by Charissa Veal
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) –Nearly 27 students gave their lives to Christ, and dozens surrendered to various callings during Truett-McConnell College’s Spiritual Emphasis Week, September 2-4.
Using his wit and engaging style, Evangelist Tony Nolan, dynamically presented biblical truths which deeply affected and moved multitudes of students over the course of three days.
Nolan’s first message, based in Hebrews 1:1-3, revealed Jesus as the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and the Healer of our deepest pain. Nolan made the point that, as Creator, Sustainer, and Healer, Jesus reaches beyond all boundaries and seeks to create something beautiful out of our messed up lives; He is big enough to sustain the universe as well as our lives and He seeks to heal the hurts that are far beyond the reach of any human aid.
“Our God specializes in the realm of the impossible,” Nolan declared. “Jesus said call on the name of the Lord. Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus. Believe in your heart. You will be saved!” As the invitation ensued, the aisles flooded with students believing in Christ for the first time and those who desired to recommit the purpose of their lives. But God was not finished working.
On the second day, Nolan continued to speak the truth and dealt with a subject that most avoid: death. “Why is death so scary?” he asked. Using Hebrews 9:27, Nolan illustrated the certainty of death and judgment: “Everybody is going to die once” he said, “and after that, you will be judged by God.” As Nolan continued to share the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection, God worked in hearts and the power of the Gospel prevailed. Several more students believed in the name of Jesus and walked down the aisle to make their decisions public.
On the third and final day, God continued to speak and many more students responded to God’s call. Citing Isaiah 6:1-8, Nolan depicted Isaiah’s vision of God in the temple as “an authentic encounter with God” and as an example of what our response to God should be. Isaiah didn’t run away or ask questions when God cleansed him and when He asked Isaiah who He would send to do His work, Isaiah volunteered and said, “Here am I! Send me!”
“When you have an authentic encounter with God, you stop running from what God wants to do in your life and you receive it,” Nolan said. He called for the Christians in the room to stop running from God, to stop asking questions, and to simply surrender to whatever He was asking of them. Nolan challenged students to step out into the aisles and declare to God, “Here am I! Send me!”
Wasting no time, the isles flooded again with students who made a bold stand in obedience to God’s call on their lives. Many surrendered to God’s will for their lives and decided to stop questioning and just say ‘yes’ to God.
In the span of three days, the hearts and lives of dozens of students were permanently transformed. Through the students’ response and obedience, God will work wonders for His kingdom in ways that many can only imagine. While Spiritual Emphasis Week is over, the students, faculty, and staff of Truett-McConnell cling to the truth of Philippians 1:6, a verse Nolan repeated throughout the week: “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Charissa Veal is a senior English major and student writer for the college
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