Thomas White, president of Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio spoke in chapel at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) on August 21.
White is a two-time SEBTS alumnus with a Doctor of Philosophy in Systematic Theology and a Master of Divinity degree. White met his wife, Joy, while they were both studying at Southeastern.
The sermon focused on Hebrews 11:23-29, reminding students that God commends faith, not good works.
Hebrews 11 is located in between two chapters that highlight the need for perseverance and the struggles of the Christian life.
White called students to “drill down deep” and move by faith if God calls. He encouraged them to go beyond their comfort zone and be willing to serve God in a place far away.
“If you try to live this life or do ministry in your own power you will be swallowed up,” White explained. “If you trust in the power of God He will do great things through you, greater things than you ever thought He could possibly do.”
He asked students to check their hearts to know if they believe that salvation is not based off of works but on God’s grace.
White defined faith as “trusting God and His Word.” He believes that faith should result in a changed life.
Students were reminded to live with an eternal perspective. “Faith does not choose the temporal over the eternal,” White emphasized. “It chooses the eternal over the temporal.”
He called students to make a stand for Christ in places where the gospel has never been preached and warned they will face disgrace and criticism when they walk by faith.
White pointed to the example of Moses’ conviction and courage as he “chose to identify with the people of God” and feared God more than Pharaoh. “He didn’t fear the king anymore because He encountered the One true King,” White added.
“Are you willing to walk away from a title to identify with the people of God?”
“God calls us to uncomfortable situations so that by faith we can do great things for His glory.” White said. “By faith you can overcome whatever this world throws at you. Remember to focus and trust in God and His Word.”
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The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.