Enoch Walked with God (Hebrews 11)
1. Good morning. Wow! This is one beautiful church. I wish we had these back in my day. Look, you even have a roof in case it starts to rain during services. We always got soaked! Oh, where are my manners? I oughta introduce myself. My name's Enoch. You heard about me in the reading earlier, but it was extremely short. I mean, I get just a handful of verses in the Bible that say anything about me. Let's see ... what do they say about me? Oh yes! I'm the son of Jared, father of Methusaleh and the sixth generation from Adam. I lived on earth for three hundred sixty-five years. I had lived to see my grandchildren born and my great-great-great-great-grandfather pass away. I understand that many of you have lived to see grandchildren born. How many of you even know your great-great-great-great-grandfather's name much less seen him alive? It was a very long life that I had, but I think there could have been more written about me. I'm not saying that God didn't know what He was doing when He told Moses to write what he did. After all, Moses only had so much papyrus in which to cover over 1500 years of history between the birth of Seth and the Flood. I can understand him not wanting to just go on and on. Speaking of that, I should probably get to the point. What can you learn from my story? What can old Enoch tell you that would be useful to you?
2. First, I guess I'll talk about seeing death and not seeing death. That seems to be what I'm most famous for. After all, I'm roughly fifty-five hundred years old right now. What can you learn from someone who never died? That you can get REALLY old. As I said, I spent three hundred sixty-five years on this beautiful planet of ours and then I was taken away. I have to admit that it was one of the scariest moments in my life. Probably right after seeing that after nine hundred thirty years God's promise to our forefather Adam finally came true. It was one thing to know that death COULD happen. Adam would gather us around every few days and tell us stories about living in the Garden. Yeah, he talked about it. He didn't really have a choice. Any child in the family who'd go out to draw water would see this wondrous Garden being guarded by a rotating flaming sword and wonder what it was. Adam was gracious and admitted his and Eve's mistakes in the Garden. He told us of the promise that God had made that he would die because of his sin. He told us the story about how his first son Cain killed his second son Abel. He told us how glad he was when our forefather Seth was born to replace Abel. Seth would kinda blush every time the story was told. He didn't like being referred to as a 'replacement' very often, but he still had great respect for his deceased brother. But none of us had really been brought face-to-face with death. We heard about a few unfortunate souls who were mauled by animals while out searching for firewood or clearing out a field for farming. These deaths were rare, but we all saw Adam die right in front of us. We knew that God's promise was true: "You will surely die" (Genesis 2:17). For the first time, we were truly face-to-face with the reality of our sin. We knew that each one of us would face the same fate because we were born and conceived in sin. But I didn't. What was special about me? Nothing. God wanted to show His mercy so He spared me from death.
3. As I said, it was a scary moment. One minute I'm in what you now call Tennessee, fishing for supper. The next minute I was in Heaven. Took me a minute to get my bearings and then I had this hand on my shoulder. I turned around and a voice said, "You done good, Enoch." Then I saw this other feller. He wasn't quite like me, but sorta. God told me this was His Son--the promised Savior of the world. The one Adam had told us about. The one that each one of us had hoped we could bring into the world. I thought Methusaleh might be the Savior, but I was wrong. God said, "YOU're thinking WAY too small, Enoch. Just like everyoneelse. You see, when Adam gave birth to Seth and Seth to Enosh and every other generation down to even you, you were all born in the image of Adam. You're all sinful human beings. There's no way a SAvior can come from that line. The Savior was always to be the Son of God. The Savior was always one not born of man, but of a virgin." I thought, "Wow! Pretty neat!."
4. So I asked the inevitable question: "What am I doing here?" God said, "You done good." What does that mean? God said, "You believed. You walked uprightly. And, most of all, you were well-pleasing to Me. You believed the stories that Adam told. You believe that you are a sinner. You believe that I am sending a Savior. You believe that He would bring you here. I brought you here a little early." I was dumb-founded. Can you imagine, being told that you were in Heaven simply because you believed? I mean, I guess that Hebrews feller got it right when he wrote, "By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God took him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God" (v5).
5. So that you don't think I have a swelled head about me, I'd like to show you the next verse: "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him" (v6). That's it. I pleased God just because I had faith. I had faith in His promises. I had faith in the stories that had been handed down from the generations before me. I had faith in the Savior that would come later. I had faith. That's why I was in Heaven. Because "without faith it is impossible to please [God]". If you don't believe He exists, how can that be pleasing to God?
6. So there I was in Heaven. I was there because I pleased God. All because I had faith. So that faith that brought me here today. To help you. What can you learn? God rewards the faithful. God rewards those who believe in Him. God rewards those who believe in His Son, whom He sent into the world. To give His life as a substitute for yours. The one who took your place, dying the death that you deserve and that I deserved. So that you, like me, don't have to face death. Yes, you will leave this earth. We do go into the grave. Well, you do, I won't. But that death is not only this physical death. The physical death Satan spoke to Adam about. "You won't die. It'll be YEARS and YEARS before you die." Nine hundred thirty actually. But God was talking about spiritual death--being cast into Hell for your sins. That's the death God spoke to Adam about in the Garden. That's the death you deserve. That's the death I deserved. But by faith in Jesus Christ, we are delivered from that death by His suffering and death on the Cross. His death makes it to where you can be like Old Enoch and be alive forever. In the name of Jesus. Amen.