Revive Our Hearts Podcast

His Death Shall Bring It

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Leslie Basham: Okay, here’s a Bible trivia question: who was the oldest person to ever live? If you said, “Methuselah,” you’re right! Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says Methuselah’s 969 years is an example of God’s rich mercy.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Every day of Methuselah’s life would be one more day of grace, one more day of God holding off His judgment on this wicked, corrupt world, one more day of an opportunity to repent.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of A 30- Day Walk with God in the Psalms, for February 28, 2019. Here’s Nancy in the series “Walking with God: the Life of Enoch.”

Nancy: We’re continuing in our series on the life of Enoch. We’ve seen that Enoch walked with God in a day when few others around him did. He believed God when most around him did not. And he pleased God when most people in his day were living to please themselves.

Does that sound like our day, by the way? But it is possible to please God, to walk with God, to trust God, to believe God when we live in that kind of world . . . and he did all of this by faith. He pleased God by faith, he walked with God by faith.

Tomorrow, in the last day of this series, we’re going to look at the unusual end of Enoch’s earthly life, but today I want us to take a look at his ministry and his message. We’ve seen that Enoch walked with God.

Now, when you walk with somebody, including God, you learn what’s on their heart, because you talk with each other, you spend time with each other, you interact with each other. And so, in the course of walking together, God revealed His plan and His purposes to his friend, Enoch. And Enoch believed what God told him.

The first clue to this is found in Genesis chapter 5, where it seems that God revealed something to Enoch when his first son, Methuselah, was born. And that something, that revelation from God, changed the course of Enoch’s life, and he wanted what he had learned from the Lord to be represented in the name of his son.

So look at Genesis 5, verses 21–23:

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years.

Now, what we know is that corruption and evil were becoming more and more widespread in Enoch’s world. We see in the next chapter of Genesis (we’ve already looked at this verse), Genesis 6, verse 5, the verse that leads up to the account of the flood:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

So we see that the earth is getting more and more wicked. Enoch had to be aware of this. He was living in this world; he wasn’t living in a monastery. He was living in the world. He had a wife, he had kids, he had neighbors, he had friends, he had coworkers . . . and he saw this wickedness.

But as he walked with God, he saw how much it grieved God’s heart! And God began to reveal something of his plans. We don’t know how much God revealed to him, but God determined He was going to send catastrophic judgment on the earth. And Enoch seemed to know that this judgment would come after the death of his firstborn son, so he named his son “Methuselah.”

You say, “What does that have to do with God sending judgment?” “Methuselah” means, “When he is dead, it shall be sent,” or, “His death shall bring it.” There was going to be catastrophic judgment when Methuselah died!

So every day that Enoch’s son lived would be one more day of grace, one more day of God holding off His judgment on this wicked, corrupt world. One more day of an opportunity to repent. Now, how long did Methuselah live? Nine-hundred-and-sixty-nine years! . . . longer than anyone before or since.

God gave almost a thousand years for this corrupt civilization to repent and believe and be saved. Do you think God is long-suffering? Do you think God is patient? People say, “Why would God make bad things happen to people? Why does God bring these weather disasters and these . . .?” People say God is the One who brings these bad things in the world.

Think about how long God waited patiently, while men were shaking their fists at Him, rejecting Him, denying Him, resisting His Word, rebelling against Him—almost a millennium! A thousand years, God waited and waited and waited, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (see 2 Peter 3:9)

And in fulfillment of his name, Methuselah died the same year that the flood came. “When he is dead, it shall be sent.” Now, the New Testament book of Jude tells us a little bit more about Enoch’s life and ministry. If you have your Bible there, I want to encourage you to turn to the book of Jude. It’s a short little book just before the book of Revelation. In my Bible, it just takes one page.

Jude is only one chapter, twenty-five verses. It’s one of the shortest books in the Bible. Someday I’d love to do a whole series on the book of Jude! Today I just want to talk about Enoch in the book of Jude. While you’re turning there, God revealed to Enoch that another judgment would come when the cup of God’s wrath over sin was full.

And the flood that was coming at the death of Enoch’s son, Methuselah, was just a precursor to the ultimate judgment. It was a picture, a warning, of this final cataclysmic judgement to come. And following this ultimate judgment, there would be no further opportunity for repentance.

Throughout the book of Jude, you see verses that describe unrepentant sinners, even among those who profess to be Christians. For example, look at verse 4:

Certain people have crept in unnoticed . . . ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Verse 8:

These people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.

Verse 10:

These people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

Verses 12–13:

[They are hidden reefs] at your love feasts . . .

They go to church with you, they go to your potluck suppers with you, but you can’t see that they’re treacherous, because they’re hidden reefs, under the surface. They feast with you without fear [a little bit of that was paraphrasing, there].

. . . shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Now, verses 14–15:

It was also about these [these that we’ve just read about, these who were rebellious and immoral and disobedient and under God’s judgment and wrath] that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

Now, this prophecy of Enoch’s is not mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament. You don’t read about it in the book of Genesis, that tells us the little bit we do know about Enoch’s life.

This quote in the book of Jude is actually a quote from the apocryphal book of Enoch. Apocryphal: it was written in first or second century A.D. It would have been very familiar to devout Jews in the New Testament era, but it was never accepted by the church as inspired. That’s why you don’t see it in our Bible.

But under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Jude—the writer of this book of the New Testament, which is inspired—was moved to include this quote from the apocryphal book of Enoch (which is not inspired), but he includes this quote in this inspired letter of Jude.

So thousands of years before Christ came to earth, God gave Enoch a glimpse of what we know to be the second coming of Christ . . . before He had even come the first time! And having seen this vision, Enoch warned his generation. He said, “Behold, the Lord comes . . .” Jude verse 14. This is not His first coming; the way it’s described; it doesn’t resemble His first coming.

This is what we now know to be His second coming. And it says He will be accompanied and assisted by “ten thousands of his holy ones”—many, many of them, myriads of angels or saints. The saints and angels, in Scripture, are referred to as “holy ones.” It may be one or the other or both. We know that both saints and angels will be involved with Christ in the final judgment.

And Jude tells us He is coming with His holy angels and saints “to execute judgment.” (see v. 15) Divine, eternal judgment is coming to the unrepentant world. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” That word “judgment” is the Greek word krisis. Does that sound like a crisis? It will be the ultimate crisis!

That word means “a separating; a separation; a decision, especially concerning right and wrong.” There will be judgment distinguishing between those who are righteous because they are in Christ and those who are unrighteous because they are in the flesh, not in Christ. So Jesus is coming; He’ll be accompanied by His holy ones—tens of thousands of them—to execute judgment.

And this judgment will be deserved and just! How many times (four to be exact) do we see the word “ungodly” in these two verses in the book of Jude?

. . . to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him (v. 15).

When you see words or phrases repeated in a Scripture verse or passage, stop and take note. It means something; it’s there for emphasis. These are ungodly sinners: their hearts, their character, their actions, their bent, their inclinations; they commit many ungodly deeds. They commit them in a very ungodly way. They say harsh things against the Lord.

There’s no question that these are hardened in their ungodliness. And so, here’s Enoch, living in an ungodly age himself, preaching to his own age as well as to future ages and he confronts ungodliness. He’s not afraid to call it what it is. He’s unapologetic. He doesn’t accommodate; he doesn’t try to soften the blow.

He doesn’t lower the bar of God’s holiness as he talks about the hearts, the deeds, and the words of ungodly sinners. Do you think that was easy, in his day, to call sin “sin”? To call ungodliness “ungodliness”? To call men to account for their words, their actions, their hearts? It wasn’t easy then; it’s not easy today.

Now, we cannot in any sense proclaim these truths about the righteous, deserved judgment of God as if we ourselves did not deserve His judgment—because we do. For we, too, are ungodly sinners who deserve the wrath of God as much as any sinner who has ever lived! But by the mercy and grace of Christ, we’ve been snatched out of unbelief.

We have been given grace to believe, to repent of our sins, to believe the gospel! And now we are in Christ. We have moved from darkness into light. We have been born again into the kingdom of God out of the kingdom of this present age. So we deserve the judgment and the wrath of God, but He has shown His mercy to us!

But for those who do not receive His mercy, who do not receive His grace, who refuse to repent; they will be subject to the eternal righteous judgment and wrath of God. The apostle Paul paints a similar picture in 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 as he talks about the second coming in similar terms to those we read about in the book of Jude.

He says in 2 Thessalonians 1, verses 7–10:

When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angelsin flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed.

Judgment and salvation: they run on parallel tracks in the Scripture. For those who have believed the gospel, repented of their sins, there is salvation . . . and the day of Christ returning is a day of great joy, for they know that they are safe in Christ! They are covered with His righteousness.

But for those who have not believed, who have not repented, who have not turned from themselves to Christ; there will be this fearful, fire-full judgment and wrath of God. As Enoch walked with God, God revealed His plans, maybe not in great detail, but God revealed enough that in the book of Jude it’s recorded that Enoch prophesied saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds.” So, how did he come to know this?

You can’t get an understanding of the future and the ways of God any way other than through walking with Him, through spending time with Him, through soaking in His Word, being saturated in His Word.

That’s where we learn what our message is to our generation. That’s where we learn what God’s heart is, what His plans are, what’s coming. That’s how we can say with confidence, “The judgment of God is coming! Christ is returning!”

He is coming with His angels, and in fire and vengeance He will destroy those who have not believed in Him, and He will give eternal rest and peace to those who have placed their faith in Him! How can I know that? I can’t see it. How do I know it? It’s because I walk with God in His Word. That’s how you can know it.

You don’t have to be a preacher, you don’t have to go to seminary; you just need to walk with God in the light of His Word, and what a glory He shines on our way. And then, Enoch, having received this revelation, didn’t just keep it to himself.

He believed what God said. So having this news of this horrific, ultimate, eternal judgment, what did he do? He warned others about the judgment to come: both the near judgment of the flood that would be born the year his son Methuselah died, and the final judgment at the second coming of Christ.

In God’s mercy, He sends preachers, messengers, neighbors, friends, family members to confront people with their sin, to warn them of coming judgment, and to give them opportunity to repent. Enoch was one of those messengers. He didn’t live on this earth to see the fulfillment of these prophecies—either one of them, the flood or the second coming of Christ—but he knew it was coming.

How did he know it? Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” God showed him. He believed it! Now, I think it’s important that we remember that Enoch’s life—we’re just looking at a dot on the whole line of human history here—but his life, his little “dot,” was part of a much bigger redemptive story that God was writing, that spanned from one generation to the next.

This is true of our lives as well. We’re a blip, we’re a dot on the screen here, but our lives are a part of a much bigger redemptive story that God is writing. And you get this sense . . . This is what you sense as you read these genealogies.

I’m going back to Genesis 5 here, verse 25:

When [Enoch’s son] Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. [This is another Lamech, not that one we read about earlier in Genesis 4.] Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters.Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son and called his name Noah. [Noah was Enoch’s great-grandson, born some seventy years after Enoch was taken to Heaven.] He called his name Noah, saying, ‘Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands. [In judgment, God is sending salvation!]

Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years and had other sons and daughters.Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died. After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth (vv. 26–32).

The Scripture tells us in 2 Peter 2, verse 5, that Noah was “a herald [or a preacher] of righteousness.” So Enoch prophesied about the judgment to come. When Noah was born and God showed him that judgment was coming, he was a herald—a preacher—of righteousness.

You say you may be trying to share the way of God, the Word of God, the truth of God with the people around you . . . and you feel like nobody’s listening. Listen, you’re one person in a whole line, and God has others. God will raise up others. It’s not all up to us; none of it’s up to us! It’s all up to God. Our lives are just one, little, bitty part in a great redemptive story that God is writing.

So right up to the flood—through the life of Enoch, then through the life of Noah, and perhaps through others that we don’t know about—right up to the flood, God was warning people to repent and be saved.

Listen, as you have loved ones, friends, who don’t know Christ, who deny Him, who reject Him, don’t stop praying that God will put preachers of righteousness in their livespeople to tell them the truth in love, with grace, with humility.

People who say, “I’m no better than you. I deserve God’s judgment and God’s wrath, but He has shown mercy to me, and He will show mercy to you!” God has revealed to us in His Word what is going to happen to unrepentant sinners at the end of the age.

We read in 2 Thessalonians 1:8–9 that, “Those who do not know God and . . . do not obey the gospel of [the] Lord Jesus” will experience God’s eternal judgment and wrath. “They will suffer the punish[ing] of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord.”

So let me speak, first, for a moment to those in this room—or listening on the livestream or listening to the podcast or the broadcast—who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus. It’s still your way, not His way.

If you do not repent of your sin, if you do not place your faith in Christ to save you, you will suffer the punishing of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. They’re not my words; those are the words of Scripture!

You say, “I do know God. I have obeyed the gospel; I’ve repented of my sin. I’m one of His saints, one of His holy ones, one of His people.” If you are, then that day—fearsome as it is—will hold no dread or fear for you! When He comes, you will glorify Him and marvel at Him! That’s what we read in 2 Thessalonians 1, to be glorified by His saints and to be marveled at among all who believe.

We’re reminded that God is merciful. He is not quick or eager to judge. Second Peter 3:9 talks about the second coming of Christ and it says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise.” All those years from Enoch to the flood and all the while the world is getting more and more wicked, more and more depraved, more and more corrupt. Why doesn’t God judge!?

Because God hates to judge. He’s not quick or eager to judge, and He’s “not slow to fulfill his promise . . . but [He’s] patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

As every day of Methuselah’s life, for 969years, was another day of grace, another chance to repent before the flood came, so every day before the final judgment is another day of grace for this world, another day with an opportunity to repent, before it’s eternally too late!

And so, God’s call to sinners today—who don’t know God, haven’t obeyed the gospel of Christ—is “repent and believe the gospel!” Turn from yourself, believe in Christ. Go to Him for rescue, for salvation, for mercy and grace.

And then, a reminder that those of us who know that we will be spared the judgment of God because we’re in Christ (not because we’re better than anybody else, but because we’re in Christ), we’re called to warn sinners of the coming judgment. We’re to call them to repent and believe the gospel, to do it prayerfully, humbly, lovingly, graciously . . . but clearly!

Do you think if we really believed our message in God’s Word about all of this, would it impact the way we interact with people around us who don’t know God and don’t believe the gospel—if we really believed in that ultimate eternal judgment?

As we walk with God, we’re going to know what’s in His heart, what’s in His Word. And we will rejoice in God’s salvation for us and warn those who need to be spared His judgment. Let me just remind us that pastors and preachers and believers like us who never warn people to escape the coming judgment of God are not truly loving!

There’s been in the last hundred years or so (and probably long before that) in the pulpit and outside of the pulpit this kind of mindset of, “Just preach about God’s love; just preach about God’s grace. Don’t preach about sin; don’t preach about judgment!”

Listen, if we or the men in our pulpits never warn people to escape the coming judgment of God for all our ungodliness, we lack compassion. We’re failing to deliver the whole truth of God’s Word. Will not there be some blood on our hands at the final judgment if we didn’t proclaim the truth that God has shown us in His Word for those who desperately need to hear it?

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. She’ll be right back to pray. That message on walking by faith is part of a longer series called “Walking with God: The Life of Enoch.” If you’ve missed any, you can hear it at ReviveOurHearts.com.

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This week when you donate any amount to support the program, we’d like to say “thanks” by sending you Nancy’s book A 30-Day Walk with God in the Psalms. This would be an excellent follow-up to this week’s series. I think you’ll find it a rich resource for your personal Bible study.

You’ll go through thirty psalms with Nancy. The book offers questions to help you dig deeper into the text and make applications for your own life, and it gives suggestions on how you can pray based on what you’ve read.

Why don’t you visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com to request a copy of A 30-Day Walk with God in the Psalms? It’s available for a donation of any amount to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. You can also ask about it when you call with your gift of any size. Our number is 1–800–569–5959.

Did you know there are two biblical characters who never died physically? Nancy says their lives give hope to everyone who knows Jesus. Find out more tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts. Now, here’s Nancy to close today’s program in prayer.

Nancy: Oh, Lord, thank you for this man, Enoch, who walked with You, who believed You, who pleased You, and who prophesied to his generation the truth about the judgment to come. Teach us what that means and what that looks like for us in our world, in our day. Make us faithful—faithful messengers of the truth. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen!

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth invites you to live a life of faith in God. The program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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