Platt calls believers to complete the missionby C. Walter Overman
Fundamental to the Christian faith is the firm belief that one day the Great Commission will be accomplished, ushering in the return of Christ.
David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., said he wants nothing more than to see that day fulfilled during his lifetime.
“There’s coming a day when a multitude that no one can count from every tribe, language, people and nation will gather around the throne of our God and give Him glory for His salvation,” Platt said. “Don’t you want to be a part of that day? I want to live for that day.”
Platt spoke during the recent North Carolina Missions Conference, held March 21-22 at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte.
Speaking from Matthew 28:16-20, Platt urged Christians to invest their lives in the accomplishment of the Great Commission. “If this commission is going to govern our lives, then we do not have time to waste on lesser purposes,” he said.
Platt said a zeal for God’s glory to become manifest among the nations must compel believers to make disciples of all people.
“Our God has chosen to glorify Himself by sending His Son as a sacrifice for us and He has raised us up to new life for His glory,” he said. “God’s glory is what drives us. Do you love the glory of God more than your own life?”
To fulfill the Great Commission, believers must also proclaim a Christ-centered gospel and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
“When the people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, proclaim the gospel of God, the walls come crashing down,” he said.
Platt said one of the greatest hindrances to the fulfillment of the Great Commission is the people of God attempting to do the work of God without the power of the Holy Spirit.
He reminded the audience that the same God who spoke the universe into existence has put His Spirit in His people for the express purpose of making disciples of all people.
“Don’t underestimate the power of the Spirit of God in you,” he said. “We can do more in the next month under the power of the Holy Spirit of God than we could do in the next hundred years under our own power and plans.”
Platt urged believers to be intentional in their disciple-making efforts. This means churches must create and implement intentional strategies to engage lostness in their local communities and around the world.
He said the fulfillment of the Great Commission will require a laser-like focus on Jesus’ command to make disciples.
“If we’re not careful we’ll be tempted to do everything except for the one thing Jesus told us to do,” Platt said. “We’ll get so busy doing all kinds of really good things, that’s we’ll neglect the best thing.”
An emphasis on disciple-making entails a multifaceted approach that includes both local ministry efforts and foreign missions, both of which should be driven by lost people’s desperate need for the gospel.
Although disciple-making is important in the United States, Platt said “global missions have been tragically neglected” by American Christians as a whole, citing the 6,000 or more unreached people groups worldwide.
Most people in unreached people groups never hear the gospel, because, unlike lost people living in the United States, they have no churches to attend and no one to tell them about Jesus.
“That they live and die and never hear the gospel, this cannot be tolerable for us,” Platt said. “The need is urgent. The harvest is plentiful.”
Apart from going overseas as missionaries, Platt said Americans can take part in global missions by praying for unreached people groups and through sacrificial giving. He said God has blessed believers in America “so we can be apart of the accomplishment of the Great Commission.”
“American Christians, by any measure, are some of the richest people to ever walk planet earth and it’s not so that we can enjoy more pleasures and possessions and luxuries and comforts in this world,” he said.
Platt closed by reminding the audience that until the Great Commission is fulfilled, it remains the guiding purpose and mission of believers everywhere.
“So long as Christ has not returned our work is undone,” he said. “Let’s get busy and complete our mission.”
All three plenary sessions from the conference are available on DVD. To order, contact Lynn Tharington, NC Baptist Men ministry assistant, at (800) 395-5102 ext. 5599 or [email protected].
Next year’s Missions Conference will be held April 10-11, 2015 at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.baptistsonmission.org.