One of the strongest passages to my life in giving me steadfastness and anchoring my heart to Christ pulling me through trials & crisis again & again is in 1 Peter…
Now we live with great expectation, and we have a PRICELESS INHERITANCE—AN INHERITANCE that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power UNTIL YOU RECEIVE THIS SALVATION, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
1 Peter 1:4-6
This passage is a re-proclamation from Daniel 12…
“Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.”
“Many will be purified, cleansed and refined by these trials….
As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to RECEIVE THE INHERITANCE set aside for you.”
These passages are a direct reference to the Day of the Lord, The Day of His Appearing. The Day that is explicitly detailed in the Book of Revelation. The day that we will inherit salvation.
“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
The Bible talks about salvation in many forms, in many ways, and even in many time frames. There are passages about getting saved, becoming saved, and salvation coming in the future. So what is salvation?
There are many many things salvation can reference, for instance when Jesus healed this sick it was often called salvation for them, but for this post I am sticking strictly to the theme of the totality of the over arching Biblical narrative.
I believe there are 4 main parts to salvation…
1) deliverance from the enemy of sin
2) a resurrection for the just
(the righteous being given new bodies that will not decay and will shine like the light of the angels and stars)
3) judgment to the wicked
(in this current age, the wicked seems to prosper getting away with lies and thievery and wealth never ending)
4) the establishment of the Kingdom of God / the restoration of Israel
(The day when God personally chooses a king that He will place to rule over Israel and every other nation in the world to establish one Kingdom of Peace that will be everlasting to no end. We now know this ruler will be Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, Yeshua HaMashiach, King of the Jews. And it will be a time similar to the garden of Eden.)
I will detail this 4th one a bit further since it seems to be the one we, especially western gentiles, misunderstand the most when it comes to salvation. I desperately misunderstood this one also until recently I’m starting to understand it a bit better.
So the most exalted theme of Jesus’s teachings was the Kingdom of God. In fact just the first book of the NT mentions it 32 times. Jesus’s main teaching was on the Kingdom of God and it was the main teaching He commanded His followers to teach, who at that time were all waiting on this Kingdom of God / restoration of Israel.
This Kingdom of God or restoration of Israel is what the Jews were constantly looking & hoping for…
“‘Furthermore, the LORD declares that he will make a house for you—a dynasty of kings! For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make HIS KINGDOM strong. He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure HIS ROYAL THRONE forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will correct and discipline him with the rod, like any father would do. But my favor will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from your sight. YOUR HOUSE and YOUR KINGDOM will continue before me for all time, and YOUR THRONE will be secure forever.’”
2 Samuel 7:11-16
This prophecy was given by Nathan the prophet to David after he asked God if David could now build a palace for the Ark of the Covenant. Keep in mind this prophecy was given right after David assumed kingship over all Israel, and united the 12 tribes, then immediately led a raid against the Jebusites to take a city. What was the name of that city? It’s name was Zion. Zion also became named the City of David
This is the same physical location, Zion, and Kingdom, Israel, that the Jewish King and Messiah that is promised in this prophecy to rule from and rule over. But we know now from Ephesians 3 that Paul revealed to us that gentiles and all other nations also get to be grafted into this Kingdom because of the way Messiah completed His first work on earth.
I hope that was enough for you go to get it. What I’m trying to say is the Kingdom of God and the restoration of Israel are synonymous phrases. They are the same thing.
Many Jews missed out on Jesus because they were looking for an instant establishment of His Kingdom, even though He taught in parables the Kingdom of God would not come that way. He never told them the Kingdom would be different than they expected, just that it would come differently then expected. Jesus talked about the same Kingdom of God that Israel’s prophets did.
Whereas us gentiles miss out a lot on the meaning of the Kingdom of God because we often associate it with something spiritual or ethereal, even though we repeat the Lord’s prayer every Sunday asking God to bring this Kingdom to the earth.
But we must not make the same mistake Jesus’s listeners made and miss His revelation. We must understand the Kingdom of God and look forward to it’s coming with His appearing.
“During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the KINGDOM OF GOD….
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, HAS THE TIME COME FOR YOU TO FREE ISRAEL AND RESTORE OUR KINGDOM?”
“We had hoped He was the Messiah who had COME TO RESCUE ISRAEL. This all happened three days ago….
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them THROUGH THE WRITINGS OF MOSES AND ALL THE PROPHETS, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
So in summation I believe salvation can mainly be broken down into 4 main parts…
1) Deliverance from sin
2) Resurrection from the dead
3) Judgment of the wicked
4) Establishment of the Kingdom of God / restoration of Israel
In Messiah’s first appearing He only initiated the first one, deliverance from sin. The other 3 we are still waiting on & will not be initiated until His 2nd appearing which the unraveling of the other 3 are further detailed in Book of Revelation.
Something you may notice is that the one thing that evangelicals focus on as salvation, as going to heaven after death, is not even listen in my chosen 4 parts.
The reason is that I studied all 177 times the word salvation appears in the New Testament and it does not one time link salvation & going to heaven. Please correct me if I’m wrong on that but I studied and studied and couldn’t find that waiting in heaven has anything to do with salvation.
Now, I do believe heaven is a temporary waiting place the righteous go to await the inheritance of salvation, that is if they die before the Day of the Lord. Because I think the Bible is pretty clear the resurrection, eternal judgement, and establishment of the Kingdom have not yet taken place.
Therefore, salvation can’t be inherited in heaven except for one of the 4 aspects which is full deliverance from the presence of sin. Which I’m sure is awesome in & of itself but besides that they still have to wait for the rest of the other 3 things just like us down here.
I think this misunderstanding of salvation is biggest major problem in disunity in the church. How can we be unified if we are not even talking about the same thing. How can we have a discussion on how to get saved if we all believe something different on what salvation even is.
The Jews, the protestants, the evangelicals, all think salvation is something different. How can we win the Jews if we don’t even mention, care, or understand about the salvation that’s in their Tanakh, the restoration of their Kingdom.
If you look at the totality of scripture, the story of the holy scriptures keeps a common cohesive increasingly comprehensive story from the beginning to the end. It doesn’t change stories or take any sharp turns. It keeps these main 4 things as salvation all the way through from fallen Adam, to Abraham, to Moses, to the prophets, to the Messiah that stamped a realize promise of our resurrection with His resurrection, to an awaited prophecy of the Day of His coming detailed in the Book of Revelation. God returns the earth to the day it never fell.
Remember this will be a real Kingdom, just like any other one on earth. A monarchy with one ruler over real people with real land here on the earth. Jesus will rule from His throne from the same place King David did in 1000BC. This will be the throne for the whole world. A royal throne of benevolence, peace, and prosperity. And the redeemed will get to rule with Him!
This is the inheritance 1 Peter 1 is talking about, a new earth, with a new Kingdom, with new bodies, and not one wicked person left to influence it. This is the city of God that Hebrews 11 is talking about. This is the promised rest that Hebrews 4 says is laid up for the righteous. This is salvation! This is the Good News! This is the gospel!
We must keep our hearts anchored in this blessed hope! And keep proclaiming to others what a person must do to enter that Kingdom. You must repent of your sins, turn away from sin. Get baptized into Jesus Christ the Messiah. And receive the gift of God’s Spirit. (Acts 2:38) Then follow Messiah the Master, holding allegiance to Jesus Christ alone to the end!
I hope this message has stirred you, intrigued you, caused you to think and go further into the law and the prophets and know what this Messiah we follow really did accomplish and who He really is! And know the inheritance He has laid up for the righteous!
Post by: Jeremy Gilbert