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Heroes and the Heroic:

  1. We are Cynical:
    1. Before 9/11 we despaired that there were any true heroes.
    2. We were too sophisticated for heroes. It is too romantic
    3. 9/11 changed that and we began to rethink the heroic. But now our faith in that which is heroic is fading again. The world just seems too complicated.

  2. We are Fascinated With Heroes:
    1. Best Movies are about Bigger-than-life heroes
    2. Heroes are great when they are someone else ...

  3. The Hobbit:
    1. Do not care for adventure
    2. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things
    3. Make you late for dinner
    4. Hobbit society frowns on adventures and adventurers
      1. Adventurers do unexpected things and bring in trouble
      2. They inspire silly ideas in people

    “Perhaps we are more like Hobbits than we care to admit ...”

  4. Even in the Church
    1. He/she who dares to spend him/herself in heroic efforts may suffer the rebuke or ridicule of fellow “hobbits” – We don’t want trouble makers coming around and stirring up adventure.
    2. So it can be tempting to give up — or to at least sit back and do nothing
    3. The best way to avoid criticism and hard work is to become comfortably and peacefully meaningless
    4. Timothy was tempted to quit ...


  1. An Encouraging Letter from His Mentor (Background to 2 Timothy)
    1. Timothy was Paul’s troubleshooter and representative (1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10-11; Philippians 2:19-23; 1 Thessalonians 3:2)
    2. At work in Ephesus
    3. Paul is in prison, facing death.
    4. Members of the church are opposing him, he is disrespected.
    5. Rival teachers, who are teaching garbage, are having more success than he is.
    6. Timothy is strongly considering a career change.
      1. Thus, Paul’s letter

  2. The Essence of the Message: “This is no time for Wimps!” (1:7)
    1. Paul Gives Examples Timothy would know:
      1. Phugelus and Hermogenes (1:15) — deserters
      2. Humenaeus and Philetus (2:17-18) — false teachers (for selfish reasons no doubt)
      3. Demas — deserter, “he loved the world”
    2. The Timid are Deserters:
      1. This is Military Language, why?
      2. More is at stake than in any war ever fought.
      3. Deserters are not the enemy (4:16), but the contribute to his cause

  3. Paul charges Timothy to:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline.”


Can we have a Heroic Faith?
Back to Tolkien (Gandalf’s remark):
“I tried to find [a hero or a warrior]; but warriors are busy fighting one another in distant lands, and in this neighborhood heroes are scarce, or simply not to be found. Swords in these parts are blunt, and axes are used for trees, and shields as cradles or dish-covers; and dragons are comfortably far-off (and therefore legendary).”

Gandalf is right and wrong

There is a dragon loose and he is burning homes, stirring up fear and despair and anxiety, he is making threats.
He is a desperate foe. (Our King has wounded him, but he is not powerless — yet.)
You either stand against the dragon, or give up. The Dragon does not respect innocent bystanders.

Are we “hobbits,” or heroes? God calls us into a grand adventure.

2 Timothy 2:11-13
If we died with him, we will also live with him (baptism)
If we endure, we will also reign with him (dedication)
If we disown him, he will also disown us (so don’t)
If we are faithless, he will remain faithful ...(grace and repentance)

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 20 January 2008

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