July 4, 2018
Almost two decades ago a Chilean man, now homeless and living on the streets of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, fled police who were bringing him news of a $6-million inheritance. Forty years earlier Tomas Martinez, and his wife had separated after only a few months of marriage. To escape prosecution for writing some bad cheques, Tomas fled to Bolivia, where he became an alcoholic and drug addict, known for begging on the streets. Meanwhile, his wife continued to live a quiet life in Chile. Though they had been a middle class couple, she inherited a huge fortune a couple of years before she passed away. The two of them never divorced and she never remarried. Since they had no children, Tomas was her rightful heir. When detectives were hired to locate Tomas, they tracked him to a bar that he often visited. Tomas realized the men were looking for him and thought they were there to arrest him for the bad cheques he had written years before. Tomas disappeared without a trace, causing Bolivian newspapers to speak of him in 2000 as a “new millionaire paradoxically not knowing his fortune”. Tomas has never been found.
It is said, “Ignorance is bliss.” Although that may be applicable in some scenarios, it is certainly not wisdom that can be applied to inheritance. In fact, with regard to our inheritance it could be said, “ignorance is misery.”
The story of Tomas Martinez is a real life metaphor of the spiritual journey of many, even in the church today. Burdened by past sins, long forgiven by the completed work of Christ, oblivious to His ongoing love for us, we live like beggars on the street, settling for the occasional handout. When God comes with the good news of our inheritance we run, we don’t reject the idea of an inheritance, rather we run because our focus on our past failures, causes us to fear the one who comes with the news of our inheritance. Our feelings of shame and unworthiness, inhibit us from even hearing about our inheritance. If the word is ever mentioned, we are convinced it is certainly meant for someone else, not for me.
The truth as revealed in scripture, that Christ has provided for his family a wonderful inheritance in Christ Jesus, is central to believers walking in power and authority. Only when we know who we are (sons) and what we have (our glorious inheritance), can we “do” what He has called us to do.
To fulfill the great commission – we must know about our inheritance. Ignorance will not lead to bliss it will indeed lead to misery.