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SERIOUS WORDS
FROM THE PROPHET ENOCH!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Evening, May 28, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).


This man Enoch lived seven generations after Adam. When I was a boy I wondered why people lived so long at that time. The average age of the patriarchs in the fifth chapter of Genesis, excluding Enoch, was 912 years. No one explained to me why they lived so long and this bothered me for a long time. But the explanation is quite simple. Dr. John MacArthur, though wrong on the Blood, gives the correct answer,

These are literal years marking unusual length of life which are accounted for by the pre-Flood environment provided by the earth being under a canopy of water, filtering out the ultraviolet rays of the sun and producing a much more moderate and healthful condition (John MacArthur, D.D., The MacArthur Study Bible, Word Publishing, 1997, p. 23).

Dr. John C. Whitcomb and Dr. Henry M. Morris pointed out that

After the Flood, the ages of the patriarchs exhibit a slow but steady decline from that of Noah, who lived 950 years, through Eber, who lived 464 years; Abraham, who died at 175 years; Moses, who died an old man at 120 years; to the familiar Biblical 70 year life-span (Psalm 90:10), which is very close to where we have returned today; the declining life-span after the Flood seems to fit perfectly with our concept of the dissipation of the earth's protective blanket during the Flood. As we have noted, this canopy of water vapor  provided a warm, pleasant, healthful environment throughout the world. Perhaps the most important effect of the canopy was the shielding action provided against the intense radiations impinging upon the earth from space (John C. Whitcomb, Th.D., and Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Flood, Baker Book House, 1983 reprint, p. 399).

Thus Enoch lived three hundred and sixty-five years.

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).

The other question that may puzzle young Christians is the existence of two strange manuscripts, The Book of Enoch and The Book of the Secrets of Enoch. Both of these books were written long after Enoch lived, about 100 years before Christ. They are called "pseudepigraphal" books. That means they are writings falsely attributed to Biblical characters, claiming to be written by them, but are really forgeries. These books were not accepted by the Jews as part of the inspired canonical writings of Holy Scripture. Like the Gnostic "gospels" used as a basis for The Da Vinci Code, The Book of Enoch and The Book of the Secrets of Enoch were pseudepigraphal forgeries. The Jewish Sanhedrin at Jamnia (c. 90 AD) declared that The Book of Enoch was not inspired Scripture. The Christian Council of Laodicea (364 AD) gave the same pronouncement against it, not including it in the Bible as an inspired book of Scripture.

Yet one phrase quoted from The Book of Enoch (1:9) was actually given by him. This phrase was passed down orally by the Jews. It was part of their oral tradition. Dr. Morris said, "Judea's use of it authenticates the historicity of the prophecy, even though the book itself is not divinely inspired and is mostly non-historical" (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender's Study Bible, World Publishing, 1995, p. 1424).

Having cleared up those two questions, let us look at what the Bible itself says about this man Enoch. The first mention of him is in Genesis, chapter five. He was sixty-five years old when he became the father of Methuselah. The name he gave his son is important, I think, in our understanding of Enoch. According to Dr. John Gill the name "Methuselah" means "when he dies there shall be an emission, or sending forth of waters upon the earth" (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume 1, p. 43). Indeed, the Great Flood came the very year that Methuselah died. Enoch foresaw both the Flood and the Second Coming of Christ, as we shall see.

There are only three places in the Bible that tell us significant things about the life and ministry of Enoch. We will look at all three of them and learn some valuable lessons.

I. First, Enoch walked with God.

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).

The phrase "walked with God" is only used of one other person before the Great Flood. Look at Genesis 6:8-9, where the same phrase is used of Noah.

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:8-9).

Noah "walked with God" because he "found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8). The Reformation Study Bible says, concerning this verse, "God's grace is always His unmerited favor, and Noah's integrity could not earn God's acceptance (Romans 3:10-12). God saved Noah, as He saves us, as an unconditional gift, which Christ would later purchase with His own blood" (The Reformation Study Bible, Ligonier Ministries, 2005, p. 19). We do not know when Noah was saved, but we do know that his walk with God was a result of God's saving grace (Genesis 6:8).

So it was also with Enoch. Look at Genesis 5:22.

"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah"
      (Genesis 5:22).

Dr. Merrill F. Unger, professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, said, "His 'walking with God' is predicated after the birth of the son [Methuselah]" (Merrill F. Unger, Ph.D., Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament, Moody Press, 1981, vol. 1, p. 34). I think it is therefore correct to say that Enoch experienced God's saving grace about the time of Methuselah's birth, but not before that time, for the Scripture says "Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah" (Genesis 5:22). He experienced salvation by grace first, and then he walked with God.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast"  (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Have you experienced salvation by grace through faith in Christ? You are not going to be able to "walk with God" unless you are born again, converted by grace, through faith in Christ. Enoch, like Noah, was saved by grace, apparently at the age of sixty-five (Genesis 5:21-22). Now look at Genesis 5:24.

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him"  (Genesis 5:24).

II. Second, Enoch was translated.

Please turn to Hebrews 11:5.

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him" 
     (Hebrews 11:5).

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said,

We read that Enoch lived sixty five years, and begat Methuselah. I do not know what the first sixty five years of his life were. I assume he was like the rest of the crowd; this was a very careless period, moving into the orbit of the days of Noah. But when that little boy Methuselah was born, Enoch's walk was changed. That baby turned him to God.  We are told that he did not die but that God took him - he was translated - Enoch was taken to heaven (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981, volume I, p. 34).

The only other person who was "translated" to Heaven without dying in the Old Testament was the prophet Elijah. The Bible says,

"Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II Kings 2:11).

These two prophets, Enoch and Elijah, were both "translated" into Heaven without dying. Their translations directly into Heaven are a picture of what will happen to real Christians at the end of this age, when the Rapture occurs.

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Oh joy! Oh, delight! should we go without dying,
No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying,
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory,
When Jesus receives "His own." 
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long 'Ere we shout the glad song,
Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen. Hallelujah! Amen!
   ("Christ Returneth" by H. L. Turner, 19th century).

Please stand and read Hebrews 11:5-6 aloud.

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:5-6).

You may be seated.

If you hope to be raptured, translated into Heaven, you too must have faith in Christ. You must come to Jesus by simple faith or you will not be ready to meet Him in Heaven, either at death or at the Rapture.

III. Third, Enoch gave a warning.

Please turn to Jude, verses 14 and 15.

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15).

Enoch not only seems to have been warned about the Flood, he also saw, by faith, the awful doom that will come to the unbelieving world when Christ returns in judgment. Dr. M. R. DeHaan said,

Although the Lord is patient and longsuffering, He will not hold back the reckoning day indefinitely. One of these days Christ will suddenly descend from Heaven with a shout. The dead in Christ will be resurrected, the living believers changed, and together they will be caught out of the earth; and then the flood of God's judgment will break upon an ungodly world. But that day has not yet come, and the door of salvation is still open. "Now, while it is called today, harden not your heart" (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan Publishing House, 1979 reprint, pp. 116-117).

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. DeHaan in person several nights in a row back in 1963, at the Church of the Open Door when Dr. McGee was the pastor. Although that was forty-three years ago, I can still hear the sound of his gravelly old voice in my mind. Again and again, like a prophet of old, Dr. DeHaan warned of the coming judgment. Again and again, he told people that they needed Christ, that they needed to be converted, or they would not be ready for the coming judgment. That day of reckoning is forty-three years closer tonight than it was when I heard that marvelous old man preach. He was as tough as nails. How we need preachers like him again in this awful hour of impending judgment. But he is long dead now. And so, tonight I am telling you, in his place, though I am hardly able to fill his shoes,

"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24).

"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" 
     (Matthew 25:10-13).

That is a warning to every unsaved person here tonight. You have trifled with God long enough. You have loitered and shrugged the matter of your salvation off. But the hour is very late. The time of grace is running out for you. Settle with Christ now. He died on the Cross to pay for your sins and rose from the dead to give you life. Soon it will be too late. Soon you will be in Hell, without hope for ever. Oh, tonight I pray that you will come to Jesus Christ by faith and be saved!

(END OF SERMON)
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at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 5:18-24.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"Christ Returneth" (by H. L. Turner, 19th century).


THE OUTLINE OF

SERIOUS WORDS
FROM THE PROPHET ENOCH!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).

I.   Enoch walked with God, Genesis 5:24; 6:8-9; 5:22;
Ephesians 2:8-9.

II.  Enoch was translated, Hebrews 11:5; II Kings 2:11;
I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Hebrews 11:5-6.

III. Enoch gave a warning, Jude 14-15; Luke 13:24;
Matthew 25:10-13.