If God were to tell you that on a particular day when a certain event was to take place His judgment was to fall upon this planet; and when that happened, it would be too late for multitudes that had rejected "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), what would you do? What kind of impression would it have on your mind and heart? Do you think that it would change your life? Could it cause you to examine your relationship with "the living and true God" and subsequently, turn "to God from idols" (whatever they might be) "to serve him" while you "wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (1 Thess.1:9,10)? Or, would a message such as this, as we say, "go in one ear, and go out the other"? It saddens me to think that many professing Christians have the attitude of indifference with respect to the Lord Jesus coming back on a certain day, that when He comes back "as a thief in the night" (5:2), tragically they'll find out that they hadn't been WALKING WITH GOD as Enoch was in their profession of faith!
Enoch as set before us as an example of a believer walking by, or in, faith with his God. In fact, he is a member of Faith's Hall Of Fame as we read in Heb.11:5,6. So it would be to our benefit to consider this man's faith, because this is the only kind of faith that assures us of at least three things: One, That we can please God in our Christian walk (v.6); and Two, That we will be in heaven with our God (v.5); but also Three, That there is a coming judgment and, so we need to prepare for that (Jude 14,15). Above all, beloved, may "the God of all grace" (1 Pet.5:10), who "delighteth in mercy" (Mic.7:18), be pleased to use the faith of Enoch as a stimulus to renew and strengthen our faith, that in spite of so much unbelief and unfaithfulness around us, we will persevere walking with our God; no matter what it might cost us! Amen!!!
Now, in Genesis 5:18-24, we read of Enoch's birth, his life and walk with God, the birth of his son Methuselah, (which was connected with his walk with God), and that he did not experience physical death because God took him to heaven. Of course, to understand more about Enoch, it's necessary to also read Hebrews 11:5,6 and Jude 14,15. Perhaps there might be some that would say that Enoch's life was very rare and unusual so that we might excuse ourselves if we're not walking with God as Enoch was, but if you consider what the Scriptures say about him (even though there is not very many references), yet Enoch was no more different than you and I. Just as it is said that "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are" (Jam.5:17), so it can be said of Enoch. In other words, Enoch was a man of flesh and blood, he was born a sinner as we are but saved by grace, he had the same temptations and trials that we experience also, etc., so we can't be justified in saying that we can't walk with God as Enoch did. On the contrary, we will find out that Enoch was a type of every true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; and so his faith is "according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness" (Tit.1:1). May this be your faith!!!
As we consider our text, let us make the following observations: First, there was something that Enoch found out that caused him to make a 180 degree turn and start walking with God; Secondly, that this walk with God was such that it definitely pleased God so that; Thirdly, God just took him into heaven so that Enoch would be with Him. Oh, would it please this same God to work in us this same conviction so we can truly start to walk with our "great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Tit.2:13) as Enoch did! Do you desire that with all of your heart? My prayer is that you do!!!
I. WHAT CAUSED ENOCH TO WALK WITH GOD?
First, note that Enoch wasn't walking with God before the birth of Methuselah; for v.22 says that "Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah". That means that Enoch was living for self, sin, and the world, i.e. just like any lost sinner does. As far as he was concerned, God had no place in his life; or as "the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Ps.14:1) ; for "God is not in all his thoughts" (10.4b). Most probably, Enoch had "religion", i.e. he had a "natural" belief of God; for if you go back to when Enos, the son of Seth, who was the third son of Adam, was born, "then began men to call upon the name of the LORD" (Gen.4:26c); but that's all it was, because he sure didn't have a personal and intimate relationship with God. Isn't this so true of multitudes today, including religious people; and even professing Christians___ Their walk in life manifests a disregard for God and His claims upon them; they're not concern for His glory or pleasing Him: All they care is to please themselves and have "a good time" in this life; and as far as they are concerned, they don' t even think of a Judgment Day!!! What about you? Do you know that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor.5:10); or do you think "that thou shalt escape the judgment of God" (Rom.2:3)?
But Secondly, we note that Enoch did start to walk "with God after he begat Methuselah" (v.22). The question is, Why? What was it about Methuselah's birth that could cause such a change of life in Enoch? Many are the questions that could be asked, but let us compare the meaning of Methuselah with what Jude says Enoch was doing after he started to walk with God. Methuselah means "man of a missile of attack"; and then when you compare it with Jude 14,15, you can see that Enoch was prophesying of the coming judgment of God upon the world. Because Methuselah also has the meaning of an adult's full length of life, Enoch understood that as soon as Methuselah died, God's judgment would fall down upon them as "a missile of attack". Of course, Enoch didn't know how long Methuselah was going to live. This, I believe, God of the riches of His grace, used to convict Enoch of his sins and the danger that he was in if he didn't repent and turn to Him. That Enoch did repent and believe is evident because he now was WALKING WITH GOD!
Oh, the hardness of man's heart! Today you can tell people that there's a Judgment Day coming "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven (as a missile of attack) 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" (2 Thess.1:7-9), but instead of turning with "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21), they think they can wait to the very last minute! Oh, how deceived they are! May God, of His grace, have mercy upon anyone that is not ready for when "Methuselah" dies; for then it will too late for YOU!!!
II. HOW DID ENOCH PLEASE GOD?
Religion has a system whereby they try to please their God by the things they do, or they don't do. Even within today's professing Christianity, there are multitudes that actually "believe" that the things they do, or don't do, will please God and subsequently, He will accept them as righteous in order to save them from their sins and take them to heaven. But what's tragic of this "Christianity" is that they are making salvation dependent on their "works", ignoring that throughout the Holy Scriptures it is made clear that "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works" (whatever you do or don't do), "lest any man should boast" (Eph.2:8,9). So, then, how does one please God? How did Enoch please God?
First, note that our text says that “Enoch walked with God” (v.24); and Heb.11:5 confirms that “he pleased God”. But what was Enoch doing that it pleased God so? Was it because he was doing this, or doing that; or that he wasn’t doing this or not doing that? NO! NO! NO! Although it is true that Enoch was doing certain things, or not doing certain things, yet what pleased God of Enoch was that he was walking by faith; for “without faith it is impossible to please him” (v.6). Oh, how we need to learn, that if we want to please God in our lives, we are to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7); for “true faith” is ONLY “looking unto Jesus” (Heb.12:2), and not to ourselves. I fear that too many that profess the Name of Christ have a “faith” (?) that looks at themselves, to what they’re doing or not doing, to what they “see” or “feel”, etc.; so their faith is not “persuasion”, but presumption on their part.
So, secondly, consider the faith of Enoch that pleased God, and thereby we can prove ourselves if we have “the same spirit of faith, according as it is written” (2 Cor.4:13). As we do so, may the Lord be pleased to confirm to our hearts that “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal.2:20).
1. Enoch’s faith was one that “believed” God, i.e. he believed the message of judgment that God gave him by the birth of Methuselah and this brought him to start walking with God. Therefore, true faith is “believing” God, what He says, whether by promise or warning, and to respond to it; as in 1 Thess 2:13 - “When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe”.
2. Furthermore, Enoch’s faith was such that now he was “trusting God”; for now Enoch was “relying” only on his God to save and protect him from the coming Judgment, which is brought out by him walking with God. Many may claim to “believe” on the Lord Jesus Christ, yet their walk indicates the contrary; for they are not trusting Him for their all; or as Col.2:6 tells us - “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord”, i.e. by faith, “so walk ye in him” by trusting Him.
3. Also, Enoch’s faith included loving His God; “for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Heb.11:5). Walking with God means there is a personal and intimate relationship with Him; and when you have this, you can be sure you WILL love God and want to please Him in all things. “But faith which worketh by love” (Gal.5:6) is that faith which pleases God; so if you have Enoch’s faith, you WILL love your God and please Him in all things. Is this true of you?
4. Then, Enoch’s faith was one of serving his God; for we are told in Jude 14,15 that he was a prophet of God. It is impossible for one to believe God, trust God, and to love God, and then not to serve God. We can believe that when Enoch had this encounter with God, his language was as Paul’s: “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do”? (Acts 9;6). Yes, his faith was one that “worketh by love”. Has your “faith” turned you “to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess.1:9)?
Note, then, that Enoch’s faith was not one that was dead and passive; on the contrary, it was very much alive and active. This is the only kind of faith that will please God; for it will give testimony, not only to the holiness, righteousness, and truthfulness of God, but also to His grace, mercy, and love; and this can only be true as we WALK WITH GOD!!!
III. WHAT DID GOD DO WITH ENOCH?
Of course, Gen.5:24 tells us that “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”; and Heb.11:5 says that “Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him”. In other words, God took Enoch to heaven; and we can believe that it was because Enoch so pleased God. But the question would arise: Why? Consider the following___
First, note that it is said “Enoch walked with God…three hundred years” (v.22). What does that say but that Enoch had constant and unbroken fellowship with his God; for “can two walk together, except they be agreed” (Amos 3:3)? From conversion until God took him to heaven, Enoch walked by faith, pleasing God. This tells us, then, that this is the only kind of faith that will keep us walking with Jesus from conversion to glorification; for if we are not walking with the Lord here on earth, for sure we won’t be with the Lord in heaven.
Secondly, we are told that God took Enoch into heaven, thereby assuring us of the eternal security of the believer. Nothing is mentioned of Enoch’s “works”, but that “by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death” (Heb.11:5). In spite of temptations and trials, that every believer goes through, as we can believe that Enoch experienced, absolutely nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.8:39); for we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Pet.1: 5).
Thirdly, in God taking Enoch into heaven guarantees that He has power over death. Heb.9:27 says that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”, but Enoch did “not see death”, because God took him into heaven before dying. Oh, to know that death no longer has any power over the believer; for Christ 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. Believest thou this?” (Jn.11:25,26)! Yes, because the promise by our Savior is: “Because I live, ye shall live also” (14:19).
Fourthly, we know then, by Enoch being taken into heaven by God, we also that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, will one glorious day be gathered up together to be with our Lord and Savior forever and ever because He promised He was coming back to take us home, as we read in John 14:2,3 - “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you so. I go to prepare a place for you. And if go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. Is this the hope of your faith?
Note, then, that Enoch’s faith was not in vain; for God took him to be with Him in heaven. So you, beloved of the Lord, “greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet.1:6-9).
1. God has given each one of us a “Methuselah”; and that is the end of our lives. In the meantime, we have heard the message of salvation, but also of coming judgment. Are we going to do what Enoch did and start WALKING WITH GOD? God “now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30,31).
2. Although we might not walk 300 years with the Lord as Enoch did, yet that doesn’t lessen our responsibility to walk by faith pleasing God. In fact, we have a greater responsibility; for now we have been given all of God in His Son Jesus Christ; “for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Lu.12:48). Yes, we have every reason to be pleasing God as we walk by faith, which will bring great reward to those that do so!
3. Finally, consider what is your hope. If you have turned to God with repentance of your sins and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, where will you spend eternity? Don’t you think it’s more than what you deserve; for if it wasn’t of God’s grace given you in behalf of Jesus Christ, you would be on the way to hell, lost forever in torments for your sins. Yes, consider the Blood of the Lamb of God shed on Calvary’s Cross for your sins, and the empty Tomb that proves you have been made accepted in the Beloved, and you have every reason to WALK WITH GOD.
Is this true of you? If not, may the Lord speak to your heart by the birth of Methuselah!!!