(Due to Technical Difficulties No Audio for this Sermon)
Intro: Review our theme for 2010: Faith from several angles; faith in the lives of God’s people – Heroes of faith’ had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
- Jude 14-15 – 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Enoch’s faith, as Abel’s , included the willingness to worshipped God correctly, and approach God through the efficacy of sacrifice. In Gen. 4:26, Moses tells us that beginning with the lineage of Seth, men “began to call on the name of the Lord”. Enoch learned about God and obedience from his father and those before him. His faith, just as Abel’s faith, was born through “hearing the word of God”.
But in the list of ancestry beginning in Gen. 5, Enoch stands out. The repetitive phrases contained in these verses are intentional and instructive. They all lived so many years, begat sons and daughters, and then they died.
- Vs. 5 – So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.
- Vs. 8 – So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.
- Vs. 11 – So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died.
- Vs. 14 – So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died. And on and on it goes. The impact of sin was taking its toll on every person, every generation.
- Until we read about Enoch in Vs. 24 – And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
I. Enoch “did not see death” – From the words of Gen. 4 alone we might be left to wonder about Enoch. But Hebrews 11 explains the words of Genesis. God took Enoch so that he “did not see death”. (v. 5)
A. I am convinced that God took Him straight to heaven to be with Him. He did not have to experience death or reside in Hades (the realm of the dead, or grave). Some translations use the word “translated” to describe what happened here (ASV). He was translated (moved, changed position) from earth to God (Taken away – Heb. 11:5; God took him –Gen. 5:24) (Elijah was also taken by God)
II. Enoch “pleased God” – His translation is clear evidence that God was pleased with Enoch. The writer of Hebrews is telling us that it was his faith that made him pleasing to God. It was “by faith” that he was taken away, or his faith was rewarded by his translation.
A. But notice vs. 5 again – “For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” (Hebrews 11:5 –NIV) This record in Hebrews is its own testimony to Enoch’s faith. But the writer is implying that Enoch’s entire life was characterized by a faith that was pleasing to God.
B. He goes on to say that faith (such as Enoch had) is essential to pleasing God. There is nothing that we can do in response to God that has any value apart from faith. He is not impressed with our religious heritage or ancestry. He cannot be bribed or wooed with our gifts. We must rely upon Him and obey Him – “Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
III. The Character of Enoch’s Faith: Enoch did not have a funeral, but if he had, what would have been said about him? The Bible does not give us a lot of particulars, but Heb. 11:6 mentions 2 essential components of faith that pleases God.
A. Enoch believed that God is: The first step of faith is simply to believe that He is. This Enoch did. It is absolutely essential that we are convicted concerning God’s existence. This conviction alone is not enough to save us, but without it we will be lost.
1. This faith is in the true God who reveals Himself to us. It is not simply believing a higher power exists; a “man upstairs”, or a force of nature. It is belief in the existence of the God of Scripture.
2. Besides the clear import of scripture, there is much evidence for the existence of God. Recognize first that God cannot be scientifically proven – we cannot know Him by sight, but only by faith. “No man has seen God at any time,” Jesus said (John 1:18). There is no experiment that will prove that God exists. We cannot go back to the beginning and recreate how it all began. But you cannot scientifically prove Julius Caesar existed either, for the same reason.
3. Yet many things learned from science give evidence of God’s existence.
- The law of cause and effect holds that for every cause there must be an effect. If you keep looking back for causes, eventually you will end up with an uncaused cause. The only un-caused cause is God. “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God” (3:4).
- The law of entropy says the universe is running down. If it is running down, then it is not self-sustaining. If it is not self-sustaining, then it had to have a beginning. If it had a beginning, someone had to begin it, and we are back to the uncaused cause. God alone qualifies.
- The law of design also indicates that God is. When we look at the intricacy of our world we see unmistakable design. Everything works together, keeps its place and runs on time.
- Water has a high specific heat, which is absolutely essential to stabilize chemical reactions within the human body. If water had a low specific heat, we would boil over with the least activity. Without this property of water, human and most animal life would hardly be possible.
- The ocean is the world’s thermostat. It takes a large loss of heat for water to go from liquid to ice, and a large intake of heat for water to become steam. The oceans are a cushion against the heat of the sun and the freezing blasts of winter. Unless the temperatures of the earth’s surface were modulated by the ocean and kept within certain limits, we would either be cooked to death or frozen to death. How could such intricate, exacting, and absolutely necessary design come about by accident?
- The size of the earth is perfect. If it were much smaller, there would be no atmosphere to sustain life. (like the moon or Mars) If it were much larger, the atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, as do Jupiter and Saturn, which also prevents life.
- The earth’s distance from the sun is absolutely right. Even a small change would make it too hot or too cold. The tilt of the earth’s axis ensures the seasons. And so it goes.
4. Reason or philosophy cannot prove God as well. But there is evidence within for God’s existence.
- Man is a personal, conscious, rational, creative, and volitional being. It seems reasonable that he was created by a personal, conscious, rational, creative, and volitional Creator. It is more reasonable than to think that he developed from unconscious slime.
- Man is also universally God-conscious. Not every man believes in a god, but that does not disprove his nature. (a one legged man does not disprove that men are by nature 2-legged.) The fact that a man can conceive of God suggests that someone has given the possibility of such conception and that there is someone who corresponds to this conception.
- But the believer understands God’s existence by faith. He is convicted by the testimony of scripture, as God has revealed Himself therein. “Faith comes by hearing the word of God.”
B. Enoch believed that God rewards those who seek Him. (11:6) Albert Einstein once said, “Certainly there is a God. Any man who doesn’t believe in a cosmic force is a fool, but we could never know Him.” Brilliant as he was, Einstein was wrong. God can be known. God must be known. We must know God as a personal, loving, gracious God (not just a cosmic force).
1. Enoch believed in and knew God in a personal, loving way. For 300 years he had fellowship Him, and sought to know Him better.
a. God seeks to be found. David said to his son Solomon, “If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
- Prov. 8:17 – those who diligently seek me will find me”
- Jer. 29:13 – “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”
- Jesus was very explicit: “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened” (Luke 11:10).
b. We must believe He rewards those who seek Him. Heaven is our ultimate reward. But consider –
- “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt 6:33). Every good thing that God has, including eternal life, is the reward for our faith. For faith we receive forgiveness, a new heart, eternal life, joy, peace, love, heaven — everything! When we become mutual heirs with Him. All that God’s own Son has is ours as well.
III. Enoch walked with God – Twice in Gen. 5 Enoch is described as “walking with God.” In the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) this phrase is translated “pleased God,” using the same Greek word (“to be well-pleasing”) that is used twice in Heb 11:5-6. Walking with God is pleasing God.
A. “Walking is often used to denote faithful living.
- “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, … so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4).
- “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
- “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith” (Col 2:6-7).
- New Testament describes walking with God in many ways. As we walk with Him we walk in truth (1 John 2; in the Spirit (Rom. 8:4); in love (Eph 5:2); in light (Eph. 5:8) and in wisdom (Eph 5:15).
B. How could Enoch walk with God? What does it imply about him?
1. He was right with God – forgiven: “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” – Amos 3:3, NIV). Only when sin has been dealt with can we move into God’s presence and begin walking with Him. God will not walk in any way but the way of holiness. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7)
2. He was surrendered to God’s will: Walking with God implies a surrendered will. God does not force His company on anyone. He only offers Himself and those who come to Him choose to come. It means to want what God wants above all else – To trust always in His ways & choices.
a. The New Testament refers to this sort of living as walking in the Spirit. As we live continually by the Spirit’s power, direction, and teaching we produce the fruit of this walk in the Spirit : “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23).
- “To walk with God is to set God always before us, and to act as those that are always under his eye. It is to live a life of communion with God both in ordinances and providences. It is to make God’s word our rule and his glory our end in all our actions. It is to make it our constant care and endeavour in every thing to please God, and nothing to offend him. It is to comply with his will, to concur with his designs, and to be workers together with him”. (from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
b. If we want to know how to walk, we need simply to look at Jesus. From childhood He was continually about His Father’s business, and only His Father’s business. He constantly walked with God. – “Not as I will, but as You Will”
3. He was obedient to God’s commands: True faith is characterized by obedience. Although we do not read specifically about Enoch’s acts of obedience to God, Noah was also described as one who walked with God (Gen 6:9), and it was clearly his consistent obedience that pleased God.
a. Enoch also preached what God wanted him to preach. Jude 14-15 – 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
b. We only learn of Enoch’s prophesying in the book of Jude. He spoke against the ungodliness of his day. We do not know how effective he was, but his purpose was to please God, not men; to be faithful, nor effective. No doubt he was opposed and persecuted. I believe God was pleased with Enoch because his faith was not just something he felt in his heart. It was heard on his lips and seen in his life. His faith was active and dynamic, vocal and fearless.
Conclusion: after three hundred years of believing and walking and preaching, he went to be with the Lord . He walked so closely with God for so long that he just walked into heaven. (Perhaps God wanted to spare him further ridicule and persecution; , or because God wanted to be even closer to the one who pleased Him so much) “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones” (Ps 116:15).
- Enoch presents the picture of fellowship as God, our Creator, intended it. Adam and Eve walked with God in the beginning, but their sin broke that fellowship. As Cain represents those who continue to move away from God (go from His presence) so Enoch represents those who come back to Him and walk with Him once again. In Enoch the true destiny of man is again reached, as he experienced the fellowship with God that Adam and Eve had forfeited.
- In the unique way that God exhibited that He was pleased with Enoch’s faith, He prefigures the destiny of those who are faithful to Him and alive when he returns.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.