President's Fall Convocation
“A Gospel Worth Fighting For”
President’s Convocation – August 27, 2009
“Tension can erupt over the Gospel. It happened in the days of the early church and it happens today,” said President Jeff Iorg, addressing students, faculty and guests of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in his convocational message of the 2009 fall semester.
“Acts Chapter 15 and Galatians Chapter 2 provide two perspectives of similar events,” Iorg explained, noting the stories in these chapters reveal tension erupting over the Gospel on three levels: in the church, among the brethren and between leaders.
“If tension and dissent occur in your church, you should have the moral courage to stand up and declare the Gospel,” Iorg told the seminary students. He described contemporary Christians who are timid and hesitant about sharing the Gospel in church, with excuses of not wanting to offend, to confront, to put people on the spot. Iorg encouraged his listeners to say boldly, “This is the Gospel, will you believe it? Will you submit to Jesus as Lord?”
In addition to being willing to stand up for the Gospel in church, Iorg pointed out how difficult it is to challenge a church member regarding false doctrine. “They may talk and walk like Christians,” he said, “but if these brothers have a new definition of Christianity, if there is a conflict over the Gospel, no matter how difficult, you must confront them.”
A third area of potential conflict over the Gospel is among Christian leaders. “Not all who preach are preaching the word of God,” said Iorg. “If they contradict the Gospel, you must speak out.”
“I challenge you to stand up in these three areas,” Iorg told his listeners. “Do not compromise the Gospel. Stand up spiritually, intellectually and with the skills necessary.” He told the students, “That’s why you’re at Golden Gate, to develop the skills necessary to stand up for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Tension may erupt, but with the Gospel at stake it is all right to have conflict, Iorg said. “It may be intense, it may be risky, it may be costly, but I call you to stand up for the Gospel as Paul models it for us,” Iorg urged his listeners. “The Gospel is worth fighting for: share it, live it, preach it, teach it. Stand with all your heart for the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Listen to the convocation