International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood Addresses Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Today, 155,252 people around the world will die lost and enter into a Christ-less eternity, International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood told The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary chapel audience Feb. 27. SWBTS photo

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Today, 155,252 people around the world will die lost and enter into a Christ-less eternity, International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood told The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary chapel audience Feb. 27.

Chitwood preached Revelation 7:9-10, wherein John sees a vision of “a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language” standing “before the throne and before the Lamb,” clothed in white robes and praising God. Chitwood explained that, for 2,000 years, “the church has remained on earth for the very purpose of accomplishing this vision.”

“Why would the Lord, who loves His sons and daughters, whom He has adopted into His family, not bring us home to be with Him?” Chitwood asked. “Because there are others. The Lord has left us here for them.

“The Lord has left us here with a mission and with the great confidence that the mission that we undertake can and will be accomplished.”

In addition to Chitwood’s sermon, the chapel service featured the celebration of the one-year anniversary of Adam W. Greenway’s election as the ninth president of Southwestern Seminary. Danny Roberts, who chaired the presidential search committee that selected Greenway and currently serves as vice chairman of the seminary’s board of trustees, recognized and prayed over Greenway at the beginning of the service. He rejoiced that, though “it’s been a great year” and “God has done some amazing things,” “it’s only just begun, and the best days of Southwestern Seminary are out ahead of us right now.”

Following Roberts’ prayer, Greenway invited his wife, Carla, to join him on stage, and he shared that “it has been the greatest year of our married life and of our ministry to have served as your president now for one calendar year.” He added that he could not be president at Southwestern “if not for the president’s wife, Carla Greenway.”

During his sermon, Chitwood analyzed the “who,” “where,” “how,” and “why” of John’s Revelation 7 vision. Chitwood noted that the adjective “every” is significant, for it means that heaven is inclusive — that is, people from across the globe may stand before the throne of God through faith in Christ. This requires carrying the Gospel to the ends of the globe, Chitwood said.

“There is still much Great Commission work to be done. And that’s why you’re here,” said Chitwood. “You’re here because the ‘who’ of the vision are still out there; they’re yet to be reached.”

The “where,” Chitwood said, is before the throne and before the Lamb. As for how people may stand in such a position “clothed in white robes,” Chitwood explained, “That’s the how of salvation.”

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Source: Baptist Press

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