Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You [NOOK Book]

Overview

What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work?


Far from the children’s tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real.  They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their ...

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Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You

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Overview

What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work?


Far from the children’s tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real.  They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their stories as a display of human nobility. Instead, it describes these heroes of the faith with unflinching honesty and delivers an unexpected ending: “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16).


In Twelve Unlikely Heroes, pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur uses his deep knowledge of the Bible and history to take us back to see these three-dimensional men and women in their own times and cultures. In doing so, it becomes clear how their dramatic stories apply to us today. People who might at first seem foreign quickly become familiar and unforgettable—particularly as they reveal the true Hero behind every witness, the power counterbalancing every weakness, “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400203338
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 89,781
  • File size: 813 KB

Meet the Author

John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, president of the Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry. In more than four decades of ministry, John has written dozens of bestselling books, including The MacArthur Study Bible, The Gospel According to Jesus, and Slave. He and his wife, Patricia, have four married children and fifteen grandchildren.
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Read an Excerpt

Twelve Unlikely Heroes

HOW GOD COMMISSIONED UNEXPECTED PEOPLE in the BIBLE and WHAT HE WANTS to DO with YOU
By John MacArthur

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 John MacArthur
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0208-9


Chapter One

Enoch: The Man Who Walked with God

* * *

Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. —Genesis 5:24

Some heroes are made in a moment. Others are defined by a lifetime. Such was certainly true of the fourth-century Christian leader, Athanasius, whose heroism was demonstrated over many decades by his unwavering refusal to compromise even when it seemed that all the world stood united against him.

Athanasius ministered in Alexandria, Egypt, during a time of epic transition within the Roman Empire. Emperor Constantine had recently put an end to the imperial policy of persecution against Christians. The church's newfound acceptance and rest, however, was short-lived. Danger and controversy soon threatened because of the subversive errors of a false teacher named Arius. At stake was no less than the biblical understanding of the deity of Christ and, consequently, the doctrine of the Trinity.

The truth about Christ's deity had always been an essential doctrine for the church, from the time of the apostles. But the heretic Arius arrogantly challenged that reality—brashly asserting that the Son of God was merely a created being who was inferior rather than equal to God the Father. To make a modern comparison, Arius was the original Jehovah's Witness. He denied the deity of Christ and consequently destroyed the true gospel, replacing it with a damning substitute. Though his views were overwhelmingly denounced at the Council of Nicaea in 325, they remained popular even after his death in 336.

As early as 321, Athanasius (then only twenty-three years old) began writing against the false teachings of Arius. Seven years later, in 328, he became the pastor of the church in Alexandria—one of the most influential cities in the Roman Empire. Appropriately known as "the saint of stubbornness," Athanasius tirelessly dedicated his life and ministry to defending the deity of Christ and defeating the Arian heresy. But that courageous stand proved costly. The Arians were not only popular, they also had powerful political allies. Even Satan was on their side. As a result, Athanasius's life was constantly in danger. He was banished from Alexandria five different times, spending a total of seventeen years in exile—all because he resolutely refused to compromise. The unswerving pastor died in 373, after diligently guarding sound doctrine for more than half a century. And the Lord rewarded his faithfulness, enabling Athanasius to keep his finger in the dike for all those years to hold back the floodwaters of heresy at a critical point in the history of the church.

In the centuries since, a famous saying has been attributed to Athanasius though it can't be proven that he ever said it himself. The phrase in Latin is Athanasius contra mundum. It means, "Athanasius against the world" and it accurately epitomizes his lifelong stand against the widespread errors of Arianism. Though, at times, it appeared as if false teaching had swayed the entire Roman Empire, Athanasius would not compromise. During those long years in exile, when he felt almost completely alone, he refused to give in. And that is what made him a hero.

Enoch is rightly regarded as a hero for the same reason: he stood strong over a long period of time. Like Athanasius, he boldly opposed the false teachers of his day, courageously confronting the popular opinions of the society in which he lived (cf. Jude 14-15). Even in the midst of a corrupt and perverse civilization (one so wicked the Lord determined to destroy it in the Flood), Enoch refused to compromise. At times, he undoubtedly felt alone—as if the entire world were against him. Yet he remained true to the Lord. The author of Hebrews summed up Enoch's legacy with these profound words, "he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5). Amazingly, he did so, not just for several decades, but for three hundred years!

A MAN WHO NEVER DIED

Throughout past generations of human history, out of the billions who have lived on this earth, only two people have never died. Though these remarkable individuals were separated by many centuries, their lives share striking similarities. Both were prophets of God; both warned the wicked of coming judgment; both lived at a time when following the Lord was utterly unpopular; and both went to heaven without experiencing physical death.

The second of these men, the prophet Elijah, boldly confronted the idol worship of his day, calling and challenging Israel to return to the true God. At times, he too felt alone—as if the whole world was against him (1 Kings 19:10). Yet he remained faithful. Though he lived in constant danger (and would have been killed if he were captured), Elijah survived until God sent a fiery chariot to transport him to his eternal home. One day while the seasoned prophet was walking with his student Elisha, "suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Kings 2:11). As the startled Elisha stood watching dead in his tracks, his esteemed companion was whisked away by God. In a moment, with a rush of supernatural wind and a flash of blazing brilliance, he vanished, never to be seen on earth again—until he made a brief appearance in glorified form at the Transfiguration ofJesus (cf. Matthew 17:1–9).

Millennia earlier, another man was similarly taken by God from the earth. For three centuries, this godly preacher walked with the Lord in intimate fellowship and righteous obedience. His temporal journey ended one day while he was walking with God. Enoch, without dying, was suddenly snatched away to heaven.

The biblical account regarding Enoch consists of just a handful of verses found in Genesis, Hebrews, and Jude (along with mentions of his name in 1 Chronicles 1:3 and Luke 3:37). Even so, there is plenty of information given about him to include his amazing history in a book of heroes. In studying his life, we encounter an individual whose testimony was both extraordinary and exemplary. Though Enoch's experiences were remarkable and unique, he still sets a compelling example for us to follow: one of unwavering faith and uncompromising obedience.

A MAN WITH A NATURE LIKE OURS

Enoch's world was far different from ours. The earth had not yet been destroyed and rearranged into its present form by the Flood. Life expectancy was measured in centuries rather than in decades. Enoch himself was born only 622 years after creation, in the seventh generation from Adam. His son, Methuselah, lived longer than anyone else (at 969 years), and his great-grandson Noah, who famously built the ark, completed it at age 600.

The extended lifespans of this time were made possible by the ideal conditions on this pre-Flood planet. According to Genesis 1:6, a canopy of water completely encircled the atmosphere, thereby protecting earth's surface from the destructive effects of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. It also created a greenhouse-type environment that moderated climate and temperature, minimized winds and storms, and created the most favorable conditions for plant life. Additionally, in this lush tropical setting, rain was not necessary because the entire world was irrigated by a natural sprinkler system—a mist that came up from under the ground (Genesis 2:5–6).

Yet, in spite of its natural beauty and resources, the presence of sin in the pre-Flood world corrupted all who lived there. The effects of the Fall were felt immediately after Adam and Eve rebelled against God. Adam's oldest son, Cain, slaughtered his younger brother Abel in cold blood (Genesis 4:8). And the story gets worse. One of Cain's descendants—a man named Lamech—was, like Enoch, born in the seventh generation from Adam. Unlike Enoch, however, Lamech openly boasted of both murder and polygamy (Genesis 4:23). His flagrant lawlessness was characteristic of the civilization in which he lived. Three generations later, when the Lord "saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5), He determined to drown the whole world.

In terms of topography, Enoch's world looked very different than ours does today. But the culture in which he lived was much the same—being characterized by comprehensive corruption, moral decay in every way possible, and open rebellion against God. The fact that people lived for so long was both a blessing and a curse. Their longer lifespans enabled them to develop intellectually and culturally at a rapid rate—which at the outset of human civilization was an important key to inhabiting and cultivating the riches of the earth (Genesis 1:28). At the same time, however, such longevity also accelerated the degradation of society. In our own day, we know how difficult it can be to battle temptation for seventy or eighty years. But those who sought to live godly lives in the pre-Flood era had to struggle against sin and endure its impact over many hundreds of years. That is what makes the examples of righteous men like Enoch so compelling: he stood against the corruption of his culture and walked with God for three centuries!

The legacy of Enoch's faithfulness is not only a monumental example for all believers to follow, but also a penetrating and enduring influence on his own family. That impact is especially evident in the life of his great-grandson Noah. Though Noah was born sixty-nine years after Enoch went to heaven, Enoch's testimony would have been passed down to him through his father and grandfather. According to Genesis 6:9, "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God," just as his great-grandfather Enoch had done. Second Peter 2:5 describes Noah as a "preacher of righteousness," a role he undoubtedly learned from the accounts he heard of his great-grandfather's ministry (cf. Jude 14–15). Like Enoch, Noah confronted the corruption of his culture, and, like Enoch, Noah was miraculously saved by God from his evil society.

Enoch's remarkable life may seem, like Elijah's, an impossible one for us to emulate. Not so. Writing about Elijah, the apostle James told his readers, "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours" (James 5:17a). The same could also be said about Enoch. As a member of the sinful human race, Enoch fought against the same temptations, fears, and weaknesses that have plagued all men and women since the Fall. Even so, he was able to demonstrate enduring righteousness—not because he was sinless but because he drew on divine resources. He was a sinner who was saved by grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live by obedient faith. Thus, Enoch's righteous walk should not intimidate us. Rather, as a witness to the life of faith (Hebrews 12:1), his example ought to motivate us to greater faithfulness and deeper resolve in our own walk with the Lord.

A MAN WHO WALKED WITH GOD

Let's back up to the beginning of Enoch's story. He is first mentioned in the genealogical record of Genesis 5—a chapter that traces the righteous descendants of Adam from Seth all the way to Noah. As we might expect from a genealogy, Enoch is introduced in a way that is purely matter-of-fact: "Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch" (Genesis 5:18). But Enoch's brief biography just a few verses later quickly makes it clear that his life was anything but ordinary. According to Genesis 5:21–24,

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

In fewer than fifty words, the entire Old Testament account of Enoch's life is complete. Even so, there is much more here than mere genealogical data.

The genealogy of Genesis 5 is very important for at least two reasons. First, it indicates that Genesis 1–9 is real history, and it gives an accurate chronology of that time period. It is the true record of mankind from Adam to Noah (from God's creation of the world out of water to His destruction of it by water). Second, the genealogy chronicles death, as each obituary ends with the words, "and he died." The curse is in full force (Genesis 2:17), and for all those listed in the family tree, the end is always the same—with one notable exception. Enoch is set apart because he "walked with God" and because "he was not, for God took him." Let's examine both of those terse, but loaded, features of his life.

Twice in just four verses we are told that Enoch walked with God. In fact, that succinct phrase is all Genesis 5 tells us about the character of this man. But that's enough. Enoch lived in such a way that, after 365 years in this world, his life could be accurately summarized with repeated, sublime brevity. Nearly seven centuries after the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve had walked with God in perfection (cf. Genesis 3:8), there is finally someone who is said to commune with God in intimate, daily fellowship. And he did that for three hundred years.

To walk with God is another way to say that Enoch pleased God. In fact, the Septuagint—the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament—renders the phrase exactly that way: "Enoch pleased God." The writer of Hebrews seals this meaning when he describes Enoch's life: "He had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5b). Because Enoch sought to be pleasing to God, God was well pleased to be in fellowship with him.

What can we learn practically about walking with God so that we can follow Enoch's example? Scripture, where this theme is reiterated and expanded, reveals that walking with God includes at least three component parts. It begins with forgiveness from sin, consists of faith in the Lord, and results in fruits of righteousness. Understanding these three aspects opens the door to the rich spiritual treasure that lies behind the simple words of Genesis 5.

The Starting Point: Forgiveness from Sin

The Bible makes it clear that in order for sinful people to commune with a holy God, they must first be reconciled to Him from their alienated sinful condition.

In Amos 3:3, the prophet asked rhetorically, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" The apostle Paul made a similar point in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? " For sinners to be in agreement and harmony with the Lord whom they have rebelled against—and thereby to enjoy fellowship with Him—their sins must be forgiven and their hearts cleansed and made new. It may seem obvious, but it is important to state that Enoch was a saved man. He had, by divine grace, been forgiven for all his sin and transformed from God's enemy into His friend.

On what basis can a holy God forgive? How is that consistent with His perfect justice? For the answer, we go to Hebrews 11 where Enoch's example of saving faith is highlighted immediately after Abel's. The author of Hebrews says this about Adam's second-born son, "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous" (Hebrews 11:4a). As Abel's example demonstrates, sinners must come to God in the way that He requires. In Abel's case, God required an animal sacrifice (Genesis 4:4), which Abel offered in faith. Such sacrifices were necessary as a vivid reminder that sin brings death and that fellowship with God requires an atonement (or covering) for sin. Though the sinner ought to die, an animal was killed as a substitute in his or her place.

Abel's sacrifice, as all Old Testament sacrifices, pointed to the cross, where Jesus Christ died once for all to make the only full and satisfactory atonement for sin. Because of Christ's death in their place, sinners can be forgiven and declared righteous by God apart from any moral goodness in them. With their sins paid for by Jesus' sacrifice, they are covered with His own righteousness. That imputed righteousness establishes reconciliation, enabling fallen human beings to enjoy fellowship with a holy God.

Like Abel, Enoch was a man who understood his own unworthiness and the need for a proper sacrifice. As truth was passed down from generation to generation among the godly descendants of Seth, Enoch would have learned about Abel's sacrificial offering. Clearly, he embraced the truth behind it, understanding that he was an undeserving sinner who needed a God-ordained substitute to bear the punishment in his place. His personal relationship with the Lord began when his sins were forgiven and he was covered by the righteousness of the Savior who would carry Enoch's sins to the cross and pay the penalty for them in full. Like all believers throughout every epoch of history, Enoch's testimony was one of salvation by grace through faith.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur Copyright © 2012 by John MacArthur. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction....................ix
1. Enoch: The Man Who Walked with God....................1
2. Joseph: Because God Meant It for Good....................21
3. Miriam: The Leading Lady of the Exodus....................43
4. Gideon and Samson: Stories of Weakness and Strength....................65
5. Jonathan: The Man Who Would (Not) Be King....................89
6. Jonah: The World's Greatest Fish Story....................109
7. Esther: For Such a Time As This....................127
8. John the Baptist: The True Meaning of Greatness....................151
9. James: The Brother of Our Lord....................171
10. Mark and Onesimus: A Tale of Two Runaways....................189
Epilogue....................213
Acknowledgments....................217
Notes....................219
About the Author....................221
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur gives a short biography

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur gives a short biography of 12
    biblical characters: Enoch, Joseph, Miriam (Moses' sister), Gideon and
    Samson, Jonathan (Saul's son and David's best friend), Jonah, Esther,
    John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and Mark and Onesimus.
    Each account take the biblical scriptures and stories of these figures
    and retells the stories. Although I usually like John MacArthur's work,
    this book was very dry for me. I've heard the bible stories since I was
    a child and it was very boring for me to go through the same old stories
    once again. The story of Jonah and the whale again? I also found the
    lesser known stories to be stretched with lots of material that wasn't
    directly relevant. Example: Enoch is barely mentioned in the bible.
    Perhaps 4 verses in the entire Bible. So how did MacArthur turn these 4
    verses into a 20 page chapter? By going off topic and teaching on other
    things that do not directly relate to Enoch: like Noah, a long
    discussion of walking a life with God, forgiveness of sin, the substance
    of faith, fruit of righteousness, and preaching the truth. If you
    haven't heard these stories in a while, you might enjoy this book. But
    for those of us who grew up with them, we will probably be kind of bored
    with hearing the same stories again, stretched into 20 pages per story.
    Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for this unbiased
    review. I am not required to give positive reviews.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2013

    I am familiar with John MacArthur's ministry, but this is probab

    I am familiar with John MacArthur's ministry, but this is probably the first book of his I have ever read. And I was completely impressed. This book is Biblically based, rooted in conservative theology. He introduces us (or reminds us) of twelve very unlikely people in Scripture whom God used to do great things. You will find yourself reminded and inspired by these stories, and I learned things about Bible characters I had known all my life. MacArthur has a way of writing that is easy to read but deep and penetrating. He brings in his love and understanding of Scripture and history, and this book works very well as a devotional/Bible study. I would highly recommend this book to all people who would like to read an uplifting book for their private (or small group) devotional studies. I plan to read this book again because there is no way I picked up everything the first time!




    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes By: John MacArthur I received this book

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes
    By: John MacArthur

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a review. Twelve Unlikely Heroes caught my attention because sometimes I feel insignificant, like there is no way God could use me or my abilities to do His work. If you feel this way sometimes, too, then this book is for you. By reading the front flap we learn, “We have reason to hope. God can use anyone to accomplish His purposes. The testimonies of these biblical saints demonstrate a powerful truth—that God delights to work through weak, imperfect, and broken people in order to showcase His power, wisdom, and love.” No matter what your ability or talent, even if you think you don’t have any, God can use your willingness to show His love, truth, and glory.

    John MacArthur reveals the stories behind Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James, and Mark. If God could use a rebel, a social misfit, and a coward in the Bible, He can use the same kinds of people now. All you need to supply is the willingness to do His will. As stated in the introduction, “The greatest heroes are those who are the human means God uses to change people forever—for their good and His glory.” Most of the time it is the most unexpected and ordinary people God uses. In Jonah’s case, he was running from God; he would rather die than preach forgiveness to the Ninevites. Despite his determined disobedience and running away, God still used him.

    This book is for anyone who needs encouragement or is interested in the back stories of these biblical saints. If you feel that you don’t have the ability or talent to be of use to God, be encouraged! If you are willing, God is able. Step out in faith and let Him use you to perform His glory!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    I recently read a work from John MacArthur called Twelve Unlikel

    I recently read a work from John MacArthur called Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You. This is the latest work in what seems to be a series that MacArthur has put out over recent years like Twelve Ordinary Men and Twelve Extraordinary Women.

    MacArthur seeks to share some of the stories of people from the Bible that might not normally get recognized. He tells the stories of Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Mark, and Onesimus to name just a few. MacArthur seeks to take these saints who’s stories sometimes do not get the attention that others do and put a spotlight on them and how God moved in each of their lives.

    One of the things that I really liked about this book was how it did shine a light on some of the characters from Scripture that often are overlooked. Also the knowledge that MacArthur shares in these pages is good as it sets a scene and helps the reader to really “know” the characters they are reading about.

    I would highly recommend that you give this book a read if you haven’t already. It is not a long read, but it will intrigue you and may even help you to see some of these “unlikely heroes” in a more clear light.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2013

    This is the overview of twelve people in the Bible who did not s

    This is the overview of twelve people in the Bible who did not seem to be destined for greatness. Many of them had humble beginnings, and most of them failed greatly, so much so that we would write them off God’s “useable” list. Those written about are: Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon and Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James the brother of our Lord, Mark and Onesimus. The author takes us through the problems each faced, to the beautiful way God used their lives.

    This is the overview of twelve people in the Bible who did not seem to be destined for greatness. Many of them had humble beginnings, and most of them failed greatly, so much so that we would write them off God’s “useable” list. Those written about are: Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon and Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James the brother of our Lord, Mark and Onesimus. The author takes us through the problems each faced, to the beautiful way God used their lives.

    There were many points in this book that required a highlighter! I love to read how God takes a weakness, and makes Himself great through them. One of my favorites was the chapter on Gideon and Samson. Gideon started out as such a coward, and as Mr. MacArthur points out, “That the Lord selected Gideon as the answer to deliver Israel is proof that His power cannot be limited even by the most unlikely human instrument.” And in bold contrast, Samson was too strong for his own good. He was strong enough to kill with ease, but too weak to resist temptation. But God used each of them in a mighty way! Another of my favorites was reading about John the Baptist. He was SO different from any other prophet. His clothing, eating, and habits were so drastic. But he was perfect to prepare the way of the Lord, because Jesus would change things when He came. John prepared the people for some shaking up!

    A few of the chapters were a little dry, but all contained great truth. This is a very encouraging read. One of the last sentences in the book sums it up: “If God didn’t use imperfect people, He wouldn’t have anyone to use.”

    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2013

    How often as a Christian do you feel that God must have made a m

    How often as a Christian do you feel that God must have made a mistake by calling you to serve Him? How often does it ring in your mind “I can’t do this, I’m too weak.” or “I certainly don’t know enough to help someone, other people should be doing this.”  I know I have felt that way plenty of times. But the great thing is the God who calls us is the God who equips us. And that is exactly what John MacArthur points to in Twelve Unlikely Heroes. 
    Twelve Unlikely Heroes is a book about the men and women who peppered Scripture that served God in a mighty way. From the Old Testament to the New Testament MacArthur shows the different people who were recorded not for the sake of a good story but for the glory of God.  Stories of women like Esther and what she did for her people, men like Samson who were so strong yet so weak are found in this book. 
    The book is well written, much in the same vain as Twelve Ordinary Men and Twelve Extraordinary Women. The chapters are fairly short, most around 20 pages in length, and this makes a great format to read this book over several weeks without fear of losing your place or forgetting what you read. In the hardcover edition the spacing and font provides the reader with room to make notes, if desired. 
    I also like the people MacArthur chose because within the chapters there is much to be gleaned for personal understanding, even some application. And it is a great way to start introducing these people to your family. I’d recommend going through this book with your family and then reading in the Bible more about these men and women.
    Overall it is a short read, even at 200+ pages, and it is a great way to find a place to jump into Scripture. As I read the book I found myself reexamining these people and really looking at myself. In the end this book helped me to see the bigger picture that God has for us.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Review of 12 unlikely heroes

    In the usual John Mc Arthur form, this wonderful book is full of interesting facts and sidenotes. In a nutshell this book reminds us how the word of god never gets old and god is a recycler.

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoyed this book! It helped guide my own bible study b

    I really enjoyed this book! It helped guide my own bible study by helping me remember that the characters in the bible are real people! Several characters really sparked my curiosity and made me dig deeper into learning about them. Overall, I think this would be a fantastic book for anyone looking to dig deeper into the Old and New Testament

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John Macarthur Twelve Unlikely Heroes

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John Macarthur
    Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John Macarthur
























    I always like to find a book that i like so much that i get my hi-lighter out and go to town.In this case I found that book in Twelve Unlikely Heroes by Thomas Nelson Publishing.I loved reading this for the notes alone.The book centers around lesser known people in the Bible,and it tells their stories and shows us that God can use anyone at anytime for his will.We have to understand we are all created in his image and with a purpose .This wonderfully written book by Pastor John Macarthur once again he delivers with a great book with answers to what we seek.Are you someone who is wondering why you are here and what does God want you to do? This is defnately  a must read for you.The stories are told like you've never read them and so easy to understand.This is a book i will read again just to remind me  that  God can use me like he can use anyone.Must read Purchase this book it will change your walk with God. 

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    John MacArthur in his new book , ¿Twelve Unlikely Heroes¿ publis

    John MacArthur in his new book , “Twelve Unlikely Heroes” published by Thomas Nelson shows us How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You.

    From the back cover: What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work?

    Far from the children’s tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real. They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their stories as a display of human nobility. Instead, it describes these heroes of the faith with unflinching honesty and delivers an unexpected ending: “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16).

    In Twelve Unlikely Heroes, pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur uses his deep knowledge of the Bible and history to take us back to see these three-dimensional men and women in their own times and cultures. In doing so, it becomes clear how their dramatic stories apply to us today. People who might at first seem foreign quickly become familiar and unforgettable—particularly as they reveal the true Hero behind every witness, the power counterbalancing every weakness, “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1).

    Okay let’s do word association. When I say “Hero” what image pops into your mind? For some people the image might be Superman or Batman. For others it might be some valiant military figure. More than likely whatever image popped into your mind it was someone who got a lot of press. Most times we don’t think of ourselves as heroes nor do we think of the person we work with or go to church with as heroes. John MacArthur shows us that God sees heroes in the most unlikely of individuals. He presents twelve portraits of men and women who are heroes in the Bible. Most of them even show up in special honor listed in the hall of faith. You know what the nice thing is about reading of these men and women? If God sees heroes in them and He is no respecter of persons then He can see heroes in us. I think you will want to give this book to family and friends so that they can have a new perspective of who and what a hero is according to God. They will always remember your gift and thank you for it. I recommend this book highly!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted September 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes John MacArthur 2012 pages 221 Book De

    Twelve Unlikely Heroes

    John MacArthur

    2012

    pages 221

    Book Description
    What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work?

    Far from the children’s tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real. They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their stories as a display of human nobility. Instead, it describes these heroes of the faith with unflinching honesty and delivers an unexpected ending:“God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16).

    In Twelve Unlikely Heroes, pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur uses his deep knowledge of the Bible and history to take us back to see these three-dimensional men and women in their own times and cultures. In doing so, it becomes clear how their dramatic stories apply to us today. People who might at first seem foreign quickly become familiar and unforgettable—particularly as they reveal the true Hero behind every witness, the power counterbalancing every weakness, “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1).

    Since I loved the previous two books with similar titles by John MacArthur, I was thrilled to review his newest book, Twelve Unlikely Heroes. Like Twelve Extraordinary Women and Twelve Ordinary Men, John MacArthur’s book is well written and easy to understand. He tells each of the heroes’ stories in an interesting way that demonstrates how God used these people for His purpose and how they became heroes in the faith. More then a retelling, the stories focused on the events that shaped each of these unexpected people into a hero. The book flowed from one chapter to the next, highlighting a hero starting with Enoch in Genesis. The other heroes included in this book were Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John, James, Mark, and Onesimus. Chapter 5, the story of Jonathan, was my personal favorite.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was provided, by Booksneeze, in exchange for an honest opinion. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR, Part 255.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Great!

    John Macarthur writes yet annother great book!

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