Another hot summer’s day for the June end-of-year service at the London Theological Seminary! Fifteen men were finishing the two-year course at the seminary, and testified to the Lord’s goodness and blessing on their time there.
Six men were from Britain, and others came from Eastern Europe and the Far East. One came from China. It was encouraging to hear how the Lord had dealt with each one in bringing them to train at LTS, and to learn of their plans for the future.
The preacher for the afternoon was Rev. Ian Hamilton, who preached from our Lord’s words to Peter in Matthew 16:18: ‘And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.
Rev. Hamilton said that, from this moment on, our Lord began to impart the character of his mission. ‘Something new was happening here,’ he suggested, as our Lord started to use the word ‘church’. But Mr Hamilton also explained that the expression ‘gates of hell’ pointed to conflict as being at the heart of all truly Christian ministry.
‘It draws forth the hatred of the powers of darkness’, since the church is ‘built by plundering the kingdom of darkness’ and because the ultimate goal is the proclamation of the glory of Jesus Christ. But there is also the assurance that our Lord will triumph.
We must continue to pray for these men, as they enter into the ministry to which the Lord has called them, that he would sustain them in it and bring forth much fruit through their work for him.