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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Mar 31, 2015.
Do you believe that Cain is in Heaven?
It is said he was of that wicked one and that his works were evil, which is a New Testament and inspired statement concerning him, so it is likely that he is not.
1 John 3:12
King James Version (KJV)
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
...it may be that this directs focus on that incident alone, and the possibility that Cain, in his banishment, repented. Not sure this is an answerable question, at least one we could be dogmatic about. John's statement would probably have me leaning towards no, but the grace of God extends further than I think we sometimes give credit to.
"It is also likely that in the end Esau was saved." —Martin Luther
Cain also answers the question "does God hear the prayer(s) of the wicked"?
Yes, Cain complained to God that his punishment was too much to bear and people would kill him and God accommodated him.
13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
Job 1 Satan Allowed to Test Job
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Job 2 Satan Attacks Job's Health
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
First, lets get the issue straight if God hears prayers of the lost. Consider John 9:31 "We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listen to him." The fact that God heard his prayer indicates to me he is in heaven, because God heard his prayer. The above verse makes the issue pretty clear to me.
John 9:31 is not teaching from Jesus, but from the man who was born blind who is using the Pharisee's bad theology against them.
Just because someone in scripture makes a recorded assertion doesn't make it sound doctrine.
The fact is you cannot show one instance in Scripture where forgiveness is conditional on repentance. The fact is I gave a verse where it is not. And if Christ said it, it is sound doctrine, regardless of what you say.
In mathematics, if one counterpoint can be shown and demonstrated then the proposed property is invalid.
Charles Spurgeon, "The Ravens' Cry"
"After awhile, as I expected, they fell to their usual amusement of calling names. They began to say what rank Arminianism this was! And another expression they were pleased to honor me with, was the title of “Fullerist”—a title, by the way, so honorable that I could heartily have thanked them for appending it to what I had advanced! But to say that God should hear the prayer of natural men was something worse than Arminianism to them, if, indeed, anything could be worse!
They quoted that counterfeit passage, “The prayer of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord,” which I speedily answered by asking them if they would find me that text in the Word of God, for I ventured to assert that the devil was the author of that saying, and that it was not in the Bible at all. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord” is in the Bible, but that is a very different thing from the “prayer of the wicked.” And moreover there is a decided difference between the word wicked there intended and the natural man about whom we were arguing. I do not think that a man who begins to pray in any sense can be considered as being altogether among “the wicked” intended by Solomon, and certainly he is not among those who turn away their ears from hearing the Law, of whom it is written that their prayer is an abomination.
“Well, but,” they said, “how could it be that God could hear a natural prayer?” And while I paused for a moment, an old woman in a red cloak pushed her way into the little circle round me and said to them in very forcible way, like a mother in Israel as she was, “Why do you raise this question, forgetting what God Himself has said! What is this you say, that God does not hear natural prayer? Why, doesn’t He hear the young ravens when they cry unto Him? And do you think they offer spiritual prayers?”
Straightway the men of war took to their heels—no defeat was more thorough—and for once in their lives they must have felt that they might possibly err.”
Well, the fact is you seem to think I am making a point I am not making, in a conversation/debate in which I am not participating.
I am simply pointing out that you are misusing a text, quoting a person who is repeating the bad theology of the Pharisees against them.
I agree. Of course, if you actually reviewed the context of your quote, you would see that Christ did not say it. He was not even present for the conversation.
BTW, I didn't claim that God forgave Cain for killing his brother, after all Cain didn't ask for forgiveness but wanted relief from his punishment.
However, God did respond to the complaint about his punishment, in that it was too much for him to bear and God responded in a positive way.
So, in this case God did respond to Cain who obviously at the time was an (unrepentant, unregenerate, unforgiven - choose your terminology) person.
As much as some folk do not want to hear it there does seem to be a pre-condition before "hardening" of the heart in which there is a form of communication between God and the sinner.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
I believe this is an issue concerning conviction of sin which all sinners receive. Cain was presently unable to accept the fact that we come into this world dead in trespasses and sin which also requires the second death as symbolized and acted out by the blood sacrifice given by Abel.
I don't believe this should be a cal-arm issue either. For whatever reason Cain wouldn't/couldn't come to the light and admit what he deserved as a member of the human race of sinners.
IMO, Wouldn't/Couldn't is an academic, after the fact issue, which can't be solved with current human intellect given the present information (probably because we don't yet have the ability).
What we do know is that we are helplessly, hopelessly lost without the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ (known at the time to the adamic family as "the seed of the woman" who would crush the head of "the seed of the serpent" and redeem the human race from his bondage).
This sacrifice with its redemption is available to all who want it according to spirit and truth.
Another thing we know, it had nothing to do with our ability as an ingredient of redemption as we have not one molecule of spiritual ability.
From that counsel came the truth that He Himself has provided the way:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The point is this...just because God converses with someone, it's no guarantor of them being saved. God spoke with Cain, and even place a seal upon him, as you already posted. I don't know if Cain was saved later on; the bible is silent, and I won't speak. God conversed with Satan concerning Job. Wasn't it Baalim that God spoke to through a donkey? Even Lazarus' corpse heard Jesus cry aloud. When we speak to the spiritually dead, we get zero response every time. When God speaks to the spiritually dead, they will hear Him. Even the dead in the graves will hear Him on the day of Judgement...
I am not sure what point you are making. It is not necessary to say the sky is green if I made a statement that said it was blue. You are participating in the conversation when you made the first key stroke.
The healed man spends from verse 13 to the end of the chapter arguing with the Pharisees, and at the last of the chapter speaks to Christ Himself and comes to salvation. Now, if this man who was healed by Jesus Christ is arguing with the Pharisees, which do in fact have bad theology, how is what he says not sound doctrine in verse 31, which is backed up by Isaiah 1:11-15; Psalm 66:18; Psalm 109:7; Proverbs 15:8; Proverbs 15:29; Job 27:9; Job 35:13, which you failed to mention.
The subject of the op is Cain being in heaven or not. God heard Cain.
You are right on one point. Christ did not say those words, but the words ring true from other verses, and since the Bible is inspired, Christ certainly chose the words to be in Scripture. He was arguing with the Pharisees. Why would you think his words are not valid?
I am only participating in the discussion of this one proof text of yours. You were apparently responding to a bunch of arguments I did not make.
The man who was born blind was in the middle of an argument between the Pharisees over the character of Jesus. One faction argued that Jesus doesn't obey the Sabbath laws, so He cannot be from God, and others claimed that sinners cannot do miraculous signs (John 9:16). After trying to quiz the healed man's parents, the again turned to the healed man to get him to confess that Jesus is a "sinner." The man knew that this group of Pharisees were not trying to discover the truth, they were trying to spin the story to accuse Jesus of being evil.
So the real question being discussed here is not the issue of whether or not God is attuned to the prayers of unrighteous people, but whether or not God would perform miracles through those who are not right with God.
Jesus answers that question directly in Matthew 7:21-23:
“Not everyone who calls me Lord will enter God’s kingdom. The only people who will enter are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that last Day many will call me Lord. They will say, ‘Lord, Lord, by the power of your name we spoke for God. And by your name we forced out demons and did many miracles.’ Then I will tell those people clearly, ‘Get away from me, you people who do wrong. I never knew you.’
So the theology that "everyone" knew - that only righteous people can be used of God to perform miracles - is not correct, and using this passage to discuss whether or not an unrighteous person is "heard" by God is a misuse of scripture.
According to what you said above we are in complete agreement brother.
I think the disconnect might be the fact that some here believe that God is absolutely and totally silent toward all except the "elect".
This among many other issues are recurrent here at the BB among many stake holders so it's hard to keep track of whose toes one will step on and vice versa.
Thanks for this brother
Yes, every one of our souls dead in our trespasses and sins one day heard His voice and we were quickened by it.
With God all things are possible and even the dead can hear Him.