At Reform Church, we teach what the Bible teaches regarding death and eternal life. Jesus came to redeem us from physical death (that’s why He died physically) and Jesus came to give us eternal life (which is in us) that is meant to be given to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11) to cause our bodies to live forever.
We’re not saying that every Christian receives this to their mortal bodies. We’re just saying that’s what Jesus provided, and that’s what we can receive from the Spirit in us, by faith.
Most people probably don’t agree with that. And here’s why: you don’t believe that Jesus is the only way to receive from the Father. Now that may sound strange. How am I making that correlation? Well, let’s see.
Hebrews 11:5 (NKJV) By FAITH Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death…
This verse says that the Lord took him so that Enoch did not have to see death.
How did Enoch receive this?
A) Another way, besides Jesus
B) Jesus’ atonement at the cross
This is a very important question. Hopefully the only plausible answer to you is option B. It should be a no-brainer, if we believe that Jesus is the only way to receive from the Father. If Jesus is the only way to receive from God, that means you can’t receive by your own merit and you can’t receive merely because God feels like it either. If you can receive that way, then Jesus didn’t even have to come, and He is clearly not the only way to receive. You either believe that everything we receive from God HAD TO be provided through the cross or you don’t. There are no if, ands, or buts about it.
Enoch never saw death. He received that from God. True! He either received that through what Jesus provided or he received it a separate way, apart from Jesus Christ. There are only two options. It came through Jesus or it didn’t.
If Jesus really came to redeem us from physical death (and He did) then that makes total sense that Enoch was able to access this by faith, because it says that Enoch received this exemption from death “by faith!“
Realize this, you don’t just receive whatever you want “by faith.“ When you believe, you can only access what Jesus already provided. That’s what faith does. Faith ONLY allows you to access what Jesus provided at the cross, nothing more. If Enoch received exemption from death by faith, he was merely accessing something that Jesus was going to provide for him at the cross.
Romans 5:1-2 (NKJV) …our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace…
Ephesians 3:11-12 (NKJV) …Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith…
If Jesus did not provide redemption from physical death (and we clearly see that Enoch received exemption from death here) then Enoch could not have received it. Faith doesn’t access whatever you want from God. Faith only accesses what Jesus provided (as you see clearly from the verses above).
Enoch either received from God through Christ or apart from Christ. You either believe that undeserving mankind HAS TO receive from God through Jesus’ atonement, or you don’t. This is enormously foundational and critical. Think carefully before you decide what side you’re on.
If we look at Enoch and his exemption from physical death as something that God just did, but not something that Jesus provided, then that means Enoch received from God apart from the atonement of Christ. In which case, I am curious how we justify that in our mind? That means that Enoch received from God a different way.
But you say, “God is sovereign and He can do what He wants.“ And I would say, “No, He can’t.” Gods can’t lie (Heb. 6:18). God can’t sin (Rom. 9:14). God is always just, and He cannot deny that (2 Tim. 2:13). Unless you believe God is unjust? Do you suppose that a holy God can give good things to underserving man apart from Christ?
God needs a just way to bless us. If Enoch doesn’t deserve it, how can God bless him with exemption from death? Obviously, this is where Jesus comes in.
Romans 3:24-26 (NKJV) …Christ Jesus, whom God set forth… that He [God] might be just…
Jesus is God’s just way of blessing us. All of us collectively are completely and wholly undeserving of any good that God could ever bless us with. The only way we can receive blessing from God (including exemption from death) is because Jesus paid for it at the cross. If Jesus didn’t pay for it, you can’t receive it.
The fact that undeserving Enoch received exemption from death from God, by faith, is a manifest token that Jesus had to have provided it. Remember, when you believe you don’t get whatever you want from God. Faith ONLY accesses the grace that Jesus provided. And Hebrews says that Enoch received exemption from death BY FAITH.
This is the sum of this article: Enoch either received exemption from death through Jesus or through some other way. It’s one of the two. If he received through Jesus, then that means exemption from death is included in the atonement of Christ for all who believe. If he did not receive that exemption from death through Jesus, we’ve got a problem on our hands, because that means that sinful mankind is able to receive from a holy God apart from Christ. God forbid any person would ever have the nerve to say that. Cursed is that person forever. And I’ll say it again, cursed is that person forever. Jesus is the only way to receive from the Father. And cursed is the person who would say otherwise.