Cain and Able at the Crossroads Sermon Illustrations

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Cain and Able at the Crossroads


Cain and Abel

At the Crossroads

 

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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 the Lord."  

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 2:

And she again bore his brother, Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 

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 forever.

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 read:

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.

1-The quality 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.

2-The attitude 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 Revelation 5:9:

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 (Ehpesians 2:8,9)

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 the wicked.

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 Timothy 4:7)

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 Colossians 2:6,7a:

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 the question.

3- 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.

Most 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 him.

Here 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 lives forever.

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.

Back 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?" 

Cain 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 consequences:

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 him.

The 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. 

God 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 Nod.

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!"

The other’s 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 mental game,

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 worldly empire,

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 girded within,

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 in pride,

When the heavens break loose with a scorching sound

Lightning flashes; 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,

"Fear not!" 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?


 
 
 
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