Why I Love RBC Students
Posted On October 17, 2016
When I’m asked what I love about teaching at Reformation Bible College (RBC), I sometimes do not know where to begin. What can you say when you have the incredible privilege of talking day in and day out about our sovereign, holy, and beautiful Lord to Christians who are eager to learn about Him in order that they might grow to be more and more like Jesus? What can you say when you get to work with brilliant and humble colleagues who are engaged in the same task? What can you say when your job requires you to spend untold hours delving deeply into Scripture and into the works of the godliest minds of the last two thousand years?
All of these and more are reasons why I love teaching at RBC. But what I’d like to focus on for a moment is why I love our students. Since 2011, we have had a variety of students walk through our doors. Most have been young, but some have been older. Some were raised in the church from childhood. Others came to RBC soon after becoming Christians. Some have known Reformed theology very well. Others have been new to it.
Despite these kinds of differences, one thing our students have consistently demonstrated year after year is love for God, love for one another, and love for the lost. When you start a new college, you cannot do everything you would like to do from day one. In our first years, we did not have a lot of student activities that were sponsored and organized by the school itself. This did not stop the students from taking the initiative. They started a Thursday-night meeting for Bible study and prayer. They gathered together at other times and in other places to pray with and for each other. Over the years, several of our students have gone through times of suffering because of various difficult circumstances. In some cases, it has been due to the serious illness or loss of a loved one. Over and over, I’ve watched the other students gather around those who were suffering to grieve with one another. Likewise, many of our students have experienced great joy (often by meeting the person they would end up marrying), and I’ve watched the students gather to rejoice with one another.
But these students do not limit their love and concern only to one another. When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks into the fall 2013 semester, I did not know the new students very well yet, but at the beginning of class, I asked them if they would remember my wife and pray for her. They, and the upperclassmen, did so much more. These young men and women, many of whom barely knew me or my wife, not only prayed for her from a distance, they visited her. They hugged her. They sat with her and held her hand when she was in pain as a result of the surgeries and radiation treatments. They brought meals for us. A couple of them even arranged for a local restaurant to host a fund-raiser to help pay for medical bills. They would regularly stop me and ask how I was doing and how our children were doing.
Their love extends not only to their brothers and sisters in Christ but to the lost. They are taking what they learn and sharing the gospel of Christ with others. They are also helping those in desperation. Many of our students go regularly to talk to women who are considering abortion. For some of our students, this has become a regular area of service. The musicians among them have shown up at our local mall in years past to put together a flash-mob performance of Christian hymns.
Are these students sinless? Of course not. But what I witness on a daily basis is a group of young men and women who are diligently seeking to grow in their knowledge of God through a study of His inspired and inerrant Word in order that they might know Him more fully. As they learn more and more of what He has revealed concerning Himself and His will, they are growing to love Him more, not merely because of the great benefits He graciously gives us, but simply because of who He is. It is this growing love of God that is resulting in their growing love for God’s people. It is why they bear one another’s burdens.
I love my RBC students for many reasons, but I’d have to say that as a professor, one of the main reasons I love them is because they teach me.
Dr. Keith Mathison is Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College.