Departing Thoughts to the Staff of Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando from Your Interim President

As I complete my interim time of ministry with you, I want to use the blessed words of our Savior from John 17 to communicate my heart to you at the RTS Orlando campus.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me (John 17:20-21).

I pray for each of you, as I have in these past months, to remember that through you Jesus Christ is reaching the world. There are others we must pray for. We must pray for Don and his family and future colleagues in the Gospel who will labor here.

I pray for faith to be built up here and beyond through your “word.” The word “logos” has several powerful usages in the New Testament. Here in John 17 it is the Word that is spoken by the disciples that carries such a supernatural power that when spoken the Gospel of Jesus is conveyed and souls are saved and lives are transformed. This is what I pray for you. Speak the Word to each other. Speak the Word of God to others. Remember that you are a Gospel mission raised up by the Lord in order to fulfill His purposes by reaching others for Christ. May the Holy Spirit so come upon you and this place, that when others come here they will know that they are in the presence of the Lord who is alive inside of each of you.

I pray for unity, for so Jesus prayed, “that they may all be one.” And He ties that unity that we will have in Him to the unity He has with the Father, and then loops it back around so that we are in God Himself. In this divine community that comes from faith in Jesus, we are part of the Church. As you focus on Jesus Christ, His Great Commission, the Gospel of grace, and prayer and testimony of the Word, you will find unity: in the faculty, the staff and with the students. The result, then, will be that “the world may believe that [God] has sent [His only begotten Son].” Oh, my beloved in Christ at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, may you be united in Jesus Christ so that the world believes.

When I came here my desires were: to provide an administrative runway on which a new pastor-president could land; to seek unity in the inerrancy of the Word of God; for much talk of the Reformed doctrine of God’s grace which is the center of our faith, and for much prayer that our work would be established by God supernaturally.

My prayer had been and remains Psalm 90:16, 17:

Let Your work be shown to Your servants, and Your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of
Your hands upon us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands!

Somehow I wanted God to do what I could not do, but which I prayed would come. I prayed that you would say, “There is a future.” And that you would know in your hearts, “We are loved, we are valued, and we are part not only of RTS, but also of the larger Church at work for Jesus Christ in His Great Commission.”

I will continue to pray that as I watch you grow and flourish under the ministry of my friend Dr. Don Sweeting. And as he and his family come to you, may it be that together you are one and that the world knows that Jesus Christ has come. Thus as you call and prepare pastors, missionaries, teachers, counselors and other Christian laborers for service in His Harvest, you will do so out of the power and plan of the Lord Jesus revealed here in John 17 to reach the world through you.

I close by thanking you for making this a wonderful and joyful year of service to Christ through you. You don’t pray for people without drawing close to them. And so I have to you. I will miss you, but I will be seeing you, Lord willing, as the Lord gives us open doors for fellowship. The next time will be graduation! What a way to conclude our time together, as we send out servants of Christ to serve the Church! There our vision is given flesh. There our unity finds it fruit. There I will celebrate with you what God has done and what He will do.

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About Michael Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David's College), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author. He is, also, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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