We continue our look at
God's Living Legends. We began at the beginning. We took a long look at Adam.
We studied his environment and his attitudes. The reason was to see just what
there was about his character that illustrates the Adam in us. We found three
qualities lacking that broke God’s heart. The first one was contentment.
Contentment defined is “grateful acceptance that what you have is all you need
and all you have is undeserved”. The second character quality was faithfulness.
Faithfulness defined is “to demonstrate the fullness of ones faith by remaining
in place”. The third character quality was responsibility. Responsibility
defined is “the attitude that seeks no scapegoats in life”. It means being
fully accountable for one’s actions and attitudes.
The issue is that it
was not Adam's eating of the fruit that caused his fall. Adam's eating of the
fruit was the result of what caused his fall. Adam's attitude was the
problem. Had Adam been content, that which Satan dangled before him would have
had no appeal at all. Had Adam been faithful, the serpent would have never even
been in the garden. Eve would have been warned and Adam would have been
in control. Had Adam been responsible, he would not have fled from the presence
of God. He would not have lied to God. He would not have shifted the blame to
Eve who promptly passed the baton of guilt in Satan's direction. Adam would
have stood in the presence of God and repented and assumed the responsibility
of his own sin as David did and all mankind would have had an early
illustration of godly repentance. The problem centered around Adam's attitudes.
Many of our attitudes are Adam's attitudes as well.
Adam and Eve would die
physically. That was part of the curse they earned through their rebellion.
They were cast out of the garden, east of Eden. God's angelic hosts were
stationed at the entrance to guard the way to the tree of life. Now, man and
God had been separated by sin. The intimacy was gone in that relationship. The
fellowship was gone. The holiness was gone. The direction was now marred by a
simple act of disobedience. Man had to find a way back into the presence of
God. God provided the way back for man. The only prerequisite was faith that
exhibits itself in obedience. Now all of mankind had a choice. For 6,000 years
that choice has remained the same.
The curtain goes up on
Act II. Enter Cain and Abel. In Cain and Abel, God has a perfect portrait of
all the elements of that eternal choice that every man has to make. We will
look at Cain and Abel at the crossroads of eternity. The scene begins in
Genesis 4. Adam and Eve, banished from the garden, were commanded to be
fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Now a word to mothers. Yours is
perhaps the most difficult of all of life’s vocations. Your hours are eternal.
Your duties are infinite. Your crises are unpredictable. You are supposed to
have the creativity of an artist, the stamina of an athlete, the quietness of a
student, the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, and the endurance of Paul.
But, alas, yours is also the vocation with the most lasting rewards. Yours is
an eternal product. You are reproducing the image of God in diapers. You are
seeing the development of the plan of God with holes in their socks, pimples on
their faces and appetites that if ever transferred to spiritual things would
produce Peter, Paul and John rolled into one. Today, we walk by Maternity
Manor, east of Eden, for a look at the world's first mother. It may be of some
consolation to some of you who are mothers to two, or four, or six or seven.
You may shrug your shoulders and decide you don't have it so bad after all.
Rumors have it that
Cain and Abel were twins. There is little doubt that Adam and Eve had their
hands full. Pregnancy was a way of life for Eve. Can’t you just imagine the
reception room at the Eden Memorial Hospital, maternity wing? Here’s the
scenario: The telephone rings, "Oh, Mrs. Eve, (it's her again) Yes, of
course we have a room for you. We always have a room for you. Let's see,
it's been a little more than nine months, is that right? Yes, Mrs. Eve, the
group discount policy is still in effect." Can't you imagine being the
owner of the Maternity Manor Dress Shop? The telephone rings. "Hello, Good
morning. Clothes for the day when the child's on the way. Can I help you? Yes,
Mrs.. Eve (it's her again). No, Mrs. Eve, nothing new. You've bought them all.
Of course, you are our best customer, Mrs. Eve. You've been pregnant for nearly
forty years. We will look for some new designs for you." Eve must have
thought she lived in Diapersville.
If you think you
have a big family, think about this: In twenty years, Eve probably had at least
30 children. In 30 years, she probably had 40 children and 200 grandchildren.
By the time Genesis 4:6 came along, commentary suggests there may have been as
many as 3,000 people on the face of the earth. Guess where they came from? How
would you have liked to have the Hallmark greeting card concession? Just
sending them each a birthday card was a full-time job. How about family
reunions? The invitation would read: “Attention All Mankind”, or “To Whom It
May Concern”, or simply “Resident”.
It is so wonderful that
God brings it all into perspective. Out of the mass, emerges the message. God
stops and picks out two men and tells us about the first two boys born into the
family of God and into the family of man. and the choice they each made that
charted the paths into which all mankind either now comes to God, or goes his
own way. That very simply is what this lesson is all about. It is a very basic
truth. But, oh, the beauty of its simplicity. If you are not a Christian, or
you are not certain if you are, I would like to encourage you to pay special
attention because it is possible that God is sending a message to you. We begin
in Genesis 4:1-2:
And Adam knew his wife,
Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain and said, "I have gotten a man from
Now, I want you to
remember this; Eve made many trips to the maternity ward, but, with every trip
she was reminded of her rebellion. Because of their sin, childbirth was
accompanied by great pain. Eve experienced childbirth again and again and
again. Eve's first son was named Cain. He was to represent fallen man. First,
we have that which is natural, then we receive that which is spiritual. That is
the progression of life. The name “Cain” means acquisition or possession. To
his mother, he was an acquisition from God. "I have gotten a man from the
Lord," she explained. The first birth she experienced was so beautiful. “Children
are a heritage from the Lord”, the scripture says. “They are His reward”.
“Cain” means acquisition in more ways than one. His life is ear-marked by
self-achieved possessions. Gain is what he seeks and seeks to hold. His
descendants will be the great men of their age, for a time. Then, they will
vanish like a vapor and be no more. Cain represents all the flesh can acquire
apart from God. Cain came first, but Cain won't last. Now let's look at verse
And she again bore his
brother, Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the
The name Abel means
vapor. That is what his life was by man's standards. His was no success story.
But, then by man’s standards, neither was Jesus’. Vapor. He would leave little
imprint in the worlds' history books. However, his sin would burn an indelible
mark on the scroll of eternity. His life was a vapor, but it would last
Next, we have a
description of the occupation of Adam's two boys. They both followed in their
dad's footsteps. Abel became a shepherd and Cain became a farmer. Verses 3-5
And in the process of
time, it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, an offering
unto the Lord.
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.
But unto Cain and to
his offering he had not respect.
The phrase, in
the process of time, literally means after the passing of much time.
These two boys were now grown young men. They were established in their
occupations. They came and brought an offering to God at a specified, chosen,
allotted time. It was Adam's responsibility to see that they do that. God had
commanded it. God expected it. It was also Adam's responsibility to teach the
boys the kinds of sacrifice God expected and that which was acceptable
to Him. Cain and Abel knew what had happened to their parents. No doubt there
were times when the two boys would approach the gate to the garden and gaze in
at the lush, green hillside. The rivers cascading through it delighted their
eyes. The ground was so fertile and fruitful and beautiful. No doubt, they
mused to themselves, “if only Dad hadn't disobeyed, we would still be
living there. If only God hadn't cast them out”, you may hear them say.
Bitterness is often born in youth and then revealed in adulthood. They knew God
demanded obedience and rewarded obedience. Both of them knew that, but knowing
it is not enough.
So now, it was offering
time. Now, Cain brought God a present. Maybe it was a bushel of squash. Maybe
it was a basket of okra. "Here, God, look what I did. Here God, I will
give you a little, have some vegetables," Cain may have said. There were
three things wrong with Cain's offering.
was wrong. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground. It does not say of
the best fruit of the ground, or of the first of the fruit of
the ground, it just says, Cain brought of the fruit of the ground. It was
not necessarily the best he had, but a sample of what he had.
was wrong. The inference is that Cain came to bribe God with a gift and show
God what he could do.
3-The gift itself
was wrong. He brought no sacrifice for sin. He therefore came not as a sinner
in need of forgiveness, but as a farmer in need of approval. God had no respect
for either Cain or his offering.
Not so with Abel. Abel
came and brought the best he had; the firstlings of the flock, the
fattest, the best. Abel came humbly with no attitude of deserving favor. Abel
was looking for grace. So Abel brought a sacrifice. He knew he was shut out of
God's presence by sin. He knew atonement must be made. He somehow knew that
without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Abel came God's
way. God accepted his offering and received him and Abel became a member
of the family of God.
So now, all of human
history in the spiritual sense springs from Genesis 4:4-5. Genesis is the book
of beginnings and here is the beginning of redemption. The Bible is the book of
choice and here is the clear cut choice of the Bible. Christianity is the
essence of grace and here is the expression of grace for the first time. Adam
and Eve had made a choice, a wrong choice. Now all of mankind was forced to
make a new choice. Two roads were now etched in man’s conscience: the way of
self and the way of salvation. Cain once and for all represents all of mankind
who come to God with human worth and human works. It seemed like the natural
thing to do. “God helps those who help themselves”, right? Wrong. The way is
broad, the crowd is huge, but it is a dead end.
Abel once and for all
represents the way of faith. This way of faith is coming to God, God's way, as
a sinner in need of atonement, as one whose word and works have earned nothing
but separation from God. So God says He will require another's blood. The life
is in the blood and without the shedding of blood, no man can be justified in
God's sight. We would start with the sacrifices of animals, pure, spotless and
without blemish. The slaying of these would atone for sins and God would see
man as redeemed. But all of these sacrifices were to point to a coming day when
the perfect sacrifice would complete God's plan and make all other sacrifices
unnecessary for all eternity. Hebrew 12:23-24 says:
You have come to God,
the judge of all to the spirits of righteous men made perfect to Jesus, the
mediator of the new covenant and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better
word than the blood that Abel shed.
So the way has been
made. God completed the picture but the choice has always been the same. Man's
simple solution to eternity is the picture of two men at a crossroads. One
represents Cain and one represents righteous Abel. Both have heard a word from
God: "Come to Me, My way." The amazing thing about this picture is
that there are only two roads that man can travel, not two-thousand or
two-hundred or twenty or even five. There is the way of Cain. It is “the way
that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death”. It is
the broad and popular way. Many there be that travel thereon. It is the path of
self-righteousness or self-accomplishment. It is finally the way of
self-destruction. It says, "Look at what I've done." It offers God a
bushel basket full of squash for all our sins. The end thereof is the way of
death, for without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. (Pr
14:12, Heb 9:22)
The other way is the
way of Abel; the way of life. It is a narrow way and not very many people find
it, the scripture says. It is the way of the Cross. It is coming to God as
nothing but a sinner, alienated from His presence and having no payment to
offer for reconciliation. Those who follow Abel look up to see that God
provided the lamb. We can see that Jesus paid the penalty, that all we have to
do is accept His sacrifice once and for all and be born again. We read in
Thou hast redeemed us
to God by the blood.
What is the primary quality
lacking in Cain? We are going to look at this quality in the studies to come as
we undertake lessons on Noah, Abraham, Moses and others. The quality we will
look at in this study is a simple five letter word - faith.
What is faith? What
would be your definition of faith? Do you even think that faith is definable?
Faith is the most definable word in Scripture because Scripture defines it for
us. Wouldn't it be great if all of the other character qualities we are going
to be digging into would be defined as directly as faith? We would have it all
spelled out for us. We would have to cancel this study. Faith, is a word so
definable that God spells it out. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1) Let’s take a good look at that definition,
word for word.
First, what does that
word “substance” mean? The Greek word is hupotasis. Hup means
under; tasis means to stand. It means to stand under. It is the
foundation or the basis of things hoped for. The phrase “hoped for” means
things fervently expected. The word hope was not used as we use it today. The
phrase “evidence of things not seen” is part of the definition. The word
“evidence” is from a Greek word that means a tested conviction. So then, faith
is the completed guarantee that things promised will become reality. It is
proof without evidence. Let's give it a simple definition with three simple
words: confidence without proof. That is how Abel had to come to God. He
couldn't see the end result or fully understand the Cross. He had to take God
at His Word and come God's way. It didn't seem the most sensible way,
but then it never will. If it did, no faith would be required, and God's heart
could not be satisfied. We know these things about faith. We will deal with
them in more detail in later studies, but let’s list them now.
1- Without faith you
cannot please God. (Hebrews 11: 6)
For without faith it is
impossible to please God, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and
that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
You cannot please God
apart from faith. That is an absolute.
2- Faith is obtainable.
It comes from the Scriptures. You may say, "Boy, I wish God would
increase my faith”. He has given you all you need. He has given you His word. “Faith
cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) The more
you read God's Word and allow God to take what you read and prove it to be
true, the more faith you have in the faithfulness of the One who wrote it.
Faith, remember, comes proportionate to your understanding of the faithfulness
of the object of your faith. I will give you an example. Think of a friend
calling you to go to lunch the next day. The time and place are set. The time
to meet comes and goes, and he doesn't show. You wait and wait and wait. You
finally call them and they have forgotten to meet you. The friend wants to make
it for the next day, same time, same place. The next day, you meet again and
the same thing happens. No friend shows up. What happens? The next time that
friend calls you up to meet, you don't really believe him because you don't
have faith anymore that his word is reliable. But if the object of your faith
is God, then the more you read His Word, the more you realize how faithful He
is. The more faithful you realize God to be, the more faith you can exercise in
the person of God.
3- Faith is a free gift
By grace you are saved,
through faith, not of yourselves, it is a gift from God, wrapped up in the
blood of Jesus Christ, not of works, lest any man should boast.
You cannot earn faith,
so stop trying.
4 - Faith is useless
without love. (1 Corinthians 13:2)
Though I have faith so
that I could remove mountains, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
5 - Faith lives forever
but it is still less important than love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Now abideth faith,
hope, love, these three. But the greatest of these is love.
6 - Faith is deadly to
Satan. (Ephesians 6:16)
And take unto you the
shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench ALL the fiery darts of
There is nothing Satan
can throw at you that faith cannot overcome.
7 - The life of faith
is not easy; it is a battle. (1 Timothy 6:12)
Fight the good fight of
faith, lay hold of eternal life.
8 - It can be done. (2
I have fought a good
fight, I have finished my course, I have maintained the faith.
9 - faith can overcome
the world. (1 John 5:4)
For whatsoever is born
of God overcometh the world and this is the victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith.
There are two kinds of
faith. The first is the faith to believe God for salvation. This is the easiest
to acquire. You ask God, He gives it to you and as you exercise it, God saves
you and gives you eternal life. This is the faith of righteous Abel. The second
level of faith is the walk of faith. We will be studying this in the weeks to
come as we look at Noah, Abraham, Moses and others. The passage to memorize is
As you have therefore
received Christ Jesus, the Lord, by faith, so walk ye in Him, rooted and
grounded and built up in Him.
But before you can
walk, you have to be born. The choice to be born of God is a choice of faith.
That is the choice Cain and Abel had. That is the choice you and I have. Abel
came God's way; Cain came the world's way. Cain's face betrayed him. Scripture
said he was rough; it says his countenance fell. God did not accept his gift.
Now what? He could have humbled himself before God and sought another chance.
He could have, but he didn't. The Scripture says that he was angry and
he scowled at God. Have you ever scowled at God? I have. I have scowled at God
with a smile on my face. My heart has scowled at God. It was as though his
heart was unwilling to accept the righteousness of God. He was angry not at his
own sin, but angry at the simplicity of God's plan.
6 And the Lord said to
Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your countenance fallen?
I think God may have
said it this way, "Why are you angry?" If anyone
had a right to be angry, it was God.
7 If thou doest well,
shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
Unto thee shall be its desire and thou shall rule over him.
God knew the anger and the
bitterness and the pride that was locked up in Cain's heart. Three things
happened when Cain rejected God's way.
1- God sought Cain out
and questioned him.
"Look at yourself Cain, why are you angry?” God could have brought fire
from heaven and consumed the offerings and consumed Cain. Enter the grace of
God and mercy of God. God goes on, "Cain, you still have a choice. You can
still be accepted if you will just do it My way." Oh, the love of God.
Cain had refused to come to God on God's terms. He had shaken his fist at God
and been angry at God. God looked at him, however, and said, "Cain you
still have a chance. Let's forget the past, you just come to Me, My way."
Now if by chance today you are without Christ, pay attention to that principle.
God was willing to say to Cain, "I will wipe the blackboard clean. It is
not over, yet. All I want you to do is come to Me on My terms now and you will
have eternal life."
2- God offered to pay
the price Himself.
Some interpret the phrase Sin crouches at your door as a crouching
animal pressing against you to destroy you. But the word used for sin here also
means “sin offering”. Perhaps a better translation that many use is your sin
offering lies crouching at the door. "Look around you Cain. I have
provided the sacrifices you need. You don't have to go back out and round up an
animal. He is ready to be slain for your sins". Remember when Abraham took
Isaac up into that mountain? Isaac asked, "Dad, where is the
sacrifice?" Abraham, by faith, replied: "God with provide Himself the
lamb." You may ask who will refuse a gift like that? That is
Notice God’s patience. Cain rejects God's way. God offers Himself, the lamb. God
says it is not His will that any should perish. God is not in heaven looking
for men to judge; God is on earth looking for men to save. Again and again and
again He comes and offers Himself the lamb. He waits, He waits. Oh, the
long-suffering of God. Cain said, "no." Cain said “no” one time too
many. Every man has a last time to say “no”. Note the way Cain said “no”. He
said nothing. God understood it meant “no”. You don't have to shake your fist
in God's face and say, "I WILL NOT COME TO YOU!" All you have to do
is pretend you never heard Him. All you have to do is say, "Maybe some other
time." The courts of heaven resound, "NO!" If someone came and
offered you a gift and said, "I want to give you this gift because you
mean so much to me" and then you looked at them and you looked at the gift
and you turned around and walked out of the room, did you get the gift? You
say, "No, but I didn't refuse it." Didn't you? Do you have it? No.
Why not? You didn't take it. You didn't receive it, that's why. So in the eyes
of the one who offered it, you refused it. You may say, “I've never shaken my fist
in God's face, I've never said, ‘No I will not’, I've just never come."
Oh, there comes a time in each man's life when he has built such a wall of
resistance that he no longer hears. When he ceases to hear, there are no more
chances. Cain passed the point of no return. The Spirit of God didn't strive
with him again. His time had passed.
8 Cain talked with his
brother Abel. And it came to pass when they were in the field, Cain rose up
against his brother Abel and murdered him.
translators interpret verse 8 like this:
8 And Cain enticed his
brother Abel out into the fields and when he got there, he rose up and killed
is the world's first murder. This is the first developing of the conflict
between good and evil. The world, having rejected God's way, resents God's man
because he reminds him of sin. Cain won the battle, but he lost the war. But
look at Abel. What a portrait of Jesus, the second Adam. He came to His own and
His own received Him not. They could not rest until He was dead. But they will
never rest because He is not dead. Cain is the one who died that day. Abel
Hebrew 11:4 By faith,
Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as
a righteous man when God spoke well of his offerings. By faith he still speaks,
even though he is dead.
to Genesis 4:9,
And the Lord said unto
Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother?" And he said, "I don't know.
Am I my brother's keeper?"
was just like his dad. A confrontation with God produces a lie. Answer number
one—“I know not”. In one sense, it was true. He had no idea. He thought Abel
was buried under a tree in the field never to be heard from again. But in his
later years, as Cain wandered in the land of Nod, every rock cried out,
"Here I am, Cain. Here's my blood." It was his brother Abel. There
was no place to send his guilt. In the real sense Cain gave God the same answer
man has always given when God says, "What about your sin?" "I
don't know," man answers because man has no answer for sin. Then, Cain in
a rage, flings his fist in God's face and says, "How should I know where
Abel is?" Cain covers his sin by shifting the blame just like dear old
Dad. We can see so much in our children. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Cain shouted at God. The gall of the unregenerate man. Not only was he his
brother's keeper; he was his brother's murderer. Cain thought that if he shook
his fist at God, God would go away. But God wasn't through with Cain. Verse 10
And God said,
"What hast thou done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me
from the ground. So now thou art accursed from the earth which hath opened her
mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you till the ground
it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond
thou shalt be on the earth."
There is God's final
question of Cain. “What is it you have done?” Your sin cries out for
recognition. Now God judges Cain. Cain has rejected the mercy of God so he has
to live under the judgment of God. God could have snatched him up and slain
him. He could have. That is what Cain wanted Him to do. But God, the
way-maker now becomes the Judge. Cain had rejected God's way of salvation so
now he had to be judged according to his works. He was sentenced to live his
life apart from God and then to die and live eternity apart from God. Would
anyone ever choose a sentence like that? Millions have. Now look at the
He was to see the curse
of the field doubled.
He would go out and do his work in the field that had already had one curse and
now it would have a double curse for Cain. Do you know why? He's doing it in
the flesh. You go to your job and try to work without God. It is hard. The same
fields responded to the likes of his brothers. The fields didn't respond to
second result was the curse of loneliness. First, his work would be futile, then
his life would be empty. That is the unbeliever’s plight. God said Cain would
be a fugitive and a vagabond. He would have no respect and no roots. These are
two things a man has to have. Here is portrait of a man without God, living out
his years filled with activity devoid of real productivity. He is surrounded by
people, but empty and lonely inside, a vagabond trying new places, new things,
and new people but always running from the man who lived inside. Verse 13
And Cain said to the
Lord, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold Thou hast driven
me out this day from the face of the earth and from Thy face I shall be hid. I
shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. It shall come to pass that
everyone who finds me shall slay me."
That is man's response
to God's sentence. Hell is too real, too vivid, too brutal. How can a loving
God have a place like that? Never admitting the sentence, he knew in advance
that he had chosen the way of death. Verse 15
And the Lord said to
him, "Therefore, whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him
seven-fold." And the Lord set a mark upon Cain lest anyone finding him
should kill him. Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the
land of Nod east of Eden.
somehow marked Cain in a way that the world would not finish him off. Cain was
so paranoid by now that he thought that everybody would kill him again and
again and again. How many times can you be killed? It isn't the world that sets
man's time clock, it is God. He holds the key. The stark drama goes on
in verse 16 where it says:
Cain went out from the
presence of the Lord.
Scriptures records that
he never saw God again and he never will. Cain's story doesn't end there. He
led a life of activity. Verse 17
He dwelt in the land of
Cain built a city. The
first urban blight. Cain was destined to wander and tried to circumvent his
sentence through activity. The fields were hard so he moved to the city. He
raised a family; more little Cains just like himself. They had no knowledge of
God. They were just living for the present world. Do a study sometime on the
meaning of the names of Cain's children. The girls were all named with names
that had to do with physical beauty or attractiveness. The boys’ names all had
to do with physical strength or accomplishment. That is all he had on his mind.
Cain was a success in the eyes of the world, but he missed it all.
The scripture also
tells us God's plan didn't die with Abel. Verse 25
And Adam knew his wife
again and she bore a son, and called his name Seth for God said "She hath
appointed me another seed instead of Abel whom Cain slew."
God raised His plan
from the dead and Seth was born.
So that is the story.
Now, thousands of years later, the story goes on. Every man and woman still has
to come to God, God's way. You and I rub shoulders every day with some who
travel each of those two roads. On the outside, they all look pretty much the
same. Even in church, we sit with our hair combed, all dressed up, smiles on
our faces. We are just a few feet apart from one another. But not all have been
born into the family of God. You can say the right words, do the right things,
and for a while, no one will ever know. But one day, a test will come, and like
Cain and Abel, you will know what God already knows. You may be but a few feet
apart, but you can be an eternity apart if you haven’t come to God by way of
the blood of Christ.
Let me share a poem
with you as we close that helps to illustrate it.
BUT A FEW FEET APART
There were two men...
standing but a few feet apart,
Only one of these men
had Christ in his heart.
Let's follow them now
for a moment or so,
And examine the
thoughts in their hearts as they go.
The sunrise is
something they both can share
As it's radiant beams
bring life to the air.
But one man is
thinking, "God lights our way!"
complaining, "Another hot day!"
One views the rain as
“God's food for the flowers”,
The other one grumbles
at seeing more showers.
They see the same
things, but a few feet apart-
But one eyes the world
with Christ in his heart.
On Sunday, in church,
side by side once more,
One sings from his
heart; one looks at the floor.
One hears the message
with a searching mind
Seeking and longing
God's will to find.
The other is playing a
Finding where the
Pastor's views and his aren’t the same.
Seated in God's house,
but a few feet apart,
But you see, only one
has Christ in his heart.
One generously gives of
his wages, though small,
For his Saviour on
Calvary has given His all.
The other, though
wealthy, denying God's Word
Gives a few cents and
adds, "All I can afford."
One dreams of fame, a
To live for his Lord is
the other's desire.
One speaks of himself
as a "Child of the Lord"
(Because he goes to
church he deserves God's reward.)
The other has humbleness
He prays, "Lord
I'm unworthy, so often I sin."
Walking life's highway,
but a few feet apart,
And yet only one has
Christ in his heart.
So the two keep
walking, side by side,
One in reverence, one
When the heavens break
loose with a scorching sound
rains come down
A treacherous tornado,
destruction its quest
Is God's way of putting
these men to the test.
As the force of the
heavens bend forth the trees,
One man shakes with
fear, one falls to his knees.
The storm finds them
both but a few feet apart,
says the one who has Christ in his heart.
The rains become
fiercer, the winds stronger still,
One cries to be
rescued--one prays for God's will.
There is a radiant glow
as the heaven clears
In the distance a
glorious rainbow appears
The winds now are
quiet, man speaks not a word,
And the song of the
robin is all that is heard.
Two men are found lying
side by side,
One has gone to his
Master - the other one died.
The face of one shows
fear and pain,
On the other a smile,
he prayed not in vain.
As they lived, so they
died... but a few feet apart,
One entered eternity
with Christ in his heart.
He tried not to keep
any part large or small,
But said to his Lord,
"I surrender all."
These storms of life
come every day
Pressing their wrath in
the path of our way.
If YOU had been walking
with these two men,
Would God have found
you in Christ, or in sin?
It’s not too late. Just
bow in prayer
And ask Christ if He
would mind living there.
We are walking life's
highway, but a few feet apart,
The storm may be
coming.... is Christ in your heart?