Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, July 12
  • Where I Belong
  • Trust In You
  • Good Good Father
  • God Of All My Days
  • Today, we are doing a Q&A. You asked; I answer. Many great questions - can’t answer all. A couple of questions about baptism and loving people with Biblical love will be answered in the weeks to come as we talk about baptism of the Spirit.
    Start with some theological and then move to personal …
    1. What is the significance of the number 40 in the Bible?
    Great question. The number 40 shows up in many places throughout Scripture - roughly 100 times:
    × The flood
    × Moses was 40 when he fled Egypt / spent 40 years as a shepherd when God called him to lead Israel / spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai
    × Israel spent 40 years in the desert
    × Jesus fasted for 40 days and remained on earth 40 days after the resurrection
    So, 40 is a significant number. What we’re talking about here is what we call
    Numerology is the idea that certain numbers have significant meanings or purposes.
    - these are not arbitrary numbers. For example, in the Bible, the number 12.
    × 12 tribes of Israel / 12 Apostles and in Revelation , we have the 24 elders.
    × Another example would be the number 7. 7 days of Creation, 7 lampstands, beasts with 7 horns, 7 spirits, 7 churches and much more. 7 is significant.
    × John 21, the disciples catch 153 fish. Why is that important? It is and there is a purpose behind it …
    So, when see numbers in Scripture, they are there for a reason - sometimes for knowledge - like how long to build Noah’s ark or the Tabernacle - sometimes there’s a spiritual meaning or even prophetic meaning. Some numbers have clear meanings, some a little more hidden and other numbers do not have much significance at all.
    One of the big issues with interpreting numbers in Scripture is answering the question - is the number literal or is it generalized. For example,
    Psalm 90:10 ESV
    The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
    Not literal, but a general statement that has a point - which is in verse
    Psalm 90:12 ESV
    So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
    In other words, our time is short - let’s live wisely.
    There are all kinds of issues and challenges with interpreting numbers in Scripture - but the fact remains - numbers are in Scripture for a reason and they serve a purpose.
    Back to the question - What is the significance of the number 40 in the Bible?
    There is nothing in Scripture that explicitly reveals the significance of the number 40. However, it is generally understood as a symbolic number representing a time of testing, purification, and for spiritual growth or a time of completion. It is also used in some places as an approximate number. Did it really rain for 40 days and 40 nights? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it was 39 days or 41. This should not shock us. Jesus fed 5,000 people plus any women and children present.
    Again - 40 it’s significant but nothing overly spiritual / no hidden secret meaning ….
    2. Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.” When hospice helps you die, is that murder?
    Thanks for easy questions.
    Murder, in its simplest understanding and in the Hebrew context refers to the unlawful taking of an innocent life - whether through premeditation, intention or negligence. The Hebrew word for murder is never used of capital punishment, war, lawful self-defense or even when God takes a life. So, when God kills a person or persons, or when the death penalty is in order, Scripture provides justifiable reasons when killing is the appropriate course of action.
    There is a difference between killing and murder. For example,
    Exodus 21:12–14 ESV
    “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.
    So, in the Biblical sense, what hospice does is not murder. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. The services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a person who is terminally ill by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice care isn't to cure the underlying disease. The goal is to support the highest quality of life possible for whatever time remains.”
    What Hospice does is nothing new. Almost every culture for thousands and thousands of years have helped try to ease the dying process. Hospice is just a professional way of doing what has always been done. Again - hospice is not murder. Now, euthanasia or assisted suicide - that’s a different ballgame.
    3. If someone called or emailed you a question that is absurd, do you roll your eyes and think, “Oh Man!!!” Or do you try not to pass judgement and address it?
    4. Do you journal?
    Yes. More than 20 years.
    Record of events. Prayers. Answers. Spiritual progress, or lack thereof. Frustrations. Venting. Great to reflect.
    5. Who is your favorite author and why?
    I am not a voracious reader. I enjoy reading, but it’s not on my top ten list of things to do. 2 chapters.
    However, I do have some favorite authors.
    Theology / spiritual issues: Dr. Michael Heiser, A.W. Tozer
    History: Stephen Ambrose
    Fiction: Louis L’Amour, Dennis McKiernan, Patrick Carr, Ronie Kendig
    All time favorite: Bill Watterson - “Calvin and Hobbes”
    6. Is it possible that the USA is the “mystery Babylon” spoken about in scripture?
    Great question. Is it possible? Possibly. Personally, I reject these types of interpretations that incorporate the US into Scripture. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and His plan of redemption for all people through Jesus Christ. The OT is the story of God, Israel and the foreshadowing of the Messiah. The NT reveals the Good News of Christ, salvation, the beginning of the Church, how we are to live as followers of Christ and the revelation of the coming eternal Kingdom of God.
    In Revelation 14-18, Babylon could refer to ancient Rome. However, my personal interpretation is that the Babylon in Revelation is more a metaphor or a type of spirit that is behind a global power. For example, we might say that someone has the spirit of Jezebel - meaning they are rebellious, adulterous, evil - seduce God’s people …. I believe we can say the same of this Babylon - it’s the spiritual motive or force behind a rebellious, evil system that is intent on destroying God’s people in the latter days.
    7. Did you really give up all your cassettes and albums when you became a Christian? What did you do with them?
    Yes, I tossed them all in a trash bag. If God convicted me and they were not good for me, then why would I give them to someone else.
    8. God has many ways to speak. What have you found is the most clear and consistent way for you to hear what God wants you to know?
    Nagging. Must be in a position to hear.
    9. Are we in America getting closer to other countries when it comes to persecution of Christians? I feel like the shutting down of churches is an easy start to phase out God even more while doing it in the name of “safety for the public.”
    Leviticus 26 (blessings and cursings / Romans 1
      • Psalm 90:10ESV

      • Psalm 90:12NLT

      • Exodus 20:13ESV

      • Exodus 21:12–14ESV

  • You Love Me Anyway

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