To become a hero, God first requires a person to have faith. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV), “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 lists biblical heroes, which include: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets. Others, whom he didn’t have enough space to list, “through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice…shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith,” Hebrews 11:33-39 (NIV). God called them His friends, and they are examples to us all. These Old Testament heroes will receive the “better resurrection” (verse 35) as a reward for their faith.
Of those noted in the New Testament, Jesus is the foremost hero of eternity. The apostles were men of great faith and established the church. Acts 6:8 describes the first Christian martyr: “And Stephen, full of faith and power did great wonders and signs among the people.”
God honored Cornelius for his faith by making him the first Gentile convert. Acts 10:1, “…Cornelius, a centurion of …the Italian Regiment, a devout man and who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generally to the people and prayed to God always.”
There were, of course, those who were less prominent, yet fit God’s definition of heroes. Consider Luke 8:2,3. “and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities — Mary called Magdalene out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him (Jesus) from their substance.”
Additionally, in the opening and closing of his epistles, Paul often mentions Christians who blessed and helped him. He esteemed and so loved Timothy that he even adopted him as his spiritual son.