Share This Episode
Beacon Baptist Gregory N. Barkman Logo

The Way of Cain - 5

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
February 12, 2023 6:00 pm

The Way of Cain - 5

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 496 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 12, 2023 6:00 pm

The account of Cain is a warning to those who manifest his sinful rebellion. Pastor Greg Barkman continues his exposition of Jude.


Well, as you know, Jude writes to warn Christians about dangerous imposters, people who infiltrate Christian churches, themselves claiming to be Christians, but who are there for the purpose of corrupting the Gospel and undermining faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jude warns them and us about their impending judgment. And in verse 11 of the book of Jude, he illustrates their transgression with three Old Testament accounts.

Woe to them, for they have gone the way of Cain, have run greedily in the air of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. He pronounces a severe woe on people like this term that is found in the Bible for judgment that comes upon those who are transgressing blatantly the laws of God. Old Testament prophets often call down woe upon both the enemies of Israel and Israel in times of its rebellion. Our Lord Jesus Christ pronounced woe seven times upon the Pharisees in one passage, calling judgment down upon them. And in other cases, Christ used the word woe to indicate severe judgment. The Apostle Paul even used that word woe at one time when he used it for himself, saying woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.

And we may have missed how strong that admonition, no more than admonition, what that pronouncement was. Paul was saying if I fail to preach the Gospel, may I be damned. May I be eternally judged.

Woe descends upon me if I fail to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I have been commissioned to preach. And so Jude pronounces a similar woe upon three Old Testament personages, Cain, Balaam, and Korah. And we're going to slow down in our study of Jude long enough to take each of these up one by one, because clearly they are very important to our understanding of God's Word. And so today we're going to take up the first of these, namely Cain. Jude says woe upon those who follow the way of Cain. And I would like to ask five questions about Cain. And for this, of course, we turn now to Genesis chapter 4.

And most of our attention is going to be focused upon that passage, which records the life and transgression of this man Cain. Five questions. Number one, who was he? Two, what did he do? Three, what does this reveal about him? Four, how does this apply to the intruders in Jude's day?

And five, how does this apply to us? Cain, who was he? Well, according to the passage that we read earlier in Genesis chapter 4, we realize that he was the first man to be Cain.

Who was he? Well, according to the passage that we read earlier in Genesis chapter 4, we realize that he was the firstborn son of Adam and Eve. In fact, the first child. The Bible tells us that later additional sons and daughters were born to them, but Cain was the first. We read in verse 3 of chapter 5, and Adam lived 130 years and begot a son in his own likeness after his image and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were 800 years and he had sons and daughters. I take a moment to read that just to tell you this answers the question as people often ask to try to cast doubt upon the Bible. Where did Cain get his wife? Cain's wife was his sister. That close to the beginning, that close relationship would not have produced problems with the DNA and so forth as it does now in the passing of time. So at any rate, Adam and Eve had a number of children.

We don't know how many. We don't know all of their names, but we do know the names of three of them. And the first one was Cain, who therefore was the older brother of Abel, who was the second child born to Adam and Eve. And furthermore, we read in our passage that Cain was a farmer, a tiller of the ground. That's who he was.

What did he do? Well, what he did, and again, this is combing through the account in Genesis chapter 4, what he did was bring an agricultural offering to the Lord. In the process of time, it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord, unlike the animal offering that was brought by Abel, verse 4. And Abel 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. So Cain brought an agricultural offering to the Lord, whereas Abel brought an animal sacrifice, a blood offering to God. And Cain, therefore, as we just read, experienced rejection of his offering by God. Cain's offering received by God, pleasing to God, Abel's offering rather, pleasing to God, Cain's offering displeasing to God and rejected by God. Now, we are not told in the text exactly why Cain's offering was not accepted. The usual deduction, and it is only a deduction, but a probably correct deduction, but the usual deduction is that it's because it was not a blood offering. It was a grain offering.

It was a grain offering. We don't have any record in Genesis of God's instructions for worship. We don't know that he told Cain and Abel what kinds of offerings to bring, but we do know that one offering was accepted and the other one was rejected. And so it's very likely that indeed that communication was clearly given either through Adam, probably through Adam, their father, and was disregarded by Cain. That would be the logical assumption.

That's the one that I believe is probably the correct one. But it is true that later on in the days of Moses, there were grain offerings that were prescribed in certain situations by the people of Israel that were acceptable to God. But if you will examine those, you'll realize that none of those were brought for an offering for sin.

Grain offerings were thank offerings, praise offerings, worship offerings of other kinds. But when the issue was sin to be confessed and forgiven by God, then under Moses, always an animal had to be slain and blood had to be spilt. And that was a picture of the lamb of God who would shed his blood upon Calvary and would of course be the only sacrifice that actually could bear away sin.

But the animal sacrifices and the shedding of blood were a picture of the necessity of blood atonement in order to take away sin. And so in all likelihood, that truth was proclaimed clear back in the beginning, was told to Adam when God slew animals to clothe Adam and Eve. And Adam no doubt passed that on to his sons, Cain and Abel. But Cain brought a grain offering, whereas Abel brought a blood offering. And Cain's offering was rejected and he expressed anger, strong anger, in the face of that rejection. Cain, we read, was very angry and his countenance fell. It's interesting that we are told that Cain talked over this situation with his brother, Abel. I don't know that I'd ever particularly noticed that before until this week in studying this passage.

But we read that in verse 8. Now Cain talked with Abel his brother. I'd like to have heard that discussion. Since the next thing that happens is he kills him, I think again it is safe to assume that that was a very heated discussion. It wasn't a friendly discussion.

It wasn't a casual discussion. But Cain talked to Abel about the rejection of his offering and his displeasure with that rejection. Why did God reject my offering? I brought the fruit of the ground. I brought the labor of my hands. I brought what I produce in my livelihood, just like you brought what you produce in your livelihood. Why should God accept yours and not mine? He discussed that situation. But God had told him prior to that to Cain, why are you angry and why is your countenance fallen?

If you do well, will you not be accepted? That God is graciously informing him. And if you do not well, sin lies at the door and its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.

Cain said God to him, apparently speaking to him directly. Cain, you have an opportunity to make things right. You have an opportunity to acknowledge that you have transgressed. You have an opportunity to do well. You have an opportunity to bring the right offering.

If you will do that, you'll be accepted. But if you're not willing to do that, that's a manifestation of your sinful heart. Sin lies at the door and it is looking to pounce on you.

Now you should overcome it, but you won't unless you surrender to me, God almighty, and to the word which I have spoken to you. But Cain was not willing to acknowledge his transgression. He was exceedingly angry with God's rejection of his offering. He was not happy to submit himself to the word of God, to the ways of God. And so after this discussion with Abel as to his displeasure, no doubt about the situation, he rose up and killed his own brother and shed his blood on the ground.

And furthermore, we know of Cain that he disdained his responsibility when God came to call him into account for what he had done. Where's your brother? What did he say?

How should I know? Am I my brother's keeper? Well, of course he didn't know. He had killed him. Is he his brother's keeper?

Yes, of course. We all have a responsibility to care for one another, but he disdained his responsibility. He disdained his responsibility, and we read he thereby received a curse from God. Now you are cursed when you till the ground it shall no longer yield its strength to you.

God cursed Cain, but Cain protested his punishment when God gave that curse to him. My punishment, he said in verse 13, is greater than I can bear. You have driven me out from the face of the ground. I shall be hidden from your face. I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.

And thereafter, Cain distanced himself from God, even though God said, I'll protect you. I will put a mark upon you. I will keep other people from killing you. What a gracious pronouncement from God. What did Cain deserve for the sin of murder? Capital punishment. Whoever sheds man's blood by man shall his blood be shed. That's God's pronouncement.

That's not man's idea. What did God do? Graciously protected him from the full penalty of his sin. What did Cain do? He marched away from the presence of God. He distanced himself from God. Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. There's a whole lot more revealed in scripture about the character and attitudes and actions of Cain than perhaps we normally pay close attention to. Here's what we learn. Cain, who was only, and this is incredible, one generation removed from God's perfect creation.

Remember? God created everything and it was good. So God created man in his own image and in the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.

Verse 31, God saw everything that he had made and indeed it was very good. Here's one, here's a man who is only one generation removed from that creative act of God when he created the world in its perfect condition and he has plunged so deeply into sin that he has become the first murderer. And so to answer question number three, now that we've answered who is Cain and what did he do, to answer question number three, what does this reveal about him? It reveals a lot of things about him.

Consider the following. Number one, it reveals his religious hypocrisy. He came in worship. He came with his offering. He came with this external activity that depicted his worship of God, but was his heart right with God? Was his heart humbled before God? Was his heart desiring to honor God with his worship or was he worshiping God externally with a heart that was in rebellion against God? Obviously it was religious hypocrisy. He was apparently devising his own way of worship, unhappy with God's way of worshiping God, God's prescribed sacrifice to bring in worship, unhappy with that. He devised his own way and basically said, this is what I've decided is the right way to worship you or at least the way that I'm going to do it. Everybody has his own truth even back then.

That's not new today. Everybody has his own truth. This is my truth. This is the way that I will worship God. This is my expression of worship.

This represents what I have done. This ought to be fully acceptable to God and all of that in utter religious hypocrisy. What else does this reveal about him? It reveals resentment and envy, particularly toward his brother Abel.

A couple of interesting texts at this point. Hebrews 11 verse 4 refers to this. And when it says by faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he, that is Abel, obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts and through it him being dead still speaks. Abel's obedient, humble act of worship and sacrificing the animals and shedding its blood was a manifestation of the righteousness of his heart.

God's accepting of his sacrifice was an evidence of God's acknowledging that his gift and sacrifice was acceptable to God. But as we know, Cain's was just the opposite. And therefore we read in 1 John 3 12 verse 11, for this is the message that you heard from the beginning that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one.

That's telling, isn't it? He was of the wicked one. He belonged to the wicked one.

He was indeed a child of Satan, not as Cain, who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous. Why did he murder his brother? Because Cain's works were evil and Abel's were righteous and he resented that and he envied his brother's acceptance before God.

But he wasn't willing to do what God offered for him to do in order to make his own heart right with God, his own worship acceptable to God. And so we see his religious hypocrisy. We see his resentment of envy. We see his extreme anger. We see his indifference, his lack of love and concern and care for his brother. We see his impenitence, how that God gave him opportunity to repent and he ignored it.

He turned it away. We see his violence, his hatred toward his brother with murderous intent. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said, you have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not murder and whoever murders will be danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Anger is the predicate to murder. Not everybody who gets angry murders, but everybody who murders first gets angry like Cain did.

And Cain was angry with murderous intent. He was guilty of violence. He was guilty of irreverence. He did not reverence God and did not show respect for his brother, God's creation. He accused God of injustice. God isn't being fair to me. Actually, God was being exceedingly kind to him by allowing him to live when he should have died.

And instead he complained that his judgment was too great. He's guilty therefore of ingratitude toward God and of rebellion toward God. This is how Michael Greene in his commentary describes Cain, as quote, a cynical materialistic character who defies rather God and despises man, devoid of faith and love. A cynical materialistic character who defies God and despises man, devoid of faith and love. So that's question number three, what this reveals about him. Question number four, how does this apply to the intruders in Jude's day?

These people who climb into the sheepfold some other way than through the door through the Lord Jesus Christ. What does it tell us about them? Jude tells us they have gone the way of Cain. There are things in their life that are similar to, if not identical to what we see in the life of Cain.

And what would those things be? Religious hypocrisy like Cain. They pretend to worship God. They pretend to be Christians.

They identify themselves with Christian people and with Christian churches, but it's all hypocritical. They're not worshiping God with sincere hearts. They are guilty in many cases of resentment and envy toward the people of God, even though they don't want to be like them. Their heart really like them.

Their heart really has no desire to be like that. They resent it because these people are beloved of God and blessed of God and cleansed of their sins and worshiping a God. And they are filled with resentment and envy against them. What else would characterize them? Anger, anger toward God for not doing things their way and anger toward others who are willing to do things God's way and therefore by their good example show up their sin.

What else? We see they would be guilty of impenitence, unwilling to repent. They'll give an opportunity to do so. And in gratitude, instead of receiving gratefully that which God has given them, they disdain it. They too are guilty of rebellion against God and possibly other things.

Those are just things in the list that we can see in the life of Cain that undoubtedly in the lives of these intruders and whether it goes so far as some of the other things, actual murder and so forth, I cannot say. Perhaps in some cases it does, but in most cases probably not. So that brings us then to question number five.

We're moving through this pretty quickly, aren't we? How does this apply to us? Well, if we are listening with ears to hear, we can see some of these things in our own heart that apply to Cain. That should sober us and should cause us to, for example, beware of religious hypocrisy. Cain was going through the motions and he ended up a murderer because there was no heart, faith toward God.

There was no repentance of his sins. The religious imposters, likewise. Hypocrites, religious hypocrites, going through the motions, doing what other people do, singing the same hymns right there in the same gatherings of the saints, same church services as the people of God, doing whatever God's people do, partaking of the communion service along with the people of God, involving themselves in the work of the church along with the people of God.

But it's all for show. It's all hypocrisy. It's all religious hypocrisy. But you see, we all need to guard against that in our own hearts. How many times have we gone through the motions without really thinking about what we're doing, without really worshiping God and what we're doing?

How many times have we put it on autopilot and just coasted along and, in effect, been guilty in our worship of hypocrisy, going through the motions? How does this apply to us? It should cause us to fear an impenitent heart. When God's word speaks to our needs, we should immediately acknowledge our sin, confess it, and seek God's forgiveness.

To refuse to do so, to fail to do so, begins to harden the heart. We ought to be examining our hearts every day. We ought to have a time carved out in everyday schedule when we get along with God and, among other things, read His word and perhaps sing His praises, whatever you do in private worship. But we ought to pray and ask God to inspect our hearts and show us what in our hearts is displeasing to Him, that we might avail ourselves of His promise that if we confess our sins, He's faithful and sure.

And we ought to be able to if we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That needs to be a daily practice. We need, as the Puritans used to say, we need to keep short accounts with God.

Don't let our account get long. Don't let our sins pile up day after day, week after week, month after month, because that becomes an impenitent heart. That's dangerous.

That's dangerous. How does this apply to us? We should be intentional in cultivating godly reverence, not the kind of irreverence that Cain manifested and the kind of irreverence that is displayed by the imposters that Jude describes, but a godly reverence.

There's more to that than the externals. You can be in the most reverent, however you describe that, worship service and be totally unconnected and hypocritical and unbelieving and unrepentant and unsurrendered and unsurrendered in your heart. But it does help to be in a worship service that tries to point you toward reverence toward God instead of entertainment and boogie woogie.

Enough said. We need to cultivate godly reverence. And we need to be quick to confess an ungrateful spirit.

The Bible tells us that little foxes spoil the vines. That's a way of saying that little sins grow into big problems later on when they're not dealt with quickly. An ungrateful spirit is the beginning of many, many sins that can grow larger and larger and larger. Thankfulness to God is really at the heart of our worship, demonstrating our gratitude, our amazement that he would love us, our amazement that he would have mercy upon us, that he would be long suffering toward us, our amazement that he has not brought down the severest judgment upon us for our sins already. We express our gratitude to him for this and all of the other blessings of life. And a failure to acknowledge that, a failure to cultivate gratitude in our heart is the beginning of coldness of heart and impenitence of heart and of great rebellion against God.

We need to recognize that danger. We need to acknowledge the fundamental problem of innate rebellion, the fundamental problem of innate rebellion. We are all by birth rebels against God. If we have been saved, we have been brought by the Holy Spirit to surrender, to yield.

I give up. I'm not fighting you anymore, O Lord. I'm surrendering to you. And yet, we need to recognize that until we are in heaven and fully sanctified, that sinful rebellion is going to keep rising up, crying for expression. And if we're wise, we're going to acknowledge the fundamental problem of innate rebellion and deal with it in our lives day by day. We need to ask God to show us lingering areas of rebellion. We can be basically surrendered to God, but still holding on to areas of rebellion.

It may have to do with relationships in the family, relationships in marriage. It may have to do in our relationship with our with our supervisor at work, that we're not happy with him and so we're harboring a rebellious spirit toward him. It may be, as I'm afraid many of us I'm afraid many Christians today, sort of a fundamental rebellion against government, human government, failing to acknowledge that though flawed, and all human governments are flawed, the powers that be, what does Paul tells us in Romans chapter 13, the powers that be are ordained by God. To hear some people tell it, you'd think that the Bible says the powers that be have been ordained by Satan. So we have every right to rebel against them. No, the Bible says the powers that be are ordained by God.

If they are in power, it's because God has put them there. That's what the Bible says. We need to ask God to show us lingering areas of rebellion. We need to ask Christ to subdue and conquer our rebellious nature and keep conquering it and keep conquering it and keep conquering it and keep conquering it.

And that therefore gives me some time for a number of lessons that I think we need to learn from this passage today. And the first one is the doctrine of original sin. That's a term, a theological term, a doctrinal term that most of you understand, but you need to be sure that you do understand it. Original sin means the original one, Adam in the garden, and all that flow from that.

We need to understand the ramifications of that. What happens because of Adam's sin in the garden? Because of that, every human being born on earth is born with a sinful nature.

Exceedingly so. Thoroughly corrupt in every part of our being, our thoughts, our words, our actions, our will. Some people act as if somehow sin touches everything but our will. We have this untouched, un-sinful will that if it's neutral and if just allowed to choose on its own is going to, in some cases, at least choose Christ and God.

That's not what's portrayed to us in the Bible. Every part of our being has been thoroughly corrupted by sin, including even our will. Yes, do we have a will?

Yes. Do we have a free will? Well, in the sense that sin touches everything but will. Well, in the sense that we're free to choose. Do we have a will that is unfettered, that's free and not tied to anything, that's going to pull us in one particular direction or another?

No, we don't. That's why Spurgeon's sermon on the will was called Man's Will Bound Yet Free. You have to understand that. You're free to act within the limits of what it's bound to and what is it bound to. Your sinful nature, original sin, your corrupted nature that has been sinfully corrupted in every part of your being, your will is chained to that. So what kind of choices is that kind of will going to make unaided by the Spirit of God, unenabled by the Spirit of God? The doctrine of original sin explains the doctrine of total depravity. Total depravity doesn't mean that we are as sinful in the expression of sinfulness as it's possible to be, but it means that we are totally depraved in that every part of our being has been corrupted by sin. There's no part of man's being that is not touched by sin, is not invaded by sin, is not corrupted by sin.

Every part, totally depraved, which is why we need divine rescue. We've got a problem that goes clear back to our birth, even clear back to our conception, and the only remedy is the work of God's Spirit. The only remedy is the application of the cleansing blood of Christ to our souls.

The only remedy is God giving us life. The only remedy is God justifying us by the merits of His Son. Yes, this teaches us something about the doctrine of original sin. If the first son, the first child born to Adam and Eve, created perfectly by God in the Garden of Eden, had a nature that was this sinful, then how do we think that we have escaped that?

We haven't. Secondly, this teaches us lessons about the way to worship God. How do we worship God?

Very simple, in whatever way He tells us to, according to His instructions. Admittedly, He doesn't give us detailed instructions, but there are some things, there are some precepts, some principles about how God desires to be worshipped in His Word, and to ignore those and say, well, we think this is the way to worship God. We think that's the way to worship God. We think this is the way that makes us feel good about worship. We think this is the way that God will be pleased with our worship. It means that we're acting just like who? Abel or Cain?

Cain. If the Bible says anything about worship, then we better make sure that we've got that in place. We are free to work out a lot of the details, but not until we have given attention to the precepts that have been delivered to us by God. A third lesson I touched on this last Sunday, and I'm going to elaborate a little more on it today, is the relationship between the two testaments, because here's an example of it again. What are we doing right now? We are working our way through the book of Jude. Where did we spend our time this morning? In the book of Genesis.

Why did we do that? Because Jude calls us back to Genesis, and that's what I was trying to tell you last week. You cannot preach the New Testament without studying the Old Testament. You can't understand the New Testament without understanding the Old Testament. You can't preach the New Testament without much reference to the Old Testament, because the New Testament is saturated with references to the Old Testament.

If you are doing exposition of the New Testament and explaining what's in the text, it's going to drive you back to the Old Testament again and again, as it has to us this morning. In the book of Jude, look at where we've been already. We're only at verse 11.

We're not even halfway through the book. And notice how many verses have focused, have shown the light of truth back into the Old Testament. Verse five, I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt after it destroyed those who did not believe. That takes us back to Exodus.

We have to study what that statement is all about. Verse six, and the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. When we touched on that verse, when we explained that verse, that took us back to Genesis 6, didn't it? Verse seven, Assalam and Gomorrah and the cities around them. And so that took us back to Genesis chapter 19, didn't it?

Verse nine, yet Michael the archangel in contending with the devil when he disputed about the body of Moses, did not bring against him a railing accusation, but said the Lord rebuke you. And that took us back to the book of Deuteronomy. And here in verse 11, woe unto them for they've gone the way of Cain, have run greedily in the air of Balaam for profit and perished in the rebellion of Korah. That's taking us back to Genesis.

That's taking us back to Numbers, as we shall see in the days to come. You cannot preach the New Testament without studying the old, without dealing with the old, but you cannot properly preach the Old Testament without relating it to the truths of the new. That has to be done when you're preaching the Old Testament. And therefore we need to know the whole Bible.

It's all God's word. It's not that we, all we need is the New Testament. No, we need the Old Testament. Well, all we need is the Old Testament. Nope, we need the New Testament.

We need it all. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. All of it is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Someone has said, the new is in the old concealed and the old is in the new revealed. The new is in the old concealed. It's in the Old Testament, but concealed, the New Testament is in the old concealed. The Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed. The New Testament helps us to understand more clearly what God said in the Old Testament. Now I'm tempted to talk a little bit about how to study the relationship between the two testaments as I understand it, but I don't think I have time for that today.

Maybe another day because I've got two more lessons. The fourth one is the present reality of religious intruders. And this takes us back, of course, to our text in Jude. And we need to realize that when Jude is talking about the presence of religious intruders in the churches of his day, and clearly also in the churches of our day, he's not simply talking about false professions of faith. He's not talking about people who may be mistaken about their salvation, though there are those. How many people I have known who say, well, when I was such and such an age, I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart, but I know I wasn't really saved then. At this time in my life, I walked down an aisle and made a decision for Christ, but I know I wasn't really saved then. When I attended a crusade by such and such a famous evangelist, I went forward in the Colosseum and made a decision, but I know I wasn't really saved then. And it's only people who have now been truly saved who could look back and see that and understand that. Because an unsaved person who makes a profession of faith and has been told, if you'll do this, if you'll pray this prayer, you'll be saved, and he doesn't know what saved is really like, has a hard time figuring out that he hasn't truly been saved. He may begin to understand that when you get into the Bible and say, now these are the characteristics of a person who has been born again by the Spirit of God.

Does this describe you? No, no, no, no. Then Nicodemus and John Smith and Jane Anderson, I say to you, you must be born again.

You must be born from above. But we're not talking just about people who mistakenly made a profession of faith, but we're talking about deliberate enemies of the gospel who have been sent, who have been planted by our adversary, the devil, in churches to destroy churches, if they can. And though they can never destroy the church, for the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. They can destroy individual churches. And if you haven't seen that happening in your lifetime, you're not looking very closely.

In too many cases, they do succeed. We need to be aware of the reality and dangers of such false intruders. And finally, lesson number five, the need for self-examination.

We need to ask ourselves questions like this. Do I truly understand the gospel? A good test of that is, can you explain it to somebody else? If you can't, you may not understand it. Or this, have I been born again, truly?

You need to know. Or this, am I supporting the proclamation of the true gospel? As a Christian, do I understand the importance of the true gospel and the importance of my participation, my partnership in seeing that proclaimed in this world? And number four, am I defending against false gospels and those who teach them?

Are you doing these things? You should be. All of us should be. And there's a need for this kind of self-examination, and our text in Jude tells us that these things are so. And with that, we shall bow in closing prayer. Father, once again, we have searched your word for truth. We have asked you to make it plain to our hearts. Now, O Lord, we embrace the truth that you have given. We surrender to the truth which you have spoken. We commit ourselves to the truth which you have given because your spirit has done a living work within our souls. And Father, for those areas of truth that yet need to be addressed in our lives, Lord, show them to us and help us to address them. And for those who are outside of Christ, Lord, show them their lost condition that they may cast themselves upon the Lord Jesus Christ. And we ask these things in His name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-21 14:33:32 / 2023-02-21 14:48:01 / 14

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime