Why were Enoch and Elijah taken to heaven without dying?
Even Jesus died. This is a cornerstone of Christian theology. The Son of God died, but then rose from the dead three days later. However, Enoch and Elijah did not die. They were taken from earth to heaven by God. They are the only ones in recorded history to skip death.
“Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” reads Genesis 5:22–24. Others listed in the Genesis 5 genealogy are clearly said to have died. But Enoch simply “was not, for God took him.” No explanation for why he did not die is given.
We read of Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11, “And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” Elijah had warned Elisha, who he was walking with, that he may be taken to heaven. And he was. Elijah, one of God’s most powerful prophets, did not die but was simply taken to heaven. Malachi 4:5–6 speaks of his return.
Some believe Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses described in Revelation 11:3–12 and were taken in preparation for this role. There is no direct evidence that Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses of the end times, though it is possible. Others think that Enoch and Elijah were spared death because of their faithfulness in serving and obeying God.
We can trust that God’s purposes for saving these two men from death, whether we understand them or not, are just and right. “This God—his way is perfect …” (Psalm 18:30).
ALL Humans live and die, leaving this world to the next generation. And wicked men seem to live at least as long as righteous men do. But in the end, God will establish His Kingdom, and all of its inhabitants shall be righteous. The wicked shall vanish away from the new dwelling place of the righteous and The Presence of God, never to be found in it again for all eternity.
The New Earth is an expression used in the Book of Isaiah, 2 Peter, and the Book of Revelation in the Bible to describe the final state of redeemed humanity. It is one of the central doctrines of Christian eschatology and is referred to in the Nicene Creed as the world to come.
And we pray:
LORD, we see good men die young and wicked men live to a ripe old age. We see evil oppressors amass great wealth, while the godly often live in poverty. But the day is coming, we know, when the first shall be last and the last first, when unrighteousness shall no longer be found in the new Era. Teach us not to envy the wicked when they gain temporary worldly prominence, for we know his end if he repents not. Guide us Father, Amen.