If humans had no memory then we would be doomed to make the same mistakes over and over and over again. And it’s the same with Christianity, if Christians do not properly study Church history, then we will be doomed to fall into the same errors that earlier Christians fell into.
It is my hope that through this series of semi-allegorical / Historical / Eschatological sermons, that we will begin to understand where we as a Church have come from and where we might be going.
But I don’t reckon that you really want to hear me today, as I’m sure you have all probably come to hear the adventures of our time travelling missionary, John.
So here’s his story:
John sat himself in the “Vapour”, made himself comfortable, and said a little prayer that God would be with him. And then he pressed the big red button!
There was a flash of light, and all went dark.
These were very strange occurrences, and before today John had never thought that time travel was even a remote possibility. And so when the light flashed and all went dark, John just sat there in the ship a little bit dazed.
But after a while John thought that he ought to at least open the door to see what was actually outside.
John opened the door just a little crack, and saw that it was all dark outside. Well, it certainly wasn’t dark when he stepped into this machine, and now it is. So if this isn’t just an elaborate hoax, John’s going to have to admit that time travel is actually possible.
So John decided that this was not the time to be exploring his new surroundings, there was no telling what could be out there. So he decided to sleep in the Vapour, and check it all out tomorrow.
That night John had some really bazaar dreams, which he couldn’t quite remember when he woke up, but took it as a sign that there may be some strange things lining the path ahead of him on his new missionary journey.
That morning the sun was shining brightly, and it was very hot. It was certain that he wasn’t in England any more, as you definitely do not get that weather in England.
John decided that he ought to venture outside.
As John looked around himself, he saw that he was in the middle of a desert, and very far from home. All of a sudden, John felt a shiver run up his spine, a moment of fear when he realised that he was all alone in a strange place. But then John realised that although he was the only human within miles around, yet he was not alone. God was with him. In fact he felt closer to God here in the wilderness then he had ever felt while in the comforts of his own home in England. In a way he felt as if he were following in the Saviour’s footsteps, who too had to spend many days alone in the desert.
I won’t bore you with the tale of John travel through the desert, I’m sure you can imagine for yourself what might have happened on that solitary journey, where nothing living seemed to have ever ventured.
But finally, John found his way to greener lands. And it was here that John saw his first human being, although I’m not sure “human” is quite the right name to describe them. There was a man and a woman, butt-naked and seemingly shameless, doing abominable things out in the open countryside. John was obviously very shocked as he would never have seen anything like that in England. But, nevertheless, he pretended not to have noticed them, and walked right past.
He walked a little further and saw a man walking towards him. The man wore a long robe , the hem of which almost touched his sandals. The man was smiling. His face was as a young man’s face, very smooth, and yet there seemed in his eyes the wisdom and grace that can only be seen in very aged men in our world.
The man greeted him with a bow, and said, “Come friend, we have been waiting for you”
John looked confused and asked, “Do I know you?”
“No” the man answered, “but we be brethren nonetheless!”
By this, John inferred that the man too was a Christian.
“I’m sorry” said the man “I haven’t introduced myself yet, my name is Enoch, I am the seventh in line from the father of all, Adam. And I understand that you are a messenger from God. Don’t worry thy brother Raphael has told me of your coming, and has duly taught me your speech”
For the benefit of my readers, Raphael is an Angel of God, and although never mentioned in the bible is mentioned many times in Jewish literature, and in Enoch’s own book, which bears his name.
Enoch continued, “Please, follow me back to my earthly abode, and there you may tell me what message the Lord has put in thy mouth for my ears.”
As they were walking, they saw even more vile acts of lust, performed by the wicked people of the land.
“It has been shown me” said Enoch “that God will destroy this world, for all the ungodly deeds that the men have ungodly committed. And then there can be no salvation for this world.”
“That is not true” said John, “there will be salvation, God will even send his son into this world and He will bear our sins and in so doing will save our souls from eternal condemnation!”
Enoch’s face began to be full of joy and said, “Brother, indeed I am very thankful that God has sent you here this day to bring me such marvellous news, I have preached against the sins of this nation for many years, and have focussed much on the wrath of God, but today I realise that God also has a greater measure of Mercy, and when I leave this earth Mercy will be my only plea, O God be merciful to me!”
After that, John heard a voice from heaven saying “IT IS TIME”. And he saw Enoch ascending into Heaven. And then there was a flash of light, and John too had disappeared!
Enoch was a very important figure in Bible times, and his book: The Book of Enoch, was often considered to be part of the Bible. It was even quoted in the Book of Jude.
I would recommend The Book of Enoch to you; it is a good read, and very influential throughout Bible times.
Well that’s all for The Time Traveller for today, but he’ll be back soon.