Before you crucify me for choosing the kind of title that I have decided to work with, all you need to do is take a look at the Bible which chronicles the life and times of some great men and women. Such people were to be the examples for our own lives and a few of them were referred to as the heroes of faith. In all the examples that we have and can look at easily, one amusing thing that stands out to me is the fact a lot of the people we refer to as heroes of faith were simply bad boys and girls. I shall attempt to remind of some of these people then you will see that some of them were even worse than you, at least until they met God.
It’s very important to bring up issues like this so that we remind some people who claim to be propagating the gospel that the gospel is supposed to be good news, not condemnation as they have presented it. And in all, it is only good news because Jesus said someone who is whole needs no physician and he was sent only to the lost sheep (bad boys and girls – fornicators, adulterers, Idolaters, Murderers, Terrorists, Backbiters, Cheats) of the house of Israel. It is good news to the people mentioned in the category above because they are not in anyway qualified to have an association with God based on their character but by grace, they are the really qualified.
Do you remember David, the man after God’s heart? Please remember that it was God who confirmed that David is a man after His own heart but the same David was the adulterer who came out of his palace, saw a woman and called for her immediately. He knew that this woman is the wife of one of the soldiers on the battle field so after sleeping with the woman, David organized a smooth and very strategic way for the woman’s husband to die on the battle field! He became an adulterer and a murderer at the same time. When David wanted to build a house for God, he was not allowed to do it because God said his hands were filled with blood. But we must not forget that when the prophet, Nathan, showed up to tell David about how unhappy God was with him, he completely and immediately repented. That’s what makes him different from the arrogant King Saul.
Hope you have come across the name Jacob as you read your Bible or as your pastor teaches. He was called the supplanter. He was a famous cheat. The general impression was that he got his brother’s birth right in a dubious way. Although I have a different opinion but that’s for another time. When it was time for Jacob’s father to bless his brother Esau, Jacob went ahead of Esau to get what the father requested, dressed like him and went in to get the blessing from Isaac. It was the same Jacob who wrestled with God until morning and he was saying ‘you will not go until you bless me. Even when Jacob was with Laban his uncle and he was to be cheated, God still gave him a strategy such that Laban was disappointed and admitted that God had blessed him for Jacob’s sake.
What about brother Paul? He used to be Saul. He was a serial killer! While Stephen, God’s son was being stoned to death, Paul was the one who gave the go ahead. He took delight in killing people and got official letters to kill. He did not just kill anybody, he was killing Christians! The same person still said in his life time, ‘I have fought the good fight of faith.’ Do you remember the woman who was brought to Jesus as the one caught in the very act of adultery? The people said she was to be stoned to death according to the law of Moses but they sought the opinion of Jesus in order to test Jesus. Jesus asked them to cast the first stone if they had not committed any sin! The woman would have been dead if they had not sought the opinion of Jesus! In fact, that story was not about the adultery as much as it was about testing the doctrine and person of Jesus.
Think of the message that God gave to Hosea the prophet. God needed to help him understand that His beloved children were like prostitutes and to relay the message effectively God told the prophet to marry a harlot! The Bible is just full of imperfect people who did some of the most terrible things but God chose to love them.
Do not misunderstand me. When I say He is the God of the bad boys and girls, it does not mean that God overlooks those bad things just like that! It simply means it is not what you are doing rightly or wrongly that will earn you God’s love. God loves all of us but those who will enjoy the real benefit of that love are those who eventually turn from the bad things and face God. All the bad boys and girls in the Bible that we refer to as heroes of faith got a chance to do things differently and they changed. In fact, the reason we hear about them today is because they took God’s grace seriously. The Bible says ‘this is God’s love demonstrated towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’
You may be a very bad boy or girl. The point is, you can’t be so bad that God will not be ready to forgive you, cleanse you, make a saint out of you and turn you to a hero or heroine of faith! He turned David, adulterer and murderer to His own heart. He also did it with Saul, the serial killer and changed him to Paul, the great evangelist, teacher and church planter with exceptional grace for revelation. He can also do it with you. Come to Him as you are. He knows just what to do with every bad boy and girl.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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