‘God loves you, no matter what,’ Chin tells seminary audience
ONTARIO, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2017)—Gateway Seminary honored Dr. Peter Chin, senior pastor of Global Mission Church, during chapel services Oct. 5 to commemorate his friendship and partnership with the Seminary to shape leaders who expand God’s kingdom around the world.
Global Mission Church is the largest Baptist church in Korea, with more than 30,000 members and 24 worship services each week.
The chapel service was followed by a luncheon dialogue between Chin and Dr. Jeff Iorg, Gateway president, about ministry leadership.
Prior to becoming senior pastor of Global Mission Church in 2011, Chin lived in the U.S. for 30 years. For many years, he served as pastor of New Vision Church near Gateway’s former location in Mill Valley, Calif. During that time, he served the Seminary as an adjunct professor and student mentor.
Referencing scripture from Luke 15, Chin reminded the audience that the parable of the prodigal son contained in that chapter is one of the most well-known stories in all of scripture.
“We love this story,” he said. “But some scholars would say that the story is more about the father than the prodigal son.”
Chin said that the problem with the prodigal son was not that he wasted his father’s money. The problem was that he left the presence of his father.
“The passage tells us about the father,” he said. “It was the father who saw the son first as he returned. One explanation is that the father had been waiting for the son to return since he left. He was always looking toward the direction he would come. That’s how he saw him first.”
Chin said that the son was probably dressed very well when he left home, but when he returned, he was out of money, he had lost weight because he could not eat well and probably did not look much like his former self. Even though the son looked like a totally different person, the father recognized him.
“The father said to the servants to bring his best robe, a ring for his son’s finger and some sandals for his feet,” he continued. “What was the best robe? It was probably the father’s. He also told the servants to bring the fattened calf, to kill it and to celebrate. He wanted the best meal to be served to the starved son.”
Chin said that the father was not just restoring the son to the family but to the community. When he called for the celebration, everyone knew the son was being restored to the family again. The son was probably seated next to the father for everyone to see.
“Our Father is the one who waits for us. No matter what condition we’re in, He’s waiting for us. Giving up all the privileges in Heaven, Jesus came down to us. He emptied himself, humbled himself and died on the cross. He gave his life for us.”
Chin reminded Seminary students, faculty and staff that “God loves you, no matter where you’ve been in your life or what you’ve done. We’re telling people God loves you, but the message today is that God loves you. He’s running out and meeting you, and He’s restoring you, no matter what you’ve done and no matter where you’ve been. When we return to God, he welcomes us with open arms and gives us the best robe. May we continue to dwell in the presence of our Father.”