Can The Children Of God Be Disinherited?

An individual once asked, “Does Numbers 14:10-12 teach that children of God can be disinherited contrary to the Calvinist teaching of “once saved always saved?” Answer: Yes, it certainly does, but let us expand on this answer.

In looking at the subject of inheritance, we first need to understand what constituted “the inheritance” in the Old Testament. From the Scriptures, we learn that Israel was to “inherit” the specific land of Canaan (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 17:8). We also learn that God fulfilled his promise to give the land inheritance to Israel (Joshua 1:2; Joshua 21:43-45; 1 Kings 4:21; Nehemiah 9:24). However, the land inheritance was temporal and could be lost (Leviticus 26:27-46). In a spiritual sense, the inheritance of the last will and testament of Christ (the New Testament — Hebrews 9:15-17, Hebrews 10:9-10), is an eternal inheritance that is reserved in Heaven for Christians (Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 1:3-4). But that eternal inheritance can be lost as well.

The last will and testament of Christ is the will that “sanctifies” (Hebrews 10:10) by the “word of His grace” (Acts 20:32). How does this sanctification/cleansing process take place? Simply by “obedience to the truth” (1 Peter 1:22; cf. Acts 15:6-9). Anyone who disregards Christ’s last will and testament (the one and only legal instrument for our eternal inheritance), forfeits that inheritance — no matter if they have never submitted to its terms and conditions (Romans 2:8-9), or have rejected those terms and conditions after once having accepted them (cf. Romans 2:1-7; Romans 11:13-22).

This is the significance that the Hebrew writer brings to our minds in Hebrews 10:29, when he talks about the one who “was” sanctified (past tense), and then does "despite" (shows great disdain and contempt toward) to the Spirit of grace. This individual deserves sorer punishment — yes, even to the point of being forever disinherited.

This is a subject that we as Christians need to seriously think about and contemplate. As Esau sold his birthright for a simple bowl of stew (Genesis 25:33-34) and was disinherited (Genesis 27:34-35; Hebrews 12:15-17), we [Christians] can be disinherited from our eternal inheritance (Hebrews 12:14-15; 1 Peter 1:3-4) if we reject God’s grace as presented through the gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 6:1; Gal. 5:4; Ephesians 2:8) — Christ’s last will and testament (Hebrews 9:15).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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