Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday, May 3rd: Numbers 15-16, Revelation 20 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 15-16; Revelation 20

This verse stood out for me in Numbers 15...
For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. 16 One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.
There is a lot of talk about racism in the news again lately, and it is true that as long as mankind exists on the earth racism (and lots of other isms) will continue to exist.  But it should not be so.  God created all of us in His image, He loves all of us equally, He wants a relationship with all of us, and His law applies equally to all of us.  We have all sinned, we all deserve death, we all need to accept the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf in order to receive salvation.  There are no shortcuts, there is no nepotism, there is no favoritism - we are all on an equal playing field. There is only one to to God and that is through Jesus.

In Chapter 16 we see the fact that God has placed people in authority in our lives and we need to submit to that authority - in the government, in our business lives, and yes, in our churches.

Our Revelation passage describes the Millennium  which is understood differently among Christian scholars.

Postmillennialism views the 1000 year period as a literal time period of, basically, a great spiritual revival and that Christ will return at the end of the 1000 years.

Premillennialism also views it as literal but that Christ's second coming initiates the 1000 year reign which occurs before the final removal of Satan.

Amillennialism understands it to be symbolic of the time between Christ's ascension and the second coming - it's the reign of Christ in the hearts of believers (the church age) and will end with the second coming of Christ.

Rayburn had an interesting thought on this that I don't recall hearing before....
In Premillennialism....  the church exactly recapitulates the history of her Head. Jesus, remember, came into the world. He died. He rose again. He remained in the world for a symbolic period of time (40 days). And then he went to heaven. In the premillennial scheme, the church also lives in the world. She also dies as the generations of believers come and go. At the Second Coming of Jesus the church also rises from the dead to new and bodily life. Then she also remains in the world for a symbolic period of time (not forty days but a thousand years) and then, and only then, she also goes to heaven. The premillennial scheme has the great advantage of reproducing the pattern established in the life history of Christ, from whose life history the life story of the church is derived.

Ultimately, each view agrees on what is crucial to Christianity and should not be a divisive issue among us - Christ will return, defeat Satan and live forever.  And that is where our ultimate focus needs to be.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Numbers 17-19; Revelation 21

1 comment:

Pamela said...

This stood out for me:

32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Sometimes we look at the "big" sins and feel pretty good because we're not murderers or sleeping with our neighbour's spouse, and we don't commit grand larceny. However, all sin (ALL. SIN.) is sin. Totally punishable by death without Christ's redemption.

How sobering.