As my tenure as president of Bethlehem College & Seminary comes to an end in a few days, I am deeply and profoundly grateful to the Lord for granting me the opportunity to be part of establishing this very special, strategic, and much needed school. A huge part of my gratitude to the Lord is for the many dear friends like you who have faithfully supported us from the beginning. Without your prayers, only the Lord knows whether or not we would even exist! So it is with this attitude of profound gratitude to the Lord for you that I want to make two requests in this letter.
First, I ask that you continue to diligently pray for us at Bethlehem College & Seminary all the more. I’m thoroughly convinced that the power of prayer has been crucial to us in getting this school formed and established during some very challenging times in our culture. I’m also thoroughly convinced that what will continue to sustain us in the future is even more faithful prayer support from you and others like you. We know from the Scriptures that prayer is more powerful than any other “power” here on earth. No government, no politician, no enemy of the gospel, no tyranny, and no natural force of any kind can stand against the power of prayers that are answered by God Almighty, the Creator and Lord of the universe. We must never forget that!
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.—James 5:16b–18 (ESV)
The other request—and word of encouragement—is that you stand firm in the Lord and cling to Him and to the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. In every age, but especially toward the end times, Satan is actively attempting to distract both Christians and non-Christians alike from the power and truth of the gospel. For your sake and for the sake of the church worldwide, I encourage you to stand firm. We are in a battle for truth and a battle for faith. That has always been true throughout the history of the church, but it’s clearer today than it has been for most of us in our lifetimes.
Pastor and teacher Charles Spurgeon gave an address on this very issue to his college at its annual conference in April 1891. It turned out to be his last address to the students and pastors in attendance, as he died in January 1892. It is such a timely and important message for us today as well. He outlined the way to go about fighting this fight for the gospel and for the church. We must know and trust the Word of God for the truth. We must gather together with the church as the army of God. And we must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to prevail against the enemies of the Lord. His charge to his people was brief and straightforward:
“Our fathers used to speak of ‘the Cause of God and Truth’; and it is for this that we bear arms, the few against the many, the feeble against the mighty. Oh, to be found good soldiers of Jesus Christ!” [Spurgeon, The Greatest Fight in the World(London: Banner of Truth Trust, 2018), p. 6]
Therefore, dear friends, please join with me in praying without ceasing, standing firm in the Lord, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, and always rejoicing in our sure hope in the living, victorious God whom we love and serve.
I thank the Lord for you and look forward with anticipation to the great and glorious future that awaits all of us who are hoping and trusting in Him.
Full of thanksgiving and firm hope,
Tim Tomlinson, Ph.D.
- Please pray for the transition as I hand the mantle of leadership over to Dr. Joe Rigney on June 1. Pray for Joe as he leads the school going forward. Please pray also for me as I transition to a new role at the school as president emeritus. I’m eager to continue to serve this school in a new capacity as my passion for the school only continues to grow.
- Join us in praising the Lord for His many blessings and answers to prayer regarding Commencement 2021. It was a beautiful and glorious ceremony and a God-glorifying send-off for our graduates.
- Please also pray for our admissions team as they work to bring in another outstanding class of students for the coming year. Pray especially for Darcy Enthoven, our Associate Director of Admissions, and our new Dean of Admissions, Jonathon Woodyard, who began his duties May 1.
- And, as always, please keep praying for our school’s finances. We praise the Lord for you and ask that He raise up more generous supporters in the months and years to come.