KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) — In a celebratory spirit akin to the Christmas season, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated 167 students’ hard work and dedication during the 64th commencement Dec. 7 at the Kansas City, Mo., campus.
MBTS President Jason Allen delivered the graduation address, challenging the graduates to be courageous in carrying out their ministry calling, speaking from the Daniel 3 account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s experience with Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace.
“The moral of this story is not that whenever you find yourself enduring a challenging ministry place or a culture bent on persecution, that you personally will be delivered,” Allen said. “The story is that Christ, who shows up [in Daniel 3] in preincarnate fashion, will be there with you.”
Allen outlined from the passage that the three men underwent a great test, exhibited great trust in God and experienced a great triumph.
First, Allen noted the pressure Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced from King Nebuchadnezzar to worship the idol or die. They stood by their faith in Yahweh, the true and living God, disregarding the king’s decree at the peril of facing death.
Similarly, Allen said there may be times of pressure in contemporary culture to go with the societal flow.
“Our culture in the 21st century increasingly demands that we forego Christian conviction and we get ourselves in line with the spirit of this age,” he said. “That we dispense with any exclusive truth claims and that we get along and go along, lest we be found on the wrong side of a culture that makes such weighty demands.”
Allen exhorted the graduates to be aware of these influences and stand firmly in their faith in Christ.
Secondly, Allen said Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego exhibited great trust in God to carry them through the trial.
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Source: Baptist Press