“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts” and by it he being dead yet speaks (Hebrews 11:4).
The religion of Cain is very strong in the world today. It does not deny the existence of God in words, but merely in deeds. It does not deny the need of divine worship and liturgy. In fact, this may be exalted to a very high and aesthetic plane. The “way of Cain” (Jude 11) is a religion of the flesh, a self-willed worship, a self-satisfied justification by works, and insubordinate self-redemption. This religion relies on itself and denies and rejects substitution, while idealizing one’s own power and culture. This was the theology of the first murderer.
The way of Abel was different. It was a humble acknowledgement that sin demands death, and a total reliance of the sinner upon the mercy and grace of God revealed in Christ’s sacrifice. This sacrifice was God-appointed in expectation of the final triumph of divine redemption through the woman’s Seed. And the end will be like the beginning in reverse, for the line of the murdered Abel will attain eternal life (see Hebrews 11:40), while the way of Cain will perish.
The faith of Abel still speaks to our hearts today. Which shall it be – the religion of Cain? or the religion of Abel? We may say that we are neutral, that we shall take neither. The fact is, that if we are not of Abel, we are of Cain. It is only through faith in the Redeemer, faith such as Abel had, that we can find peace of heart. The religion of Cain never brings peace. The millions who are under its sway are forever seeking peace, but never finding it.
So, friend, whoever you are, wherever you are, come today. Accept the religion of Abel. We may have peace in our hearts if we believe on Jesus. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).