HONG KONG- Rev. James Hudson Taylor III kindles the passion for world mission among the fresh graduates of a leading theological seminary as he calls on their prompt response to the end of days.
At the Kowloon City Baptist Church, China Bible Seminary (CBS) hosted the graduation ceremony on June 19. There are altogether 40 graduates this year, including 11 bachelors, 8 masters and some 20 part-time students. Stepping into the 80 years old of the Seminary, many honorable guests attended the ceremony. Taylor has delivered the sermon, followed by the recognition of degrees by the president of CBS Dr. Lee Po Chu and dispatchment prayer by the Rev. Ip Kim Wah from the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. Graduates also received prayer of blessings from Rev. Lee Yeung Chen from the board of directors.
Taylor recalled how CBS has been working together closely with the China Inland Mission (CIM) (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship, OMF) when it was first founded in 1930. With the last exhortation of Apostle Paul to his disciple Timothy, Taylor challenged the fresh gradates to take up the Great Commission at the end of days.
"Today as we preach the word of God, we face a very great challenge: are you going to please God or please your congregation?" Taylor said, as quoting Apostle Paul’s words saying that "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine." Apostle Paul’s persistence to preach the Gospel despite the threat to his life has deeply touched Timothy. Taylor encouraged the graduates to follow the example of apostles and to preach the sound doctrine till the end.
Taylor further quoted the words of Apostle Paul from the book of Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." Taylor said that the end of days is approaching and the new generation must raise up to pass on the baton.
"I wish all of you have a passionate heart to see the coming of the Lord, and to please the Lord," Taylor tried to inspire the graduates to inherit the 80-year-old tradition of the seminary.
Last but not the least, Taylor emphasized that the one who serves the Lord should never give up evangelism even if it’s easy for someone to fall away. In addition, Taylor urged them to embrace those who are weak in faith as he used the example of how Apostle Paul insisted to bring back disciple Mark who left Paul because of suffering.
After a brief sharing about his personal experience in serving the Lord, Taylor blessed all graduates, "The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you."
[Editor’s note: Timothy Li reported from Hong Kong for this article.]