I’m almost done with college. Four more weeks and I will have officially graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in writing. But honestly, that doesn’t matter that much to me at the moment. Currently I’m sitting in one of the computer labs at Concordia College with my mind burdened by the heavy weight of two hours in class listening to people delight in and discuss with academic rigor the an author’s portrayal of one sinful act after another. For me the past few months have been a painful display of the blindness that the god of this world has put over the eyes of those who Christ has not given grace to see. How can someone be satisfied with saying that “the only authentic ending is death”? How can we call the reading of novels filled with sexual perversions ranging from child pornography to bestiality worthy of a semester’s study? How can the academy consider pointless hours of discussion that have no bearing whatsoever on the real world valuable?
There is a great anguish in my heart for the young men and women who are happily being held captive by the very things that will destroy them. I’m graduating college, yes, but what is that worth? What good does a degree do in the kingdom of heaven where a widow who gives a penny is more exalted than the rich man who gives ten thousand? The only measure of success that is laid before us is the faithful following of Christ who has purchased us. He has led the way, calling us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his Father’s light by grace. He has done so not that we might have happy, prosperous, and successful lives. Far from it. According to Ephesians 1 and 2 he has done so he would be praised.
How does this praise happen? Paul declares that we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has work for us to do. He created us for it. One of the main ways that God is glorified is that we do the work which he has created us for, specifically the fulfilling of the plan that he put into motion in Christ, to “unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Eph. 1:10) The shorthand Jesus uses when telling his disciples to “unite all things in him” is “Go and make disciples.” That means the God-appointed means of bringing glory of God is disciple making.
Graduating means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Our savior never attended high school, much less college. What matters is whether or not we are bringing praise to our king through making disciples of the men and women around us. There should be within our souls a desperate urgency for the lost and a righteous indignation at the blindness which Satan and sin have covered them with. There should also be a powerful joy and courage in the knowledge that our God in Christ Jesus has provided a way for the blind to see and the dead to live as we make known the Gospel.
For those of my friends who are in school, as we come to the conclusion of this year and near the chaos of finals and the tension of what we will do with the summer between semesters or what will be done after graduation, don’t lose sight of this one truth: “we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” Our daily and impassioned cry must be, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God!” (2 Cor. 5:20) As the world seeks to drag you away into its chaos and cares, remember your purpose here. You’re not here for yourself, your parents, your career, or your happiness. You’re here for Jesus.