God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,…
God has appointed Christ heir of all things. What, then, is the preparation being made for the inheritance? The history of the earth is carrying the preparation. How slowly this history unfolds itself, as if it were some long procession. And as we think of that, people following Jesus, the key to the whole situation in the world's history is connected with their combination and their prospect. The history of the world is preparing the inheritance for Jesus Christ. Now take a glimpse of the inheritance itself. This we shall gain if we can look forward with the eye of faith to the consummation of all things. If we can pass away from the tumult, the conflict, the iniquity, the disappointment, the woe, all belonging to us, and go forward to that place where Christ shall stand when He gathers His ransomed to Himself, not one wanting, and receives the inheritance from the Father, we shall have a glimpse of that which He is providing that His Son may be glorified. And towards that distant yet glorious time we may turn with something of the feeling of those who, after they have been battling on the billows for long months, strain the eye to see the first outline of the native land to which they are returning; with something of a gladness like that we may contemplate the coming glory of our Redeemer when He shall receive the inheritance provided for Him. But it must often be with us as with a master of a ship when the clouds have shut out from him the light of the sun, and there has been no visible token by which reckoning could be made for days. What can there be in such a case but uncertainty? And yet the course is fixed. When the clouds break up and pass away, and the dear sun shines once more, reckonings will be simple, adjustments will be prompt, and the haven will be secure. So it must be with us. It is an idle expectation which we cherish in our hearts when we anticipate that all our difficulties are thus to be cleared at once from our path. There is no progress made by us, not a single step which we do not claim as an achievement for ever. So that our progress must be onward and upward until we stand on the level where Christ is. And how much we are now turning our backs upon that will tell us how steadily things are moving; how we are advancing along the way towards coming glory? For what are these things left behind? They belong to the scene of conflict, and as such they must vanish away. The time for ploughing the fields, and for reaping the harvest will come to a close; we shall see the end of conflict, and of all the weariness it brings; we shall see a close of sin, and all that terrific sorrow which has kept trailing along the path on account of our transgression. These are the things which we are leaving behind. The progress of the world means perfect righteousness. For this is the teaching of the Bible, that even worlds wear out and pass away, as a scroll which has been burnt up, and we look for a new heaven and a new earth; not a place tarnished by iniquity, not a place blurred by sorrows, not a place so often the scene of temptation, where wickedness has had dominion — we look for a new heaven and a new earth. This inheritance, then, shall include all the good as it is coming towards perfection. Christ's inheritance is the consummation of all things. If this be so, then He is teaching us that man is destined for an eternal service. And this is the faith that moves in the soul of the human race; this is the faith which has taken possession of it, the faith which dominates it, for the human race will not believe that its life is mere bone and muscle. Man will not believe it, and ought not to; if he has a conscience he cannot. He will rather believe, as the Bible teaches, that he is "little lower than the angels." For Jesus Christ has His inheritance in the souls of men made perfect in the fellowship of saints and angels. In drawing our meditation to a close, let me ask you to remember that as we think of progress we must also place alongside of it the lesson concerning deterioration. Progress is a thing of life; eternal progress, that which belongs to a life which can never die; yet we hear of a second death.
(H. Calderwood, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,