Q. I have a strong sense that America will remain a fairly safe place for Christians until after the Rapture. The reason I believe this is because of the ‘cities of refuge’ in the book of Numbers. God seems to have places for His people to escape to in times of trouble and America has been one of these places in these last couple of centuries. What are your thoughts on this?
A. I hope you’re correct, but even though I wake up every morning expecting the rapture, current trends in the legal and social arenas make me skeptical about the US remaining a Christian friendly country for much longer.
By the way, the cities of refuge in Israel are a great model of our refuge in Jesus Christ. They were places where the accused fled for protection from the avenger of blood in cases of what we would call involuntary manslaughter. Once there they could plead their case and if judged not guilty were safe as long as they stayed within the city walls until the current high priest died.
Each time we’re accused of sin we can flee to the Lord for protection from Satan. Since the Blood of Jesus covers us, we are automatically judged not guilty. And since our High Priest has already died we’re free.
Being only a model, the cities of refuge were not complete. For example if the accused was overtaken before he reached the city, he was fair game. The same was true if he wandered out of the city and was caught. Also, the judges had to agree that he was not guilty. If not they themselves would turn him over to the avenger.
On the other hand, the Lord is always right where we are, we can’t wander away, and because He paid the penalty for our crimes, we’ll always be found not guilty, even though we’re not innocent. Also although our High Priest has died, He ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebr. 7:25).