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Friday, May 8, 2009

Sermon on Enoch

I have preached the following sermon twice in recent months. The material towards the end is from Mark Finley's seminar. I would love to preach it again using the Hebrews text as the key text and focus only on righteousness by faith.

574: O Master let me walk with thee
108: Amazing Grace
Genesis 5:21-24
Hebrews 11:5,6
*The story of Shay, sacrifice for joy of one disabled little boy to have a happy day. Character, love.
People can be noble and loving. The story of Enoch reminds us that we can cultivate a noble character by the grace of God.

Enoch did not die. He walked with God so much one day God said just come over my house and don’t bother to go back to earth.
Translated = changed from mortal to immortal and taken to heaven. Only one other human being on this planet it happened to and that was Elijah the prophet.
Scripture teach that Moses died and experienced a special resurrection, a first fruit of those righteous who will be resurrected at the last day.

Enoch. What a life it was.
Enoch walked with faith
Enoch walked with holiness
Enoch walked with God
In the lawless and decadent age in which we live we often wonder if the Son of man will find faith when He comes. Will we and our children be able to walk in faith, holiness, and righteousness before God at the end of the ages?
I give you today the testimony of Enoch

I. Enoch was translated because by the grace of God he walked with faith
He lived just like us in a rapidly growing ungodly population. While the world wicked majority had no use for God, Enoch walked with faith in God.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is substance of unseen. Evidence. Believe. God is and a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
God who reveals Himself to us through word
Nature still occluded by thorns and thistles glorious sunset, and rippling streams and red roses that remind us of beauty of Creation week.

Faith he who will live Godly will suffer persecution.
Faith enduring faith that says hold on this is darkest hour is just before dawn.

Faith that says though all men should forsake thee by thy grace I’ll follow thee.
Faith that wrestle like Jacob and say I will nor let thee go unless you bless me.
Faith that says when the going gets tough the tough gets going on his knees. Claim promises of Lord Almighty.
Faith is best formed in the fires of affliction, distress, and struggle.

With this kind of Enoch faith lay hold of grace of God we are able to resist temptation.

*Story of visiting a metallurgical workshop and supervisor kept going from furnace to furnace and asked what are you doing. Heat the furnace and know the silver is pure when see my face reflected in it. Jesus will keep allowing heat to turn up until we reflect His character inn our daily relations for he is looking for holiness in our lives.

II. Secondly, Enoch was translated because by the grace of God he walked with holiness.
Enoch’s life showed that it was possible to keep God’s commands and resist temptation, even in a world of corruption and rebellion.

A. The decision begins in the mind.
B. Little actions that count, lets get them right in the spirit of the law.
C. Willpower is important but willpower alone can’t do it, we need to lay hold of God’s enabling grace.
a. Grace gives pardon
b. Grace also gives power. Holy Spirit power.
c. KEN MCFARLAND in his book The Called the Chosen puts it this way “since the virus of sin – of selfishness- will always lurk inside us here on earth, not to be removed till Christs second coming, we will always need twofold grace.” P.37.

John Newton: A wretched slave ship captain driven to his knees after a violent storm in which he asked jesus for rescue felt love of Jesus and the recognition of his sin in face of such awesome love eventually wrote:
108: Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

John Newton gave his heart to jesus and became a preacher of the gospel.
Grace is available.
And remember that God will not allow you to be tempted more than you can bear.

Song says He will never
Put more on you
Can you can bear.

So what ever comes remember you can be pure
You can be holy
You can obey
Claim the presence of His Holy spirit
For he never put more on you
Never, Never Put more on you
Than you can bear
(But there's more)

III. Thirdly, Enoch was translated because by the grace of God Enoch walked with God.
* Psalm 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in counsel of unGodly….

A. Enoch demonstrated that there is a way to walk with God.
i. Walked by faith and not by sight, for all around Enoch was evil, but he kept on keeping company with God.
ii. Walk after the spirit. A spiritual walk. Associate with God. Take time for Jesus, He took time for you.
Prayer. Meditation.
God wants to pour his love into you and a bigger vision of your calling.
*Story of plane spreading fertiliser. Bought by pilot. Fly. See what plane can do. Higher heights. Gods ideal for His children.
Enoch blessed with spirit of prophecy.
Through holy angels God revealed to Enoch His purpose to destroy the world by a flood, and He also opened more fully to him the plan of redemption. By the spirit of prophecy He carried him down through the generations that should live after the Flood, and showed him the great events connected with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. {Patriarchs and Prophets 85.5}

Jude 14, 15.
iii. Walk of obedience.
iv. Walk of love.
1. Let’s talk about love. Esteeming and placing great affection on something or someone. Love can change you. Love ennobles you. Love is kind. Love suffers long.
2. Romantic love, brotherly love. Godly love. Great virtues of love faith and grace combine in heart of righteous.
3. Love for child Methuselah awakened noble virtues in heart of Enoch, love of God and appreciation of God love for him we are all Gods children
“ But after the birth of his first son, Enoch reached a higher experience; he was drawn into a closer relationship with God. He realized more fully his own obligations and responsibility as a son of God. And as he saw the child's love for its father, its simple trust in his protection; as he felt the deep, yearning tenderness of his own heart for that first-born son, he learned a precious lesson of the wonderful love of God to men in the gift of His Son, and the confidence which the children of God may repose in their heavenly Father. The infinite, unfathomable love of God through Christ became the subject of his meditations day and night; and with all the fervor of his soul he sought to reveal that love to the people among whom he dwelt.”
God in the family what a happy home
Christian home great witness for gospel. Pray for one another to have happy loving homes.
v. Walk of faith is a walk of witness for God in every sphere of life.
Enoch's walk with God was not in a trance or vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had a work to do for God in the world. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of the Lord. {PP 85.1}

“O master let me walk with thee as Enoch walk in days of old…..
B. The amazing story of Enoch gives us hope to prepare for the final crisis because it demonstrates that there is a reward for whose who walk with God.
a. Righteous have a final reward and wicked a final punishment.
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8. For three hundred years Enoch had been seeking purity of soul, that he might be in harmony with Heaven. For three centuries he had walked with God. Day by day he had longed for a closer union; nearer and nearer had grown the communion, until God took him to Himself. He had stood at the threshold of the eternal world, only a step between him and the land of the blest; and now the portals opened, the walk with God, so long pursued on earth, continued, and he passed through the gates of the Holy City--the first from among men to enter there.
{PP 87.3}

…As Enoch was translated to heaven before the destruction of the world by water, so the living righteous will be translated from the earth before its destruction by fire. Says the apostle: "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God;" "the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." "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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. {PP 88.3}
Jesus said:
Notice carefully: every human being will be resurrected or awakened from sleep at one of the two resurrections. Jesus’ words are clear. “All who are in the graves shall hear His voice.” Then our Lord describes the two resurrections: 1) The resurrection of life, 2) The resurrection of condemnation. Revelation 20:6 says, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.”
Two things are taught here. By identifying this as the first resurrection, God lets us know there will be a second one. And, by specifying that those raised in the first resurrection are the faithful dead, the blessed and holy, we also learn that the rest of the dead, the unfaithful, are raised at some later time.
What happens to those who rise in the first resurrection? Let’s read on in verse 6: “Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
The story of faithful Enoch shows us persuades us, inspires us with hope for about believers who are living when Christ comes. The Bible tells us that when Jesus returns, the dead in Christ are resurrected first and caught up to meet him in the sky. The living righteous are changed, transformed and they also rise up to meet Christ. Paul gives us a wonderful assurance:
“We shall all be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
But when we look up and see Jesus coming, we’ll be changed in an instant, transformed in a moment. New life will pulsate through our bodies with incredible energy and vitality! We rise up into the air toward a glorious destiny with our Redeemer.
But what about the wicked? What about the unrighteous who rejected God’s love?
Those are the people described in Revelation 6:15-17. They pray for the rocks to fall on them. They look up and don’t see a Savior; they only see wrath, the face of a disappointed Father, grieving over the fate of rebellious children. That’s what fear and guilt and rebellion do to people. They see the Lamb of God coming and think they’re seeing a lion.
These are people God wanted to save. These are people for whom Christ died. But they just didn’t respond to His appeals. They refused to be rescued. They refused to accept the message of salvation.
Tragically enough, many people find the Good News not to be good news at all. Paul writes:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
It’s the same message, but it is received very differently depending on a person’s response to God’s appeals. To some it’s just a foolish old myth and fails to awaken their interest. To others it is accepted as the power of God—and becomes just that! It’s not that God gives good news to some and bad news to others. No, He presents grace to every human being, just as his sunshine and rain come on the just and the unjust. But unless we accept the gospel, it won’t be the good news for us. If we pass it off as a useless fairy tale; the coming reality will be horrible indeed!
What’s happening here on earth while the righteous are reigning with Christ for a thousand years?
Here is how John described it:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:1, 2).
This period is called “the millennium.” The word “millennium” comes from the Latin. It literally is “millo” 1000 and “annum” years, or “1000 years.” This word is not found in the Bible but used to describe the 1000 years here mentioned in Revelation 20:1. During this time Satan is bound in a bottomless pit.
Why? What does this mean?
The Greek word translated here as “bottomless pit” is “abussos”. We get our English word abyss from it. “Abussos” means without form and void. It’s what was described in Genesis 1:1, 2:
“In the beginning the earth was without form and void.”
Jeremiah adds:
“And the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth” (Jeremiah 25:33).
If Satan is alive throughout these 1000 years, how is he “bound” (Revelation 20:2)? What does that mean?
Remember that Revelation is a book of symbols. John is depicting the earth to be a terrible prison for Satan. He is bound by a chain of circumstances. That’s what ties him up securely.
All the righteous have gone to heaven. All the wicked have been struck dead. In other words, no one left for Satan to tempt! There is no one left for him to manipulate and deceive.
This earth will become like a bottomless pit for Satan. In the wreckage of the planet, one principle is echoed over and over: the wages of sin is death. And looking on, the whole universe will bear witness to the terrible truth of those words. He is now confronted with the horrible results of rebellion.
But what will the righteous be doing? Remember Revelation 20:6. Those who rose in the first resurrection will be priests of God and reign with him for a thousand years.
Think about being with Christ during the millennium. It will be inexpressibly wonderful. But you’ll also have a lot of questions. You may wonder why a loved one isn’t there. You may not understand why a friend—who seemed like such a good person—wasn’t saved.
Guess what? Our gracious God is going to answer all of our questions. We’ll be able to review God’s decisions.
Look at Revelation 20:4, where John is speaking of the redeemed during the millennium:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them.”
We know that God is the ultimate judge. Only the all-knowing God can preside over the heavenly courts. But, in some sense, judgment will also be given to the redeemed. Revelation 20:12 says that “the books were opened.” The redeemed now in heaven will then be allowed to look over heaven’s records; it’s a kind of a judicial review.
Remember how Paul stated it:
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? . . . Do you know that we shall judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3).
We’ll be looking over the cases of people who have been lost.
This implies that one day we will fully understand why it was impossible for God to save some people. This happens during the millennium. We may not on our own, understand why this person or that person didn’t make it. But God can show us why. He can show us all the ways he tried to win this person, all the ways he tried to enable love to break through. He can show us what was really in people’s hearts, things that people kept hidden so well.
At the end of that period of judicial review, we are going to fall at God’s feet and proclaim that God is just and fair. The redeemed will sing: “Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments” (Revelation 16:7).
During the millennium all your questions will be answered—questions about other people, questions about your own life.
Now let’s look at what happens at the end of the millennium, the end of the thousand years.
John wrote:
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth” (Revelation 20:7, 8).
“But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).
As we noted earlier, “the rest of the dead” are the wicked dead. We have a resurrection of life for believers at the beginning of the thousand years, and we have a resurrection of damnation for the wicked at the end of the thousand years.

It is difficult for us to imagine the sense of loss of those who look at God in all His love and glory and realize that they will never be a part of life with Him in heaven. They will miss out on eternity! What inexpressible anguish that thought must bring. No wonder Scripture describes it as a time when there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Let’s look at the other important events that take place at the end of the millennium.
God is going to make all things new. He’s going to remake the earth as it was in the Garden of Eden. John wrote:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . . Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1, 2).
Do you know what this is describing? Our return trip, after the millennium, from heaven back to earth. We are in that New Jerusalem. It’s like our space ship. And its destination, its destiny, is to reclaim Planet Earth. Let’s read on in verse three: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
God is going to live with us in this New Jerusalem! This sin-scarred earth is going to be remade into a spectacular footstool for God’s throne.
This is wonderful news. But it’s not good news for Satan at that moment. He sees that holy city coming down and he is driven to one last act of defiance, one last act of rebellion. He can’t help himself.
Remember, at this time the wicked have been resurrected, the wicked from all ages. As Revelation 20:8 tells us, their “numbers is as the sand of the sea.”
Satan gathers his forces from all over the earth into one vast army. He will take as much time as necessary to build his army under the brightest generals of all time and furnished with the most sophisticated killing machines that great minds can devise. Then he attacks the holy city:
“They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city” (Revelation 20:9).
This is Satan’s last gasp. It’s the last battle in the long conflict between Christ and Satan for the heart of the universe. It’s the final battle of the war called Armageddon. The armies of hell are rushing up against the city from heaven. Let’s look at what happens:
“And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them” (Revelation 20:9).
The fire which consumes the wicked also cleanses the earth. It wipes away all the scars of sin. It removes the ravages of rebellion. And that is how God makes all things new. Now he can create a new heaven and a new earth.

Adam will be there, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Ruth, Matthew, Paul. Stephen.
Enoch will be there.
I by the grace of God will be there. What about you?

Do you want victory like Enoch tonight.
“Men were taught that it is possible to obey the law of God; that even while living in the midst of the sinful and corrupt, they were able, by the grace of God, to resist temptation, and become pure and holy.” PATRIARCHS & PROPHETS

108: Amazing Grace

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