13th January 2023
Message Alan Burke
Have you made a will? Thought about your funeral? Told those whom you love what your wishes are? Most of you probably haven’t but you should! The reason why people often put these things off I suspect, is that most of us don’t like facing up to the reality that one day we will face death. As a result we like to put of the thought of it as long as we can and try to pretend that it will never happen to us even though that we know it will. For the believer, those who have faith while their bodies remain in the grave, the souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, (Heb. 12:23) and do immediately pass into glory; (2 Cor. 5:1,6,8, Phil. 1:23, Luke 23:43) and their bodies, being still united to Christ, (1 Thess. 4:14) do rest in their graves, (Isa. 57:2) till the resurrection. (Job 19:26–27).
There are only two people in the history of the World who have not experienced death, Enoch and Elijah, both were taken out of this life and brought to glory. For everyone else since they have to face the final enemy death to go to be with the Lord (1 Cor 15:26). For Enoch there is no grave, no place where we can go to pay our respects, for Enoch by faith did not see death. The story of Enoch is one of the few direct allusions to eternal life with God in the Old Testament.
Christ will return, He is coming to judge the living and the dead, and for those who are still alive when He return then as we are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. If the Lord Jesus Christ returns in our life time that will be us, we will not taste death before entering the very presence of God, but if not then we too like those who have came before will face the final enemy of death before we are reunited with the Lord.
Sadly there are many people who think that they are walking with God everyday, they do good deeds, they love their pets, they sometimes go to church and perhaps even believe they are doing God’s work by contending for a return to the ways of the past, the glory days. But what they fail to see is they are indeed walking but it is a broad road to hell. They are not walking with God because they have not believed in Christ. What matters for all is that we put our faith in Christ, the one in whom we have forgiveness and who came to share in our flesh and blood that through his death he might destroy the one who has the power over death so that we might be the redeemed of God and have no reason to fear (Heb 2:14-15).
The four words that matter and tell us everything we need to know about Enoch are; "Enoch walked with God”. In Genesis 4 we are told of another Enoch, he was another descendant of Adam but came through the line of Cain. In Genesis 4:17, there we are told, 17 Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. (Gen 4:17). The Enoch of Genesis 5 knew that it was more important to walk with God than to leave a legacy of a city that would one day lie in ruins. What Enoch son of Cain achieved is long forgotten but Enoch son of Jared he walked with God and is now in heaven and one day by faith we will meet him. The only lasting legacy that we can hope to leave is that of faith in our children and our children’s children, if that is all that we leave then we are rich indeed.
Q49 Which is the second commandment?
The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exod. 20:4–6)