Generally speaking the Apostle Paul was referring to Old Testament things. Yes the Old Testament was written as a recorded history and we can certainly see the value in that, but more importantly these scriptures were given as a road sign pointing us to Jesus Christ and also to document by example what believers should and should not do. Our Father would remind us that while experience is the best teacher, it does not have to be our experience.
Jesus Our Refuge
But if the manslayer at any time goes outside the limits of the city of refuge where he fled, and the avenger of blood finds him outside the limits of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood, because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession. Numbers 35:26-28
As we read through the Book of Numbers and the story of the ‘Cities of Refuge, ’ we might collectively say, “Who cares. This ancient stuff has no application for me at all.” That sentiment could not be any further from the truth, for in this passage we see both a picture of Jesus Christ and a stern warning for the Christian.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Jesus is most certainly our refuge and when we wander outside the confines of His presence we do take our lives into our own hands, but within His loving arms we are kept safe by His life and His authority over us. And in Christ’s death (illustrated by the death of the high priest in our story) and resurrection we have been set totally free. Take note that in the Numbers passage it says that the transgressor may return from whence he came, but the implication is that to do so would be insanity. The Apostle Paul put it another way when he provided this application for our Christian walk…
“Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” Acts 27:21-31
Am I Going to Heaven if I Go Back?
The answer is a big fat maybe. The truth of the matter is when we walk away from the safety of our Lord and Savior, if only for a brief period, we run the risk of destroying ourselves. I really don’t want to get into the entire saved/unsaved debate, but merely want to point out that it is foolishness to take any risk whatsoever and a wise person stays in the city, stays on the boat, stays in Christ Jesus.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:4-6
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