What Is Mankind’s Ultimate Inheritance?

You are here

What Is Mankind’s Ultimate Inheritance?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×
Downloads
MP3 Audio (21.05 MB)

Downloads

What Is Mankind’s Ultimate Inheritance?

MP3 Audio (21.05 MB)
×

Years ago a popular daytime TV program, The Millionaire, kept audiences enthralled with stories of million-dollar gifts given by a fictional multimillionaire. The storyline involved people in need, whether in dire circumstances or trying to benefit society, answering the doorbell and finding a sharply dressed man with a check for $1 million, tax free, from this anonymous wealthy individual.

Lots of people wish they had a proverbial “rich uncle” who would leave them a large sum of cash. They feel it would solve all their financial worries. The financial planning industry thrives today as many strive to leave an inheritance to their children, church or favorite charities.

Let’s face it: Inheritances are important to people. Yet most today have no idea of the unimaginably immense inheritance ultimately available to them—the inheritance our Heavenly Father has in store for mankind!

King David knew

As a young lad leading his father’s sheep through the rugged hills of Judea, a future king David looked up at the night sky and the splendor of thousands of stars. As he lay on his back, looking up at the dazzling sky, he reflected on how insignificant he was compared to those stars.

Years later, after he became king of Israel, David recorded his thoughts in one of the most memorable psalms:“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”(Psalms 8:3-4 Psalms 8:3-4 [3] When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; [4] What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?
American King James Version×
, New International Version 1984, emphasis added throughout).

Yes, why should God, who created the vast universe, with billions upon billions of stars, galaxies and nebulae, be concerned at all with insignificant mortal human beings here on earth? The truth is astounding almost beyond belief, and includes an inheritance that staggers the imagination!

David knew the ancient Scriptures that revealed God had placed man over the entire physical creation here on earth.

He further wrote: “For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen—even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea” (Psalms 8:5-8 Psalms 8:5-8 [5] For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor. [6] You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet: [7] All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field; [8] The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
American King James Version×
).

These verses reflect the language from the first chapter of Genesis where God said: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing” (Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
American King James Version×
).

But it is apparent that God had revealed to David the core of a marvelous truth—that human beings are destined to rule over a far greater and vaster realm than just the earth. David was given understanding of something God had begun to reveal to the relative few He was working with in ancient times—that man was made in God’s image to inherit and rule with God over His creation.

Nearly 1,000 years after David’s time, after the New Testament Church had been founded, the author of the book of Hebrews restated and expanded on David’s words: “But there is a place where someone has testified: ‘What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.’In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him” (Hebrews 2:6-8 Hebrews 2:6-8 [6] But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? or the son of man that you visit him? [7] You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands: [8] You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
American King James Version×
, NIV 1984).

Notice that God has not yet put everything in subjection under mankind. Here lies the heart of this marvelous revelation. God created man to ultimately have dominion over everything He has made. The Greek wording translated “everything” is ta panta, meaning the all—literally the entire universe. As incredible as it may sound, it is God’s intent that mankind share with Him dominion—rulership—over His entire creation. Yet this truth, clearly stated in your Bible, has been ignored, disbelieved or flatly rejected by all religions!

Mortal now—divine later

This can be too amazing for many to grasp. As mortal human beings, we are obviously a long way from being able to inherit “all things.” We need to clearly understand what man is now, that we are anything but immortal. We are physical beings composed of the basic elements of the earth. We are of “the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
American King James Version×
) and are subject to death: “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4 Ezekiel 18:4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.
American King James Version×
; Ezekiel 18:20 Ezekiel 18:20The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
American King James Version×
).

This goes against what most religions have taught. From ancient times to our day, Western religious thought has held that man is a nonmaterial spirit entity confined for a time in a physical, fleshly body. These religions have taught that a human being lives as an “immortal soul” encased in a physical body, and that at death the soul will continue as a living, conscious entity apart from the body.

However, this idea that human beings have an immortal soul—and even the phrase “immortal soul”—cannot be found anywhere in your Bible. This false assumption has come down over thousands of years from the superstitions of ancient religions and has become part of mainstream Christianity today. To repeat, the Bible clearly tells us that our “soul” is mortal, not immortal.

But how is it possible for human beings to pass from corruptible, sinful flesh into the fantastic spiritual state required for the ultimate dominion referred to in Hebrews 2? Let’s continue to read for the answer: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9 Hebrews 2:9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
American King James Version×
).

Jesus Christ is the link to eternal life for every human being who has ever lived or ever will live. Since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×
), it was necessary for Christ, who as the Word of God actually performed the work of creating the universe and mankind (John 1:1-3 John 1:1-3 [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
American King James Version×
; Colossians 1:16 Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 1:1-2 Hebrews 1:1-2 [1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, [2] Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
American King James Version×
), to die to reconcile mankind to God.

Our destiny: A family relationship with God

What your Bible teaches—but has not been generally realized—is that God is in the process of expanding the divine family. God the Father and the Son want to reproduce Themselves in the form of perhaps billions of spirit beings, who will be like Them, sharing Their level of existence—although these will, of course, be in perfect submission to the Father and Christ forever.

The amazing truth is that God is a family, and just as individual members of a human family are distinct entities with unique identities, so will it be in the God family. God tells us: “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Corinthians 6:18And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
American King James Version×
).

Just as a human family is bound together by genetics, history and shared values, so God’s Holy Spirit will cause the members of the God family to share a special oneness of mind, purpose and nature. We will not only share God’s spiritual composition, but we will be of one mind in our outlook and values (compare John 17:20-23 John 17:20-23 [20] Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; [21] That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. [22] And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: [23] I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.
American King James Version×
).

There is so much more to tell about this amazing subject, but space won’t allow a complete discussion here.

Rule with Christ over all creation

So what will these members of God’s family be doing for all eternity? Will we just “float around heaven all day” on clouds, strumming on harps? Nothing could be farther from the truth!

God’s Word reveals that at the return of Jesus Christ, His dedicated, faithful, obedient followers, now resurrected and given eternal life, will assume rulership with Him over the entire world. Through Christ and the resurrected saints, God will institute His righteous government over the earth. Gone will be the effects of thousands of years of human corruption and mismanagement, replaced with government based on God’s law. Mankind will at last be at peace.

Those resurrected at Christ’s return will be raised as immortal spirit beings. Notice Paul’s words to the church at Corinth: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.Behold,I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:50-52 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 [50] Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
American King James Version×
).

These resurrected saints will have proven their dedication to God and His laws during their earthly lives, overcoming daily through the power of the Holy Spirit. God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son will have no reason to doubt their loyalty and obedience. They will rule in love and genuine concern for people, unlike the despotic and corrupt rulers we now see in many nations and throughout human history.

When some of His disciples asked Him “who will be the greatest in the kingdom?” Christ used it as an occasion to point out the right attitude of leadership. He told them: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, he who governs as he who serves” (Luke 22:25-26 Luke 22:25-26 [25] And he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority on them are called benefactors. [26] But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve.
American King James Version×
).

It doesn’t end there. A thousand years is only a “blink of an eye” with God, but His plan encompasses all eternity. When David spoke of “all things,” he meant the entire universe. Again, space doesn’t allow for a complete discussion here, but the Bible shows that those ultimately born into God’s family as divine spirit beings will not be confined to this earth, to this solar system, or even to this galaxy. God’s master plan is for those in His family to share rulership and administration of the entire universe with Him. Who knows the awesome future God has in store for His family!

When we closely examine God’s Word, we must conclude that God has created human beings to receive an inheritance far beyond anything we could possibly hope to achieve in this life. We have glimpsed how incredibly grand and marvelous that inheritance is—to be ultimately given eternal life in the very family of God and to inherit the universe with Jesus Christ. In the very last book in the Bible, we see that purpose stated clearly: “He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7 Revelation 21:7He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
American King James Version×
).

This, then, sums up our inheritance, an inheritance far beyond anything possible in life on earth today—and far beyond the imaginings of the world’s religions. This astounding opportunity should radically change our direction in life to, as Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”!

 

 


 

 

Mankind: Unique in All the Universe?

Since, as shown in the accompanying article, the reward of the saved is not going to live in heaven when we die but becoming a part of the family of God and inheriting the whole universe, we should consider at this point the question of other intelligent life in the cosmos. Are there other sentient physical beings out there who also have an inheritance with God?

Our sun is but one smaller-than-medium sized star in a galaxy of more than 400 billion other stars, according to astronomical estimates. And there are hundreds of billions of other galaxies, each with their own many billions of stars. We may wonder if some of these stars have environments that could support life.

Humanity is fascinated by the idea of life on other planets. It’s been the subject of books, movies and TV shows for nearly a century. But how much evidence is there?

The planet Mars, relatively close to earth at just 135 million miles away, seems to hold possibilities of other life due to its closeness to the sun and having an atmosphere. But as early as the 1970s, NASA’s Viking spacecraft showed only a dry, sterile environment. More recently, NASA’s more advanced Pathfinder revealed only a rocky terrain lacking any surface vegetation or signs of life.

Several years ago NASA’s Curiosity rover collected a rock sample that some said showed ancient Mars could, in the distant past, have supported living microbes. A core sample that the rover drilled from sedimentary rock near what appears to be an ancient stream bed showed evidence of sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon—all key chemical ingredients for life.

However, some of these elements have also been found on the surface of the moon, and no one claims life ever existed there. Merely having some of the elements needed to support life is no proof that life ever existed on Mars.

More than 20 exploratory missions to Mars conducted since the early 1960s have failed to find conclusive evidence of life on the red planet. Astronomers know that conditions on the other planets are far too hostile to life as we know it. Mercury and Venus are so close to the sun that surface temperatures are hot enough to melt many metals. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are too cold; they orbit so far from the sun that surface temperatures there are far below freezing. If Mars has failed to present evidence for life, how much less is the chance of finding this evidence on the other planets?

After more than 60 years of diligent and extraordinarily expensive search effort by multiple nations, scientists have found no hard evidence that other physical life exists in the universe. All evidence points to mankind being a unique creation in all of our vast universe—exactly as indicated in Genesis 1:26-27 Genesis 1:26-27 [26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
American King James Version×
, which tells us that of all God’s creation, only mankind was created in God’s image and likeness—that we might become part of the family of God.

You might also be interested in...