Abel’s Sermon

11551.jpgGenesis 4:1-10 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. [2] And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. [3] And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. [4] And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: [5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. [6] And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? [7] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. [8] And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. [9] And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? [10] And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

In 1921 the Washburn Crosby Company – the predecessor to the food company General Mills – had a write-in contest to boost sales. Many of the women writing in were asking for baking tips. The Public Relations department decided this was a good opportunity to advertise their Gold Medal brand of flour. So they replied to the letter writers signing the name Betty Crocker. Who was Betty Crocker? She never existed. Betty Crocker was a made up person who gave baking tips to the customers. Three years later in 1924 the company purchased a radio station and introduced The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air. As the show grew in popularity the Washburn Crosby Company would send scripts to other radio stations around the country. Each radio station hired their own local “Betty Crocker” to do the show, which gave “her” appeal to the local listeners. Imagine Betty Crocker speaking in your own accent … that boosted flour sales! In 1933 two men – John D Duff and Louis E. Dietrich – patented a method of making a dehydrated flour mixture or a cake mix. All you had to add was water and oil and the housewife could quickly make a cake. The Washburn Crosby Company purchased the right to the patent and began to produce Betty Crocker Cake Mixes. They were popular, but so were other cake mixes. How to make their cake mix more popular than the others? The United Kingdom website of Betty Crocker states “Research conducted by psychologist Ernest Dichter proved that being able to add an egg to a cake mix, rather than just using powdered egg, took away the guilt of convenient baking and affirmed the woman’s role as provider.

Adding an egg to what was already a complete recipe made people feel better – and increased sales. The same thing has been done to the Gospel of God from the very beginning!

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden – causing the fall of all humanity – they tried to cover their sin with human works. The Bible tells us that “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:6, 7 NKJV). Human works and efforts to cover our sins from the eyes of God were there at the very beginning. How did God respond?

When neither Adam nor Eve would repent (to “repent” means to acknowledge what you did was sinful) God cast them out of the Garden of Eden. But He did not do so until He showed them the righteous way of covering sin. The Bible says “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).

The innocent had to die, and blood had to be shed to cover sin.

1 Adam And Eve Had Two Children When They Left Paradise. Someone asked me one time if Adam and Eve would be in Heaven. At first I said “Of course – they are our fore-parents, the beginning of creation”. But let’s think about this for a minute.

a Being The Prototype Does Not Guarantee Salvation. Adam And Eve Never Repented When Confronted By God. They played the blame game, a game so popular in election years. It’s not MY fault, it’s SOMEBODY ELSE’S fault. I didn’t sin but “the woman YOU gave to me, God, she led me to sin” (Genesis 3:12).

Without repentance there can never be any salvation. God is holy, pure, and righteous. Man is by nature sinful. The Scripture says:

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Adam is indicative of the unrepentant heart, the heart that refuses to turn to God. Though God killed a Lamb without blemish to clothe both Adam and Eve there is no indication that either of our fore-parents expressed thankfulness for the action. Repentance is necessary for salvation! The Bible says that it is “repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18). We acknowledge our sin, not someone else’s. The Apostle Paul preached:

Acts 20:20-21… publicly, and from house to house, [21] Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The very first sermon Jesus ever preached was:

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

and later told those who would hear:

Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Salvation is not to just believe on God, but to REPENT and BELIEVE. To believe without repentance leads to no more than a false conversion. The one who believes without repentance is like the seed sown on the rock, of whom Jesus said:

Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and IN TIME OF TEMPTATION FALL AWAY.

Erik Raymond wrote in the April 2016 issue of Tabletalk Magazine (Ligonier Ministries):

When you encounter suffering, do you have an unresolved answer to the question of why? Do you find yourself beginning to question God’s goodness? Or have you become somewhat bitter about what you are going through? The Christian, of all people, should know that suffering is part of the Christian life (see John 15:20; Philippians 1:29). Let’s not forget we follow a Savior Who was crucified. … God makes us more like Jesus through our suffering (Romans 5:3-5; Hebrews 5:7; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-9)”

There was no repentance in the lives of Adam and Eve – at least none that the Scripture speaks of. Without repentance there is no salvation. The Evidence Bible from Living Water Ministries notes:

When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he commanded his hearers to repent “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Without repentance, there is no remission of sins; we are still under His wrath. Peter further said, “Repent . . . and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). We cannot be “converted” unless we repent. God Himself “commands all men everywhere [leaving no exceptions] to repent” (Acts 17:30). Peter said a similar thing at Pentecost: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you” (Acts 2:38). If repentance wasn’t necessary for salvation, why then did Jesus command that repentance be preached to all nations (Luke 24:47)?”

Without repentance AND faith in Christ there is no real salvation.

b Adam And Eve Never Changed After Leaving Eden. They continued living in worldliness. We know this by how they named their children. The Scripture says:

Genesis 4:1-2 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. [2] And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

The first child Eve had was named “Cain”, the Hebrew קַיִן qayin (pronounced kah’-yin). Qayin literally means “My Possession”. God allowed her to have a Child and she was PROUD of that Child. This is “My Possession”. God might have thrown us out of Eden, but look a what a beautiful, pretty Child I have! She said “I have gotten a MAN from the Lord”. I must be doing something right, because God gave me … yes ME …. a strapping baby boy, a MAN! Cain would be just like his daddy. He is a tiller of the soil. He follows in his daddy’s footsteps. Adam tilled the ground in Eden, Cain will till the ground outside of Eden. Oh, how proud they were of Cain.

You know, the things we take great pride in are often not the things that God admires. The Bible says:

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.

When Israel wanted a King where did they look? They didn’t look UP where the Great God and father lives. They certainly didn’t look to a young boy watching sheep at night. Israel looked to Saul to be their King, of whom the Scripture says:

1 Samuel 9:2 …. Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.

When Cain was born – oh what a fuss was made over him! My Possession was everything a child should be. He had his daddy’s eyes, his mother’s hair, and followed after and made his parents proud. Then there was the other child.

There was Abel. The name “Abel” is the Hebrew הֶבֶל hebel (pronounced heh’-bel). What does “Hebel” mean? “Nothing”. That is it’s meaning – “Nothing, Empty, Vain, Useless”. Hebel is the nobody child. He is not celebrated. He is the least, the lesser.

Several years ago there was a show called “Everybody loves Raymond”. Raymond was not the first born child, but he was the cherished child. Robert was the afterthought. In one episode the mother was showing off Raymond’s first birthday pictures when Robert pointed out his own pictures. The mother said something like “We really didn’t have a birthday party for you. I was making a cake that day and just rubbed some chocolate on your face so we could take a picture.”

That’s a picture of Abel. When he is born Eve says NOTHING special about him. When she names him she names him “Nothing”. Hebel. Useless. Abel was a big fat zero to his parents and to his brother. But praise God:

Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

Abel was cherished by God. And Abel cherished God. He might not have taken his daddy’s business to himself, but he did follow in His Father’s Business. Abel was a Shepherd – a Keeper of Sheep. He loved the Lord, and knew what God required for salvation. Repentance means coming to God in full submission.

God tells those who love Him …

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

God can take a Nothing and make Someone out of them – if they will come to Him in faith.

2 Adam And Eve’s Cherished Child Is A Picture Of Godless Man Made Religion.

Genesis 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Cain was a tiller of the soil – a farmer. So when he came to God religiously he brought what was important to HIMSELF. He brought the works of his hands and presented these works as an offering unto God.

Genesis 4:4-5 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: [5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Abel was a shepherd. When he brought his offering to God – the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof – the Lord HAD RESPECT to Abel’s Offering. But the Lord REJECTED Cain’s offering. Why?

a Man Made Religion Is A Godless And Bloodless Religion. Before Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden God killed a lamb and – shedding the blood of the innocent – showed our foreparents that it is the blood of the innocent that covers sin. Now these animal sacrifices were but shadows that taught of what God would do one day in the Christ:

Hebrews 10:1-4 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. [2] For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. [3] But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. [4] For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

But in every animal sacrifice – every Lamb without spot or blemish that that was killed – there is a picture of the Coming Christ. A bloodless sacrifice cannot point to Christ. A bloodless sacrifice cannot say of Jesus:

John 1:29 “… Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

The bloodless offering to God cannot declare that …

1 Corinthians 5:7 …. even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

When Abel “brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” he was imitating what God the Father did in the Garden of Eden. Cain’s offering had no basis in God’s revelation to man. God showed Adam and Eve that a blood sacrifice was necessary for an even temporary covering for sin. A bloodless atonement is totally foreign to God’s Word.

b When Man Made Religion Is Challenged It Does Not Repent But Instead Rages. When God refused Cain’s bloodless offering what happened?

Genesis 4:5 Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Cain was furious! How DARE God not accept his offering. After all, this was his life’s work. Surely MY works will be good enough to gain me acceptance with God. Every time you hear of atrocities committed in God’s name you can trace them backward to bloodless religion. Whether Crusades or Jihads, where the Blood of the Lamb is not there is the Blood of murder. That which does not look toward Christ moves toward Phariseeism. Jesus said of the Pharisees:

Matthew 23:34-35 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: [35] That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

God asked Cain to repent, to turn, to believe on the Blood of the Lamb. He told Cain:

Genesis 4:6-7 … Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? [7] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Sin like a lion crouches at the door of every one who despises the Blood of Atonement. Cain rejected the WORD of God and rejected the WOO of God. Rather than REPENT he inwardly RAGED.

Genesis 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

And raging, this self righteous Pharisee killed the Child of God. Cain couldn’t kill God, so he killed the Child of God.

c Man Made Religion Is A Loveless Religion. After Cain kills his brother Abel we read:

Genesis 4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

God spoke to Cain. God loves us. He continued to try and draw Cain to repentance. In the Psalms King David often asks “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalms 2:1). The Prophet Jeremiah asked God “Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1). We have all asked God this question. Why do evil people seem to get a pass, while the wicked keep doing wickedness? Why do rich people get richer stealing from the poor? There is one reason:

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God loves us and gave Himself for us. The follower of man made religion loves themselves – not God. Yet God continues to call, because ….

3 God Wants Cain To Have The Same Salvation That Abel Has. Abel suffered. He died in the field. But though he suffered, he rose to glory at the end of this life’s journey. The Scripture says that though Abel died at Cain’s hand, his Blood did not go unnoticed.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Do you realize that throughout his life there were
no words ever recorded that Abel spoke?

Cain spoke volumes. He murmured against God. He complained when God punished him – albeit lightly – for his sin. Cain should have died the death that he inflicted on his brother.

God told Noah:

Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Man is made in God’s image. That has never changed. Mankind is precious. We are not animals – we are God’s Offspring. Whoever sheds blood deserves death. But God held off the death of Cain for one reason.

He wanted us to hear Abel’s only sermon.

His sermon is what Christ requires of each of us. Jesus said:

Matthew 16:24-26 …. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [25] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. [26] For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

The Christian Way of life is to lay down your life for the Lord. Abel was the first Christ Follower in the Bible, and Cain the first Pharisee. Abel followed Christ even when Cain threatened his life. Abel kept his eyes on the Blood of the Lamb. His sacrifice was excellent, for it pointed to our most Excellent Savior. Abel was righteous – right with God – because he followed God even into suffering, and even unto death.

Blessed be the name of God forever. May we all who are blood bought follow Jesus not in an armchair nor on a pew but carrying His Cross no matter what the cost.
May God bless your hearts by His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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