J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, delivered the online chapel message Oct. 21 to students on Bison Hill.
“In moments like this, God uses [times of crisis] to rearrange the world for His purposes,” Greear said. “You realize this, the coronavirus crisis is just too big a moment for God to waste. He’s doing something. It is no accident, you should know this, that He has brought you to this university at this moment, to think about what you are doing with your life.”
Greear opened up to Colossians 1, which is the theme passage of chapel for the academic year. He discussed that Paul knew that joy is what drove Jesus to the cross for him.
“Joyful sacrifice, the Christian life, is giving up something you love, for something you love even more,” he said.
“Suffering is the appointed means by which God has ordained bringing salvation in the world,” he said.
Greear went on to discuss a TV pastor he once saw who asked the congregation to max out their credit cards and give money to the church, telling them that they would in return be blessed by God and drive new BMW’s.
“What amazes people, what directs them to the gospel, is when things aren’t going right, you aren’t driving a new BMW, and you are going through suffering, yet still you are able to say, ‘I have a joy that comes from something that life cannot take away, that death cannot touch,’” he said.
Greear discussed a question that believers in Christ are going to be asked over and over again, if they are willing to pay the price by suffering, if it means that other people will come to know Jesus.
Greear closed his message by challenging the audience with a few critical questions.
“Do you see your life as an extension of God’s suffering, and have you offered yourself to Him as a sacrifice? Have you asked God what your commission is, and are you genuinely listening to Him?”
In addition to being a pastor and the president of the SBC, Greear has also authored several books, including, “Above All: The Gospel Is The Source of the Church’s Renewal,” “Not Good Enough: Why Your Small God Leads to Big Problems,” and “Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches That Send.” Greear is releasing a new book next month titled, “What Are You Doing with Your Life.” Greear earned a Ph.D. in theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, writing on correlations between early church presentations of the gospel and Islamic theology.View other University chapel messages.