Sermon delivered July 27, 1996

by Pastor Don Gettys

McDonald Road SDA Church, McDonald, TN

OLD METHUSELAH

I would like to talk to you about the oldest man that ever lived. Who was the oldest man who ever lived? I hear all sorts of different answers. Well, it was NOT Methuselah! He was the oldest man that ever died. Methuselah's father, Enoch was the oldest man that ever lived! He must be 6000 years old by now, because he is still alive in Heaven.

Genesis 5:24. "Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him."

Enoch was the world's very first prophet. - Jude 7. "Enoch the seventh from Adam, PROPHESIED...behold the Lord cometh with 10,000's of his saints." He foretold the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the world. He was an Adventist, wasn't he? Enoch was like Billy Graham or HMS Richards. He thundered these wonderful prophecies all across his world. Evidently many people were converted.

Enoch was the first man that did not have to die. Enoch was taken alive to heaven, just like we will be when Jesus comes, to be with God. The first person to be translated from this world.

One day when Enoch was 65 he retired from being fatherless. This great preacher had a little baby boy. Now wouldn't that be exciting to be 65 and have a new baby in the house? Whew! It was up to Enoch to name his new son. I believe that the name was chosen after Enoch consulted with God because he chose METHUSELAH! What a nice name. How many here are named Methuselah?? Raise your hand! I don't see any hands! Amazingly, in the 16th to 18th centuries this was a very popular name.

Today we have a first name and a middle name and last name. Then it was just one name. Not until about the year 1100 AD did last names come in, due to increasing population numbers in Europe.

In Bible days a name was very important, because you only had one of them, usually. That name must glorify God. Enoch took great pains to select the proper name for his son. You parents should pray before you choose a name for your baby. Don't you go out and select some name that's so weird that somebody'll say, "What did you say your name is? How do you spell that!" That poor child has to live with that name until he's old enough to change it. He will have to live with that name all his life. Choose a nice name. Children with good names seem to get better grades in school and fit better into life.

The name of this baby boy was: "When He dies, it shall come."

Since Enoch was a man who walked with God, we can assume that God suggested this name. It meant that something will happen when this boy dies.

God was saying to Enoch and to the entire world: Do you see that baby? This world will last only as long as he lives and no longer. Because when he dies, it will come. Now they didn't know what was coming, but eventually they were told that a flood was coming. And God wanted them to get ready. Noah's flood did not strike this world without warning because way back, 969 years before, they were given the warning that lasted the whole time. God sent the warning 969 years ahead of time!

Imagine this would happen to you. When the little boy was born and God told you, that without a doubt that planet Earth would last only as long as your little child was alive. The day that your child died the world would be coming to an end. Now imagine that happening to you. Your son's life would be equal to the remaining life of the whole world. What effect would that have on your thinking?

Not knowing how soon your little boy might die, there would come before you the possibility, wouldn't there in your mind that the world might perish at any time! In fact, every time your boy got sick, you might wonder,"This is it!" The world's doom would stare you in the face.

And you would tell others about how God named your child and what it meant. Every time your boy got the flu or got injured the headlines would read: "METHUSELAH HAS FLU! The world's going to end! This could be it!!" Imagine Enochs sermons to a doomed world. No wonder Enoch walked with God. His son was a walking sermon illustration! His son was better than a subscription to Signs of the Times magazine. A constant warning that the end of the world was coming.

Eventually Enoch was taken to heaven. Methuselah was left. He got older and older through the years. Seven hundred years old. Finally outlived his own father. He got older and older and his hair, white with the snow of time and his back all stooped over loaded down with the weight of years. Everybody knew that time was short. He was a walking sermon. Everybody knew that when he died the world would be destroyed. Not until Noah came along did they actually know how this would happen. Noah said it would happen with the power of water. He preached for a hundred and twenty years stating how this would take place.

Notice Hebrews 11:7. Who was Noah compared to Methuselah? Noah was Methuselah's grandson. "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear, built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." So here in one verse he has the word "faith" mentioned three times. Faith is a very important thing. Faith is what caused Noah to build that ark. And today, we need faith. Otherwise everything we do will be in vain.

Noah got busy building an ark. White bearded Methuselah must have hobbled over to see his grandson building that ark. Possibly Old Methuselah even helped to build the ark. We don't know. He could have been good help up until the last years. Noah also preached using a living illustration. He could say, "Look at my grandfather, standing right here on the deck of this ship. When this man dies, the end will come. The flood will come." Everybody could see he isn't going to live much longer. He's nine hundred and something years old. He attempted to get through the thick skulls of the wicked their need to repent. Was Noah living in the last days? Yes he was, wasn't he? What did he preach? Did he preach all the signs of the last day events? No. In II Peter 2:5, Peter calls Noah a Preacher of righteousness. That's what you aught to be preaching in the last days. And he preached 120 years.

But the wicked disregarded mighty Noah (Matthew 25:37-39) They gorged themselves with food, they drank until they were drunk, they mocked Noah, and partied day and night. They were not ready at all. While they ignored God's warning and mocked Noah. Every now and then they would notice the oldest living human being come along on his cane, tottering along the road. 960 years old! 967 years old!! A walking Ripplys Believe it or Not!

Someone might say, "Who is that man?" Another would say, "That is Methuselah. He has already outlived Father Adam. Adam lived to be 930 years old. He has already outlived father Jarrad. Jarrad lived to be 962. He's got the record. He's the oldest man alive. He can't last much longer. Maybe Noah is right. The older he gets the shorter our time is." And Methuselah wouldn't even have to lift a finger or make a sound. Methuselah wouldn't even have to open a Bible. His very presence preached a sermon. All he had to do was walk by and people knew by looking at him that time was short. And I think we should be wide awake to the things we see with our eyes, because if you're really looking - time is short! Jesus is coming .

Methuselah was history's oldest human being. The patron saint of geriatrics. He lived just 31 years short of 1000! God did not allow him to reach 1000. Now why was he not permitted to live a thousand years? I think there is something that needs to be said about that. God did not allow him to reach one thousand. Perhaps, because, according to Psalm 90:4, a thousand years is as a single day in God's life, and then, too, of course, Adam was told that in the day that you eat you will die. And nobody lived longer than that day of a thousand years. He was not granted godlike status.

One day after Noah had preached 120 years he finished the ark. Word got around that Methuselah could not walk any more & wasn't expected to live. Finally he died. It was the year of the flood. Some scholars say that possibly it was the very week prior to the flood. He was taken away from the evil to come. He was laid to rest. His dad died five years before he did. He outlived his father. He outlived Jarrad by seven years. He was the oldest man and he was laid to rest. He was taken away before the time. And I believe many people will be laid to rest away before the final days to come. Just like he was laid to rest. He didn't have to go through that flood.

And so God called his family into the ark. Samples of all life were on board. 7 days after the door was shut the weather became foul. The skies turned black. The Judgement of God in liquid form rained down in great and final fury on the wicked for forty days and forty nights. The whole earth was inundated with water. And I believe that's a fact. I believe the flood was an actual event, and the earth was destroyed, all except those who were in the ark.

Just Prior to the Civil War between the North & South another baby was born. It needed a name. The parents met in Battle Creek, MI., under the leadership of Elder Waggoner to name it. They prayed. Again a Prophet was there. Someone suggested, "Let's call this child the CHURCH OF GOD!" Somebody said, "That's not a very distinctive name." Another said, "Let's call this the CHURCH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST." But of course the Mormons were calling their church the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And we couldn't used that name. What the parents needed was a distinctive name, a name that would convey a message, that every time you heard the name it would preach a sermon. Finally the brethren went back to study and prayer and came up with the name SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST.

So it's Jesus all the way, isn't it?

It's a name that brings out the distinctive features of our beliefs and our truth out to the front. And the Child Grew. Today we are approaching 10 million! That name is now world-wide. People find hope and truth in that name. God chose the name. -( 2SM384)

I am proud to be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. A Seventh-day Adventist Christian. With that name something can be said about me that cannot be said about anybody else!

    My church is the:
  1. Church of Jesus Christ. Of course it is. Jesus is our central doctrine.
  2. Bible Church. We certainly believe in Bible preaching. The pulpit is in the middle of the sanctuary. Not off to the side. we believe in Bible preaching.
  3. Church of latter day saints. Yes! We're living in the last days. We believe that. God's Last day remnant people.
  4. Congregational church. The people do vote on the leaders.
  5. Evangelical church. Our goal is to evangelize the world.
  6. Reformed church. God wants to reform us by His reforming power.
  7. Pentecostal church. Yes, we do believe in the Holy Spirit. We believe in being born again. We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  8. Methodist church. We believe in God's method for salvation by Faith. We have General Conferences just like the Methodists do.
  9. Baptist church. We believe in Baptism by immersion.

We are all of these and more. We can say that about them, but they canNOT say: we are the Seventh-day Adventist Church. That name sets my church apart. No one else can wear that name. It is distinctive; it preaches a sermon; it carries conviction to the sinner; it brings hope to the hearer.

The world is looking for a church that has the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility to honor the name that God gave to His people. The world wants someone who practices their religion. God gave us a name to match His standard and we ought to live up to that name.

If you can't put Jesus first and live an honest hard working life while being a positive Christlike witness to those in your circle of influence, then you should not carry that name. Carry it proudly or not at all! It is easy to soil a good name. A Seventh-day Adventist should be careful how he walks and talks. People should be able to see that your time with Jesus has made a difference in your life!


WHY was Methuselah the oldest human and not Adam? Record breaking 969 years! Why? Because God gave the sinners an extended probation in which to repent before the flood. It was an Indian Summer to show mercy to them.

Today we near the year 2000. God should have come long before this. We are living on borrowed time. If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, do so now. The time is coming when the door of mercy will swing shut. Get into the ark of safety now while God is calling.

Hymn # 604 We Know Not The Hour.



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