Many regard Enoch as a man to whom God gave special power to live a life more holy than we can live. But the character of the man who was so holy that he was translated to heaven without seeing death is a representation of the character to be attained by those who will be translated when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven. Enoch's life was no more exemplary than may be the life of every one who maintains a close connection with God.
Surrounded with influences so corrupt that God brought a flood of water upon the earth to destroy its inhabitants for their wickedness, Enoch was by no means free from temptation; yet in the midst of a society no more friendly to righteousness than that which surrounds us, he lived a life of holiness. Breathing an atmosphere tainted with sin and corruption, he remained unsullied by the prevailing iniquity of the age. For three hundred years he "walked with God." [Genesis 5:22]
It was through constant conflict and simple faith that Enoch walked with God. He realized that God is "a very present help in trouble." [Psalm 46:1] When in perplexity, he prayed to God to keep him, and teach him His will. What shall I do to honor Thee, my God? was his prayer. His will was submerged in God's will. His feet were always directed in the path of obedience to God's commandments. Constantly his meditations were upon the goodness, the perfection, the loveliness, of the divine character. His conversation was upon heavenly things; he trained his mind to run in this channel. As he looked to Jesus, he became changed into the glorious image of his Lord, and his countenance was lighted up with the glory that shines from the face of Christ.
Enoch lived an active, zealous life of self-denial. He walked with men as one among them, but not as one of them; as one whose purposes and works and hopes were based, not only on time, but on eternity. He did not give the worldly-wise any reason to question his profession or his faith. By earnest words and by decided actions he showed that he was separate from the world. After periods of retirement he would mingle with the ungodly, exhorting them to abhor the evil and choose the good. As a faithful worker for God, he sought to save them. He warned the world. He preached faith in Christ, the Saviour of the world, the sinner's only hope.
We are living in an evil age. The perils of the last days multiply around us. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. Enoch's example is before us. Like him we must walk with God, bringing our will into submission to His will. We must train our minds to love purity, and to think upon heavenly things. Let us remember, too, that our responsibility is proportionate to our entrusted talents. If we abide in the True Vine,--if we bear the fruits of righteousness,--we shall go about doing good. In seeking to save the souls for whom Christ has died, in conquering difficulties, and in keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, we may reveal the genuineness of our religion.
The faithful Christian does not seek the easiest place, the lightest burdens. He is found where the work is hardest, where his help is most needed. Very many who claim to be Christians act as if they were in this world merely to please themselves. They forget that Jesus, their pattern, pleased not Himself. They forget that the self-denial and the self-sacrifice that characterized His life must characterize their lives, else in the day of God they will be found wanting, and will hear from His lips the irrevocable sentence, "Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth!" [Matthew 25:30] Fearful sentence! Let every professing Christian, by zealous activity in the Master's cause, seek to avert this fearful doom.
Enoch was an Adventist. He directed the minds of men forward to the great day of God, when Christ will come the second time, to judge every man's work. Jude tells us, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." [Jude 1:14-16]
Like Enoch, we should earnestly proclaim the message of Christ's second coming. "The day of the Lord," [1 Thessalonians 5:2] the Scriptures declare, "cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, . . . and they shall not escape." [1 Thessalonians 5:2-3] In these words is emphasized the importance of being constantly prepared for this great event. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of light, and children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober, . . . putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." [1 Thessalonians 5:4-8]