Have you ever wondered when the first false religion(s) began…and why? It began much earlier than most realize. The first false religion began with Cain.
And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought the fruit of the ground an offering to the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect for Cain and to his offering: But unto Cain and his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shall thou not be accepted? and if thou does not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:3-7 KJV
The verse just before this one, tells us that Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground. Cain brought his prized fruit of the ground, something he had labored over and was proud of, and offered it to the LORD; only to be rejected. No wonder he got angry, and then his countenance fell. However, if we examine this closer, during this dispensation, men were to offer animal sacrifice for a blood atonement. Cain brought a plant sacrifice, not an animal sacrifice, which is why God did not accept it.
Look at God’s response. He did not get upset, he did not yell…like a loving father he explained to Cain, ‘look if you do as I asked, your sacrifice will be accepted. If you choose not to obey, be careful, because I will give you over to your sins and they will rule over you.’ We all know in the end Cain decided to do things his way and not God’s. Even in his punishment (Genesis 4:12), Cain was told he was going to be a vagabond, a wanderer, and yet he settles down and builds a city. (Genesis 4:16-17) He obviously had an issue with obeying God.
Usually when we think of the beginning of false religions we think of Sodom and Gomorrah…yet pre flood, the city Cain built, is where the god of Balaam originates from.
Woe unto them! for they have gone the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. Jude 1:11 KJV
You see just like many of our forefathers in the church, Cain decided he did not like what God said, that his way was better. Are we not the same today? No wonder we have so many different religions in the world today. So many different denominations in the ‘Christian Church’ alone. So many different translations of the Bible. Why is this so?
Itchy ears…we, (as humans), have re written God’s word, and reformatted out churches to fit into OUR lives, just like Cain chose to do. We have to be very careful as believers not to follow in Cain’s footsteps. We may not agree with everything in God’s word, and that is OK! As long as we chose to follow God’s word, despite our feelings. From beginning to end, God’s word is final! He is God, and we are his creation. We have no right to change His word to fit into our lives and then complain to Him when life is not going well. Just as Cain had free will, we do as well. God will let us chose to follow him, or follow the world. Depending on the route we choose, we either reap the benefit’s of following God, or suffer the consequences of doing things on our terms.
It might not be the popular thing today to say, ‘I believe life is sacred, all life, even the unborn.’ That marriage is between one man and one woman ONLY. That there is only ONE way into heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That Hell is a real place…and so on. However, I would rather follow God, and be mocked, ridiculed, possibly even persecuted, than hear God say ‘Woe unto them who follow the way of Cain.’ (Jude 1:11). Or even worse, have a feel good religion, believing I am ‘doing well’, only to face God someday and be told ‘depart, I do not know you.’ (Matthew 7:21-23) I would much rather follow God’s word, even if I don’t always understand or agree with what it says, knowing that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than mine. (Isaiah 55: 8-9). That when I do meet Him face to face I will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:23)
This is not easy…not today. And I can guarantee it will only get harder as the days go on and our world continues to depart farther and farther from God’s truths. We are close to the end my friend…very close. Just think how much closer we are than the apostles and the early church who were daily looking for the return of Christ. Even Christ himself told us in Revelation ‘…Surely I come quickly.’ (Revelation 22:20) We are living in the last days, a day and age where we can no longer be lukewarm. (Revelation 3:16). We need to be salt and light. If our lives do not look drastically different from those of the world, or if unbelievers, who are around us for any significant amount of time, cannot see something different in us, then it just might be that we have compromised too much. Remember we are to be IN the world, not OF the world! (Romans 2:2, John 15:19, 1 John 4:5), just to name a few. We need to daily be reading the word of God, otherwise we can easily be mislead. And while no church is perfect, we need to make sure we are a member of a Bible believing church; surrounding ourselves with other like minded believers. We need to look and function differently from the world now more than ever. Remember, on a daily basis, you might be the only representative of Christ to those around you; people who right now are heading for an eternity separated from God.
Boldly take a stand today and everyday for Christ…after all he deserves our full devotion after what he did for us on the cross. Besides, if we belong to Christ, whom shall we fear?
The LORD is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumble and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou sadist, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face LORD, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O GOD of my salvation. When my father and mother forsake me, then then the LORD will take me up. Teach my thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over to the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. PSALM 27 KJV