WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Preaching from John 3:16, President Danny Akin delivered his commencement address on what he described as the greatest verse in the Bible and the Gospel in 25 words.
He explained to those in attendance that God’s love was demonstrated by his action of sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for sinful humanity. He noted that out of the world’s 8 billion people, more than 155,000 are dying each day without Christ, and this should create an urgency for followers of Christ to go to hard places to share the Gospel.
“That’s why some of you are going to go across the world and share the Gospel with unreached people groups,” he said. “That’s why some of you are going to go to great cities where, even in America, there are people who have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. That’s why some of you are going to go to rural churches that need to be revitalized. … We go because God loves the world.”
Akin furthered his point by quoting missionary C.T. Studd, saying, “If Jesus be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
This love that God displayed through Christ’s death on the cross is such a radical love that it bridges not only the gap between God and man, but it tears down the division of differences so that all people can come to Christ regardless of who they are or what they’ve done.
“If Jesus cannot get me to heaven, then I’m not going,” Akin said. “I have no Plan B, no Plan C. I have just one plan, and it is Jesus or nothing. And yet the empty tomb tells me you have put your faith in the right place.”
Akin described the eternal life described in John 3:16 as not just the length of time in the presence of God but the quality of life we will experience when we put our trust in Him. Quoting John 10:10, Akin encouraged attendees that while Satan comes to destroy life, Jesus came to give abundant life to those who follow Him. He concluded his message by giving an invitation to accept Christ as Savior.
After each graduate received a diploma, the ceremony concluded with everyone in attendance singing the seminary hymn, “For the Cause.” The seminary hymn represents the heartbeat of SEBTS and how each of its graduates will be sent out to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission around the world.