CHATTANOOGA — Picking a “fantasy team” of Biblical heroes might prove to be much harder than it looks, said John Green IV, pastor of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church, Knoxville.
Why? Because God often uses seemingly “small” people to do big things.
Delivering the convention sermon at Summit on Wednesday afternoon, Green examined the many ways in which God often turns “nobodies into somebodies.”
Green opened his message by noting that Hebrews 11:32-40 mentions numerous people who belong in the “Hall of Faith.” And yet, Green said, some of these people — who are among the most important in the Old Testament — hardly even have their names mentioned in the “Who’s Who” of heroes.
The reason for this, he said, is because they were not seeking fame or looking to go down in history; they were simply doing what the Lord said. Green then challenged pastors and church leaders to do the same.
The action step here, he said, is “die to self in order to live for Christ.”
Green said many church leaders give in to the temptation of trying to be social media superstars, and they become less concerned about making an impact for Christ.
“How many of us are guilty of turning a calling of God into a platform for ourselves?” he said. “Most of us are willing to be somebody for the Kingdom of God. But are we willing to be a nobody?”
Green quoted Philippians 4:21, in which Paul says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Green said countless missionaries have held true to that line of thinking. He used James Calvert, a missionary to Fiji in the 1830s, as one example.
When Calvert was warned that he and his fellow missionaries were almost certain to be killed by natives, Calvert was quoted as saying, “We died before we came.”
Other believers, in Biblical times and in present day, have made similar sacrifices.
“These guys didn’t become famous martyrs,” Green said. “It wasn’t about them — just like it isn’t about us.
“It’s about Jesus. He is the hero of the story.”
Green said the list of people in Hebrews 11:32 were “heroes who walked by faith. And now it is our turn to do that.
“It is our turn to leave our nets and go to the ends of the earth,” he said.
Green said believers should quit trying so hard to leave a legacy in earthly terms, and should instead leave a legacy in the Lord.
“The world might not ever know your name,” he said, “but Jesus does.” B&R