HOUSTON?David Platt clearly presented the choices: Comfort or the cross? Maintenance or mission? Indecisive minds or undivided hearts?
Speaking at the opening session of SENT, the annual missions conference of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., told the approximately 500 people gathered at Champion Forest Baptist Church April 16-17 that a passion for the mission of God springs from “a proper understanding of the glory of Christ.”
“Because if our view of Christ is low,” Platt said, “then our desire to take the message and the person of Christ to the ends of the earth will be weak, but when our view of the person of Christ in all his glory is high and we see him in his supremacy, then we will be compelled to give our very lives to take his gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Preaching from the Luke 9 account of Jesus and those who would follow him with exceptions such as guaranteed shelter, burying the dead or saying goodbye to loved ones, Platt said Jesus almost appears to be talking them out of following him?a contrast to some modern evangelism methods.
But what if Jesus asked the same things of us?
“This is where we come face to face with a frightening reality: Jesus has said these things to us,” Platt said. We want a “nice, middle class American Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism or nominal devotion,” Platt remarked. “We twist Jesus into our image, and this is where it is most frightening.”
Platt said Western believers must face three questions: Are we going to choose comfort, or are we going to choose the cross, are we going to settle for maintenance or follow a mission, and will our lives be marked by indecisive minds or undivided hearts?
The Great Commission obligation in the life of every believer “supersedes everything else in this life” with an urgency that says “this is most important.” Globally, approximately 645 people groups are unreached with the gospel while believers are asking, “What is God’s will for my life?” Not everyone is called to India or Africa, but all are called to carry the gospel forth, Platt argued.
“God’s will is not lost. We are sitting there asking, ‘What do you want me to do, God?'”
Like the man in Matthew 13:44 who sells all to buy a field with a treasure buried in it, our treasure in following Christ “is worth losing everything for.”
Speaking during the second-day plenary session, J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., joked that college students in his church are mandated to serve overseas for two years on Christian mission “unless you have heard otherwise” from God.
“We call it the Mormonization of the Baptist church.”
Greear, a former International Mission Board church planter in Indonesia, got clarity about his calling one day while reading Romans and realizing that ev