Theme: The believers should imitate godly examples opening sentence: In her book, "Unthinkable", reporter Amanda Ripley investigated why some people survive disasters and others don't



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TITLE: An Imitation That Please God

TEXT: Hebrews 13:7-16

THEME: The believers should imitate godly examples
OPENING

SENTENCE: In her book, “Unthinkable”, reporter Amanda Ripley investigated why some people survive disasters and others don't.


INTRODUCTION: After examining fires, floods, hurricanes, and airplane crashes, interviewing dozens of survivors, she found three phases on the journey from danger to safety: denial, deliberation and what she calls "the decisive moment." Unfortunately, many people don't make it to that final phase—the decisive moment. They don't make a decision to act.
But as an example of the third stage, Ripley tells the story of Paul Heck, a man who knew how to act when his decisive moment came. On March 27, 1977 the 65-year-old Mr. Heck and his wife were sitting on a Pan Am 747 awaiting takeoff when an incoming plane hurtled through the fog at 160 miles per hour and slammed into the Heck's plane. The collision sheared the top off of 747 and set the plane on fire. Most of the 396 passengers onboard froze. Even Heck's wife, Floy, would later report that her mind "went blank" and she felt like "a zombie." But Paul Heck went into action mode. He unbuckled his seatbelt, grabbed his wife's hand said "Follow me," and then led her through a hole on the left side of the aircraft.
In an interview after the disaster, Mr. Heck noted how most people just sat in their seats acting like everything was fine even after colliding with another plane and seeing the cabin fill with smoke. But Heck also noted that before takeoff he had studied the 747's safety diagram. When the crisis came Heck knew it was a decisive moment. He was prepared to make a decision and head for the only exit that was available to him. (James Pressley, "If You Hear an Explosion Run for the Exit Now," Bloomberg News (7-8-08))
TRANSITION

SENTENCE: Every leader, every church, every Christian, faces "decisive moments" when he or she must act with courage and make a decision.


TRANSTION: The Jewish Christians, to whom the book of Hebrew was written, were facing a crisis creating persecution, rejection and hardship. Like the passengers of this doomed plane they were stunned and did not quite know where to turn. Some were abandoning their faith in the New Covenant and gave up meeting together. The author of Hebrews will give them some direction about what they can do to figure out how to deal with their situation. He will appeal to them to look to their past leaders who have modeled how to respond to persecution and hardship.
SAY WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY: This morning I want us to address the question, “What is the benefit of followers of Jesus remembering past leaders?” I want us to look at three things. First, you can learn from them how to live a godly life in persecution. Second, they can equip you to make right decisions by equipping you to identify and avoid false doctrines. Third, in spite of your hardship they can motivate you to praise and serve God.
TEXT: Hebrews 13:7-16
THEME: The believers should model godly example
What is the benefit of followers of Jesus remembering past leaders?
I. You learn from them. (7-8)
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
They were to be rulers and leaders of the people, not according to their own will, but the will and word of God; and their character was consistent with their responsibility: they did not rule at a distance, and rule by others, but they ruled by personal presence and instruction, according to the word of God.


  1. The message of God’s Word. These were men faithfully taught the Word of God so we could discern truth from error and so we could know how we were called to live. They themselves understood it modeled it.




  1. The outcome of a faith well lived. These men were not hypocrites and while they were sinners they understood and lived out the grace of God in their lives so it was exemplary of what God wants for us.




  1. You have a model to imitate. We need models in life. We need someone that is living out their faith and give us an example of what can become. While all men are vulnerable and can fail us we still need someone to show us what is possible.




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