Grace and Forgiveness

My wife, Heidi, and I just finished watching the movie Abel’s Field and it has started me down a whole thought process.

My entire life, when studying or being taught the story of Cain and Abel, I have always been led to believe that we should hate Cain.  At the very least, we should condemn him and be angry with him for what he did.  In no way am I going to try to justify Cain’s act of murdering his brother.  But I think that Christians’ reaction to this story is too indicative of how Christians react to life and the world around them.

Until tonight, I have never even been presented with the idea of pitying Cain.  After killing Abel, God didn’t strike him down.  God did exactly the opposite.  Cain’s curse was to live a long life on earth, to live his entire life with the guilt and burden of knowing that his selfish jealousy and rage led him to take his own brother’s life.  God even ensured that no man would kill Cain before his time by marking him.  We aren’t told anything about Cain’s life after God marks him and sends him into the world.  What a heavy, unbearable burden he would have had to deal with, every single day.  The Bible doesn’t tell us if Cain ever repented, or if he lived a tortured life that ended with eternal damnation in hell.

But God would have forgiven him.  Had he repented, God would have forgiven Cain his sin.  God’s grace is great enough to forgive any, and every, sin.  How do I know?  He has forgiven me…all of my sins.  The promise of Jesus’ salvation was just as true for Cain, as it is for me, and it is for you.

This brings me back to where I started.  To be Christian means to act like Christ.  Too often Christians don’t take the moral high ground, and act like Christ.  When faced with an unGodly attack, our immediate reaction is to defend and counter-attack.  I have read each of the Gospels numerous times, and I don’t find anywhere that Christ behaved like this.  Jesus didn’t even speak harshly to the men that beat Him and crucified Him.  The only time when He spoke harshly, was when He would reprimand the Pharisees and Sadducees.

If we act as men of this world we cannot point people to Christ.  Attacking and insulting atheists and muslims doen’t make them want to give their life to Christ.  It only exposes our own hypocrisy.  If we are truly Christians, and we are living our life for Jesus, maybe it’s time we started living like Jesus.  Maybe it’s time to stop fighting back so hard when people attack us for our faith, and act like Jesus by forgiving them.  I pity anyone who has chosen eternal death over life everlasting in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

God bless
Jason Fredrick


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