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There is an inheritance that God has given to us that is vast, valuable and available to us now, says banker Timothy Wong at the N5 Conference 2022. Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash.

A priest, a lawyer and an accountant are gathered at the bedside of a man who is very ill.

The man says to the three: “Gentleman, I’m dying. Before I go, I want to ask you for one final favour. My family is rotten and I don’t want to give them any of my inheritance. So, I would like to be buried with the remainder of my money.”

Then, the man gives each of them an envelope containing $100,000.

“When I die and my coffin is being lowered into the earth, please throw the envelopes into the coffin, and don’t tell anyone what’s in it,” the man tells them.

A week later, the man dies.

We often think of inheritance as monetary and physical. But what does the Bible say?

At the funeral, as instructed, each of the men tosses his envelope into the coffin. When the funeral is over, they go to a café nearby to talk about the life of the man.

As they sit down for coffee, the priest says: “I have a confession to make. I took $10,000 from my envelope. But I used it to fix up the Children’s Home. And I know this man was very generous and he loved the children. So, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.”

Sheepishly, the lawyer pipes in as well: “I also have a confession. I took $30,000. But that’s because the man owes me $30,000. So, it’s rightfully mine.”

Finally, the accountant looks shocked and says to them: “I can’t believe what you all did. I wrote a personal cheque for the $100,000 and I threw it in the envelope.”

“So much for inheritance,” said veteran banker and Regional Head of DBS Group Research Timothy Wong as he finished the joke.

Timothy Wong speaking on the second day of N5 Conference 2022.

He was speaking on the second day of the N5 Conference 22 on An Indestructible Inheritance.

The N5 Conference – named after Nehemiah 5 which deals with economics and personal finance – is in its second year. One of the largest kingdom-focused personal finance conferences of the year, this year’s N5 Conference saw delegates from four countries come together with Kingdom-minded business and ministry leaders to share their insights and experiences over 20 sessions.

The theme was Arise and Build for Generations to Come.

We often think of inheritance as monetary and physical. But what does the Bible say about inheritance? Timothy mapped out a biblical perspective of inheritance.

The problem with physical inheritances

It is important to leave an inheritance to our children, said Timothy. Proverbs 13:22 talks about this importance.

“But the question I really feel the Holy Spirit is asking us today is, ‘What kind of inheritance are we going to give our children?’”

“No matter what you leave behind, it is always going to be less than what people think you are going to give them.”

Timothy shared that, in a survey, people were asked how much they expected to inherit. The average number given was $72,000. The actual inheritance was actually a smaller amount – $46,200.

“The lesson here is, no matter what you leave behind, it is always going to be less than what people think you are going to give them.”

More interestingly, another survey found that, on average, half of the inheritance ended up lost either through spending or bad investments.

There are three possible reasons for this. The first is a breakdown in trust and communication in the family. The second is that the heirs were inadequately prepared. A quarter of those surveyed cited this as the main problem.

Finally, there is a failure to establish a family mission statement on the use of wealth.

While these relate to large amounts of inheritance, it does point to worrying human behaviour with regard to money inherited, points out Timothy.

Who gets God’s inheritance?  

The Bible also talks about inheritance, Timothy reminded participants.

Biblical inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-4) is not an earthly one but one that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.

This inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-4) is not an earthly one but one that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.

Most of the references to inheritance, a topic mentioned over 200 times mostly in the Old Testament – especially in the books of Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua and the Psalms – talk about the spiritual principles of inheritance.

“In the theological sense, to inherit means to receive an irrevocable gift with a special emphasis on the special relationship between the benefactor and the recipient,” said Timothy.

The first person recorded in the Bible to have received an inheritance was Abraham. (Genesis 17:8). God promised him and his children land which they only inherited hundreds of years later (Joshua 1:6).

But the promise to Abraham was really more than just about the land of Canaan. Much more.

Our spiritual inheritance comes from a place of meekness (Matthew 5:5, Psalm 37:11) and a place of understanding Christ.

Romans 4:13 informs us that Abraham was to inherit the whole world through his right relationship with God that came by faith. Psalms 2:8 added that through Jesus, the whole earth and “all the nations of the earth” are part of the promise of inheritance to Abraham.

This fulfils the promise that, through Abraham, all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Finally, in Hebrews 1:2, God promises everything – on the earth, under the earth and above the earth – to Jesus as an inheritance.

Said Timothy: “So, we see Abraham, we see the descendants of Abraham, then we come into the New Testament and we see Jesus. But do you know who is the final group to inherit all the things of Jesus? It’s the saints.

“Because all things are promised to Abraham, which is fulfilled through Christ. And now we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). He’s an heir of the Father. We are co-heirs of the Son. It comes down to us today as co-heirs of Christ (Colossians 1:12).”

That inheritance comes from a place of meekness (Matthew 5:5, Psalm 37:11) and a place of understanding Christ, he added.

How much is our inheritance worth?

In the Old Testament, the nature of inheritance transfer was two-fold.

It began with conquest (Act 13:19). After the conquest, the land is divided up (Numbers 26:54). Every generation after that, the inheritance is passed on when someone within the family dies.

“Christ has died and won the inheritance for us. That’s is the power of the inheritance. That is how much it is worth.”

A similar pattern can be found in the New Testament.

There was conquest with Jesus as the Conqueror. There was a death – Jesus died. Through His obedience and death on the cross (Philippians 2:8), Jesus entered into the fullness of His inheritance and He became the heir of all things.

“That’s how we truly come to the fullness of the inheritance that God has for us.”

The inheritance for us is vast, said Timothy.

“It is the Kingdom of God restored on earth as it is in heaven. It is all things put under His feet now and for all eternity. That is the inheritance we are to enter into.”

Not only is the inheritance vast, it is for us to take hold of now, Timothy stated.

“Recognise that Christ has died. He has won the inheritance for us. That’s is the power of the inheritance. That is how much it is worth.”


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About the author

Christine Leow

Christine believes there is always a story waiting to be told, which led to a career in MediaCorp News. Her idea of a perfect day involves a big mug of tea, a bigger muffin and a good book.

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