The Voice of the Dead

Text: Hebrews 11:4

Memorial Day is tomorrow and it’s a day to remember fallen warriors. It’s a day to remember, and I might say, listen to what the dead say. It’s said of Abel in our text that he being dead yet speaketh. Though Abel is not in any military, his life is remembered by the LORD in Hebrews 11, along with several others, as he was faithfully discharged from a spiritual battleground. Abel obtained a good report from God and will one day be back on this earth with the LORD Jesus Christ to enjoy life without sin.

If you don’t know the history, Cain and Abel were brothers. Abel was a righteous soul who obeyed the LORD, but Cain was wicked and disobeyed. Cain became envious of Abel to the point of hatred. He despised Abel for his faith. The murder in Cain’s heart finally came out and he crushed Abel’s skull with a rock, killing him. He tried to cover his murder, but the LORD sentenced Cain to a life of wandering and unfruitfulness. The first record of the human family is not cave pictures. It is a story of religion, faith, obedience, persecution, and murder.

Abel is the hero. He’s the hero because of his faith. His warfare was a spiritual warfare. Here’s what victory looked like in Abel’s life. It was a spiritual victory that will yield a physical reward of immortality in the flesh when the LORD Jesus Christ returns.

Abel’s faith produced an acceptable offering

  • offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…
  • Back in Genesis 4:4-5 God said He had respect unto Abel…Cain and to his offering he had not respect….
  • This tells you both of them offered something to God. 
  • What Abel offered was a sacrifice, not a fruit basket. There was a life involved, not just things.
  • Abel’s offering was the life of a lamb to which God approved. Cain’s offering was fruits and vegetables. There was no sacrifice in Cain’s offering. Abel’s offering was the offering of blood, the life of the flesh, sacrificed for sin.
  • Abel offered this by faith. He trusted that the LORD would approve of an atoning sacrificial lamb for his own sin. At least until the LORD would fully clean the sin problem from His creatures.

Abel’s faith gained clear approval by God

  • by which he obtained witness that he was righteous…
  • The offering wasn’t what made him righteous, his offering was the result of his righteousness.
  • Righteousness was obtained by obeying what God said. And God testified of his righteousness when the sacrifice was made. …God testifying of his gifts…
  • The LORD offers assurances to those who are right with Him.
    • John would record in the new testament that you know you have eternal life b/c:
    • You love the brethren, not like Cain who hated Abel because of he was right with God.
    • Assured b/c you have believed on the LORD Jesus Christ and know him to be the Son of God.
    • Assured b/c of a righteous walk.
    • All these are areas God offers assurances of eternal life.
    • He’d say over and again that he doesn’t want people to be ignorant of their standing before Him.
    • And God’s approval is the approval you want and need.
  • But not only did Abel know he was in good standing with God, but Cain knew it too. So the wicked knew it too.
  • Now, there’s a thought that you might want to consider. 

Abel’s faith produced results long after his death

  • …he being dead yet speaketh.
  • Because Abel’s faith was approved by God, it carried with it a testimony that has lasted longer than any other record in humanity of faith that justifies the sinner.
  • When a timeless, eternal God approves of something, we can say then that they’ll never be forgotten. And not only that, but there will be a future with the LORD who will bring His rewards with him.