Heroes of the Faith

If you’ve never read the 11th chapter of Hebrews now might be a good time. Even if you have it might be nice to refresh your memory. This chapter is often refered to as a list of the heroes of the Faith. It tells several stories, in short, about several of the better known ancients. These lives, heroic as they were, inspire us. They give us a push, often much-needed, in that same direction. The heroic direction. The chapter is, I believe, incomplete. It would have to be. There have been far to many faithful, faith-filled heroes to cram them all in one chapter. Just my idea, but I think it is meant to be incomplete. Being incomplete we’re given the chance to fill in blanks. In more ways than one. We have to think in order to fill in blanks. That’s a good thing. Paul says in verse 32, “What more shall I recount? I have no time to tell of …” It’s incomplete for three reasons. One, there are way to many ancient heroes to count. Some are unknown to us, known only to God. Two, the list is ongoing. It doesn’t include those heroes who aren’t ancient, those yet to come. Paul can’t list, because he doesn’t know, the many martyrs who died for the Faith under Diocletian. He doesn’t, can’t mention the men who gave their lives in the Crusades. He has no knowledge of the missionaries that died in Japan. He doesn’t know about … Well, you get the idea. The list is ongoing and will go on til Christ returns. These are two reasons the chapter can be considered “unfinished”, a work in progress. But there is one more. Paul hints at it in the last verse. In reference to all these heroes, past, present, future, there is one other class of heroes that we can not afford to forget. They should be very important to us for very personal reasons. The last half of verse 40: “Without US, they were not to be made perfect.” That third group? That’s you and me. The others, the entire list, isn’t complete, isn’t “made perfect”, without US. So who is a hero? It had better be you and me if we want to finish that list. It’s important to help finish the list. Christianity is a group effort. Its been said “it takes a village.” Well, with Christianity it takes more than isolated believers. It takes a Church. Finishing the list is important. Just keep in mind that to finish the list we have to make the list. Not making the list ought not be considered a viable alternative. Nows the time to read Revelation 20:15. It mentions the list and the fate of those not listed. So you and I are called to be heroes of the Faith. The alternative is unacceptable. So, how? How do I be a hero of the Faith? Lots of ways actually. Giving ones life up for God certainly. But to do that, and not everyone is called to do that, we must do something else first. And this first thing is the most important. Without it dieing a martyr’s death would have no meaning at all. Giving my life up for God is wonderful. So long as I give it TO Him first. And thats how to be a faithful, faith-filled, hero of the Faith. Giving our life TO God. Day by day, day after day, day in and day out. When I feel like it and when I don’t. When it is easy and when its hard. When people applaud and when they jeer and even spit in my face. You don’t have to die to be a hero. But you do have to give your life.

Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 9:13 am  Comments Off on Heroes of the Faith  
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