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THE MESSAGE OF ENOCH

(SERMON #67 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, December 9, 2012

“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).


The Patriarch Enoch lived in the old world, before the Flood. The text says he lived 65 years before his son Methuselah was born. We are not told anything about what happened to him in the first 65 years. This was a wicked age – moving toward the time of the great Flood. Enoch may not have been very religious until he was 65. He may have been lulled into a form of religion by the wickedness around him. We are not told that Enoch had any special relationship to God until his little son was born. Dr. McGee said the baby seemed to turn him to God. That sometimes happens when a man becomes a father. But this was a very wicked and godless age, moving toward the time when

“God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

Dr. M. R. DeHaan pointed out that it was an age of religious apostasy, an age of travel, an age of city building, polygamy, great agricultural achievement, music, and unprecedented violence (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1979 edition, p. 41). In other words, the world in which Enoch lived was much like our world today. And Christ said, “As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37). This is the world in which Enoch lived. It was much like our city and our world. Everything we know about Enoch is given in three passages of Scripture. We are going to look at all three of them tonight. We will see three things about Enoch in those Scriptures.

I. First, Enoch walked with God.

Our text says,

“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” (Genesis 5:21-23).

For the first 65 years of his life he did not do anything worthy of mention in the Scriptures. He was probably not an evil man. But neither does he seem to have been an outstanding believer. But about the time his son Methuselah was born he began to walk with God, “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years...” (Genesis 5:22). I must stop here to tell you that, in this age before the great Flood, men lived far longer than they do today. That was largely because the earth was under a canopy of water in the sky, which filtered out the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and produced a much more moderate and healthful environment, providing a uniform temperature, and inhibiting mass air movements and storms. This environment, along with extremely nutritious fruits and vegetables, extended the life of man for centuries.

In this pre-Flood world, Enoch walked with God. This means that he pleased God. How did he please God? We are told in Hebrews 11 that “he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:5, 6). Walking together with God means intimacy and love, and these cannot exist between a man and God unless that man is saved by faith. Remember that Enoch was just like you and me. He was born a sinner, a descendant of Adam. Therefore he needed pardon and cleansing even as we do. No one can walk with God unless his sin is pardoned and he is justified by faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “without faith it is impossible to please” God. So by faith Enoch was made pleasing to God, even as we are today. If you want to walk with God, you must begin by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. The greatest saintliness must begin with confession of sin, and by taking hold of Christ by faith. The Scripture says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Colossians 2:6). We have seen many young people try to walk with God, but they have stumbled and failed because they had no real faith in Christ. By faith Enoch became pleasing to God, and by faith he walked with God – even in the sinful and demonic age before the Flood.

Then, too, Enoch’s walk with God meant that he realized the presence of God with him. You cannot walk with a person you don’t know personally. Enoch lived with a consciousness of God’s presence with him. This shows us that Enoch was a man of prayer. As he walked with God he spoke with God, as with a familiar friend. God has done so with many people since Enoch. God tells us His secret, the secret of the Lord, which He reveals only to those who love Him and know Him, and we tell Him our joys, our sorrows, and our sins in confession. We unload our fears and worries to the God who cares for us. And He gives us a sense of His love toward us. This is the way Enoch walked with God. And He didn’t just do that once in a while. He walked with God for three hundred years! What a wonderful walk! A walk of three hundred years! If Enoch had walked with anyone else that long, he might have gotten tired of him. But he walked with God for three centuries, and it was so wonderful that he kept on walking one day beyond time and space, until he walked into paradise, where he still walks on in the presence of God. Furthermore, he made progress as he walked. At the end of three hundred years he enjoyed more of God, he understood more, he loved more, he had received more, and he could give out more to others, because he had gone forward and had grown in grace. As Enoch pressed onward in his walk with God, so I pray that you will as well. Conversion is only the starting point of our walk with God! Begin your walk by trusting Christ, and continue your walk by daily prayer.

II. Second, Enoch spoke for God.

He not only walked with God, but he also spoke for God. Remember that Enoch lived in a very evil time. He lived when sin was beginning to cover the earth. It was not very long before God saw the corruption of mankind and swept all of them but Noah and his family from the face of the earth in the waters of the Flood. Enoch lived in a day when men mocked God and walked after their own lusts. We know that by reading about Enoch in the Book of Jude. Please turn to Jude, beginning with verse 14,

“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. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 14-19).

Enoch’s message to his generation was not a soft and comforting one. He spoke of judgment. Interestingly, he spoke of the Second Coming of Christ – way back then, before the Flood!

“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).

Wow! Luther said that Enoch had “great boldness in testifying for the Lord and His church against Satan’s church, and that of the Cainites” (Lenski). He peeled their hides with a message of God’s wrath, and the Second Coming of Christ! I think that’s what this generation needs to hear as well! They have heard sweet little talks from Joel Osteen, and men like that. I think they need a good strong dose of Enoch’s preaching in this ungodly age of Obama, divorce, free sex, abortion, food stamps, rock music and drugs!

“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all...” (Jude 14-15).

Don’t ever be afraid to bring a relative or friend to our church. Let them hear of the coming judgment. It will do them good! Often a sharp word is exactly what people need to shake them out of their lethargy, and the sleep of sin! By the way, are you ready for the coming judgment? Are you ready for the wrath of God and the judgment of Christ that is about to fall on our nation and our world? Are you ready? The Bible says, “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12). Are you prepared? What about your secret sins? What about your sinful thoughts? What about your repeated rejection of Christ? How can you stand before God with all that load of sin in your heart and mind? Enoch walked with God. Enoch spoke for God. But there is more.

III. Third, Enoch was raptured to be with God.

Please turn to Hebrews 11:5. Stand and read it 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” (Hebrews 11:5).

You may be seated. Back in Genesis we read,

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

“He was not; for God took him.” What did that mean? The answer is given in Hebrews 11:5, “Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him...” Again, as usual, the King James Bible is better than the modern versions. The New King James has it as, “he was taken away.” The NIV has it as, “was taken from this life.” But the Greek word literally means “to change, to transfer, to translate” (Fritz Reinecker, Ph.D., A Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, Zondervan Publishing House, 1980, p. 707; note on Hebrews 11:5).

Once again, to paraphrase Moody, “The King James Bible sheds a great deal of light on the modern versions!!” No, Enoch was not just “taken away.” He was “translated” from earth to Heaven! As Mr. Mencia and Mr. Song translate English to Spanish and Chinese, so Enoch was “translated” from this world into the Third Heaven, into another dimension, to be with God!

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

The Hebrew word translated “he was not” means “he was gone.” The word “took” in “for God took him” is “laqach.” It means “carried away” or “drawn away.” “It involves the same [Hebrew] word used in the translation of Elijah, II Kings 2:3, 5” (Lenski). “And Elijah went up by a whirlwind” (II Kings 2:11). “According to some Jewish traditions Enoch was taken to heaven the same way as Elijah. But this is only speculation since the Bible does not give us any details” (MacArthur).

One thing is certain – the translation of Enoch into Heaven is a type of the Rapture. It prefigures the time when real Christians will be taken up to Heaven at the end of this age. They will be carried up by God “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (I Corinthians 15:52). The Apostle Paul said,

“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).

These words are meant to give great comfort to real Christians. But they ought to strike terror in the hearts of you who are not saved.

I know that some people think a preacher shouldn’t frighten people with Bible prophecy. But I disagree. There are terrible threatenings all through the New Testament regarding Bible prophecy. For instance II Thessalonians says,

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints...in that day” (II Thessalonians 1:7-10).

And the Lord Jesus Christ warned that, at the Rapture,

“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’s the way it will be at the Rapture. If you are not ready the door will be “shut.” You can cry out, as the people in Noah’s day doubtlessly cried, and pounded on the door of the ark. But it will be too late for you, as it was for them. You will be left behind to go through unspeakable horrors on the earth. The sins of your heart and mind will condemn you. Your record must be cleansed of sin by Jesus’ Blood, or you have no hope of being raptured. No hope at all!

Back in the early 1970s young people in the church I started near San Francisco used to sing the song Mr. Griffith sang before this sermon. I altered just a few of the words to make it clearer,

Life was filled with guns and war,
   And everyone got trampled on the floor,
I wish we’d all been ready.
   Children died, the days grew cold,
A piece of bread would buy a bag of gold,
   I wish we’d all been ready.
There’s no time to change your mind,
   How could you have been so blind?
The Saviour called, but you declined,
   The Son has come and you’ve been left behind.

Man and wife asleep in bed,
   She hears a noise and turns her head – he’s gone.
I wish we’d all been ready.
   Two men walking up a hill,
One disappears and one’s left standing still,
   I wish we’d all been ready.
There’s no time to change your mind,
   How could you have been so blind?
The Saviour called, but you declined,
   The Son has come and you’ve been left behind,
You’ve been left behind,
   You’ve been left behind.
(“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” by Larry Norman, 1947-2008;
     altered by the Pastor).

You may say, “That frightens me!” Good! If it moves you to think about your sins and trust Christ, good! The great Reformer Luther (1483-1546) said,

It is necessary, if you would be converted, that you become terrified, that is, that you have an alarmed and trembling conscience. Then, after that condition has been created, you must grasp [Christ]. God...send His Son Jesus Christ into the world to proclaim to terrified sinners the mercy of God. This is the way conversion is brought about; other ways are wrong ways (Exposition of Psalm 51:13; A.D. 1532).

If your conscience is alarmed and terrified of your sin, I ask you to come to Jesus by faith, and be washed clean by His Blood. Amen.

If you would like to speak with us about Christ cleansing you from sin, please step to the back of the auditorium now, and Dr. Cagan will take you to a quiet place where we can talk about your salvation. Go quickly. Dr. Chan, please lead us in prayer.

(END OF SERMON)
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write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Kyu Dong Lee: Matthew 25:10-13.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” (by Larry Norman, 1947-2008;
altered by the Pastor).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE MESSAGE OF ENOCH

(SERMON #67 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).

(Genesis 6:5; Matthew 24:37)

I.   First, Enoch walked with God, Genesis 5:21-23; Hebrews 11:5, 6;
Colossians 2:6.

II.  Second, Enoch spoke for God, Jude 14-19; Amos 4:12.

III. Third, Enoch was raptured to be with God, Hebrews 11:5;
Genesis 5:24; II Kings 2:11; I Corinthians 15:52;
I Thessalonians 4:16-17; II Thessalonians 1:7-10;
Matthew 25:10-13.