I was born into a small town in the 1950’s. My parents ran a service station in the heart of downtown. They were known and liked by many people in the community. I greatly benefitted because of their good reputation. We weren’t wealthy, but we never lacked for our needs. I’m extremely glad I had the parents I did.
When a person asks Jesus to forgive them and take up residence in their life, the Bible calls it being “born again.” It’s not another physical birth with new parents. It’s a spiritual birth and God becomes our Heavenly Father. This second birth is the subject of the Apostle Peter’s comments in 1 Peter 1:3–5. It says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” Let me point out three benefits of this second birth.
FIRST, we have a living hope. Our physical birth will ultimately end in death. This spiritual birth into God’s family will never end. We will pass from this world into the next, where no one will ever die again. And this hope is not a hope-so kind of thing, but a know-for-sure confidence. The reason we can have such confidence is because we trust that God will fulfill His promises. A special verse is 1 John 5:13, “I have written to you who believe in Christ, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” God wants us to be sure about our relationship to Him.
SECOND, we have an inheritance that won’t be taxed and is not subject to the stock market or any other outside influence. My parents were able to set aside an inheritance for me, as well as for my sister and brother. I was thankful for the money, but my folks had limited funds. In this case, God, who has no limits, is providing an inheritance that is beyond our wildest dreams and which will never diminish. It’s protected in Heaven, where no thief is able to break in. Whatever our inheritance will be, it will pale compared to coming face-to-face with the Lord Jesus Christ.
THIRD, the single reason we enjoy these fantastic benefits is God’s great mercy. It’s not that you or I are such fine people that God will decide to reward us with Heaven and its treasures. The Bible says that our sin has made a separation between us and God, a chasm impossible for any of us to cross. Thankfully, God entered our world and became the man, Jesus. His death and resurrection formed the only bridge across that chasm. Far from a reward for good living, eternal life is a GIFT freely offered to undeserving humanity.
God extends that gift to you. He wants you to receive it and experience His mercy. He wants you to enjoy the assurance of Heaven in His presence. When you receive Jesus into your life, He brings the gift of eternal life along with Himself. If you haven’t done that yet, I hope you will soon.