Platt: We must go to difficult, dangerous places
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Worldwide there are more than 6,000 people groups comprising 2.8 billion people who have not yet been reached with the gospel. The reason they haven’t been reached is because they are hard to reach.
Yet if we are to make an impact and compel the lost to come to life, we must be willing to go to the hard-to-reach people in our communities and to the difficult and dangerous places around the world.
In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul encourages believers to be steadfast and immovable in the face of difficulty and danger in spreading the gospel around the world.
In a sermon to messengers and attendees at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s 2016 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Greensboro, International Mission Board President David Platt shared three reasons from 1 Corinthians 15 about why the church and believers must be willing to go to difficult and dangerous places around the world for the sake of the gospel.
1. Because death is coming
You and I are not on this earth for very long. The Bible says we are only here for a little while. Life is like a vapor. It’s here one second and gone the next. Life is short, so don’t waste it.
There are also billions of people living around the world today who have never heard the gospel, and their deaths are coming, too. Let us not be indifferent, ignorant or indifferent — there is real eternal wrath awaiting sinners before a holy God.
We must go to hard-to-reach people because their death is coming, and we don’t have a lot of time.
2. Because the resurrection is real
The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus is not dead — He is alive. He has conquered death and risen from the dead. The cross is where we see that Jesus died in the place of sinners, but the resurrection is where we see that His sacrifice has been accepted by the Father on behalf of sinners.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that If Jesus didn’t physically rise from the dead, our faith is futile. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, not only is our faith futile, but our message is false and our mission is destructive.
Because Jesus did rise from the dead, our faith is not futile. We don’t stand guilty before God; we stand forgiven before God. Because He rose from the dead, our message is true and our mission is urgent.
3. Because of where all of history is headed
Jesus is reigning right now, but the full effects of His reign are not yet realized. That’s why we pray, “Your Kingdome come.” We want Jesus to return as King. The good news is that every time we go to someone and proclaim this gospel and people bow the knee to King Jesus, His Kingdom is coming!
Don’t we want to be part of seeing His Kingdom come in communities around our churches? Don’t we want to see His Kingdom come among all the people of the world?
All of history is headed toward the day when every nation, tribe, tongue and people will gather around the throne of our King and give Him glory. We want our lives and our ministries to count, so let’s live our lives in such a way that we will see more people bowing around the throne of our King on that day.
Editor’s note: This article was adapted from a sermon delivered by David Platt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.