Peter, one of the key eye-witnesses to the risen Jesus, was totally convinced, not only that Christ was raised to life, but also that his followers had a living and certain hope of being raised (1 Peter 1:3-4). He was so certain of this that he spent his life proclaiming it, and eventually gave his life because he wouldn’t stop telling others. Because Jesus is alive, our certainty of life forever with him is alive and well.
Peter calls this an inheritance. Just as God’s people through the promises to Abraham were to inherit their own country (earthly real estate), through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God’s people now have a permanent eternal inheritance that is kept in heaven for us. He gives a very good description of the inheritance – imperishable, undefiled and unfading. It doesn’t wear out with the passing of time (unlike things we have here on earth), there is nothing bad or rotten there (unpolluted by sin and rebellion of any kind), and it will never lose its beauty or glory.
For the first Christians, this was what enabled them to withstand the most horrendous suffering and persecution – they knew that their final destiny was infinitely more permanent, pure and glorious than anything in this life. In the words of Paul, the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).
The best is yet to be – the resurrected Jesus is living proof!