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20/02/2008 / Test All Things

Was Cain A Recipient Of Common Grace?

Reprobate Cain was a child “of the devil” (1 John 3:10), who “slew his brother” because his “works were evil” (1 John 3:12). Thus Cain was an “abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 3:32; 11:20; 16:5), as was everything about him: his “hands” (Proverbs 6:16-17), his “lying lips” (Proverbs 12:22), his “thoughts” (Proverbs 15:26), his “sacrifice” and his “way” (Proverbs 15:8-9).

God spoke with Cain (Genesis 4:6-7, 9-15)—a rational-moral creature—laying before him the ways of life and of death (see Genesis 4:6-7) and explaining his evil deed of fratricide (see Genesis 4:9-10), thus leaving him “without excuse” (Romans 1:20). So far was God from bestowing “common grace” upon Cain that He did not bless him, but cursed him (Genesis 4:11-12)!

God marked Cain so that no man would kill him (see Genesis 4:15). Cain’s prolonged life meant that he heaped up more wrath to himself (Romans 2:5). God willed Cain’s continuance on earth for some years so that the line of the reprobate would continue and develop in sin (see Genesis 4) over against the line of the elect (Genesis 5).

Nor were Cain’s city building (see Genesis 4:17) or the riches, artistic talent and technological advances of his descendants (see Genesis 4:20-22) signs of God’s love for the reprobate. God’s purpose “when all the workers of iniquity do flourish” (including Cain and his seed with their earthly prosperity) is “that they shall be destroyed forever” (Psalm 92:7). God does not immediately cut off the wicked for He is digging the pit for them (Psalm 94:13)—just as He did with Cain, that child of the devil, who killed the first martyr, Abel, his own brother (1 John 3:10-12)!

By Angus Stewart

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