DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades 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.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5
The fifth is exceedingly rich, but we can only give a word where many sermons would not exhaust—AN INCORRUPTIBLE INHERITANCE—“an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away.”
God has been pleased in His abundant mercy to prepare for his people an inheritance. He has made them sons, and if children, then heirs. He has given them a new life, and if a new life, then there must be possessions and a place suitable for that new life. A heavenly nature requires a heavenly inheritance, heaven-born children must have a heavenly portion.
Now I shall only ask you to notice that the inheritance which God has prepared for us has a fourfold description appended to it. First, as to its substance—it is “incorruptible.” The substance of everything earthly by degrees passes away. Even solid granite will rot and crumble. The substance of things seen, I may say in paradox, is devoid of substance. Empires have grown great, but the inward corruption within their constitution has at length dissolved them. Dynasties have been wrecked, and thrones have tottered by internal corruption, but the inheritance of the saints of God has nothing within it that can make it perish. Forever and forever shall the blissful portion of the sanctified be theirs. Heaven, and the streets thereof, are all said to be of precious stones and pure gold because they are imperishable.
Next, for purity—it is “undefiled.” Earthly inheritances are often defiled in the getting. Some men have grown rich by fraud, by violence, by oppression of the poor. How many a heritage is polluted all over with the slime of the serpent! and he that inherits the goods of such a one inherits therewith a curse, for God will surely avenge injustice and wrong doing, even to the third generation. But our inheritance is undefiled, for it was won by the obedience, the perfection, and sufferings of Jesus. No thought of wrong was used in the getting of the portion of the Well-beloved of God. An inheritance may be defiled after it is possessed, but heaven never shall be. Satan shall never enter there, nor sin of any kind pass through the gate of pearl. O brethren, what a joy is this! Defilement is on everything in this fallen world. We cannot purge ourselves completely, earthly things all bring a measure of defilement with them, but up yonder our portion shall not be stained with sin, we shall be perfect, and all around us perfect too.
And then it is added for its beauty, “it fades not away.” The substance of a thing might endure afte its beauty was gone, but in heaven there shall be no declining in the beauty of anything celestial. Milton sings of the amaranth, which he describes as blossoming at the foot of the tree of life in the garden of Eden. It was a flower of perpetual sweetness, whose beauty never faded, but he says —
“Soon for man’s offense
To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows
And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life,
And where the river of bliss through midst of heaven
Rolls o’er Elysian flowers her amber stream;
With these, that never fade, the spirits elect
Bind their resplendent locks, inwreath’d with beams.”
The amaranthine inheritance is yours. The garden of Paradise shall never cease to bloom, and the wreath of victory shall never wither from your brows. Oh, what joy is this for you! Your inheritance is for substance incorruptible, for purity undefiled, for beauty unfading.
And then for possession, it is secure—“reserved in heaven for you.” How I delight to dwell upon the thought that heaven is not to be scrambled for, that the portion of each saint in glory is given to him by lot even as was Canaan of old to Judah, to Reuben, to Manasseh, and the like. There is a place in heaven for me which none of you could fill. There is a harp which no fingers can strike but mine, and a crown which no brow can wear but this. And so with each of you—you shall have your own, your own appointed inheritance. He has begotten each one of you again, you are as truly begotten as any other believer, you have the same hope, and you shall as surely stand in your lot at the end of the days. O clap your hands, you righteous, shout for joy. Scanty is your portion here and hard your lot, it may be, but the undefiled inheritance will more than make amends. Therefore, lift up your hearts this day, and let not your hands hang down.
To be continued in Part 7