Thom Rainer charges Southeastern graduates to take the gospel in determination
January 19, 2017
Approximately 225 students graduated from the seminary and college at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary this past Friday, May 17, 2013.
Thom Rainer, CEO and President of LifeWay Christian Resources gave the commencement charge to the Seminary graduating class. Reading from Psalm 35, Rainer said, “Every mortal man is but a vapor writes the Psalmist. This is a matter of fact. You may think it has taken a long time to receive your degree, but it will not be long until you realize that life is a vapor.”
Rainer noted that those graduating help compose the largest generation – nearly 80 million – in America’s history. Called the Millennial Generation, this generation, said Rainer, is comprised of roughly 15% Christians. Although the largest generation in our history, the Millennial Generation represents the smallest Christian generation in America’s history.
Rainer said, “You did not come to Southeastern to be still, so why leave from here and be still? Do not leave in despair because you are few in number. You come to this place with great hope that the world will know the power of the gospel through you.”
Some of the graduating seminarians will travel overseas to do international missions work, some will become pastors and others will work in some other ministry setting. “You are a highly relational generation,” said Rainer. “So be relational in the Great Commission sense, and love with that agape love that Christ had for the world. You will wonder if this is all worth the time an effort. It is! Be determined and persistent in the power of God and for the glory of God.”
At Southeastern, the Great Commission is both the foundation and the goal. Its mission statement is to equip students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission, and the students at Southeastern are completely sold out for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations.
Acknowledging the devotion to Christ seen on campus, Rainer said, “There is no presumption in the message of Jesus: the most important thing to do in this life is to meet the crucified and resurrected Christ. The cross is meant for you and me and the sins of men were put upon him that we might have eternal life.
“Graduates, God is not done with his redemptive plan,” closed Rainer. “Be ready to see what he is going to do in you and through you. Life is a vapor, just like the Psalmist writes. You will look back and ask, ‘Where did this time go?’ As you go, go in determination with the gospel of Christ, and spread his good news everywhere.”