1. In Genesis 6:11 the Bible describes the condition of the earth before the flood. 2. Unfortunately, these same words can be used to describe the condition of the earth today. 3. Today we are concentrating on an unpleasant subject mentioned in this verse -- "violence." 4. We have been reminded several times recently, especially last Friday, that violence is a serious problem in our country as well as the rest of the world. 5. In our lesson we are pointing out that: a. the Bible reveals when and how violence began b. the Bible reveals how God feels about violence c. the Bible reveals the keys to overcoming violence. 6. Let us first point out that . . .
I. THE BIBLE REVEALS WHEN AND HOW VIOLENCE BEGAN
A. Cain committed the first act of violence when he killed Abel (Genesis 4:3-8). B. Let's make 3 observations about violence from these verses. 1. Observation #1: God is not responsible for the existence of violence. a. God did not include violence in Creation (Genesis 1:31). b. Man introduced violence, and man is responsible for it. 2. Observation #2: Abel was not responsible for Cain's actions. a. Abel had God's respect. b. Abel had done nothing to deserve the treatment he received. c. Many times, those who commit acts of violence blame their behavior on innocent victims. d. God and Abel were not responsible for Cain's actions. 3. Observation #3: Cain was responsible for his own actions. a. Cain did not have God's respect. b. Consequently, he was filled with wrath. c. He did not listen to God's reasoning in vs.6-7. C. It seems unfair, but innocent people often suffer because of the actions of violent people. 1. God is not responsible for this. 2. Those who commit the violent acts are responsible. D. Cain committed the first act of violence; however, it escalated (Genesis 6:11-13). 1. By the time Noah came onto the scene, man had become very corrupt (Genesis 6:5). 2. (vs.6-7) Man's wickedness became so great that it deeply grieved God at his heart. 3. Note especially that the earth was "filled with violence" (vs.11, 13). 4. Note also that corruption is associated with violence. E. The book of Genesis shows how and when violence began as well as how it escalated.
II. THE BIBLE REVEALS HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT VIOLENCE
A. God's punishment of Cain shows that He does not approve of it (Genesis 4:10-12). B. From the flood we conclude that God does not approve of it. C. (Psalm 11:5) God hates those who love violence.
III. THE BIBLE REVEALS THE KEYS TO OVERCOMING VIOLENCE
A. Violent people must be avoided (Proverbs 4:14-17). 1. God knows that violent people will have an evil influence upon His people (Proverbs 16:29). 2. This principle is also revealed in 1 Corinthians 15:33. B. The Golden Rule must be practiced (Matthew 7:12). C. Revenge must be avoided (Romans 12:17-21). D. Violent people must be punished by the state (Romans 13:3-4). E. Things that lead to violence must be eliminated. 1. Ephesians 4:31 2. Colossians 3:8 3. 1 John 3:15 F. Things that eliminate violence must be practiced. 1. Colossians 3:12-15 2. Ephesians 4:32
1. In closing, let us read 1 Timothy 2:1-4. a. Let us pray diligently for our leaders so we may live in a quiet and peaceable world. b. God wants everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth to be saved. 2. Do you have this knowledge?