The sight of burning bodies on funeral pyres in Nepal had a dramatic impact on former megachurch pastor David Platt and influenced him to change jobs, according to a speech he made on the Radical website. Platt had been hiking several days through the Asian country of Nepal when he came upon the sight which caused him to make a life-changing decision.
Platt said he had an intense reaction to seeing the ashes of the burning bodies float into the river. He said that acording to the Hindu religion, families of the deceased believed if they were burned it would begin the process of reincarnation within 24 hours.
However, Platt said he stood in stunned silence as he realized these people had died without ever hearing that God had made a way through Jesus Christ by which they could have eternal life in heaven. He was struck by the realization these people who only 24 hours earlier had been walking the face of the earth were now in hell forever. The thought that these people had never even heard the Gospel burned into Platt’s head as he stood watching along with some fellow pastors from Brook Hill Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
He said he felt the Spirit of God placed a longing in his heart to minister to the billions of unreached people in Asia. He wondered whether he and his wife Heather should move to Asia and spread the Word.
During his taped speech on the website, Platt said there are two billion people who have no access to Jesus. David felt that through Acts 20 and 24 God was making it clear to him he should do something to reach the billions of unreached before they died.
In Acts 20 the Apostle Paul took Christianity into Europe through Macedonia and Greece.
While he was considering moving his wife and family to Asia, he received another job offer. This came from the International Mission Board which has 45,000 churches and 5,000 missionaries, according to Platt.
He said he operates under a “blank check to God philosophy.” By that he means his life is a blank check to God. Whatever God writes on that blank check whether it be service or giving, he believes people should do.
He reasoned that if Heather and he were willing to move their family to Asia, why shouldn’t they be willing to accept this position where he could lead a huge organization to send people. Maybe this way he could reach even more.
So it was that the pastor of Brook Hills Church made the major decision of leaving the comfort of a beautiful sanctuary and a large congregation who’d followed him for eight years to accept the position as president of the International Mission Board (Southern Baptist).
Russell Moore said Platt was someone who can connect how the Great Commission instructs people to spread the Gospel to the world. Moore, who is president of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he’d been praying for quite awhile that Platt would be named to that position.
Moore said that mose Christians are familiar with the passages in Matthew 28 and Acts 1 which “command us to go reach the unreached around the globe.” He endorsed Platt as a special person who has a gift for delivering that message in words that people understand.
Platt has said Jesus intended for all Christians to follow the Great Commission, not just a few.
Platt said he will continue to communicate with people through his Radical website.
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