Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quote of the Day #20 - Charles Spurgeon

A quote from Charles Spurgeon on humility:
Big as men may account themselves to be on account of their ancestors, we all trace our line up to a gardener, who lost his place through stealing his Master’s fruit, and that is the farthest we can possibly go. Adam covers us all with disgrace, and under that disgrace we should all sit humbly down.
~Charles Spurgeon (1210.3)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #21 - John Bunyan
Quote of the Day #17 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #18 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #19 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote Index

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Characteristic of Narratives - Hermeneutics

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Scripture contains different types of writings. For example, some parts of Scripture are poetic (such as in the book of Psalms). Other parts of the Bible are narratives (such as the account of the ten plagues poured out on Egypt). A narrative describes an event (or a series of events), but does not always comment as to whether the event described was moral or immoral. In short, a narrative does not always condemn the sin that it describes.

A good example of this point can be found in 1 Kings:
Now Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. (1 Kings 10:26) 
To fully grasp this point, it may be helpful to read this verse in its full context. Solomon was growing in power and in wealth, but nowhere in this verse (or in the surrounding passage) does it state that Solomon was in disobedience. Scripture simply states that Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen. It is the reader's responsibility to recognize that Solomon was in disobedience. For concerning kings, Deuteronomy states:

"Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, 'You shall never again return that way.' "He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. (Deuteronomy 17:16-17)

From this example, the following can be concluded: When a narrative does not specifically condemn an action, this does not prove that the action is morally acceptable to God.

Related Posts:
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1) - Genesis 4:19
How To Read The Bible
Motivation For Meditation (How To Read The Bible Part 2)
Psalm 1:2 - Delight in the LORD's Instruction

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quote of the Day #19 - Jonathan Edwards

A quote from Jonathan Edwards on sin (bold emphasis added):
Therefore how absurd must it be for Christians to object, against the depravity of man’s nature, a greater number of innocent and kind actions, than of crimes; and to talk of a prevailing innocence, good nature, industry, and cheerfulness of the greater part of mankind! Infinitely more absurd, than it would be to insist, that the domestic of a prince was not a bad servant, because though sometimes he contemned and affronted his master to a great degree, yet he did not spit in his master’s face so often as he performed acts of service. More absurd, than it would be to affirm, that his spouse was a good wife to him, because, although she committed adultery, and that with the slaves and scoundrels sometimes, yet she did not do this so often as she did the duties of a wife. These notions would be absurd, because the crimes are too heinous to be atoned for, by many honest actions of the servant or spouse of the prince; there being a vast disproportion between the merit of the one, and the ill desert of the other: but infinitely less, than that between the demerit of our offenses against God, and the value of our acts of obedience.
 ~Jonathan Edwards (The Great Doctrine of Original Sin Defended - Part 1, Chapter 1, Section III)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #20 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #16 - John Owen
Quote of the Day #17 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #18 - Paul Washer
Quote Index

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? (Part 1) - Genesis 4:19


This is the first part in a four part series.

What does the Bible say about polygamy? Is it right? Or is it wrong? The best place to start in answering this question is to go to the first polygamist mentioned in Scripture. The person who receives the "honorable" title of First Polygamist is a man by the name of Lamech, Cain's great-great-great grandson.

Scripture says very little about Lamech. We know that Lamech killed a man, possibly in self-defense (Genesis 4:23). We also know that Lamech was the father of three famous sons. One of these sons was famous for his work with livestock, the other for his work with music, and the last for his work with metal. Lamech, however, as was already mentioned, was a polygamist. He had two wives. Genesis 4:19 contains the account of the first recorded man to practice polygamy:
Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. (Genesis 4:19)
While this verse does mark the first time polygamy is mentioned in Scripture, it does not mark the first time that marriage is mentioned in Scripture. Two chapters earlier, at the creation of the world, God said this:
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
Marriage, according to this passage, is the union of a man and a woman. And if this is the correct interpretation of this passage, it would be logical to conclude that a marriage which consists of something different than a man and a woman is a corruption of marriage. Some, however, would argue that such an interpretation is wrong.

There are some people who would argue that it is legitimate for a Christian to practice polygamy. Usually this is done in an attempt to discredit the Christian religion. Such people might claim that the Bible never explicitly forbids polygamy. After all, Abraham, Jacob, David, and others practiced polygamy, yet God never directly condemned them for it.

However, God did indirectly condemn them. Their sinful relationships had consequences. When Abraham decided to practice polygamy (with Hagar, Genesis 16:3), fierce family tensions arose. Hagar eventually gave birth to a son. Abraham thought that this new son (Ishmael) would become his heir. God, however, did not recognize Ishmael as the heir. Instead, God gave Abraham a son through the proper means, thus Isaac was born.

Isaac, who was not a polygamist, gave birth to a son: Jacob. Jacob, however, was a polygamist. The favoritism which polygamy caused in Jacob's family life can clearly be seen in Scripture. Jacob's favoritism not only had an effect on his wives, but also on his sons (for example: how Jacob's sons treated Joseph).

David's life was also filled with many problems because of his decision to practice polygamy. His family was a mess. And it is easy to see how his numerous wives influenced his son Solomon to marry a ridiculous number of women.

The information presented in Genesis 2 should be enough to prove the sinfulness of polygamy. Nonetheless, Scripture does not contradict itself. If polygamy is wrong in Genesis 2, it should be wrong throughout Scripture. The next three parts in this series will take you through various other passages in Scripture, all of which clearly demonstrate that polygamy is inherently wrong.

Next >>


Related Posts:
The First Marriage - The Christian Worldview
Who Was Cain's Wife? - Genesis 4:17
The City of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19
Psalm 1:1 - Traverse Not With Wickedness
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quote of the Day #18 - Paul Washer

A quote from Paul Washer countering those who would claim they are Christian simply because they "go to church". But anyone (alive) can visit a building for a period of time:
" 'I'm a Christian! I go to church!!' Big deal, the devil goes to church..."
~Paul Washer

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #19 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote of the Day #15 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #16 - John Owen
Quote of the Day #17 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote Index

Friday, September 24, 2010

The City Of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19

Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. (Genesis 4:17)
The first city mentioned in Scripture was constructed by an unrepentant murderer. Cain named the city after his son, Enoch (note that this is not the Enoch in Genesis 5:24 who walked with God, also, for more information on Cain's wife click here).

Although Scripture says little concerning The City of Enoch, it is clear that the city was built on a godless foundation. The founder of the city was Cain himself! The City Of Enoch marked the beginning of man's foolish attempt to create a utopian society without God. It marked the expansion of the lineage of Cain, who was of the evil one (John 3:12). One can only wonder what role this city played in promoting all sorts of wickedness. Perhaps by the time of the great flood, the City of Enoch had grown to such a size (and such a level of wickedness) that it played a major role in God deciding to blot out almost all of humanity (see The Pre-Flood World Soon To Be Blotted Out).

The account of the construction of the City of Enoch is followed by a short genealogy:
Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech. Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. (Genesis 4:18-19)
Only a rough estimate (100 to 500 years) of the time which elapsed between the births of Cain and Lamech can be given. Nothing in the passage indicates whether the mentioned sons were firstborns. If they were all firstborns, it seems reasonable to assume that only 20 years passed between each of their births. However, it is also very possible that these sons were not all firstborns (for more information on this see When Was Seth Born?).

It seems this genealogy was likely included in order to establish a connection between Cain's evil actions and Lamech's evil actions. As Cain was the first recorded murderer in human history, so Lamech was the first recorded person to practice polygamy (Lamech, like Cain, was also a murderer).

Lamech's wives bore him three famous sons: Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-cain. The accomplishments of each of these sons are discussed in Genesis 4:20-22.

Related Posts:
The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4
Who Was Cain's Wife? - Genesis 4:17
Age of the Earth - The Christian Worldview
What Does the Bible Say About Polygamy? - Genesis 4:19
Psalm 1:5 - Temporal Foundations

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who Was Cain's Wife? - Genesis 4:17

Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch... (Genesis 4:17)
Who was Cain's wife? It is a question often posed to Christians, usually in an attempt to stump them. But the question has a very simple answer... yet some people attempt to avoid the easy answer because it seems... well, too obvious. Some people propose that Adam and Eve were just two of the many humans God made at creation— that the reason Adam and Eve are specifically mentioned in Scripture is because they were the cause of the fall.

However, such reasoning is speculative and unbiblical. While it could be argued that the opening chapters of Genesis do not specifically state that God made only two people at creation, other portions of Scripture clearly support this truth. In particular, the apostle Paul clearly expressed this truth when he spoke to the men of Athens:
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth... (Acts 17:24-26)
If every nation which has ever existed came from Adam, then Cain's wife was related to Adam in some way. Perhaps the only relative of Adam who could definitely be eliminated is Eve (for if such had occurred, it seems reasonable to assume that such an event in history would have been recorded in Genesis). Cain's wife was likely one of his sisters, but his wife also could have been the daughter of another son of Adam.

One objection to this proposal is that such a marriage has its very basis in immorality, and surely God would have provided a more moral means to multiply and fill the earth! The main reason this objection is invalid is because it makes the following assumption: that such a relationship has been immoral for all of human history.

Scripture does not support such an assumption. One example of this is that Abraham was married to Sarah, his half sister (Genesis 20:12). But such a relationship had not yet been forbidden by God. God did not prohibit such relationships until the time of Moses (Leviticus 18:9). Many argue that the reasoning behind such a command was that, by the time of Moses, the likelihood of mutations had increased to such an extent that such relationships were infeasible, an endangerment to humanity.

Related Posts:
The City of Enoch - Genesis 4:17-19
Creation of Man - The Christian Worldview
Cain and Abel: Mark of Mercy - Genesis 4:13-16
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2
The First Marriage - The Christian Worldview

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quote of the Day #16 - John Owen

This is a quote from John Owen regarding the presence of sin in the lives of Christians:
Sin does not only still abide in us, but is still acting, still laboring to bring forth the deeds of the flesh. When sin lets us alone we may let sin alone; but as sin is never less quiet than when it seems to be the most quiet, and its waters are for the most part deep when they are still, so ought our contrivances against it be vigorous at all times and in all conditions, even where there is least suspicion.
~John Owen (Of The Mortification Of Sin In Believers, Part 1, Chapter 2)

John Owen was a puritan born in the early 1600s. This quote was taken from the book Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Three Classic Works By John Owen, published by Crossway in 2006.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #17 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #13 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote of the Day #14 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #15 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cain and Abel: Mark of Mercy - Genesis 4:13-16

Cain received mercy after mercy. God was patient with Cain, but Cain refused to repent. Thus God cursed Cain. This curse could be seen as yet another act of mercy (since God would have been perfectly just if He had simply ended Cain's life). But even after this act of mercy, even after this curse, Cain still refused to repent— he did not even show a sign of remorse:
Cain said, to the LORD, "My punishment is too great to bear! (Genesis 4:13)
Cain failed to see that he fully deserved the curse. Instead, Cain saw the punishment as unjust and continued his complaint:
Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me. (Genesis 4:14)
Cain's concern was that he might be murdered. Yet, he still showed no concern over the fact that he had just murdered his own brother. Cain's thoughts were focused entirely on himself.

Does this not show the wickedness of the human race? Of the first two sons of Adam mentioned in Scripture, one was an unrepentant murderer! It seems the children of Adam and Eve would have had no problem living righteous lives. The world was not yet filled with an abundance of wicked men seeking to lead them astray. They likely heard the firsthand account of the fall from Adam and Eve... multiple times. But the nature of man had been corrupted. Even if Cain had heard the account of the fall directly from his parents, it failed to penetrate his stony heart.

Surprisingly, even after Cain's complaint, God replied to Cain in mercy:
So the LORD said to him, "Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him. (Genesis 4:15)
Not only did God listen to Cain's complaint, but God responded to Cain's complaint. Cain feared that he would be killed by another (for he had killed his own brother), so God appointed a sign for Cain. Whatever this mark was, it must have been visible enough so that any man who saw Cain would decide against slaying him.

Sadly, even after God's remarkable demonstration of mercy, Cain's pattern of failing to repent continued. Doubtless, it would have been impossible for Cain to remain in the same area among people who knew the details of his crime, so Cain left the area in which he lived. He settled in the land of Nod (an unknown location):
Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. (Genesis 4:16)

Related Posts:
Who was Cain's wife? - Genesis 4:17
Cain and Abel: Cursed - Genesis 4:10-12
The Fall: Merciful Curses - The Christian Worldview
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: No Repentance - The Christian Worldview

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Vision For Missions - Paul Washer - Sermon Sunday

Taken from heartcrymissionary.com

Click here to listen to or download the sermon. Technically, this isn't really  a sermon, but more of a lecture/presentation. In it, Paul Washer shares both the history and purpose of HeartCry Missionary Society. He also critiques some of the heretical modern day approaches towards missions. If you wish to know more about HeartCry their home page is: www.heartcrymissionary.com.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #6 - Paul Washer
Shocking Message - Paul Washer - Sermon Sunday
Quote of the Day #8 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #14 - Paul Washer

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quote of the Day #15 - Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon on angry thoughts:
When I have a hasty thought against a man and wish him out of the world, I have killed him in thought, and even though I may disguise the wish under the expression of wishing him in heaven, there is guilt in the desire. Oh the hard, cruel, black thoughts which men have towards one another, when they are angry; why they kill and slay a thousand times over. These hasty sins are soon forgotten by us, but they are not so soon forgotten by God.
~Charles Spurgeon (713.544)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #116 - John Owen
Quote of the Day #12 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #13 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote of the Day #14 - Paul Washer
Quote Index

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cain and Abel: Cursed - Genesis 4:10-12

God questioned Cain concerning the location of Abel. When Cain failed to provide an honest answer, God demonstrated his omniscience (all-knowingness). He demonstrated that He knew exactly what Cain had done. God replied to Cain's lie:
He said, "What have you done? (Genesis 4:10)
As if to say, why have you done this? Look at the result of your actions!
The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10)
Your brother. Your very own brother. You murdered your own brother! You cannot hide your crime from God!

This verse also shows that God is not unwatchful. He notices when the righteous suffer. And although God may not act immediately to every murderer as He did to Cain, believers can be assured that justice will ultimately be done. At the great judgment, every crime, no matter how perfectly or discreetly done, will be uncovered. While the righteous often suffer and the wicked often prosper, such will not hold true in the eternal state.

However, to Cain, God provides an immediate punishment, a painful curse. Just as the first sin in the garden had its consequences and curses, so God here makes known to Cain the wickedness of his murderous anger. God sets a curse upon Cain:
Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened it's mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you, you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth." (Genesis 4:11-12)
The ground which took in and absorbed Abel's blood would no longer yield its strength to Cain. That is, the ground would no longer produce at its previous strength. It would no longer bring forth its fruits with the same might and power.

One might think that after all of this, Cain might have been humbled— that he might have seen his sin. Cain, however, was not humbled. Cain did not repent. And in his next reply to God, he is concerned only about himself.

Related Posts:
Cain and Abel: Mark of Mercy - Genesis 4:13-16
Cain and Abel: Sarcastic Reply - Genesis 4:9
The Fall: Humanity Cursed - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: No Repentance - The Christian Worldview
How Bad Is Sin? (Part 2) - The Christian Worldview

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quote of the Day #14 - Paul Washer

A quote from Paul Washer on revival:
"Men are too civilized to want revival, they're too proper to want revival, they want everything pretty and clean and they'll never get revival, because when revival comes, it's gonna rip everything apart."
~Paul Washer

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #15 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #11 - John MacArthur
Quote of the Day #12 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #13 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote Index

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cain and Abel: Sarcastic Reply - Genesis 4:9

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" (Genesis 4:9)
Prior to the murder, Cain deserved death (see All Men Are Guilty). Cain was kept alive only because of the mercy of God. He rejected God... and he remained alive. He did not seek to give his best offering... and he remained alive. He grew in anger... and he remained alive. But then Cain murdered— he took the life of his very own brother. It seems that God should have come in immediate wrath.

Surprisingly, God simply asks Cain a question. A question which God could have certainly answered Himself. Why then did God ask the question? Perhaps God was giving Cain another opportunity to repent. But instead of repenting, Cain followed his recent murder with a lie:
And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9)
Cain answered God's question with a lie... and then he asked God a question— a question which was brimming with unrighteous sarcasm. Notice how easily Cain speaks of his brother who he just murdered. Cain was devoid of love and was able to sarcastically regard the entire situation. Although it is nothing more than a possibility, perhaps when Cain murdered his brother, he thought, "God wants a sacrifice? Okay then— I'll give Him the sacrifice He wants... I'll slaughter Abel!"

Not only does Cain fail to answer God's question in an appropriate way, but he also fails to confess his murderous crime. He fails to turn to God in repentance, and so God replies to Cain with a curse.

Related Posts:
Cain and Abel: Cursed - Genesis 4:10-12
Cain and Abel: Murder - Genesis 4:8
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview
How Bad Is Sin? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: No Repentance - The Christian Worldview

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quote of the Day #13 - Jonathan Edwards

The following is a quote from Jonathan Edwards' well known sermon, Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God. It exalts God's unlimited power:
Sometimes and earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that anything hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell. What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?
If you would like to listen to the entire sermon from which this quote came, click here. You can also read the entire sermon online here.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #14 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #10 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #11 - John MacArthur
Quote of the Day #12 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cain and Abel: Murder - Genesis 4:8

God rejected Cain's offering. And when Cain was warned of the dangers of sin, he grew angry and his countenance fell. Once God had finished speaking to Cain,
Cain told Abel his brother... (Genesis 4:8)
What exactly Cain told Abel is not specified in the text. However, it can be inferred that Cain told Abel of his encounter with God— that God did not have regard for his offering.

After Cain finished telling his brother, he waited for the right moment. He had already planned what he was going to do. Why should he allow his brother to continue in prosperity?
...And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him (Genesis 4:8).
Cain murdered Abel. The deed was complete. For the first time in human history, one man murdered another man. This is anger carried out to its full extent. This is pure and total evil. Not only did Cain murder a man, but he, like Satan, wished to rule instead of God. Cain ultimately wished to take God off His throne— to murder God.
For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous (1 John 3:11-12).
Cain's actions were so vile that the apostle John portrays the opposite of love to be the same as a person who behaves like Cain.

It is important to point out that the story of Cain and Abel was a real event, not merely a symbol. Cain and Abel were real human beings who once walked on planet earth. In the New Testament, Jesus affirms the historicity of the story of Cain and Abel (Matthew 23:35, Luke 11:51). The story, however, of Cain (and not Abel) is far from over. Although the righteous Abel was slain, his brother continued to live out a rebellious life.

Related Posts:
Cain and Abel: Sarcastic Reply - Genesis 4:9
Cain and Abel: Anger - Genesis 4:5-7
Psalm 1:1 - Traverse Not With Wickedness
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview
How Bad Is Sin? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Christ is Worth Trading Everything For - Tim Conway - Sermon Sunday

Do you really believe Christ is worth trading everything for? A challenging sermon excerpt from Tim Conway posted by illbehonest.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quote of the Day #12 - Charles Spurgeon

An interesting comment from Charles Spurgeon regarding the condition of the early men of history who lived hundreds of years:
Man becomes a bad enough sinner when he lives to be seventy; but what he became at seven hundred or more is somewhat difficult to guess. We wonder not that there were giants in those days—giants in crime as well as in stature.
~Charles Spurgeon (1891.158)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #13 - Jonathan Edwards
Quote of the Day #9 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #10 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #11 - John MacArthur
Quote Index

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cain and Abel: Anger - Genesis 4:5-7


Improper anger directed at another human is the foundation of murder. Jesus said, everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell (Matthew 5:22). But Cain was not only angry with his brother, he was angry with God Himself.
but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell (Genesis 4:5).
Cain’s anger was directed at both Abel and God. It was directed at Abel because God had been more pleased with Abel’s offering. Cain’s anger was also directed at God because God had seen what was in his heart. God had seen that his offering was one of duty, not joy— that his offering was an act of hypocrisy, not an act of sincere thankfulness.

At this point, Cain had the opportunity to repent. He had the opportunity to confess that his offering was not given out of a deep love for God. But instead, Cain allowed God’s rejection of his offering to enrage him, thus his countenance fell. Doubtless, his heart was hardened to an even greater extent.
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." (Genesis 4:6-7).
God gave Cain another opportunity to repent. He told Cain that if he did well— if he ceased from making vain offerings— if he stopped kindling useless fire upon the altar of God, his countenance would be lifted up. However, if Cain failed to honor God— if he did not do well, sin would destroy him. Sin is portrayed in this verse as a beast. A beast which is enslaving if not mastered. A beast which must be conquered with good.

Cain, however, did not become a conqueror. Instead, he was conquered. He refused repentance, and his anger propelled him into a greater state of wickedness. It drove him to go straight to his brother— to tell Abel what had just happened.

Related Posts:
Cain and Abel: Murder - Genesis 4:8
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2
Cain and Abel: An Offering - Genesis 4:3-5
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview
How Bad Is Sin? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Quote of the Day #11 - John MacArthur

A quote from the opening sermon of the 2010 Shepherd's Conference concerning separating from unbelievers:
We don’t get together in a prayer meeting with nonbelievers. What would be the point of that? To give them the illusion that they could talk to God and He would care? We don’t get together in any kind of enterprise with a spiritual end, and a spiritual goal, with nonbelievers.
~John MacArthur (Separating from Unbelievers – Shepherd’s Conference 2010)

If you would like to listen to the entire message which this quote came from you can find it on sermonaudio here.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #10 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #8 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #9 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #10 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote Index

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Cain and Abel: An Offering - Genesis 4:3-5

There are many unrecorded parts of history. One of those parts is the period of time right after the birth of Cain and Abel. During this time, Cain and Abel grew from infancy to maturity— Eve likely gave birth to more children. But the sinfulness of humanity did not disappear during this time. Man still remained cursed and fallen— a fact which is clearly proven in the next verses of Genesis, which describe how the first murderer in history came to execute his crime.
So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard... (Genesis 4:3-5).
There is some debate as to why God had regard for Abel's offering and not Cain's. Some suggest that God had revealed to man some sort of animal sacrificial system, similar to what would later be put into place in Israel. Thus the reason God did not regard Cain's offering was because it was not an animal sacrifice.

While such reasoning may seem speculative, the issue comes up once again in the time of Noah. In Genesis 7:2, Noah seems to be aware of a distinction between clean and unclean animals (for more information see How Did Noah Know Which Animals Were Clean?)

Regardless of what Cain and Abel knew about clean and unclean animals, the passage definitely focuses on the quality and heart behind the offering. Abel gave the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. It wasn't just any offering— it was the best he had.

Cain, however, simply gave an offering. While he did give an offering, he did not give it in the right manner. He was a hypocrite. He simply gave so that he might appear to be righteous, but God saw through Cain's false motives: for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). And because of the heart behind each offering, the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard.

Related Posts:
Cain and Abel: Anger - Genesis 4:5-7
Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2
The Fall: No Repentance - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: Humanity Cursed - The Christian Worldview
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Quote of the Day #10 - Leonard Ravenhill

A quote from Leonard Ravenhill on the importance of the Gospel:
“Many pastors criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously. But do they really think that on Judgment Day, Christ will chastise me, saying, ‘Leonard, you took Me too seriously’?”
~Leonard Ravenhill

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #11 - John MacArthur
Quote of the Day #7 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #8 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #9 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Monday, September 06, 2010

Cain and Abel: Two Routes - Genesis 4:1-2


Cain and Abel. There is more to their story than a climatic murder. The story of these two brothers provides teaching on anger, discipline, sin, and repentance. The story also provides the first glimpse of humanity after the fall— a glimpse which reveals the ignorance and wickedness of fallen man.
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD." Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-2).
After man was driven out of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve began multiplying. Eve gave birth to two children. One of them was named Cain, the other was named Abel. Some have speculated that they were twins (since it is not clearly indicated that there was a large period of time separating the two births).

It is important to remember that Genesis 4:1 is the opening glimpse in Scripture of life outside the garden— it is the first glimpse of life after the fall. What will life be like in such a world? Will Adam and Eve turn back to their Creator? Eve's own words certainly provide a hopeful answer to such questions, she spoke, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD". After giving birth to Cain, the first words out of Eve's mouth were not words of cursing because of the pain; rather, they were words in which she recognized her dependence upon God.
And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground (Genesis 4:2).
The two brothers took different routes in life. They had different likes and interests. Often when the account of Cain and Abel is read, it is easy to see Cain as the viscous tyrant, but to see Abel as the righteous prophet.

While these qualities are accurate by the time of the murder, it would be unreasonable to assume it was this way from the very beginning. Cain and Abel simply each chose different occupations. A keeper of flocks is not inherently superior to a tiller of the ground. In fact, both are equally good occupations through which God can be glorified.

But just as these two brothers took two very different routes in their choice of work, so these two brothers also began to form two very different opinions of God. One brother began to see his sinfulness, but the other brother continued to grow in pride.

Related Posts:
Cain and Abel: An Offering - Genesis 4:3-5
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: No Repentance - The Christian Worldview
The First Marriage - The Christian Worldview
The Fall: Humanity Cursed - The Christian Worldview

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Few - Piper, Washer, Ravenhill, Conway, Leiter - Sermon Sunday

This is a very well put together video from illbehonest. It contains audio from sermons preached by John Piper, Paul Washer, Leonard Ravenhill, Tim Conway, and Charles Leiter.


Saturday, September 04, 2010

Quote of the Day #9 - Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon on defending the gospel:
A great many learned men are defending the gospel; no doubt it is a very proper and right thing to do, yet I always notice that, when there are most books of that kind, it is because the gospel itself is not being preached.
Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them, if they would not object, and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself; and the best “apology” for the gospel is to let the gospel out.
~Charles Spurgeon (2467.256)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #10 - Leonard Ravenhill
Quote of the Day #6 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #7 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #8 - Paul Washer
Quote Index

Friday, September 03, 2010

Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 2) - The Christian Worldview

In Galatians 5:16, all believers are commanded:
Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
If Christians walk by the Spirit, they will not carry out the desire of the flesh (the desire they have due to lingering sinful tendencies). Galatians 5:17 states:
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
The believer has a powerful weapon to combat sin with: the Spirit. But the unbeliever has no sufficient weapon. All the unbeliever has in opposition to the flesh is a gnawing conscience which prevents him from fully manifesting his wretchedness. Romans farther states that those in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8).

How is it that out of the billions upon billions of people who have lived in this world, not one of them has successfully avoided sin? Clearly there is something terribly wrong in men. It has nothing to do with a man’s environment or surroundings. There is something wrong with man’s nature—it is terribly corrupt. The book of Ephesians states that believers all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Ephesians 2:3).

Related Posts:
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview
All Men Are Guilty - The Christian Worldview
Quote of the Day #6 - Paul Washer
The Fall: Humanity Cursed - The Christian Worldview
How Bad Is Sin? (Part 4) - The Christian Worldview

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Quote of the Day #8 - Paul Washer

Paul Washer on living for eternity:
My dear friend. Yesterday I was 9 years old. Today I am 43. Tomorrow I will be 90. Life is a vapor. It is fleeting. Everything will die. All will pass away. We are to love the things of God. The things that are eternal. And one of the signs of a Christian is that they are not entrapped or enslaved to the things of this present evil age, but they are set free to see Christ in His glory and follow Him, and follow hard after Him.
~Paul Washer (A Sermon That Has Angered Many)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #9 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #5 - Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #6 - Paul Washer
Quote of the Day #7 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 1) - The Christian Worldview

Some would give the answer that sin is avoidable. That it is possible for a man to be perfect from the moment of birth to the moment of death. But as discussed in more detail in previous posts, Scripture is clear that such a situation never occurs. Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

Sin has been present in every human society throughout all of history. It affects every person, regardless of time period, color, nationality, or religion. Therefore, a simple conclusion can be made: Sin is universal and unavoidable because men see sin as sweet, enjoyable, and worthy of delight.

Scripture often speaks of the desire of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). The apostle Paul also discusses this subject throughout the book of Romans. In Romans 7:14-25, Paul writes extensively of the ongoing struggle between his desire to do good and the desire of the flesh (Romans 7:14).

I highly recommend reading all of Romans 7:14-25 (and reading the whole book of Romans for that matter). However, here is short expert from Romans 7 which sums up Paul’s struggle:
For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (Romans 7:22-24).
The apostle Paul wrote this after he was converted (reading the whole passage in context will make this statement more clear). If this was the state of the apostle Paul as a believer, then what must be the state of the unconverted man?

Related Posts:
Why Is Sin Unavoidable? (Part 2) - The Christian Worldview
All Men Are Guilty - The Christian Worldview
Quote of the Day #6 - Paul Washer
The Fall: Humanity Cursed - The Christian Worldview
How Bad Is Sin? (Part 4) - The Christian Worldview