************ Advent Sermon on Hebrews 11:5 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on December 11, 2016
Hebrews 11:5; Genesis 5:2-24
2016 Advent # 4
Children's Sunday School Program
[read Bible as part of sermon]
I Guess Who I Am
I am going to talk about someone. But before I do I want to see if you can guess who I am talking about. If you are the first one to answer, the deacons will give you an extra bag of candy after the service.
You can answer as I give you clues. Tell me, Who Am I?
-I lived in the time of the Old Testament
-I was a preacher who warned people about God's judgment (Jude 1:14-15)
-my father's name was Jared (Gen 5:18-24; Lk 3:37)
-I lived in a wicked time just before the Flood (Gen 6:5)
-I lived to be 365 years old (Gen 5:23)
-my son, Methuselah, was the oldest man in the Bible (Gen 5:27)
-Elijah is the only other person who is like me
-I did not die
Who Am I? I am Enoch.
Let's listen to what the Holy Bible tells us about Enoch:
(Gen 5:21-24) When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. (22) And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. (23) Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. (24) Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
(Heb 11:5) By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
II Pleasing God
The story of Enoch teaches us what is the most important thing in life. Not presents. Not candy. Not friends. Not parents. Not school. Not toys. Not bikes and computer games.
Enoch teaches us that the most important thing in life, girls and boys, the most important thing in life is to please God. It is more important to please God than it is to please your teacher or your parents or your friends. The most important thing in life is to please God. The most important thing in life is to live for His pleasure and His glory.
How do you please God? Hebrews says: "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb 11:6). To please God, you need to believe, you need to have faith.
You girls and boys were just singing the songs of Christmas. Thank you for reminding us that Christmas is all about Jesus. Thank you for telling us Christ the Savior is born.
But now I need to ask each one of you a very important question: Do you believe this? Do you believe Jesus is your Savior from sin and Lord of your life? Do you have faith? I ask this because the only way to please God is to have faith in Jesus, to believe in Jesus.
III What Happened to Enoch
Enoch was different than every other person. Listen to what the Bible says about every other person:
(Gen 5:5) Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.The Bible says they died. But it doesn't say this about Enoch.
(Gen 5:8) Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.
(Gen 5:11) Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.
What happened to Enoch? Genesis says "God took him" (Gen 5:24). Hebrews says Enoch "did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away" (Heb 11:5). One day Enoch was there and the next day -- poof -- he was gone.
When Enoch disappeared, people searched for him. After all, he was a famous preacher. Everyone had heard his sermons. That doesn't mean they liked him or what he said. But when he went missing everyone wondered what happened, where he was, what was going on. They searched for him. They searched for his body. But they could not find him.
Of course they couldn't find him. Because -- poof -- he was gone. He disappeared. He was "translated" into heaven says another version of the Bible (KJV).
When do you and I get to heaven? When did Abraham get to heaven? When did Lazarus get to heaven? When does anyone get to heaven? When they die. After they die. But Enoch did not die. Enoch "did not experience death"(Heb 11:5). Instead, he was taken -- poof -- by God.
Enoch was like Elijah. Do you remember what happened to Elijah?
(2 Ki 2:11) As they [Elijah and Elisha] were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.They looked for Elijah too. For three days fifty men searched for Elijah. "But they did not find him" (2 Ki 2:17). Why not? Because God had taken him.
Enoch and Elijah are the only two people in history who did not die, who did not experience death, who went directly to heaven without first suffering and dying.
IV Enoch Pleased God
Why did God do this? Why did God take Enoch?
Because Enoch "pleased God." God took pleasure in Enoch. God delighted in Enoch. Enoch "was commended as one who pleased God" (Heb 11:5).
How did Enoch please God? "By faith," says Hebrews 11:5. Enoch pleased God by faith. Enoch pleased God because he acted and lived on the basis of faith. To put it in New Testament language, Enoch pleased God because he believed in Jesus.
How does Hebrews know Enoch lived by faith? Because two times Genesis says Enoch "walked with God" (Gen 5:22,24). Enoch walked with God. For 300 years Enoch walked with God (Gen 5:22). This means he lived for God. He loved God. He obeyed God. He sought communion and fellowship with God. God was the most important person in his life.
You boys and girls sang about Jesus? But do you believe? Do you have faith? Right now you say you do, but will you believe all of your life?
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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