Sermons

Summary: Last in a series on unlikely heroes mentioned in Hebrews 11 using Jesus as an unlikely hero leading into ADvent.

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Chico Alliance Church

December 15, 2002

Pastor David Welch

“The Ultimate Unlikely Hero”

Unlikely Heroes Part Eight

Introduction

Hebrews 11:32 mentions six individuals used by God to accomplish eternal purposes. All of these individuals had some attribute that qualified them as unlikely candidates for deliverer of the century awards. Yet God used them because of their willingness to listen, believe and obey. The whole eleventh chapter of Hebrews lists those who pleased God by their faith.

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Beside these individuals, the Bible is filled with unlikely heroes and unlikely means. All of these names and the other mentioned in the Bible were greatly used by God in spite of sin. Why does God use sinners to accomplish his purposes on earth? Because that is all he has to work with. All have sinned. All are still sinning daily. All will continue to sin until Jesus comes back. Think about some others unlikely heroes recorded in the Bible…

Abraham grew up a pagan among pagans who became the father of Israel because of his faith.

God called Moses, a promising leader whose arrogance led him to murder and failure but whose faith enabled him to become a great deliverer of Israel.

Rahab, a prostitute, shows up in the genealogy of Jesus because of her faith in the true God.

Ehud even though generally looked at as a defective person was used by God to deliver.

Ruth a widowed foreigner shows up in the genealogy of Jesus because of her faith and loyalty.

Esther a beauty pageant winner was used by God to save her people from annihilation.

Nehemiah a simple cupbearer to a foreign king was used by God to motivate the people to rebuild the walls of the holy city.

Amos though not an educated teacher, a preacher or even the son a preacher was used by God to proclaim a message or repentance to a stubborn people.

Paul formerly called Saul killed Christians but was converted and mightily used by God.

All these along with many others, some unnamed heroes because they dared to listen, believe and obey God. All of the deliverances thus far in human history had been short lived and temporary at best. Sin continually dragged mankind back into bondage time and time. No mere human deliverer would be able to do what had to be done to bring about a permanent change in the human heart. What would God have to do to permanently rescue people from their sin and restore relationship with Him? What kind a plan would the infinite all-knowing God conceive and implement? Many missed it because it was not what they had expected or desired.

In spite of many specific prophecies before the fact, many still missed Messiah’s incursion into human life and history. The most anticipated super hero of all was Messiah. From the beginning, God promised a Savior who would save his people and the people of the world from their bondage to sin and people. So many aspects of the Advent of Messiah seemed unlikely; many of which were prophesied hundreds of years before the fact and became apparent only after the fact.

Unlikely nation -- _______________

A tiny little country in the Middle East.

Unlikely Town -- _________________

A tiny little insignificant town in a tiny little country.

Unlikely home town -- __________________

Nathanael said to him (Philip), "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"." John 1:46

Unlikely teenage _______________ and bewildered ______________

Why would God choose an unknown young unmarried teenager to face pregnancy and the responsibility of bearing the Savior of the world? The man chosen to be the husband of the Messiah’s mother seemed unlikely by station in life. Neither a scholar not a priest, not even a religious or political leader. He was a hard working carpenter thrust into a personal dilemma on the even of marriage plans.

Unlikely Birth -- _______________

Many unmarried girls over the centuries would like to claim that their pregnancy happened without the benefit of a father. The plan included something that had NEVER happened before or since -- a pregnant virgin.

Unlikely _______________________ surrounding his birth

They were forced to travel far from family and friends in a crowded town to give birth in a filthy animal shelter. Not such a great entrance for the ultimate prophet, priest and king.

Unlikely __________ -- shepherds and foreign kings, widows and widowers

Shepherds were the losers of society. They were not well respected. In fact they were not respected at all. Yet God sent angels to them to proclaim the coming of the long awaited national hero. Angels hadn’t appeared to anyone up until Mary and Zachariah and Joseph in a dream. There were some interesting foreign dignitaries from the west who had studied Hebrew prophecy as well as the stars and followed the clues.

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