Cain & Abel The Two Worshipers in Every Church – Episode 39



In every church, there are only two worshippers. Whether it is a large church or a small, you will find only two worshippers in attendance.

What am I talking about? Turn to Genesis 4 and I will explain. There are only two worshippers in any church. There is either an Abel or a Cain. As we study this idea you need to ask yourself and God which am I?

Today, as we continue with our series, Getting to Know God we need to learn just one thing.

Your Takeaway

Today’s Takeaway is this: Worship only out of faith not out of obligation.

Genesis 4:1-8

Let’s read Genesis 4:1-8

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LordAbel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Now 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 killed him.

Cain and Abel, that story is familiar to us. Cain is the first murderer. He killed his brother Abel.

It appears that Cain was jealous. He was jealous because God favored Abel’s offering but did not favor his. But what does this have to do with worship? How does this story link to the idea that there are only two worshippers?

Let’s look first at the text of Genesis 4 and try to answer the question why did God respect the worship of one and not the other.

And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LordAbel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

We can immediately see a difference in the two offerings. Cain’s was produce and Abel’s was sheep. Now, this could be because Cain was a farmer and Abel a shepherd. But for this moment I want to focus not on what was offered but the value of the offering.

Cain’s brought available produce. There was nothing to distinguish it. But Abel’s was the firstborn and the fat. It seems to me that Cain just chose what was available but Abel picked his best.

When you worship, when you attend your local church do you bring your best? Or do you just get it done?

I have been there. Maybe you are there now. When we worship on Sunday are we just getting it done, are we not bringing our best?

Note what God says to Cain.

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

On any given day, even Sunday, sin desires us. It is there crouching, waiting to attack. As believers, God has given us the ability to not fall prey to sin. We can rule over it. See Romans 6.

God says to Cain that he did not do well. God is asking Cain to reevaluate his worship. God wants Cain to understand where he came up short. He is extending mercy to Cain. He wants Cain to be aware of sin and to defeat it.

Some people struggle with correction. Some take the feedback, learn the lesson, and adjust. Some, though, react poorly to correction. They become defensive, they speak out or act out. Cain reacted poorly and acted out.

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. 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.

There is not much I can add to the murder of Abel. The Scripture says it all. But I will ask you this. How do you react when you are corrected? Do you listen and learn or do you bristle and burn? Which are you?

God gives us a caution. Sin is crouching, waiting to attack. Do not let your thin-skinned, defensive nature lead you to sin even further. Because when you do, there is the possibility of even worse behavior.

Hebrews 11:4

Remember, there are only two worshippers in this church – Cain and Abel. So we need to dig deeper to understand what happened. We need to understand this so that we can see who we may be.  Turn to Hebrews 11:4

Heb 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.

Note first that Abel’s sacrifice was “more excellent.” Why was it “more excellent?”

  1. Abel picked from his best. He gave his best. We have already touched on that.
  2. Abel’s sacrifice had life and Cain’s did not. I know that the Law permitted grain offerings. So to offer produce was permissible. But this offering is long before the Law. I believe that God expected an offering to reflect the coming sacrifice of Jesus. Look at Hebrews 12:24.  “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
  3. Abel’s sacrifice was by faith, not Cain’s. That means that Cain’s sacrifice was out of obligation. But Abel’s heard God’s Word and worshipped accordingly. “Faith -cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17. Abel heard God’s Word on worship and Abel responded correctly.

So Abel gave his best. Abel’s sacrifice reflected the coming sacrifice of Jesus. And Abel’s sacrifice was by faith.

Cain did not give his best. He did not reflect Jesus in his worship. And he worshipped out of obligation, not faith.

In every church, there are only two worshippers. An Abel and a Cain. Which are you?

God only respects our worship when we worship in faith, when we acknowledge the Savior in our worship, and when we give our best.

When we do NOT worship correctly, we know that God is forgiving. He is merciful. Like He was with Cain. God only wants us to evaluate and correct. So He warns us of the sin that is lurking. He tells us to control this sin or it will get the better of us. Sadly Cain did not.

It is my hope that as the Word convicts you of your wrong reasons to worship, you will not get defensive or act out. But you will listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to the hand of mercy extended to you.

The Holy Spirit and the Bible will point out our sin. If the Holy Spirit is pointing out your sin, you need to listen and learn. You need to ask God for forgiveness.

Christ died for your sins. He paid the price for not only your sins but the sins of the whole world.

If you know that you are a sinner, believe on Jesus, on His death, on His resurrection. Trust in Him. When you believe like that, God will forgive you of your sins – sins you have committed, sins that you will someday commit. All forgiven by God.

Imagine that! You can have forgiveness if you would only believe.

This is Mark Jones the pastor of Wakefield Valley Bible Church. Let me take a moment and invite you to join us in worship. We meet Sunday mornings at 10:45 for worship. And you are invited.

We are a simple church that worships God with a simple faith. We believe what you have heard preached on this podcast – That Jesus is God the Son. That He died for our sins. And that He rose again three days later. And we believe that God will forgive and save anyone who believes the same.

So if you live near us and are looking for a church family, then please visit.

Don’t forget to visit our website, Wakefieldbible.org. There you find out more about the church and at the website, you can also sign and receive a bible study on the gospel of John. Just sign up at the website and we will email to you a wonderful resource to help you better understand John’s gospel.

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