place where there is no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, and no more pain. I will be made new; I will have this heritage, this inheritance that is mine in Christ because I am God’s daughter. Wow!
You can have these things too. I pray that one day I will bump into you in heaven (it won’t even hurt) and we can do a happy dance together to celebrate our pain-free, beautiful inheritance! Will you accept the inheritance that is yours, or will you run away from God like Tomas Martinez ran away from the police, missing out on an amazing inheritance?
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” ~ Romans 8:18, ESV
© October 23, 2012
F.F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians