Graduation John 17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This time of year, people are thinking of graduation. Yesterday Texas A&M Corpus Christi held their commencement exercises. The week before A & M Kingsville. Soon, area high schools. Graduation has some significance for us as well. Graduation signifies:
Completion – the end of our lives, when we complete this course – Jesus said. “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” On the cross he said, “It is finished.” Paul said To Timothy, “I have finished my course.” God has a plan for your life and every day you should be conscious of that plan and of your course. You must keep the end in sight [very much in contrast to this selfish live-for-today mentality]. You don’t want to be a drop-out. Some men who miss death will say, “Well, I guess the Lord still has something for me to do.” What are you waiting for? Bob Jones, Sr. said, “Finish the job.”
Congregation – this is a time when the whole class assembles together [you don’t ordinarily have classes with your whole class]. And at our graduation from this life to the next we “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,” [1 Thes 4:17]. Remembering this will help you in two ways. First, as long as we are going to be assembled together in eternity, we ought to be assembled together down here [time we spend together in church – and the more as you see the day approaching] [Aure supper with his ‘friends’]. By the way, you are here with us today, will you be with us in eternity? Second, since we are going to be assembled together in eternity we ought to get along together down here [keep this in mind when someone does you wrong, you and he are going to be around the throne together praising the Lord].
Connection – at graduation graduates sing of or speak of their alma mater and they are recognized now as alumni of their school. Paul said, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Our devotion should be to our home above [we are all from the same school, is NJ your mother?]. Graduates receive a diploma where their name is recorded [our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life – is your name there?]. Graduates are given a robe to wear to distinguish them as the honorees. In heaven we will be given a robe of righteousness, we will be “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Will you be in a robe of righteousness?
Commendation – graduates who have distinguished themselves in their performance are commended and awarded for their excellence [i.e., valedictorian]. When I was in Bible College, we were reminded from time to time about the Greek award. I had it in mind every time that I was so exhausted I wanted to slack off – it kept pushing me. Likewise, we are going to face the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul said, “So run, that ye may obtain.” The constant reminder of this ought to stir you and me to keep pushing to do our best – hymn.
Commencement – graduations are commonly called commencement ceremonies. This indicates that you are getting ready to start something new. You graduate from high school to commence your college studies. You graduate from college to commence your career. If you apply yourself in high school you generally get accepted to better colleges. If you do well in college, you generally get better career opportunities. You must keep these in mind before graduation. Likewise, you and I commence our life in eternity and in the millennial reign of Jesus upon our graduation from this life. How we live our lives here will affect how we live our lives then. The man that made 10 pounds with his one pound was given authority over 10 cities, whereas the man who made 5 was given authority over 5 cities and the fellow who hid his lost it and had no authority. So, make every decision in light of eternity.
Conclusion: one day you will graduate from this life. Determine your course and finish it. Remember that all who graduate in the Lord’s class will be together in heaven and all the drop-outs will be together in hell. You need your name in the Lamb’s book of life and your robe of righteousness to be among the graduates in the Lord’s class. And if you are in the Lord’s class, strive to do the best you possibly can because the Lord will commend you and reward you in his millennial reign.