YOU’RE NOT LIVING IF YOU ARE NOT LIVING FOR THIS

Pastor and author David Platt warned young Christians this week that taking a “casual, comfortable, cultural” approach to their faith, neglecting God’s command to proactively share the Gospel, and instead pursuing material successes, will lead to a wasted life.

“Be finished and done with a form of Christianity that says, ‘Pray a prayer, go to church, live it up in the world, go to some conferences and coast your way to Heaven,’” the Virginia-based pastor said during the annual Passion conference in Atlanta this week. “That’s not Christianity, because it’s not following Christ.”

David Platt says 'very skewed' version of Bible 'being sold across our culture,' blasts 'superficial Christianity'
Evangelical Baptist pastor David Platt pleads with an audience of thousands of adults and teens for them to spread the Gospel to unreached people at the annual Passion 2022 Conference in Georgia.

Platt, the lead pastor of McLean Bible Church, told the 65,000 young adults gathered inside the Mercedes Benz Stadium that to follow Jesus means allowing the Gospel message and mission to “dictate everything you think, desire and do, dictate your plans, dreams, how you’re going to live, what degree you’re going to get and how you’re going to make and spend money for the spread of God’s great love in Jesus among the nations.”

“You will waste your life if you get caught up in this American dream,” he continued. “Don’t do it. Lift your eyes above the distractions. Look at the destiny of this world. The train of history is headed towards people of every nation, tribe, and tongue, enjoying and praising Jesus. Jump on that train.”

Platt spoke directly about the U.S., noting it is “quite possibly” the one place in the world with the greatest access to the Gospel, set apart from the many countries whose citizens “don’t have access to someone who can tell them about Jesus” and “don’t have followers of Jesus or churches proclaiming the Good News of God’s great love.”

Displaying the Radical Stratus map, showing the myriad places around the globe where the Gospel is not accessible, the pastor explained the importance of international missions work.

“This is why we don’t say, ‘Well, I don’t know why we talk about unreached people around the world when there are unreached people on my campus, there are unreached people in my neighborhood,’” Platt said. “You say, ‘How do you know?’ Because they’re on your campus. They’re in your neighborhood. They have access to the Gospel. You’re it.”

“We’re talking about people who don’t have anyone near them to tell them about Jesus,” he added.

In light of that information, Platt closed his message by urging the Passion conference attendees to use their platforms, access, careers, finances, etc., to share the Gospel with people who have never heard it.

“Based on this picture of God’s Word and this picture in the world, I want to plead with you tonight to refuse to settle for a casual, comfortable, cultural Christianity,” he said. “I want to plead with you to refuse to do what millions of Christians and leaders of churches are doing in our country — to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to 3.2 billion people and thousands of people groups who have never heard the Gospel.”

Platt told the crowd their purpose, as believers, is to tell others about Jesus. “You are not living if you’re not living for this,” he said.

“As a result of His ultimate rescue, God’s glory shines in this broken world not only through strengths but also through scars, ” he concluded.

Live for this. If necessary, die for this — for people from all nations to hear and receive the Good News of God’s great love in Jesus.

INDIA CLOSING THE DOOR TO CHRISTIANITY

The latest move to block funds to Mother Teresa’s Christian charity by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs will ensure that it like many other Christian organisations will be forced to shut down. Whilst this is not new, Compassion International, which helped 147,000 children in India, ceased operations in 2017 after it was blocked from receiving foreign funding. In response, more than 100 members of U.S. Congress wrote a letter to India’s interior minister calling on him to allow Compassion International to receive foreign funds to no avail. Also, in 2017, India cut off Believers Church, a network founded by Gospel for Asia’s K.P. Yohannan, and three other associated groups from receiving foreign funds.

Mother Teresa
A nun, belonging to the global Missionaries of Charity, carries a relic of Mother Teresa of Calcutta before a mass celebrated by Pope Francis for her canonisation in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

On Monday, Bishop M. Jagjivan, the moderator of the National Christian Council, an organization representing India’s Christian community, told The Wall Street Journal that India’s government has increasingly rejected foreign-funding approvals for Christian groups, forcing many faith-run organizations to shut.

In 2020, the Indian government banned six other Christian groups from receiving foreign funds: New Life Fellowship Association, Evangelical Churches Association of Manipur, Ecreosoculis North Western Gossner Evangelical, and Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Earlier this month, police in India’s western state of Gujarat filed a case against the Missionaries of Charity under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act of 2003 for allegedly “hurting Hindu religious sentiments” and “luring” young girls “toward Christianity” in a shelter home it runs in Vadodara city.

A spokesperson for the Missionaries of Charity rejected the allegations of forced conversions as unfounded. “We have not converted anyone or forced anyone to marry into the Christian faith,” the spokesperson said.

Anti-conversion laws penalize only those who leave Hinduism, their birth religion. Thus, India’s anti-conversion laws are discriminatory by selectively hitting hard ONLY those who convert out of Hinduism.

Last week, a mob of 200 to 300 people stormed a Christian school in Madhya Pradesh while students were taking their exams and threw stones at the building, the school’s principal said.

Earlier in December, the Christian community in India’s northern state of Haryana found a life-size statue of Jesus Christ at the entrance to their historic church desecrated and the lighting inside the premises damaged.

Once again this warning given by Jesus to Christians living in these last days is appropriate.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”