The Fifth Oldest Sin in the Book: Fake Worship

This 1-minute devotion explains how the 5th oldest sin recorded in Scripture teaches us 3 important truths. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Following the first recorded act of worship, we find the fifth sin recorded in Scripture (Genesis 4:3-5).(1) 

God apparently explained the importance of meaningful sacrifices, and Abel brought his sacrifice in a spirit of faith (Hebrews 11:4).(2)

But Cain thought he could harbor sin in his heart and still bring God an acceptable sacrifice (1 John 3:12).

There are Cain-like worshipers in modern churches as well. They fool many believers with their outward forms of godliness, but they're fakers—false converts (Matthew 13:24-30; Matthew 7:21-23). 

They distort biblical principles and influence believers who have little knowledge of Scripture.(3)  

What can we learn from Cain's insincere worship?

1. Don’t mistake outward forms of “worship” for genuine worship (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

See a Non-negotiable Element of Love for Jesus.

2. Reject any teaching which contradicts God's Word no matter how "worshipful" it appears (Matthew 7:15).

See 10 Facts About False Teachers.

3. Examine ourselves regularly to make sure we are worshiping God sincerely with repentant and pure hearts (Psalm 66:18; 2 Corinthians 13:5).

See Feelin’ Good.

This 1-minute devotion explains how the 5th oldest sin recorded in Scripture teaches us 3 important truths. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible
(1) Because Adam and Eve became sinners at the Fall, and because their children were born sinners, this is not the fifth sin committed on earth. But it is the fifth sin recorded in Scripture.

(2) Even though God’s explanation for the sacrifices is not recorded in Scripture, we know it’s part of God’s character to warn us about sin. God clearly explained his one rule to Adam and Eve (i.e. don’t eat the forbidden fruit). God clearly explained his Old Testament commands and New Testament commands. Just like a good parent, He never punishes His children arbitrarily. See Genesis 4:7 and Romans 1:18-19.

Was Cain’s sacrifice inferior, then, because it wasn’t a blood sacrifice? Many believe God rejected Cain's sacrifice because it was not a blood sacrifice which was required for the forgiveness of sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). Scripture doesn't explain why God was not pleased with Cain's offering, but it seems likely it was the attitude with which Cain made the offering, not the offering itself. The Hebrew word used for "offering" in this passage is non-specific, and grain offerings were also part of Old Testament laws (Leviticus 2). It is likely that Cain brought the sacrifice in an attitude of jealousy and hatred for Abel, thus making it unworthy. See Matthew 5:23-24 and Psalm 66:18-20 which talk about our attitudes in worshiping and serving God.

(3) Read about some of these compromised teachings here: Ex-vangelical Teachings.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Remember what the LORD SAID in Genesis 3:17,HE cursed the ground,so therefore HE couldn't have accepted his offering. Thank you for your ministry.

    1. Hi Captain Crunch,
      I see some logic in your conclusion, especially because blood sacrifices are an important element of the gospel.

      However, God commanded the Israelites to bring grain offerings in Leviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-18; 7:9-10; 10:12-13.

      I think it was the attitude of Cain's heart when he made his offering that made it unacceptable. He brought it with an unclean heart. That's why God didn't mention anything about the type of offering Cain made but said: "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7