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THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF THE PATRIARCH ENOCH

(SERMON #39 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, March 9, 2008

“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:21-24).


This is the thirty-ninth sermon I have preached to you from the Book of Genesis. Tonight I will give the fortieth sermon. It will be centered on the time of the ten patriarchs who preached before the great Flood. When I was a boy I wondered how men could live as long as they did. But later I learned that the world was completely different before the Flood. As Dr. Henry M. Morris said,

It is from this section [of Scripture] telling us that men once were able to live almost a thousand years, that we deduce something of the marvelous nature of the world’s primeval environment (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, 1986 edition, p. 151).

Dr. John MacArthur, though wrong on the Blood of Christ, gave a useful note on this,

Unusual length of life [is] accounted for by the pre-Flood environment provided by the earth being under a canopy of water, filtering out ultraviolet rays of the sun and producing a much more moderate condition…thus extending life (The MacArthur Study Bible, Word Bibles, 1997 edition, notes on Genesis 5:5 and Genesis 1:7).

And here, in the Genesis record, we read about the remarkable life of the patriarch Enoch.

As I will point out tonight, this was an evil time. There was no idol worship, but men simply forgot about God, and left God out of their lives. The secular humanism and post-modernism that is so rampant in the modern world today (especially in the public schools and secular colleges) is quite similar to the way people thought before the Flood. Enoch’s son Methuselah lived well into the lifetime of Noah. Christ said,

“But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”
      (Matthew 24:37-39).

We seem to be living in that age now, and so it should not surprise us that men have once again turned away from God, as they did in the time before the Flood, when Enoch lived.

But Enoch was different from the people around him. As the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Robert Frost put it,


I shall be telling of this with a sigh,

Somewhere ages and ages hence;

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

   (Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken,” in Robert Frost’s Poems,

      Washington Square Press, 1971 edition, p. 223).


Enoch chose to walk a different road than most people in his time. We learn from the Scriptures three outstanding things about Enoch’s life, his message and his exit from the world.

I. First, Enoch walked with God.

Twice we are told this. In verse 22, “And Enoch walked with God.” In verse 24, “And Enoch walked with God.” Although others could have been described this way, there are only two men in the Scriptures of whom this is definitely said.  The other one was Noah.  In Genesis 6:9 we are told that “Noah walked with God.” Both of them lived before the Great Flood. Both of them walked with God. Robert Frost's poem was true of both men - they took the road less traveled, the road of faith.

“Enoch walked with God.” This phrase means that he was a man of faith, in an age when most people had no faith. We read in the New Testament,

“By faith Enoch… 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).

While others were thinking only about this life, making money and hoarding up material things,

“eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage”
       (Matthew 24:38),

thinking only of this world – in that materialistic culture, Enoch walked with God.

You cannot please God if you do not believe “that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Enoch sought God with all his heart. He prayed to God. He lived for God. He spoke for God. That is what the Bible means when it says, “Enoch walked with God” (Genesis 5:22, 24). Faith in God is not a superstition. Faith is a gift, and those who have the gift of saving faith are delivered by Christ from sin and death, and eternal fire.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

It is our prayer that God will give you the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, so you too can walk with God, and live forever with God in His coming Kingdom.

II. Second, Enoch received two remarkable revelations.

We see the first of these revelations in verse twenty-one,

“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah” (Genesis 5:21).

In his book, Gleanings in Genesis, Arthur W. Pink pointed out that the name Enoch gave his son Methuselah is the key to God’s revelation concerning the coming Flood. Arthur W. Pink said,

The name Methuselah strongly implies that Enoch had received a revelation from God. The name Methuselah signifies “When he is dead it shall be sent; i.e., the deluge” (Newberry). In all probability then a divine revelation is memorialized in this name. It was as though God said to Enoch, “Do you see that baby? The world will last as long as he lives and no longer! When that child is taken out, I shall deal with the world in judgment. The windows of heaven will be opened. The fountains of the deep will be broken up and humanity will perish” (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis, Moody Bible Institute, 1922, p. 78).

This revelation made a great impression on Enoch. He had no idea how long his baby would live. But he knew from the moment of the baby’s birth that “When he is dead it shall be sent.” I can fully understand his experience because I was saved as a young man in a prophetic conference. Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge was preaching on the end of this present world from II Peter, chapter three. As he spoke I knew that it was true – judgment was coming to this world, and my only hope was in Jesus Christ. That is a wonderful truth to see in the Bible! When a man sees that, he will flee to Christ, as Lot fled from Sodom, and as Noah fled to the ark! It will lead you to walk with God as Enoch did. Have you seen the truth of the coming judgment?

“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (I John 2:17).

Enoch saw that through the gift of faith. I wonder if you have the gift of faith, that insight that goes right over the heads of most people, that inner knowledge which connects you to God and shows you that He is going to judge this world by fire, as He once did by water in the great Flood.

But Enoch had a second revelation. God showed him that the Flood was coming, and God also showed him the final assize, when Christ will come to execute judgment at the end of this age. We are told in the New Testament Book of Jude,

“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 went up and down the earth preaching that message about the final judgment. What he said was carefully handed down by the old teachers and rabbis and incorporated in an apocryphal book. But Jude, the brother of James, was led by the Holy Spirit to quote those words in the Holy Scriptures. This authenticates them as the actual words of Enoch, which had been preserved in the apocryphal book that bears his name. These words have the apostolic imprimatur of the Holy Spirit upon them. Thus we know today that Enoch was a fiery preacher. He preached on the coming Flood. He preached on the Lord coming

“…with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment”
       (Jude 14-15)

on this wicked, unbelieving world. He preached on Heaven and Hell, and on salvation by the Blood of the pre-incarnate Christ. He did not have many converts. Few believed what he said. But Noah heard Enoch’s son, Methusaleh, repeat his father’s sermons. Undoubtedly Methuselah told Noah what his father had preached. He must have told Noah, "My father Enoch said that God would judge the earth with a great flood in the year that I die. When I am dead, then it will come. That's what God showed my father Enoch, and that's why he gave me that name." As a young man Noah was deeply moved as Methusaleh gave long quotations from his father Enoch’s sermons. And I believe it was through the sermons of Enoch, which Noah first heard from Methusaleh, that God spoke to him and he

“moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house” (Hebrews 11:7).

Others thought that it was just the preaching of a crazy old man. But Noah believed what Enoch had preached, and was saved. Many a man has been moved and shaken by an old sermon from an earlier time. Our Baptist forefather John Bunyan was largely led to Christ by reading an old copy of Luther’s Commentary on Galatians with the cover falling off, because the book was so ancient. Bunyan said,

After many such longings in my mind, the God in whose hand are all our days and ways, did cast into my hand, one day, a book of Martin Luther, it was his comment on the Galatians – it also was so old that it was ready to fall piece from piece if I did but turn it over. Now I was pleased much that such an old book had fallen into my hands; the which, when I had but a little way perused, I found my condition, in his experience, so largely and profoundly handled, as if his book had been written out of my heart. This made me marvel for thus thought I, This man could not know anything of the state of Christians now, but must needs write and speak the experience of former days…I do prefer this book of Martin Luther upon the Galatians, excepting the Holy Bible, before all the books that ever I have seen, as most fit for a wounded conscience (John Bunyan, “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners,” The Works of John Bunyan, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1991 reprint, volume I, sections 129-130, p. 22).

How I wish that your generation would hear the patriarchs and the prophets, the Apostles, and Christ Himself. How I wish that you would listen to these men of old, and to Luther and the other Reformers, and the Puritans, and the great evangelists of the First Great Awakening, Edwards and Whitefield and John Wesley. How I pray that you will hear John Bunyan and great Spurgeon. Oh, yes, I know, they lived before your time, but they, through their writings, can tell you more about God and conversion than anyone I know who is living today. Be wise like Noah, who heard of old Enoch’s message and moved with fear to build the ark, lest he and his family should be drowned in the great Flood. Hear the old men of another time, men who walked with God, and preached on the coming judgment, who preached on Hell, and salvation through faith in Christ’s holy Blood. That is the kind of preaching we so desperately need today in our churches and in our nation – but is so tragically missing! May you hear from the old preachers, as Noah did. May you read Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Thomas Hooker, and Joseph Alleine and Richard Baxter, and especially Jonathan Edwards, the great Biblical psychologist of the human spirit in its unconverted state. May you move with fear and flee to Christ as you read what these men wrote in another age. As the Apostle Peter said,

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

III. Third, Enoch was translated that he should not see death.

Please stand and read Genesis 5:24.

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

You may be seated. Martin Luther was an Old Testament Hebrew scholar. Commenting on those words, “God took him,” Luther said,

The Hebrew word lakach means that God took him unto himself (Martin Luther, Th.D., Luther’s Commentary on Genesis, Zondervan Publishing House, 1958, vol. 1, p. 123).

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him [unto himself]” (Genesis 5:24).

And the New Testament fills in the event, by giving these further comments,

“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” (Hebrews 11:5).

“He was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). “Enoch was translated that he should not see death” (Hebrews 11:5). Translating a word means putting it into a word of another language that has the same meaning. Translating a human being means putting him into another world without dying, snatching him up alive into Heaven, into another dimension we do not know by our natural senses.

Thus Enoch was the first man translated into Heaven without dying. Elijah was the only other man to be directly translated into Heaven without going through death. Elijah went up to Heaven in a whirlwind. Both Enoch and Elijah are types, picturing the coming rapture, when

“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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

What a wonderful promise to those who are saved! Yet not all will be caught up alive to meet Christ in the air on that day. Only those who are converted, only those who are walking with God, like Enoch, will suddenly be translated, up through the clouds, to meet Christ in the air.


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, 1878).


Are you saved? Have you been united to Christ? Are you washed from your sins by His Blood? Are you a real Christian? Are you in church every time the door is open? If you are not a real Christian, you will be left behind and miss the glory prepared for those who know Christ by a personal encounter with Him. You will miss the glory prepared for those who are washed clean from their sins by Christ’s most Holy Blood. Oh, come to Christ! Be ready for the rapture. Be ready when He comes to translate His followers into His glorious Kingdom of everlasting life!

If you are here in church for the first time this morning, you may say, with those who saw Jesus perform a miracle, “We have seen strange things to day” (Luke 5:26). We have heard strange things today! But the things you have seen in the Scriptures and heard in this sermon are not really strange, in the conventional sense of the word. They are true things, given in the Bible to help you find salvation by faith in Christ. May you go home and think over what I have preached, and then come back to hear more next Sunday. This could be a great turning point in your life. This could lead you to seek Christ, who said,

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
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, 1878).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF THE PATRIARCH ENOCH

(SERMON #39 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:21-24).

(Matthew 24:37-39)

I.   First, Enoch walked with God, Genesis 5:22, 24; 6:9; Hebrews 11:5-6;
Matthew 24:38; Ephesians 2:8.

II.  Second, Enoch received two remarkable revelations, Genesis 5:21;
I John 2:17; Jude 14-15; Hebrews 11:7; Acts 4:12.

III. Third, Enoch was translated that he should not see death, Genesis 5:24;
Hebrews 11:5; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Luke 5:26; John 11:25-26.