1 Timothy 2: 4
“who [God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the fifth session of Hell sermon series. After God created the heavens and earth, lastly, He created the first man Adam and Eve.
Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
After He created Adam and Eve, God blessed them. Namely, God gave them the authority to rule over the earth and the sea and all living things in them.
Genesis 1:27-28 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Do you feel the love of God the Father for Adam and Eve? The first child is so lovely to the parents.
And how special the first man Adam and Eve were for God? God expressed His feelings that way.
But the great love of God was revealed even more clearly after they sinned.
Adam and Eve committed the sin of disobedience by eating the forbidden fruit, even though they were loved by God so much.
Brothers and sisters, did they receive salvation?
Also, what happened to Cain who committed the first murder of mankind?
In the last session, you heard about the standard of salvation of little children. And did you realize the great love of God who wants to save even just one more soul?
Today’s passage 1 Timothy 2:4 says, “[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
God tries to save even those people who have committed grave sins and those who have extremely evil hearts.
It’s just that they do not turn away from evil ways and finally reach destruction in their sins. Just how evil are people that the God of love had to make a place like Hell!
In this session, I’ll address another point of curiosity, namely whether Adam and Eve and Cain were saved or not.
When you hear how God acted towards these people who committed sin, I hope you will realize the endless love of God.
In doing so, I hope you will remember this love of God when you listen to the fearful realities of Hell in detail.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the disobedience of Adam and Eve had devastating consequences.
Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden where they were living in abundance and lacked nothing. They had to come down to this earth that had tears, sorrow, and pains.
They became men of flesh, who would finally die as time passed.
The earth together with everything in it was cursed. Through the sweat of their brows they now had to pull out the thorns and thistles and gather a harvest from the land.
Not only Adam and Eve, but also their descendants had to live on this earth which has sins, diseases, calamities, sufferings, and death.
Some say Adam and Eve were not saved because they caused all these things to happen. But considering the Bible, we can realize that God opened the way of salvation for them, too.
Brothers and sisters, compared with people of today who are filled with sins, Adam and Eve had pure and good consciences.
The original sin that has been passed down from Adam, namely the sinful nature of heart, became thicker and thicker generation after generation. Also, people distanced themselves from God more and more. They increasingly committed sins, and their hearts also became more sin-stained.
Compared with the people of today, Adam and Eve had very good hearts when they came down to this earth.
While they were living on earth, they repented of their past wrongdoing completely.
Before, when they were in the Garden of Eden, they were able to eat the abundant fruits from the trees. But now they had to toil to bring in a harvest. Eve had much greater pain in childbearing.
They came to know the tears and sorrow caused by sin. They had to suffer the pain of one of their sons killing the other.
Living this kind of life, can you imagine how much Adam and Eve must have missed their past when they were living in the love and protection of God?
When they were in the Garden of Eden, they took every blessing they had for granted. They didn’t know how happy they were, so they also did not know or understand that they should have been thankful.
They were able to realize they had previously lived in such a good environment only after they came down to this earth.
Since then they had heartfelt thanks for the love of God that they received and they repented of their disobedience to the word of God.
Even today, even though people are stained with so much evil, if they will just truly repent and turn back, God forgives them. Adam and Eve were created by God Himself and God Himself raised them for a very long period of time.
When Adam and Eve repented from their hearts, is there any reason why God would not have forgiven them?
God accepted their repentance, and after their life on earth, God took them into the heavenly kingdom.
But Adam and Eve barely received salvation and went into the Paradise. It’s because forsaking such great love of God was not something minor.
God the Almighty knew that they were going to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But that doesn’t mean God did not love them.
God Himself taught them and loved them knowing everything. He also let them enjoy great authority in ruling over all things.
He wanted Adam and Eve to understand His heart and obey from their hearts, too. But they forsook this love of God and broke His heart. So, they were just thankful that they were saved.
Another reason why they could go only to Paradise is because it was through their disobedience the gate of human cultivation was first opened.
Of course, Adam and Eve repented of their wrongdoings. Also, in the view of the Almighty God who preplans in foreknowledge, it was all in His providence of human cultivation.
But the responsibility for causing all mankind to suffer from pain and to go the way of death had to be accounted for within Justice.
This is another reason why Adam and Eve could not go into any better place than Paradise nor could they receive glorious rewards.
Brothers and sisters, after Adam and Eve were driven out from the Garden of Eden, they gave birth to children on this earth. Their first son was Cain and the second son was Abel.
They grew up and each one gave sacrifices to God.
Cain gave the fruit of the ground, and Abel gave the firstborn of his flock and its fat portion.
God accepted Abel and his offering, but God did not accept Cain and his offering. Why was that?
When we give offerings to God, we have to give Him the sacrifice of blood that is the atonement for sins according to the rules of the spiritual realm.
So, in the Old Testament, they gave sacrifices of animals like cows or sheep. In the New Testament, The Lamb of God, Jesus Himself, became the atoning sacrifice and shed His blood.
Adam and Eve knew this law of the spiritual realm and taught their children about it.
They had walked with God for a long, long time, and even after they came down to this earth, they learned the necessary things from God, though it was to a more limited extent.
Abel obeyed the teachings of his parents and gave the firstborn of his flock and the sacrifice of blood as best he could.
But Cain did not obey. He just gave what he wanted to give with the fruit of the ground.
Concerning this Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.”
The reason why God accepted Abel’s offerings is because he obeyed with faith and gave God a spiritual sacrifice. But Cain did not obey the will of God. He just did what he wanted to do.
He didn’t make a spiritual sacrifice, but instead he merely followed formality in making an offering. That is why God did not accept Cain’s offerings.
In today’s sense, he comes to church and sits in the worship service on Sunday, but does not worship in spirit and truth.
For example, some think they are keeping Sunday holy just because they are in the church, even though they have idle thoughts or they day-dream.
In this case, they are also only following the formalities, but they are not giving their heart and effort, which is the important thing. Therefore, they are giving a fleshly sacrifice like Cain did.
Thus, God cannot accept the offering of such worship.
I hope you will always be on alert and check whether you are really worshiping in spirit and truth, and you are leading a life in faith earnestly with all your heart.
When God did not accept Cain’s offerings but only Abel’s offerings, Cain did not repent of his wrongdoing.
But rather, he was angry and the countenance of his face fell. Having ill-feelings against Abel, he eventually killed him.
This is such an amazing thing. In just one generation since the human cultivation began, there was already hatred and jealousy.
Furthermore, the ‘things of the flesh” grew and were shown as a ‘work of the flesh”, namely (the thought became expressed in the action of) a murder.
Cain did not do such a dreadful thing because of momentary anger.
Harboring ill-feelings, he planned and killed his own brother Abel. That is why we cannot say his sin was light.
Through Cain, we can see the nature of sins and evil once again. If we begin to accept evil in our heart, how quickly do they come into us? How quickly do they stain our heart?
Therefore, those of you who want to become sanctified must not accept any trivial sin or evil thinking, “This much is OK.”
I hope you will completely pull out even the original root of sinful natures in your heart.
This way, Cain became the first murderer of mankind, and what happened to him later?
The God of love opened the way of salvation for Cain, too.
Of course, Cain’s sin was not trivial, but his conscience was purer compared with today.
Cain learned about God from his parents. Also, he did not inherit much original sin from his parents. That is why he could repent of his sins through punishment.
In the Bible, we can see that God showed His mercy even toward Cain who was the first murderer of mankind.
Cain became a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth as the retribution of his sin. He was cursed and driven from the face of the ground, and he asked for God’s mercy saying the punishment was too harsh for him.
So, God gave him a sign for him to avoid death saying, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.”
Cain could keep his life with this sign, but he had to regret his crime until his life ended on earth seeing that sign.
But through that punishment, he came to repent of his sin and received salvation. Therefore, it was rather blessing for him. Like Adam and Eve, Cain also went to Paradise.
It’s because it was not a little thing to commit a murder in generation that had so much goodness.
Especially, it was an evil thing to kill his own brother Abel.
Because he had this kind of heart, he could not go to any better place than Paradise even though he repented.
Also, Cain repented of his sin, but it was more from his fear of the punishment.
It means he did not really repent from the heart with his love for God.
If he could change his evil heart into good heart later, the final result may have been better. If he lived with all his effort and strength to please God, he could have received a better heavenly dwelling place and reward.
But Cain just didn’t have such an attitude.
Brothers and sisters, Adam and Eve had such good hearts that cannot be compared with the hearts of people today.
Furthermore, for the remainder of their lives they repented of their past sin, so how much would they have tried to live in goodness and the will of God?
But if they could go to only Paradise, how should today’s believers act who are living in such an evil and sinful world?
I urge you to desire for sanctification even more earnestly and take hold of a better heavenly dwelling place by force everyday.
From the next session, I will speak to you about the wretched realities of the Lower Grave.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when Adam and Eve committed sin, God showed His endless love.
How did He act when they committed sin even after receiving so much love from Him?
Genesis 3:21 says, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”
For the two of them who were going down to the cursed earth to pay for what they had done, God clothed them with garments of skin.
Aren’t you reminded of the joy and concerns of parents when their precious babies begin to walk for the first time, worrying their babies mighty get hurt or something?
I hope you will be able to feel the heart of God the Father for His children.
Brothers and sisters, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden without any shortage, enjoying great power and receiving great love from God.
But now, they are living as citizens of the heavenly kingdom, but in the lowest level of the heavenly dwelling places, in Paradise.
Then, in which life do they feel happier, in the Garden of Eden or in the Paradise?
They feel happier in the Paradise, because they have experienced the pain of sins and death through the human cultivation on earth.
Now, they realized how great and precious God’s love and all His grace for them are.
Likewise, God the Father changed their fault in the past into a more precious gift, through the process of human cultivation.
How great is His wisdom and love! Now they can live forever with true thanks for God the Father.
When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden they didn’t know pain or death, and they disobeyed.
But you know very well how hard and painful it is to live as a slave of the enemy devil, Satan.
You also know very well how blessed it is to come into the love of God and live in His protection and guidance.
Therefore, I urge you once again not to make any foolish decision that can cause eternally irreversible consequences.
I pray in the name of the Lord that this time of going through human cultivation will be your greatest blessings.