On Saturday, May 21, Dr. Mohler addressed the class of 2005 at Union University’s Commencement ceremony. The following is the second part of his address, in the form of an edited transcript. Click here for Part One.
While it is day, share the Gospel. In the end, this is one of the most important responsibilities assigned to the Christian, one of the most important and precious tasks we can ever be assigned. We are commissioned to bear witness to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the hierarchy of all the truths that you have considered, in the many truths that you have learned, is that one great truth that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” [Romans 5:8]. We also know the great truth that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16 KJV]. That is the truth of all truths–the transforming truth. This is our assignment.
While it is day, share the Gospel. Learn to be an effective witness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and understand that, in this generation, that challenge will have unique dimensions. We must speak of the only Gospel that saves. We must point persons to the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that it is He who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” [John 14:6 HCSB]. At the same time, we also know that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ [Romans 10:13] Share the Gospel while it is day.
While it is day, defend the faith. It is not enough merely to speak the truth, we must defend the faith. The Christian faith–the faith once for all delivered to the saints–must be defended and defined anew in every generation. In this generation, we face the task of making clear what genuine Christianity really is. We must defend and define true Christianity over against all the plastic and artificial counterfeits of this day.
In so many ways, we are living and witnessing in a culture and a time so similar to that of the first century Christians as we see them addressed directly in the words of Scripture. Like the Apostle Paul, we are standing at our own Mars Hill, and we must be ready to defend the Gospel with power and with conviction. Our calling is to receive what has been handed down to us, and then to hand it down to others as a precious treasure and a necessary stewardship.
While it is day, engage the culture. Look all around you. Armed with what you know, and with the training and education you have received, be determined on the basis of the Christian worldview to make a difference–in government, in law, in the arts, in music and in cinema, in the theater and in economics, and in business, and in every dimension of life.
Every single discipline that any academic institution could envision is brought into accountability to the Lord Jesus Christ. Engage the culture wherever you are and wherever you look. Understand that Christians are not to pull ourselves into some kind of isolated community in order merely to congratulate ourselves for knowing these things. We are to engage the culture, that others may know them as well.
Our witness to the Lord Jesus Christ will be demonstrated in every dimension of life, from politics, where it may be most visible, and in the media, where it may be most accessible, all the way down to the most minute and intimate spheres of life.
While it is day, change the world. Do justice. Represent Christ in every dimension of life, and translate that not merely into thought but into action. Do not be spectators in this great story of what God is doing in this generation. Be actors. Be engaged. Be determined to change the world. Change it from where you stand. Start where you now are, and then wherever the Lord shall take you in this life. Change the world by the power of Christian truth, Christian witness, Christian love, and Christian presence.
While it is day, love the church. Remember that Jesus Christ died for His church. One of your most important tasks is to become faithful members of a local congregation, where you will come into mutual accountability to the Lord Jesus Christ and share the fellowship that God gives to His redeemed people.
While it is day, show the glory of God – in your own lives, your marriages, your families. Understand that our accountability to the Lord Jesus Christ does not merely start on a public platform of political or economic or cultural engagement. It begins in that tiny little sphere of the domestic, where God’s miracle of marriage is demonstrated, and His own covenant fidelity is shown to the world when a man and a woman come together in the bonds of holy matrimony. For most of you, God’s calling will mean marriage. For all of us, God’s calling is to declare His glory in the right ordering of all things–in the home, in the marriage, with children.
All too soon, you are likely to be in this same place, with what I am sure will be an even larger congregation, to watch your own children and the children of your own friends and family cross this stage. Understand that a crucial moment of accountability comes when your children indicate your own character, and step out into their own futures.
We are to work while it is day. The time is short and growing shorter. Our lives are brief, and but a vapor. The Lord Jesus Christ said that we must do the works of Him who sent Him while it is day. Night is coming, when no one can work. May the Lord do incredible, wonderful, miraculous things through you. The prayers and anticipation of this entire congregation joins you tonight in celebration, and we will watch you with great expectation. Live and lead as if time matters, for the time is short. To God be the glory. Amen.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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