Hebrews 11: 5 – 6
The template of Faith as we have discussed starts with the message from God. The idea is a message comes from God to mankind and we are meant to believe and respond positively to the message. This is what the writer of this great book calls FAITH. Contrary to the many teachings today, it is not a force that enables or unlocks the blessings from Heaven. FAITH in simple terms is to believe and respond to the message of the Gospel. The message of FAITH is based on trusting a God whom we have never seen; though as creatures we can see or have become witnesses to many of His creation. The message of FAITH therefore, is the message to the dying world; it is a message to the UNSAVED not to the Christians.
Looking at the audience, it is clear that the writer has decided to pitch his tent with the unsaved Jews hoping that they would eventually respond positively to the message of the Gospel. The message of the Gospel is the message about the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus who came as the final sacrifice to humanity. It is the evidence of the unseen – the unseen is the hope of meeting with our Savior at the end of the age. The writer is hoping that perdition would not be the final destination for some of the Jews who are unsaved in his audience.
We have read about the story of Cain and Abel and have discovered how Cain wanted to do things his own way and not by the specified way and principle laid down by God. We also read about how the story ended. This end is what the writer called perdition in the preceding chapter. There is an end to this age of Grace, eventually there is going to be a gathering of the Saints – people who had and have responded positively to the message of Grace. The Bible describes the end of the age as Rapture. The writer described this end when he said, “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay”.
One of the elders who obtained a good report was the man called Enoch. He typically gives us a picture of anyone who would want to access God, not by his own way but by the set-out way in the pages of the Good Book. The Bible makes it clear that Enoch walked with God thereby, demonstrating to us today that it has to be the way God has purposed and planned. We are therefore meant to follow in that way just like Jesus stipulated when He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes or gets to God except through Me”.
Enoch believed in God, he would have brought his sacrifice to God like Abel did (through the shedding of blood) and he also walked with God. The principle remains till date through the shed blood of Jesus. The Bible also records that at a point in time, Enoch was nowhere to be found when they looked for him; God had taken him up into His presence. His audience knew the story and they also knew that perdition would be the consequence of not responding to the message of the Gospel. They couldn’t have argued on this story about Enoch.
The problem with this unbelieving Jews was not their awareness of God’s existence, but like Cain they wanted to approach God through their own way rather than through God’s own way. They still wanted to continue in the lines of Judaism and the Old way of accessing God. It is not enough to know that God is in existence but it becomes sufficient when we approach and respond positively to the way He has provided, like it was said of Enoch – He walked with God. Enoch sought God for the reward; he walked with God diligently and above all he became a witness for the heirs of Salvation – Jude 14, 15.
To please God, we have to move from just knowing that He exists and gravitate towards knowing and following His ways so that there can be a positive response to His ways. By being descendants of Abraham, the Jews thought they had done enough but the writer makes it clear to them that they had to move from knowing to receiving Him as their Lord and Savior.
There is definitely an end to this story of Salvation and the Message of the Gospel.
The Bible says that God endorsed Enoch and if we want to be endorsed by God today, we have to be like Enoch who walked by FAITH. We have to please Him. To please God, we must first believe in the existence of God and then positively respond to the message of the Gospel; also, diligently seeking Him in accordance to His plans and purpose for Salvation. Without Faith, it is impossible to please Him; as the just can only have that life from God; the life that would make them live forever (eternity) through and by Faith.
I can only imagine what the unsaved Jews in the audience would have been thinking about because they had such great respect for their ancestors. For this reason and more, one would also expect that they should seek to please God in every ramification of the Word. Some of them would have definitely responded to the message being presented by the writer, as some would do today as they read this piece.
Apostle Paul encouraged the Church at Thessalonica when he said, “Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words”.
“It may be all very well to prove that such and such a revelation of God is consistent with reason, consistent with analogy, consistent with a thousand things; but the spirit which needs such argument is a spirit of rebellion against God. If there be a revelation, every part of it is of authority, and must be believed. Human thought is not the arbiter of truth, but the infallible Word is the end of all strife. It is not ours to say what the truth must be, or what we think it should be, or what we would like it to be, but reverently to sit down with open ear and willing heart to receive what God has spoken” – C.H Spurgeon