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(Originally posted under wrong verse, should be
1 Peter 3:19-20
2 Peter 2:5
2 Peter 3:3-7
Whether or not a person acknowledges it, Enoch and Noah are fathers to every man, woman and child living today. However, without saving faith they will only be fathers according to the flesh to our generation. That genetic relationship will be undeniably proven before God, but it will not only profit us nothing, it will actually make anyone in our generation more guilty than the people in theirs if they mock or ignore the testimony concerning them in these last days without repenting and believing in Jesus Christ as they did. We need to carefully consider and draw both encouragement and warning from their examples of faith if we want to share any of the benefits of the heritage they have left us.
Jesus Christ is the one who will catch us up to be with Him, like He did Enoch, if we are confirmed by the Holy Spirit to be those who please Him and His Father. He is also the unexpected Bridegroom who will close the wedding feast door that lets in the prepared wise virgins but shuts out the unprepared foolish virgins where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, like He closed the door of the Ark that Noah prepared behind him and his household, shutting out those who were unprepared outside.
Although no one should count on it, if in His grace the Father continues to patiently wait beyond our short lives to send Christ with His holy angels for the final harvest, we still must hold to the fear of the LORD we see in these two ancestors of ours and uphold their testimony so that we may be partakers with them in the pleasure the Father has in their faith and the faith of all those mentioned in this chapter of Hebrews. That is one of the ways we will be able to add our own testimony of faith to theirs.
I like what you say, but have a problem believing Enoch and Elijah didn't die a mortal death when they're described as "taken" = dead. It's easy to see the author used hyperbole to romanticize their deaths.
Let's review what Moses wrote in
This is the book of genealogy of Adam
...God created man...Adam lived...begot...Seth...and he died
Seth lived...begot Enosh...lived..and he died
Enosh lived...begot Cainan...lived...and he died
Cainan lived...begot Mahalalel...lived...and he died
Mahalalel lived...begot Jared...lived...and he died
Jared lived...begot Enoch...lived...and he died
Enoch lived...begot Methuselah...walked with God...and he was not, for God took him
Methuselah lived...begot Lamech...lived...and he died
Leech lived...begot Noah...lived...and he died
Setting aside Adam for the moment, let's be little children in our thinking and not wise to play the Sesame Street song:
One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn't belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you're absolutely...right!
The idea that taken = dead is wrong it means both dead and saved/translated depending on if the individual is a subject of God's grace or judgement, just like the words lifted up. To lift someone means both to restore/exalt them and execute/condemned them in scripture often paired together.
Now within three days Pharaoh will LIFT up your head and restore you to your place...
Within three days Pharaoh will LIFT off your head from you and hang you on a tree
No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Always keep in mind the Word of God is a double edge sword that cuts both ways. The same word of faith saves Moses and his people but hardens/judges Pharoah and his people.
The author of Hebrews at least is clearly stating that Enoch was translated and did not see death and that this is his understanding of taken.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
If you choose to dismiss that and say he is still romanticizing physical death, I don't see how that fits any of this author's other examples. Perhaps you should first tell me your position on Christ's resurrection or God's ability to create man from dust to see if we share any common frame of reference for interpreting this portion of scripture (or any scripture for that matter).
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