The reality of death for all people should compel more Christians to take risks in spreading the good news of Christ’s resurrection among unreached people groups, said David Platt, president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, during a Sept. 29 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“We know that risk-taking, death-defying missions in difficult, dangerous to reach places is to be envied in this world,” Platt said. “When you know that Jesus has risen from the dead, then no matter where he leads you and no matter what it costs you to, the proclamation of this good news in difficult, dangerous to reach places who haven’t heard this good news is the most enviable life in the world. It’s not in vain. Life is not in vain whenever you’re doing whatever the resurrected Christ has told you to do.”
Platt said that, since taking his position with the IMB, he realizes there are missionaries in some of the most dangerous parts of the world who need support and people to join them. Preaching from 1 Corinthians 15, Platt showed how the Apostle Paul wrote to explain the “why” behind risking his life. It is for the proclamation of the gospel and to encourage others to do the same, he said. Platt offered three reasons from the passage for Christians to risk their life: Because death is coming for all, the resurrection is real, and all history is headed toward the fulfillment of God’s kingdom.
“There are 2.8 billion people in the world, who, if nothing changes, will go to hell,” Platt said. “There is real eternal wrath awaiting sinners before a holy God. God is going to consume them forever and ever. And these people have never even heard the good news of how they can go to heaven. … So it makes sense to take risks to get the gospel to them.”
Platt is the author of several books including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and most recently Counter Culture. He also founded Radical.net as a ministry devoted to serving churches and disseminating disciple-making resources so the gospel might be made known in all nations, according to its website. While he is passionate about missions, Platt understands not all believers will be called to a career overseas, but he closed his sermon by asking all Christians to consider where God would use them.
“Would you at least open up your life, your family, and your ministry to the possibility that God might lead you to go and preach [the gospel]?” Platt said. “If you do that and he clearly asks you to stay, then would you lead and shepherd the church here to give sacrificially, to pray zealously, to go willingly into risk for the spread of the gospel.”
Keith Getty, a modern hymnwriter known for co-writing “In Christ Alone,” led worship during the service alongside the Southern Chorale. Following Platt’s message, Getty led the service in singing his new version of “Facing a Task Unfinished,” a hymn dedicated to global missions.
Audio and video of Platt’s chapel message are available at sbts.edu/resources.