Summary: Jesus Christ stands head and shoulders above every other man or woman that has shaped history. Why? What is unique about this man Christ Jesus?
Throughout history there have been many mighty prophets, teachers, reformers, and valiant defenders of freedom. I personally have a favorite. As I flip through the pages of history, I most recently admire Ronald Reagan and his visionary presidency that enflamed the American dream back into our culture.
I greatly admire the courageous stand of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He preached with power and skill that few men ever approach, he led with wisdom and skill guided by the holy teachings of Scripture, and he achieved phenomenal results without ever raising a gun or a sword -- only girded with the weapon of Truth.
I admire Winston Churchill. His fearless fight against evil Naziism leading the world to overthrow the hatred of Hitler.
I am amazed at the peaceful victories wrought under the direction of Ghandi.
I look back at the distinction of men with conviction like Abraham Lincoln and am amazed at the impact of their life on each of us here today.
I recall the cry for freedom of the founding fathers of our country who cried "Give me liberty, or give me death."
I remember the great men and women of God who through sacrifice of their own interests have carried the light of the gospel to foreign lands, have advanced the fires of revival into complacent countries, and have been used of God to thrust the sickle and reap a mighty harvest of souls.
I greatly admire the leadership of modern day revivalists like Steve Hill, who preaches a simple powerful Gospel message and compels thousands of men to come to Christ. I admire the untarnished evangelistic work of the evangelist Billy Graham and the thousands of souls he has led to the foot of the cross. I admire the bold-daring outreach of David Wilkerson into the gangs of New York City. I praise God for the mighty crusades preached by Rinehard Bohnke that have resulted in millions of African souls being bathed in the blood of Christ.
I look back to revivals of the past and I admire the humble, one-eyed black preacher, William Seymour, who led the Azusa Street revival to wash the hatred and prejudices of American society as black and white were all baptized in the Holy Spirit. I admire the tenacity of revivalists like Charles Finney who would not close a service until a soul was saved. I admire the powerful preaching of the "Prince of Preachers" Charles Haddon Spurgeon who so shook London with his message that his sermons were printed in the newspaper every Monday following his Sunday declaration.
I respect the revolutionary revival brought to England and America by John & Charles Wesley. I look with amazement at the leadership of George Whitfield who preached in the open fields to thousands of who gathered, hungry for a fresh move of God. I admire the leadership, brilliance, and powerful preaching done by Jonathan Edwards as he awakened men to see the terror of a Holy God.
I look at men of God like John Knox, who cried, "Give me revival, or I die," with respect that words cannot truly capture. I am so grateful for the uncompromising stand for justification by faith alone taken by Martin Luther, who stand reformed all of western culture.
Yet for me to bring you to the man that I most respect, we must look into the pages of Holy Scripture. But the Bible contains the stories of so many great men, how do you choose only one? You really ought to read this book. There are REAL men and women whose valiance defies Frodo, Luke Skywalker, Superman and the Terminator.
There is Noah, who through faithful obedience built an ark to the saving of the entire human race. There is Abraham, who believed God without a Bible, a tape series, or a tv preacher, brought the testimony of justification and the seed of promise to all who believe.
There is Joseph -- Oh the story of Joseph, the dreamer who was betrayed by his brothers, lied on by his masters wife, imprisoned wrongfully, and had his prime years squandered in slavery and a dungeon. But Joseph’s faith, commitment, and integrity were unbreakable, and God raised him up in due season.
There is Moses. Not only the mighty deliverer who wrought plagues on Pharaoh’s kingdom and household and liberated millions from slavery, but also had such a unique personal relationship with God that he saw God’s glory, and talked with God as a man does with his friend.
There is Joshua and his wall-defying militant faith. There is David in his giant-defeating trust in the God of Israel. There are the great prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah who endured persecutions and delivered a timely, tough message from the Master. There is Daniel and his faith that locked the lions mouths.