Brief: If we walk with God like Enoch did, God will also take us to Heaven.
Scripture: Genesis 5:18-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:10; Hebrews 11:5
Note: In addition to the above, there is quite a bit of ancient but non-Biblical reading in this lesson. I’ve included it for the sake of interest, but you might want to summarize it for your group.
Genesis 5:18-24: When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.
21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
What do you think it means that Enoch “was no more because God took him away”?
Enoch went to Heaven without dying.
Why did Enoch get to go straight to Heaven without dying? What was so special about him?
He walked with God. He had a good relationship with God. God showed him mercy by allowing him to skip death.
Hebrews 11:5: By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
We probably will not be taken from this life like Enoch was. We will probably experience death. But if we walk with God and try to have a good relationship with God and live our lives in such a way that we are trying to please God, we can have faith that we will end up where Enoch went, in Heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:10: Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
What is the sequence of events in this passage? Let’s break it down.
1. Christians die.
2. They’re spirits go to Heaven.
3. When Jesus comes back, He brings the spirits of the dead Christians with Him.
4. The bodies of the dead Christians are resurrected and go up to meet their spirits.
5. We rise into the air to meet Jesus.
6. (Depending on your belief, we either all go back to Heaven or Jesus continues His descent to Earth and we reign with Him for 1,000 years.)
1st Thessalonians 5:1-10: Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.
What does Paul tell us to do in this passage as we wait for the resurrection?