Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 14-15 (NIV).
There are two men we know of from the Bible who did not die but were, instead, taken directly by God without experiencing death. One was the prophet Elijah, who was taken to heaven in a chariot riding a whirlwind. And the other was Enoch, 7th descendant of Adam, making him a man of the 7th generation of mankind. All other people, including Jesus Himself, have died before experiencing the afterlife.
Some quick research says the name ‘Enoch’ means “instructed” or “trained up.” Though a sinful man like the rest of us, Enoch, like HIS descendant, Noah, walked with God and listened to God. In a time when the men of Enoch’s earth were turning away from the Lord, Enoch chose to cleave to God, to listen to him and obey Him. So, God gave Enoch a gift: namely that He took him without experiencing death.
Before that happened, according to Jude, Enoch prophesied. He prophesied about God judging sinners. Moses also talked about this in Deuteronomy; so did Daniel; so did the author of Hebrews. So did John the Revelator. But Enoch did so long before anyone. You know the account. At a time only the Father knows, God will end this world and replace it with one He remakes. Those who accepted Him will experience His blessings forever. Those who rejected Him will experience His absence forever. With my friend, Pastor Vern, I cling to the possibility that God may have something in store even we can’t understand, that He finds a way to save the lost that is beyond our human comprehension. They’re our brothers and sisters, who are worth our prayers.
Yet if that doesn’t happen, if Enoch’s prophecy was indeed a prediction, then it will be eternally unpleasant for those who deny and reject the Lord. Separation forever from love, hope, peace, and mercy; yearning like fire for His relief; eternal consequences of our lifelong temporal choices.
And way back when mankind was still new, men of Enoch’s day were already thinking about it. Perhaps Enoch personally knew his great-great-great-great grandfather, Adam; the timeline from Genesis 5 would allow it. Perhaps he heard from Adam’s own lips how he and Eve had once lived in perfect harmony with the Lord, and how they had thrown it away.
Enoch foretold the consequences of that if we don’t turn back to God. It’s time we listened.
For further reading: Genesis 5:18-24, Deuteronomy 13:2-3, 2 Kings 2:11-12, Daniel 7:10, Hebrews 12:22, 2 Peter 2:6-9, Jude 16
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
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