Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the
soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of
the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat
portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD
looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his
offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and
his face was downcast.
Then the LORD said to Cain, ďWhy are you
angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will
you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is
crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must
master it.Ē (Genesis 4:2-7)
From the Scriptures it appears that Cain
knew how to bring an acceptable offering to the Lord. This is
one of the clues that leads me to believe the Lord introduced a
form of what would become the Levitical System right after the
fall. There had to be a way for His earliest children to set
aside their sins until the Redeemer He had promised to send
(Gen. 3:15) came to solve the sin problem permanently. But
although he knew what was right, Cain hadnít done it and the
Lord warned him that if he didnít change there would be serious
consequences. He didnít and there were.
One of the tools used by theologians to
help understand the Lordís Word is called ďThe Principle Of
First MentionĒ. It holds that the first time an important matter
is mentioned in the Bible, the context in which it appears often
contains information vital to our understanding of His Word in
general, not just to the specific instance. The lesson
fromGenesis 4 is if we want to accepted by God, we should do the
right thing. In the
Old Testament doing the right thing was bringing the prescribed
offering for sin. In
the New, itís believing in the one He sent (John 6:28-29).
Cainís experience shows us that the Lord
doesnít condemn us for failing to do what is right without first
teaching us what is right. It bears repeating that Cain knew
what was right, but didnít do it. Therefore he was acting with
volition, consciously choosing a different way than the Lord had
I donít think this is something thatís
unique to Cain. There are several specific New Testament
references to people who know what is right but donít do it. Iím
not talking about the sins we all commit, where we purposely do
something that we know is displeasing to God. Iím talking about
major disobedience that carries huge consequences.
Jude called this following the Way of Cain. (Jude 1:11)
In this study weíll look at some folks who knew what was
right but followed the way of Cain, and show that the
consequences of their behavior has affected all of society.
Knowing Whatís Right Vs. Doing Whatís Right
The wrath of God is being revealed from
heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who
suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known
about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to
them. (Romans 1:18-19).
This passage in Romans is not about people
who never heard the truth about God and in ignorance came up
with some alternate explanation for who we are and how we got
here. This is about men who knew the truth and suppressed it.
They knew what was right because God made it plain to them. But
they not only didnít do what was right, they tried to hide it so
that others wouldnít discover it. They compounded the Way of
Cain and ruined our world.
For since the creation of the world Godís
invisible qualitiesóhis eternal power and divine natureóhave
been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so
that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither
glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking
became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although
they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the
glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal
man and birds and animals and reptiles. (Romans 1:20-23)
God has made His presence known to man, and
eliminated all our excuses. These men knew God but rejected Him,
and when they did four things began to happen, all of them bad.
First, their thinking became futile and
their foolish hearts were darkened. That means they lost the
ability to reason where the things of God are concerned.
Remember Psalm 14:1,The fool has said in his heart, ďThere is no
God.Ē And in 1 Cor. 1:14 Paul wrote, The man without the Spirit
does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for
they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them,
because they are spiritually discerned. A foolish person lacks
the ability to reason and relies on wishful thinking. And
second, they stopped worshiping the Creator in favor of the
These men held themselves out to be wise,
learned men, who had come up with a superior alternative to what
they call the fables and fiction of the Bible. Some called
themselves scientists, although by definition science requires
observation, and theyíve never observed their theory in action.
What they were able to observe is that left alone, all things
proceed from order into chaos, or devolve, and yet their theory
requires things to go the opposite direction, evolving from
chaos into order, without any outside assistance. Theirís is a
natural law that violates natural law.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful
desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of
their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God
for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than
the Creatorówho is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:24-25)
Third and fourth, many who accepted this
alternative to Creation became sexually immoral and
materialistic. If this had only happened to a few, we could have
seen how different from the rest of us they had become. But
since their theory effectively does away with God, it caught on
among others who were seeking an alternative to Him, and after a
relatively short period of time it worked its way into the
educational systems of the world in the guise of science. In
order to suppress the truth, scientists and educators made sure
it was the only thing taught in our schools, and after a few
generations no one even thought to question it. Even many of the
leading theologians went along, seeing their theory as being
more sophisticated and more intellectually appealing than Godís
Word. Soon this theory thatís never been observed or proven
became as fact.
Seeking to end their troublesome conflict
with Godís Word for good, they got Him kicked out of the
educational system altogether.
As they did, the standard of morality began to decline,
and before long the age of materialism was upon us followed by
the sexual revolution. Then pornography went public and became
an accepted part of our entertainment. Soon, half of all
marriages were ending in divorce. 50 million unborn children
were put to death for the sake of convenience. (Anyone can look
at an ultrasound and know intuitively that it depicts a human
life. It took experts who know what is right but refuse to do it
to convince us otherwise.) Children who were brought into the
world were abandoned to the very schools that had played a major
role in causing the problem.
Because of this, God gave them over to
shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for
unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural
relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one
another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and
received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
When these men saw evidence of the cause
and effect relationship that Paul had warned them about, they
worked to suppress it as well. They called these judgments from
God alternative lifestyles, as proper as any other choice, and
began teaching our children to accept and even celebrate them.
They passed laws against thinking of them in any other way, in
some instances making it a crime for us to remind them of Godís
Furthermore, since they did not think it
worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to
a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have
become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and
depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and
malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent,
arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they
disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless,
ruthless. Although they know Godís righteous decree that those
who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do
these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Itíll All Be Over Soon
As a society weíve acquired such depraved
minds that we donít even see whatís happening to us. We should
know that weíre on the brink of destruction, but we keep getting
worse and worse, applauding behavior that we would have
condemned in disgust only a few years ago.
Since the first judgments havenít turned
mankind back to God, a final, much more serious one is coming.
This one is so bad that the Lord will remove His Church from out
of the midst of it to protect us from itís effect. (1 Thes.
1:9-10) Jesus said that it would be so bad that not one living
soul would survive it unless he puts an end to it at the
appointed time. (Matt. 24:22)
Already we can see signs of it building
among us. But as bad as things are now, this is nothing compared
to the way the world will soon be. In Paulís day the Greek
Empire was in the last days of itís decline, gasping under the
weight of the same kind of decay thatís in evidence everywhere
in our world today. And Paul already saw it coming upon the
Roman Empire, although the worst of it was still
several hundred years away at the time. In each of these world
Empires peopleís hearts had become so hardened and their minds
so depraved that they couldnít even figure out what was
happening to them. Itís the same today, except itís coming upon
the world much more quickly this time.
Having failed to learn from its mistakes, the world of
our time is doomed to repeat them.
And contrary to the prevailing view in the
Charismatic and Emerging Church movements, the Bible mentions no
great revival at the end of the age to right all our wrongs,
heal all our diseases, and clean up our mess in time to hand it
over to the Messiah, all bright and shiny. The reason people
from those movements donít want you studying Bible prophecy is
that their version of the End Times, called Dominion Theology,
can not be found there.
Contrary to what they preach, this is what
Godís word tells us to expect. Jesus said that in the last days
the believing Church would have little strength but would keep
His word and not deny His name. He said He would come for us
soon and to hold on until He does. (Rev. 3:8,11) On the other
hand, He said, the apostate church would consider itself wealthy
and in need of nothing, not realizing that theyíre wretched,
pitiful, poor, blind and naked. All the while He stands knocking
at their door trying to get in. Unable to do so, He will spew
them out of His mouth. (Rev. 3:16,17,20).
None of this had to happen, of course. It
all started when a few men who knew what was right decided not
to do it. And the rest, as they say, is history. Itís hard to
believe that all of our societyís sexual immorality, its
materialism and greed, the decay of its educational system, its
disregard for the value of human life, and its celebration of
alternative lifestyles, all stem from its decision to ignore
what men know is right but refuse to do.
But thatís exactly whatís happened. For although they
knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to
him, worshiping and serving created things rather than our
Creator. Itís the Way of Cain. Selah (08-20-11)