Reaching the nations
David Platt encourages students to share faith
President of the International Mission Board (IMB) David Platt addressed students at Convocation Wednesday, Sept. 9, urging them to help spread the gospel to those who have never heard the message of Christ.
“I look at this arena full of followers of Christ who are getting a world-class education and all sorts of different degrees, and I am pleading for you … to leverage this education, to leverage your degree, to get the gospel to people who have never heard it,” Platt said.
Platt, author of titles such as “Counter Culture” and New York Times Best Seller “Radical,” spoke to students during Global Focus Week, a time each semester where students have the opportunity to learn more about cross-cultural work by connecting with international outreach organizations hosted by Liberty.
Convocation also featured a performance by the Children of the World choir, who sang popular songs such as “Salvation Is Here” and “Today is the Day.” The group is composed of children who are sponsored through World Help’s Child Sponsorship Program and has visited Liberty on many occasions.
After the choir performed, Platt, the former pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, began his message by citing that there are approximately 2.8 billion people in the world today who have never heard the gospel.
“No one has told them what God has done to make eternal life possible for them,” Platt said.
He said that Liberty is a unique place in which all students are trained to use their gifts to play a role in spreading the gospel, and he encouraged them to “make it (their) ambition to get this gospel to them.”
“What if missionaries are not just people who leave their jobs to take the gospel around the world, but missionaries also include people who leverage their jobs to take the gospel around the world?” Platt asked.
Platt taught from Romans 15:20, using the apostle Paul as an example of someone who was committed to preaching the gospel to those who had never heard. He told a personal example of how his trip to Nepal gave him an even greater burden for the unreached.
“We would go up to them and ask, ‘Do you know Jesus?’ And they would say, ‘Who is that?’” Platt said.
After witnessing a funeral ritual of burning dead bodies on funeral pyres that the locals believed would help the deceased person in the process of reincarnation, Platt said he was struck by the reality of eternity.
“Nobody even told them how they could get to heaven,” Platt said. “What will it take for the concept of unreached people to become totally intolerable to us in the church?”
Platt spoke with urgency as he reminded students that unreached people stand guilty before God, just like those who have heard the gospel but reject it.
“(But) don’t just memorize the bad news,” Platt said. “There’s good news. God has presented Jesus as the sacrifice and atonement through faith. …God has chosen to pour out His holy wrath, due to you and me, upon His son in our place. …This is the greatest news in the world.”
Clarke is a copy editor