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February 25, 2008 / beidson

Citizen Cain and Sin in the City

crowd.jpgPiggy-backing off of a recent post (2/22/08) by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., I’d like to make an additional comment on America’s Most Sinful Cities?  I’ve always found it to be quite telling that soon after Cain killed his brother, Abel, and was cursed to be a fugitive and vagabond, he went away from the presence of the Lord, had a son by his wife, and built a city, which he named after his son (Genesis 4:17). 

Scripture then goes on to list a geneaology from Adam to Noah, and immediately after this geneaology, we read that mankind began to multiply and “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).  And then comes the flood, in which God kills nearly all of mankind, save eight people.

After the flood subsides, Scripture goes on to list the nations that descended from Noah (Genesis 10).  And when this list is finished, we read yet another chilling account of the evil of men’s hearts: The Tower of Babel.

It is no coincidence that Cain, the fugitive, went out and built a city, and that Noah’s descendants came together in one place to do whatever their hearts desired.  Here we find people looking for community and progress.  This is a fulfillment of the creation mandate: to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and to subdue the earth and have dominion over it (Genesis 1:28).  But this is also a consequence of the Fall, whereby people seek to secure themselves from their enemies, as well as make a home and a name for themselves so that they might no longer be vagabonds on the earth.  

Since cities are populated with sinners such as these, we might expect cities to be places where sin abounds.  Where people are gathered together, sin is sure to be present.  But the good news is that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more (Romans 5:20).  Las Vegas is not beyond the power of the gospel of Christ; it is ripe for the harvest of God’s grace.  And so too are Hong Kong and London, Baghdad and Sydney, Dacca and Moscow.  Here we find people, like Cain, seeking refuge from their enemies, security in numbers, and a name for themselves.  And so we must be wherever sin abounds, that the grace of God in us might prove to be salvation for citizens of Earth’s cities.

See the original article American’s Most Sinful Cities here.

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