About This Series:
God's hall of fame is not filled with pictures of superstar athletes, nor Olympians, nor Grammy award winners, nor rock-stars, but with normal people, who served behind the scenes, unnoticed by the world. Those who minister faithfully, God rewards. Those who are counted as nobodies here on earth will be kings and queens in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of God's grace - no faithful act is overlooked by Him.
God knows Your name and He knows everything about you. You might walk down the street or walk down the aisle of your Church and feel like just a face in the crowd. But there is coming a day when God will call you by name. He will embrace you as His child . . . and He will reward you for all the things you did for his glory that no one else saw. What a day that will be!
Have you ever heard the saying, “No man is an island?” Well the Apostle Paul, spiritual and energetic as he was, would have said the same thing. In Romans 16:3-5, he introduces us to a Godly couple who poured into him as much as he poured into others. Were it not for their persistent ministry, Paul would not have been the Apostle he was.
There’s a hall of fame for just about everything nowadays. There’s a basketball hall of fame, a bicycling hall of fame, a nurses hall of fame, an aviation hall of fame, a quilters hall of fame; and the list goes on and on! In Romans chapter 16, however, we discover that God has a hall of fame as well. But unlike our worldly displays, the heroes in God’s hall are not praised for great feats of strength, brilliance, or artistry. They are honored for their service and humility. So let’s join Stephen now as he shows us a few of the people on display.
In Romans 16:17-18, the Apostle Paul interrupts his letter of commendation to warn the Church about false teachers. It’s a warning as relevant to us today as it was to those Christians in Rome. So let's join Stephen in this message as he gives us the marks of a false teacher.
At one point in John Bunyan’s famous work, “A Pilgrim’s Progress,” Pilgrim and his friend travel through a town called “Vanity Fair.” The town is a lot like yours and mine: materialistic, self-absorbed, pleasure-seeking, and God-rejecting. Temptation was lurking around every corner. In this message Stephen asks us to consider how well we are surviving the onslaught of temptation that surrounds us every day in our own Vanity Fair. In Bunyan’s allegory, Pilgrim’s friend didn’t make it out alive. Will you?
In typical fashion, Paul wraps up his letter to the Romans by greeting and thanking diverse individuals who are worthy of affirmation. But before they get too big-headed, Paul reminds them that God is the One who really deserves the credit. The gallery of our faith is just a hall in the greater gallery of God's grace.