Dr. Paul G. Caram
True Christianity is the first of a four-part series on the subject of Christian growth. Our purpose isto inspire the reader to advance from First Peter 2:2 to Revelation 19:7-8—from an infant in Christ unto a glorious mature bride prepared for the Heavenly Bridegroom. Therefore, maintaining a healthy rate of spiritual growth after our new birth is essential to inherit the throne and everything else God has ordained for our lives (Rev. 3:21). Think for a moment how sobering it would be if a vast inheritance were willed to us, yet (for one reason or another) we failed to lay claim to it and it was given to another. This would be devastating enough if it concerned only an earthly inheritance. Can you imagine, then, the seriousness of mishandling an eternal inheritance? Yet, many believers do indeed fall short of what God has purposed for their lives, perhaps because of bondages they are unable or unwilling to overcome, or tests they continue to fail year after year.
God had graciously delivered His people out of Egypt’s rigorous bondage. He saved them from judgment and death by the blood of the passover lamb and purchased them to be His very own. Then He set before them a beautiful land of hills and streams, saying, “Every parcel of ground your foot treads upon belongs to you. Only trust Me with all your heart and follow the instructions I command you.” Tragically, the feet of that generation never touched the land of promise.
Canaan was theirs by inheritance! It had been foreordained from the beginning of the world that they should inherit the land promised to Abraham. Hebrews 4:3 clearly indicates this! It had been promised repeatedly to their forefathers, yet they never received it because Israel hardened their hearts enroute to the glory land and despised the delays along the way. She refused to follow the battle plan or keep pace with God’s leadings. At every juncture of the journey they resisted the Spirit of the Lord. God’s people failed every one of their tests in the wilderness. Therefore, that generation never entered the land of rest. This is a clear theme of Hebrews chapters three and four. That generation never reached their destination but plodded aimlessly through the wilderness until they died. Thus, Israel went to the grave with unfulfilled promises. See 1 Corinthians10:11.
Today the Church faces the same situation, as it does in every generation. God is offering a rich spiritual inheritance to every one of His people. Christ has [already] blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Eph.1:3). Each of these blessings belong to us potentially. And yet, if we do not follow God through the wilderness, pass our tests and obey the battle plan, we will be unable to obtain what has already been willed to us by inheritance. God’s promises are inherited only by the overcomers (Rev. 21:7). In Hebrews 4:1, we are exhorted to fear lest we fall short of God’s promises as did Israel. The words of Joshua continue to admonish every one of us today when he cried out: “There remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. How long are ye slack to go to possess the land?” (Josh.13:1,18:3). Remember, all of God’s promises have conditions—they are only received after we have accomplished the will of God, and not until then (Heb.10:36).