It’s not a bloodless religion….
I’m a little embarassed to say that it has only been recently that I’ve realized why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice. I mean, Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd. It made sense that Cain would bring something from his farm and Abel something from his flock.
I’ve heard/read sermons/Bible studies that explain that the difference in their sacrifices had to do with what was in the heart. Well, yes, ultimately it was about what was in the heart, but it’s a little deeper than what you see on the surface. And that was my problem. I didn’t see anywhere in the Scripture where we knew what was in their hearts. Of course God knew, but since it was included in the Bible, I knew there was a lesson for me. So I read and thought about it but saw nothing that would give me an understanding of how I could know what was going on in their hearts.
And then I realized recently, Abel’s was a blood sacrifice and Cain’s was not. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. Hebrews 9: 22
Without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sin. Jesus became that once and for all sacrifice for all those who would believe. But in the old testament, a sacrifice was still required. A Blood sacrifice. So it was a heart problem after all.
It was the eqiuvalent of a person who goes to church and does “Christian” things and a person who truly gives their heart to Jesus.
I have a real concern about lost church members. In the Bible, 5 of the ten virgins weren’t ready when the bridegroom came. That’s not referring to people who don’t even realize Jesus is the Way and Only Way. In today’s world more than ever, there are people who believe there are so many ways they are going to heaven. The Bible says Jesus is the only way and anyone who tries to get in any other way is the same as a thief or a liar.
Those misguided people are sad enough but that isn’t the kind of people the Bible is referring to in the ten virgins…. it means church people. People who know Jesus is the only way, people who might even be active in church or even may have made a profession of faith. But it wasn’t a real profession and they’re just operating in a bloodless religion. You have to be covered by the blood, washed in the blood, the blood has to be applied..
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18
Check your heart. Be sure that you aren’t operating on emotion, tradition, habit, or just a “head” knowledge of Jesus. Be sure that that you have a true relationship with Him…. that you know there was a moment in your life that God called you and you accepted and you know it was real and not just an emotion because there was something different in your life.
The enemy will tell you that you are okay when you aren’t. The enemy will make you embarassed to make things right because everyone already thinks you are right. Who cares what they think if you go to hell? If their hearts are right, they’ll rejoice at you getting yours right. The enemy will remind you of all the good things you’ve done with or for your church and ask you how a lost person can do those things? Easy. Lost people do good things all the time. Sometimes people are just kind and sometimes people desire the praise of man. But if your motive was anything other serving and sharing Jesus, check your heart.
So the difference between Cain and Abel really was a heart problem after all. Because it isn’t a bloodless religion. Because the relationship must be real. I love the old hymn “Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?” Are you? Don’t be like Cain.