Part of the incredible impact of the attacks on the World Trade Center was that everyday people suddenly became national heroes. Fire trucks would roll through New York City with weary firefighters on board - and New Yorkers would erupt in spontaneous cheers. Ground Zero, the devastated area at and around the site of the collapsed towers, became known as Ground Hero. Professional athletes, who are our nation's heroes in less turbulent times, kept saying, "We're not the heroes - they're the heroes." Americans will not soon forget those firefighters, the police, the medical personnel, and the countless volunteers who gave everything they had to try to rescue those who were caught in those collapsing towers. The word "hero" may never be the same.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Heaven's Heroes."
We know what a hero is - ultimately it is someone who does whatever it takes to rescue someone who will die if they don't. Apparently, that's God's definition of a "hero" as well.
Consider this exciting promise from Daniel 12:3, our word for today from the Word of God. "Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever." God seems to be reserving special reward, special recognition for those who lead people to a right relationship with Him. And heaven's applause will last "forever and ever." In other words, heaven's heroes are those who help other people get to heaven.
Proverbs 24:11 underscores the "life-or-deathness" of our spiritual rescue mission. God says, "Rescue those being led away to death." Ezekiel puts it in the context of a watchman on the city wall - "If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood."
If you belong to Jesus Christ, you have a life-or-death responsibility for the folks in your world who don't belong to Jesus Christ. You have the information about what Jesus did for them on the cross and how they can begin a relationship with Him - and that message is their only hope of heaven. So you are uniquely positioned to be the spiritual rescuer of the people you know, the people you care about. You are where you are to give the people there a chance to go to heaven. Please - don't let them down. This isn't about rescuing someone so they can have 30, maybe 40 more years to live on earth - this is about whether they live or die for all eternity!
Yes, it feels risky to tell them about Jesus - but then rescue is always risky. The reason you take those risks is because you can't stand the thought of that person dying without a chance. So you go where they are, you pray with a desperate urgency for God's open doors and God's words, and you give whatever you have to give to bring them out.
Saving lives makes a person a hero. When you lead someone to the Man who died for them, you are saving a life forever. And you become one of heaven's heroes.