You finish the first leg, and those watching you are excited about the way you’ve run the race so far. The race organiser is there to greet you as you come up to the finish. You’re still in the race. He is happy to see you make the pit stop, and while you rest you think about the decisions you made, the risks, the trials, the challenges you overcame, the pitfalls and mistakes, the detours and roadblocks.
The Kingdom is like the Amazing Race. We have to follow directions, search for signs, work out the clues, overcome the obstacles, and get through the road blocks and challenges. Only at the finish will we know if we’ve won, and what we’ve won.
The Kingdom of Heaven is open for all, if you believe in the Lord and confess your faith in Him. “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10.
But you still have to contend for the race. There is an adversary, the devil. If he can’t stop you from getting that precious ticket to Heaven, purchased for you by Christ, he will try and keep you from running the race. He will find your weakness and attempt to ensnare you.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Philippians 2:13
What you inherit when you enter the Kingdom of Heaven depends on how you’ve run the race here. Not everyone gets a prize. Many are called, few are chosen. Matthew 22:14. You have to overcome to inherit the promises, and they are great.
What you inherit is up to the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:24-25
Get this, you can lose your inheritance while still being allowed into Heaven. Some people are going to get into Heaven with the smell of smoke on them and nothing else.
If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:14
“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
If you are in one of those ‘nor’ or ‘neithers’, have a really good think about what you stand to lose because of that sin. This should make us intentional about how we live our lives; working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
Just like in the Amazing Race, where the competitors are gunning for the finish line, the prize in sight.
You may run the race alone or as part of a team. For years I ran alone or with friends until Isaac came to join me in the race.
When I learned about inheritance, I found there was even more to the race than I first thought. There are people who have run before who have a baton to pass on. You will know if you are on their team.
Hebrews 11 speaks of people of faith, who believed in what God promised; “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for them so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
The baton can be promises to be fulfilled, victories to be obtained, or mantles to be taken up.
The Church fulfills its commission in telling everyone about salvation, but often it stops there. I hope I’ve given you something to think about. The next chapter of my story is about running the race. I’m still running. I’ve got a funny looking baton which you can read about in Chapter 79 The Year of Inheritance.
Here’s a good site I found that teaches on what I’ve mentioned here, in more depth;
Here’s “Stay strong” by the Newsboys.