Insurance or Inheritance?

Is the Gospel insurance or inheritance?

That was a rhetorical question posed to me recently at a men’s retreat. I’d heard the question before, but it struck me in a new way.

Is the Gospel insurance or inheritance?

If the Gospel is insurance, the benefits pay out when I die. I “pay” my monthly premiums by going to Sunday morning service, having a daily quiet time, tithing and so on so that, when I die, I get to go to Heaven.

But, if the Gospel is an inheritance, then I receive the benefits when someone else dies. That is a profound truth. It is the difference between play-acting (hypocritical) religion and actually being the people of God.

When we treat the Gospel as insurance we tie ourselves to a religious system of “dos” and “don’ts”. It is a Gospel devoid of Grace because we are still trying to be “good enough” to get into Heaven. The result is hypocrisy, playing at being the people of God, but without any interior life change and without any power to actually set people free. All because we are living to get into Heaven when we die.

However, when we realize that the Gospel is an inheritance, everything changes.

When we surrender our lives to Christ, we are reborn through our baptism as the children of God. And if we are sons then we are also heirs. Inheritance is freely receiving what rightfully belongs to someone else. This means that everything that rightly belongs to Jesus (intimate communion with Father, power and authority to establish the Kingdom of God, righteousness, peace and joy, etc. etc.) is now accessible to us.

Inheritance is Good News. Inheritance is Grace. Inheritance means I’m dying to get Heaven into my life.

The reality that the Kingdom of God is breaking in all around us is Good News. And because the Gospel is an inheritance, all the sons and daughters of God (those who have surrendered their lives to God and have been reborn through the waters of baptism) get to play a part in seeing that Kingdom come and God’s will be done on the earth. We get to enter into the family business of setting people free, binding up broken hearts, healing the sick and making demons homeless. That, to me, is far better than some ethereal promise of “heaven” when I die. I don’t want to die and go to heaven – I want to live and see Heaven come to earth.

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