Megachurch pastor David Platt urged Christians to participate in the fulfillment of the Great Commission as there are over three billion people still unreached by the gospel.
“We are not obeying the Great Commission right now as the Church. We’re not living in our lives and our families, and our churches for the spread of God’s ‘going among all the nations’. We’re not spending our resources for the spread of God’s ‘going among all the nations’,” said David Platt, lead pastor at McLean Bible Church in Virginia and head of the evangelistic outreach ministry Radical, at the virtual Chinese Mission Convention Global 2021 on December 29, 2021.
In the plenary session entitled “You, Your Church, the Great Commission and the Great Imbalance”, Platt encouraged Christians who are destined to obey the Great Commission to play a part in rectifying the Great Imbalance, which is that most Christian resources have not been spent in reaching the 7,000 people groups who haven’t heard the gospel.
“Over 3 billion people in over 7,000 people groups are currently unreached by the gospel and on a road that leads to an eternal hell without even hearing how they can go to heaven… Churches are spending approximately 1% of our missions resources among the 3 billion people in 7,000 people groups who haven’t heard the gospel. Put another way, churches are spending approximately 99% of our missions resources in places that are already reached with the gospel,” the pastor said. “The number of unreached people is higher now than ever before and will continue to increase until Christians and churches decide to change how we use our resources.”
Platt spoke on the second day of the Chinese Mission Convention, a ministry established in 1983 dedicated to the vision of “multiplying healthy churches locally and globally” by mobilizing Chinese and non-Chinese Christians to live as ambassadors for Christ and reach unreached people groups. Other speakers at this year's two-day event included Rick Warren, Brian Fikkert, Reggie Mcneal, and David Doong, general secretary of CCCOWE.
Citing Matthew 28:18-20 and Revelation 7: 9-10, he claimed that the ultimate purpose of God is to bring people from all nations to enjoy and exalt Him in all of His glory and that should be the ultimate purpose of every Christian and church.
“The beauty of the gospel is that God glorifies himself, by saving sinners, like you and me, by sending his son to be sacrificed for our sin so that we can be forgiven of our sin, reconciled to the relationship with him, to enjoy him in all of his glory. And our greatest joy is found in bringing God, the greatest glory. This is how we’re designed. This is the purpose of God, in all history to bring people from all nations.”
“If this is God’s purpose, then it’s our purpose. As men and women created by God, you and I have been created to enjoy God in all of his glory. This is great news… This is the purpose of your life, of my life, of each one of our churches,” he continued. “A Christian must be passionate about the spread of the gospel of Christ to all the nations because that’s what the spirit of God is passionate about. This is the purpose of God. This should also be the purpose of God’s people too.”
The author of the bestselling book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream said that God’s plan for accomplishing this purpose is the Great Commission: disciples making disciples and multiplying churches among all nations. In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas were set apart for making disciples and multiplying churches throughout the Mediterranean region.
Moreover, the Great Commission is not a general command to make disciples among as many people as possible; the Great Commission is a specific command to make disciples among all the nations, he stressed.
In Paul’s third journey recorded in Romans 15:18-24, the great apostle told us that he was not going everywhere new as there were “no more places for me to work in these regions.” The pastor declared, “We need to keep going where the gospel hasn’t gone, where they haven’t heard it or where they haven’t seen Jesus.”
The pastor exhibited a Radical Stratus map displaying the red-color-coded places on the world globe where the gospel has not gone, mainly covering Africa and Asia, while the green color represents areas reached by the gospel and the yellow referring to the areas where the church is in its infancy or relatively small or weak.
However, the Great Imbalance in Christians fulfilling the Great Commission shows that churches are spending 1% of their missions resources among the unreached three billion people.
“If we are going to obey the Great Commission, we must rectify the Great Imbalance,” he stated. “You and your church have a unique and significant part to play in rectifying the Great Imbalance, obeying the Great Commission, and achieving the ultimate purpose of God in the world.”
“God opened our eyes to the problem and God open our eyes to the opportunity before us. Brothers and sisters, we live in a day where we have more access to resources for the spread of the gospel to all the nations than ever before in history. The globalization of the marketplace, the advancement of technology, the ease of travel, urbanization of the world, so many different things… In the words of Esther for such a time as this, God has put you here and me here, us here together. So let’s lock arms and realize your life, my life, your family, my family, your church, the church I’m a part in, we are all created for this purpose. And God is inviting us to be a part of making his glory known all the nations.”
“Don’t underestimate for a moment what God wants to do through your life. Child, student, teenager, what God wants to do through your life? Single brother and sister, husband and wife, couple, leader in the church in this way or that way, pastor, don’t underestimate for a moment what God wants to do through your life.”
He then led Christians who have the burden to obey the Great Commission this prayer, “God, please use our individual lives and our local churches to rectify this Great Imbalance, obey this Great Commission, and play our part in achieving Your ultimate purpose in the world.”