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The Challenge Of Raising Cain – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2024 1:00 am

The Challenge Of Raising Cain – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 13, 2024 1:00 am

Some people can inflict tremendous hurt without feeling any guilt. In the first family, Cain had no sorrow for killing his brother Abel, but was quite worried someone might kill him. In this message from Genesis 4, Pastor Lutzer reveals three underlying motivations for “destroyers.” These kinds of people play by a different set of rules.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Ever met a destroyer, someone who can inflict tremendous hurt without feeling any guilt? Destroyers are nothing new. In fact, the first destroyer was born into mankind's first family. Today, we'll learn what motivates destroyers.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, as our culture slips ever further into darkness, destroyers seem to be coming out of the woodwork. You know, Dave, I find this story fascinating.

Of course, it's a true story. Here you have the very first family, the first child that was born to them. They name him Cain, and Cain becomes a destroyer. He's the kind of person, well, he kills his brother Abel, and then he walks away feeling sorry for himself. That's the way destroyers are.

You're absolutely right. They have no feeling for the hurt that they inflict upon others. So right from the beginning, you have a dysfunctional family. And unless we understand destroyers and to know how to relate to them, well, indeed, the destroyers might simply destroy us.

That's why I've written a book entitled When You've Been Wronged, and one of the chapters is entitled Meet Cain, the Destroyer. For a gift of any amount, we're making this book available for you. Here's what you do.

Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Remember, there are destroyers everywhere. How do we relate to them?

Let's listen. Adam and Eve were not the first parents who raised Cain. They were the first, I should say, who raised Cain, but they were not the last. Cain represents those who are destroyers, the kind of person who can leave you bleeding along the road and then walk away and feel sorry for himself. A destroyer is the kind of person for whom appearances are everything, and he will manipulate, and he will work against you, and he will lie, and he will chisel, and he will do whatever is necessary to diminish you, because one thing is sure, a destroyer does not want anyone to make him or her look bad. Destroyer is the kind of person who can hurt you deeply and feels no hurt for you whatever, none, incapable actually of feeling hurt for somebody else, but feels deeply and keenly the hurts that they themselves bear. Stories of these kinds of people are legion. I think of a man who left his wife and two-year-old daughter and walked away for 20 years and 20 years later waltzed back into the family and expected to give his daughter away at her wedding, and when she said, no dad, you've been gone for 20 years, you didn't pay child support, well he's kind of sorry for what happened, but deeply hurt.

When she wrote him a letter and she said, no, I don't want you to give me away at the wedding, deeply hurt, can't figure out why she'd do something so mean, doesn't think of the fact that for 20 years he neglected her, had no contact with her, that doesn't enter into his mind. Well the fact is that this message is intended to change people's lives. What I want us to do in the next 20 minutes is to ask the Holy Spirit to give us a brand new sensitivity toward God and toward others, and also of course the intent of the series is to bring about healing and hope and forgiveness and whenever possible reconciliation.

Sometimes reconciliation can't be achieved, but that's the goal to which we work, and that's why this session is entitled Suffering Wrong. Today, the challenge of raising Cain. Well the story is in the fourth chapter of the book of Genesis. If you have your Bibles, as I'm sure you do, would you turn to Genesis chapter four, where we have the story of our first parents. It says in chapter four verse one, now Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bore Cain, saying I have gotten a man with help from the Lord.

That word Cain comes from a root word which means to acquire. There's no doubt that when this took place Eve and Adam probably were excited about the birth of their baby, thought that he would follow the Lord, thought that he would be a credit to them. Mercifully the future was hidden from them. I'm often thought about the excitement of a newborn baby.

Mercifully the future is hidden from parents and grandparents because sometimes the future of that child does not end the way in which we had hoped and the way in which we had prayed. And then we go on in the text picking it up at verse three. It says now Abel was a keeper of the sheep and Cain a worker on the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground and Abel also brought the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions and the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry and his face fell. Why this anger on the part of Cain? Rejection. Rejection by God. I can already imagine it because we meet people like this every time who say well I'm just as good as my brother.

Who are you to judge me? Notice the similarity between these two brothers. They had the same parents, respectable occupations, both brought an offering, both sacrificed when they brought it and one was accepted and the other was rejected. Some people think that the reason is because Abel brought of the flocks and therefore he shed blood and Cain didn't bringing the fruit of the ground. Maybe that's there we're not sure because we don't know how much God revealed to them but most probably more important than what they brought was the attitude with which they brought it. Clearly Abel went to great lengths.

It says that he killed some members of his flock and then he brought the fat portions the very best and he gave it to God because his heart was with God. Cain just did his duty instead of God doesn't like it I don't care. It was their attitude maybe that determined whether one was accepted and the other was rejected but his countenance falls.

He's very angry. Most of the feuds that happen in families are our feuds because one child is the favorite. Now we don't know whether or not Abel was the favorite to Adam and Eve. We do know that God favored Abel and his offering and God rejected Cain so so now you have the roots of jealousy envy and anger and let me tell you something about jealousy.

It is a sin we can see with clarity in the lives of others. It's almost impossible for us to see it in our own lives and so Cain is very very angry. Abel does nothing wrong but Cain is angry. Well what we'd like to do in the next few moments is to give you the characteristics of someone who can hurt somebody else and feel no remorse without conscience. We could even speak about sociopaths but that's another story. Notice that Cain has these characteristics.

First of all he refuses counsel. Notice in verse six it says the Lord said to Cain why are you angry and why has your face fallen? If you do well will you know what will you not be accepted and if you do not well sin is crouching at the door its desire is for you but you must rule over it. You want acceptance it's available to you Cain. Notice it says God says to him why is your face fallen? You know there are some people who cannot hide their emotions. I used to work with a man like that when he was angry no matter how well he tried to keep it you looked at his face and you knew that the rest of the day was walking on egg shells. You just knew it didn't have to say a word and so here's Cain and you don't have to say much when you're very very angry.

So God says you know sin is personified like an animal it says sin is crouching at the door and that expression crouching at the door is related to an Akkadian word which means demon and that's why a Jewish translation has it sin is the demon at the door. Now Cain you had better master it because if not it'll pounce on you and it will destroy you Cain. So God gives Cain some good advice. We have people who call the church because they want counsel and sometimes they say well you know we want to we want to counsel with pastor Lutzer. I always try to say no no no I think you really mean pastor Milko or I think I used to be able to say I think you mean pastor Worley because they're better counselors than I am. I think I have good insight into human nature.

I can talk to people but but I'm not really really a counselor. When I was a young pastor in another church met with a couple that was going through some problems every Saturday morning for four or five Saturdays when I was finished they got a divorce. I don't know if this is repeat or not but I have to tell you another story that's more recent. Three weeks ago a woman whom I do not know well but she attended here once called me told me about her husband who was leaving her and a little baby for a defiled bed I should say and because this husband had had had some acquaintance with me I called him and for 20 minutes to a half an hour gave him all the reasons why he should not do what he's doing.

I called her this past week to see what happened she said he admitted that you called him but he also called me just a few days ago and told me to expect some divorce papers on my step. That's what happens when you get counseled by me. But I don't feel too badly because imagine somebody being able to sign up not for pastor Lutzer not for a pastor of Milco but they can sign up because they have a counseling session with God.

Wow wouldn't that be great. Cain has it. God's talking to Cain. Cain if you do well you can be accepted too if not sin is going to destroy you it's it's a demon at the door and as soon as God was finished giving him this advice he goes out he meets Abel and in his anger kills him so much for counseling. First characteristic of a person who has the Cain nature is that they refuse counsel. You can argue with them you can give them reasons and when you're all done they will do what they want to do and they won't listen to you or to God. Well there's a second characteristic you'll notice that the Lord continues to talk and it says verse 9 then the Lord said to Cain where is Abel your brother he said I do not know he said am I my brother's keeper some of you'll remember that it was the monkey who sit at the zoo am I my keeper's brother but in this instance in this instance it is am I my brother's keeper I know I have to go more slowly he said am I my brother's keeper and the Lord said what have you done but notice this when the Lord says to him where is Abel your brother Cain lies he says I do not know. Characteristic of a person who can destroy others and not feel bad about it but deeply affected by his own hurts he will lie he will twist he will distort he's like a blotter he'll soak it all up but then he'll give it to you backwards that's the way he is. Well the Lord says to him are you Cain says actually am I my brother's keeper you know what the answer to that question is yes I'm sorry you are we are the keeper of those who are members of our family we do have responsibility and then notice what the Lord says to him he says what have you done the voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground wow that should take our breath away a Hebrew scholar by the name of Westerman says this is one of the most momentous statements in the whole Bible it needs no explanation it retains its validity throughout all centuries and the most important phrase is but one word in Hebrew ali the voice of your brother's blood cries ali to me God says Cain there's no way that you can hide what you've done you can't get out of it because because I am the one to whom the blood is responding in fact the author goes on to say the blood of the victim cries out and there is someone to whom it cries Cain cannot hide his sin and may I say today that the blood of innocent people cries up ali to God even in our abortion clinics now those of you have had abortions you know of course that there is forgiveness and cleansing of the conscience and of the heart it's not my intention to lay a guilt trip on you but when nationally we are involved in in the killing of tens of thousands of pre-born infants their blood cries up ali to God there is someone to whom their blood cries and then the Lord goes on and he says Cain from now on you'll notice that the ground has been cursed and now you are going to be cursed when you work the ground verse 12 it shall no longer yield to you its strength you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and so what the Lord says is you are going to be judged for what you do the soil was cursed now Cain is cursed second characteristic he avoids responsibility where's your brother I don't know am I his keeper third characteristic is he's self-absorbed you'll notice what Cain says now and let's all take out our handkerchiefs and weep for him he said to the Lord my punishment is greater than I can bear behold you have driven me today away from the ground and from your face I shall be hidden I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me paranoia they're out to get me I'm always the one that gets the bad end of the deal then the Lord protects him and gives him a mark we have no idea what that mark is but God is saying I don't want these blood feuds to go along but now let's just think for a moment of what he's saying not one iota of remorse not saying I'm really sorry that I killed my brother or I regret the evil that I have done nothing like that instead of persecution complex and saying you know things are so bad that if somebody sees me they're going to kill me well let's think about that for a moment if somebody killed them there'd be a good reason to later on God says that if you shed blood you are going to be the one whose blood is going to be shed I mean you know they'd have a good reason to kill somebody a good reason to kill them but he feels sorry for himself because remember this that these kinds of people always play by a different set of rules and they find within themselves this feeling of sorry for them but there's no sorrow for the blood of his brother which lies spilled on the ground in fact in fact killing his brother probably felt good yes my friend that's the way destroyers are destroying others oftentimes gives them a sense of enhancement it helps them to understand that they have power a good feeling no matter how much harm is left along the way now in the new testament we read that cain was a destroyer and it says that he was of that wicked one we realize right from the beginning that satan has a hand in dysfunctional families now I've written a book entitled the now I've written a book entitled when you've been wronged and as I mentioned at the beginning of this message one of the chapters is entitled cain the destroyer later on in the book I also talk about another destroyer but the point to be made is simply this how do we respond to people who hurt us without any regret or without any emotion for a gift of any amount we're making this book available for you and I want to emphasize that we make this resource available because we believe it will help you on your journey all the way to the finish line that's why running to win exists here's what you can do go to that's or call us at 1-888-218-9337 when you connect with us for a gift of any amount this book can be yours and I want to thank you in advance for your generosity for your prayers you've heard me say it many times before that running to win continues to expand its ministry all because of people just like you ask for the book when you've been wronged and remember the contact info go to or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks so much for becoming a part of this ministry it's time now for another chance for you to ask pastor lutzer a question about the bible or the christian life what exactly lies ahead for the unbelieving dead has been argued about for centuries there are many differing takes on this as noted by one of our listeners named william who asks i've heard a growing number of local pastors and bible teachers talking more and more about how the unsaved souls will be destroyed in hell they will not be in eternal conscious punishment john 3 16 says that anyone who believes in him will not perish that is be destroyed or annihilated pastor lutzer what do you teach well william you know i can understand your question because indeed many books have been written about this and some have taken the position that you have outlined however when you look at the word perish or the word destroyed you know jesus made the statement about fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell the word destroy or the word perish does not mean annihilation if we had enough time we could prove that biblically furthermore there are passage of scriptures such as matthew chapter 25 46 where it talks about there's some who go into eternal life and others who go into eternal punishment that's matthew chapter 25 verse 46 and both are eternal and then we won't even take time to look at the book of revelation where it talks about the smoke of their torment going up forever and ever and so i really do think that even though universalism or annihilationism as it is called is a very uh what shall i say an argument that all of us would like to be able to accept i don't think it stands the biblical test now if you say that god is unjust well i suppose we're going to have to leave that to him because only he knows the seriousness of sin only he knows how we have violated his laws only he knows ultimately how those who reject him are eternally guilty and they must bear their own sin now here's the good news for all of us good news for all who are listening that if you receive jesus christ as your savior the punishment which is supposed to fall upon you and upon me is punishment that jesus received and so he bore our hell on the cross and the good news is that when we trust him as savior the bible says we shall not come into condemnation that's good news there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in christ jesus says paul in romans chapter 8 verse 1 so it's a very somber answer i'm giving you but it's a somber answer filled with hope we can indeed trust christ and hell will not be our destination thank you william for your question thank you pastor lutzer for the clarity of your answer if you'd like to hear your question answered you can go to our website at and click on ask pastor lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 north la salle boulevard chicago illinois 60614 we all recoil hearing stories of killers who slay without conscience and then complain if they're not treated properly they're like cain who had no sorrow for killing able but was quite worried that someone might kill him next time pastor lutzer has more for us on understanding the self-absorbed running to win is sponsored by the moody church
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-13 02:13:48 / 2024-05-13 02:22:02 / 8

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