The Spirit of Cain

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” This was the familiar response of Cain upon God’s inquiry about his brother Abel. Cain knew he had killed his brother, therefore he was responsible for his brother’s demise, but he used this reply to shirk his responsibility. Sadly, we do the same thing. We have allowed our lives to become so encumbered with unimportant things that we cannot focus on the most important thing.

It is estimated that of the 6.7 billion people alive in the world today, 2.7 billion of them live in unreached people groups with little or no access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Are we responsible for reaching these unreached groups, or do we reflect the spirit of Cain – Am I my brother’s keeper? We have convinced ourselves we can do nothing about reaching these people because our lives are full of other things that distract us from the real needs in our world. The path of materialism engulfs us and causes us to think extravagance is normal and acceptable, and in so doing, it enchains us to a way of life that restricts us from fulfilling one of the main purposes for which God has left us on this planet. The busyness of our technological age steals from us the energy, passion, and time needed to do something about the lostness in our world. If we could only see ourselves from the perspective of most other people in the world, we would be embarrassed at our wastefulness and luxury. Our garages are bigger than most people’s homes in the world! Our animals are better fed than many children across our planet.

While the plight of unreached people groups should burden us and call us to action, we do not even need to look overseas to be stirred by the needs of an unreached people. We live among them. While the people of Coweta County do not compare to the Yucatec people of Central America, the reality is many are still lost and going to Hell. Hell is just as real whether you depart from Newnan or from the Yucatan Peninsula. On any given Sunday, less than 20% of the people of our County are in church. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean they are all lost, and for that matter, the 16% or 18% of those who are in church are not necessarily saved. The reality is if you are a Christian in today’s world, you are in a small minority.

So here’s the question. What are we going to do about it? Are we our brother’s keeper or not? Why not spend a few minutes in prayer and thought about how God wants to use you to reach someone who is unreached? Allow your thoughts to not only include people like you (in our County), but also people not like you (Africans, Asians, etc.). What changes will you make in your life so you can fulfill God’s commission handed to you to make disciples of all nations?


(These thoughts have been on my mind for a while but were prompted once again by reading an article by Daniel Kenaston: .)


  • tony

    Indifference and a self absorbed frustration lay behind the first murder. Cain’s world had shrunk to the point that he could only see himself in it. There was no room for his brother and no room for his family let alone his community. And it all started with Cain not having room for God in his life. Cain was too important. Everything else came second, especially God. From there the spirit of Cain went out into the world (see Jude 1:11). Sadly his “Me First” mark has become a badge of honour and the mark of celebrity in our culture.


    • timriordan

      Thanks Tony for your thoughts. I think you are exactly right. Maybe we too can become indifferent and self abosorbed allowing the part of the world which gets our attention to become quite small.

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