Q&A with David Platt // Something Needs to Change Simulcast

Q&A with David Platt // Something Needs to Change Simulcast


– Hello, everyone. Thank you
for joining us for this live Q and A
following tonight’s
special simulcast event
with David Platt.
My name is Matt Smethurst,
and I serve as managing editor
for “The Gospel Coalition.”
“TGC” is thrilled to be
hosting this simulcast
this evening in partnership with
“Radical” and Multnomah books.
David, thank you for joining us
for this Q and A,
thank you for writing this
stirring and convicting book,
“Something Needs to Change,”
and thank you also
for your call tonight
to urgent, humble action,
because that’s how
lasting change happens.
We’ve been receiving several
questions from viewers online.
We’re not gonna be able
to get to all of them,
but let’s try to get through
as many of them
as we can this evening.
– Great.
– Obviously, some of these
are gonna be
kind of heavy and weighty,
given the topic of the evening,
but let’s go ahead and start
with a question from Dina.
Dina asks, “I feel grateful
for God’s salvation,
but sometimes I feel
a little guilty as well.
How do we handle the weight
of being chosen by God,
unlike others, who, as you say,
live in terrible circumstances
on Earth
only to go and suffer
an eternity in hell?”
– Mm-hmm. Yeah.
That’s a great question, Dina.
I think that’s one
of the questions–I mean, yeah,
even in my quiet time this morning,
I was in Galatians 1,
Paul just talking about God
choosing to show grace to him,
and I just don’t have an answer
to why I was born into a place
in the world where I’ve heard
the name of Jesus
pretty much since I was born,
and it’s just–I
didn’t have anything to do
with where I was born.
That’s the pure mercy
and grace of God,
and so I can’t explain that.
I praise God for it.
Like, I have praise.
I was praising Him
this morning for it.
I praise God right now for it.
I just–and I know–so
I can’t explain
why–why was I not born
in these mountains
where the gospel’s
not yet been heard?
I don’t know the answer
to that question,
but I do know that I’ve been
given grace for a reason.
That’s exactly what Paul
was saying in Galatians
1:15 and 16 this morning.
Like, God was pleased
to reveal his son in me
so that I might preach Him
among the gentiles,
so I preach Him
among the nations,
so there’s some things I can’t
explain, but this I know.
Like, I have been given mercy
for a reason,
and that’s to make mercy known.
Like, I’ve been given grace
for a reason,
and that’s to spread grace,
to spread the gospel,
and so I guess
I look at it this way:
I could sit around
and try to figure out
some of the mysteries here,
or I can just go with the grace
God’s given,
believe His word,
and give my life,
like, unreservedly to making
His grace known so that less
and less people wake up
to places where
the Gospel’s not yet known,
and you and I, like,
can actually be a part
of making that happen.
– Mm-hmm. Yeah, amen.
Renee asks,
“Is a nominal Christian”–so
someone who’s just
a Christian in name
only–“just as lost
as the Himalayan
who’s never heard
the name of Jesus?”
– Hmm. Yeah, I would say
any non-Christian–so,
which would include
nominal Christian,
like Christian in name only,
not actually a follower of
Jesus–like, yes.
I would say, like,
people right next door
to me in my neighborhood
are just as lost–nominal
Christian
or just atheist or whatever–as
people in the Himalayas.
The difference is that I think
we just got to make sure
to keep in our minds–and
when we talk “unreached,”
this is what “unreached” means:
it doesn’t mean “lost.”
So people are just as lost
in metro Washington,
D.C.,
as they are in Saudi Arabia.
The difference is
there’s access to the gospel
in metro Washington, D.C.
Like, my neighbor
has access to the gospel.
Your neighbor has access
to the gospel.
So yes, they’re lost.
The difference is,
in Saudi Arabia,
they don’t even–most people
don’t even have access
to the gospel,
and so that’s why we need to
work to get the gospel there,
because they don’t even have
a Christian around them
who can share the gospel
with them.
Like, that’s
the big difference.
2 billion people in the world
have little to no knowledge
of the gospel.
They’re not just lost;
they don’t have anybody
who is actively working to tell
them–or even around them,
where they can hear
the gospel from,
and that’s what I mainly mean
when I think
“urgent spiritual need.”
Like, they don’t even
have access to the gospel.
People are being
put on funeral pyres
who never even heard Jesus
or knew a Christian.
– Hmm. Yeah, and that’s
a natural segue to a question
that we’ve received
from a few different folks.
They ask basically–and you
hear this question
in different ways,
but it’s essentially this.
Brooke writes, “I have a friend
who always says,
‘There are plenty of Americans
who need the gospel,'”
so how should we respond
when someone raises–and
oftentimes
it’s well meaning,
it’s well intentioned–but when
someone raises the objection,
or at least the hesitation,
that,
“Shouldn’t we be–you know,
take care of the lost
in our own home country
before worrying about people on
the other side of the world?”
– Hmm. You know, yeah,
when somebody says, like,
“Many Americans need
the gospels,” like, yes.
No question.
No question,
and so let’s share the gospel.
Like, let’s make the gospel
known with abandon,
especially if God’s called us
to live here right now,
and God’s called me to live
in metro Washington,
D.C., like, I want to make
the gospel known here
in metro Washington,
D.C., like, with zeal,
and so I find
sometimes people say,
“Well, why go there?
What about the needs here?”
It’s kind of a spiritual
smokescreen.
There’s a lot of people who say
that
who are not really that zealous
about making the gospel
known even right here,
so–but yes, yes, here,
but, like, again,
going back to those
who’ve never even heard–like,
we’re not talking about people
who have heard the gospel
and rejected it;
we’re talking about 2+ billion
people in the world
who’ve never even heard–like,
they–like,
when I go up on these mountains
and say,
“What do you know
about Jesus?”,
and somebody says,
“Who’s that?”–like,
they’ve never even heard
His name.
They’ve never heard His name.
Like, they need to hear
His name.
Like, that needs to change,
and we–and, oh,
there’s so much we can go into.
I would just close by
saying–I mean,
I’m saying
some of my words–Jesus’ words.
Matthew 28:19: “Make disciples
of all the nations.”
He has told us not just
to make disciples in a nation
among one type of people;
he has specifically told us
to make the gospel known,
make disciples in all
the ethnic groups of the world,
all the people groups
of the world,
so if we’re a Christian
following Jesus,
then we will be zealous
about getting the gospel,
however God calls us to,
to people and places where
the gospel has not yet gone.
This is just
the heard of Jesus,
and if Jesus’ heart is in us,
then it’s our heart.
– And then I’m reminded of the
powerful video we saw tonight,
“A Beautiful Hope,” the film,
and there was that quote
that flashed on the screen
from Carl F. H. Henry…
– Mm.
– “It’s only good news
if it gets there in time.”
And that just underscores
the urgency…
– Yes.
– That you’re talking about,
both in terms of physical need,
but ultimately in terms
of spiritual need.
David, Alissa writes in,
I think,
a really transparent
and helpful question
for anyone considering
missions to consider.
She says, “I know we all sin,
but when I keep succumbing
to the same sin over and over,
I feel like I’d be a hypocrite
to go overseas.
I’d like to go someday,
but I just feel so weak
that I fear
I will be ineffective.”
– Mm.
– So if someone is struggling
with a particular sin,
a besetting sin,
can they still be a missionary?
– Oh, that’s such a–I really
appreciate that question,
and I appreciate the honesty.
Like, so, yeah, missionaries
are definitely not perfect.
You look clearly–we’ve been
reading through Acts
as a church–like,
this is not perfect people
who are doing this work.
This is very imperfect people
saved by grace.
So I would just–I
would say this.
Well, one,
succumbing to the same sin
over and over again–I’m
actually preaching on
Galatians 2:20,
and just the power
of Christ in you,
so I would encourage just
pressing all the more Christ
with your church around you,
just, “Okay,”
because you can have victory
over that sin.
Like, you can–like,
the spirit of Christ is in you.
I just would–I
want to encourage you
pastoring that way.
I’m not saying it’s easy,
and I’m not saying that there’s
not some continual struggle
with the flesh
in different ways,
but you–greater
is he who is in you
than he who is in the world.
And then, at the same time,
I would just encourage you,
Alissa, like, you know
what it’s like to hate sin
and to be very thankful
for a Savior
to redeem you from it,
to save you from it,
and that’s what you need
to know to be a missionary,
to make the gospel
known to those,
especially,
who have never heard it.
Like, you need to know
the seriousness of sin
and the beauty of a Savior
who will save from sin,
fully and finally,
in eternity,
and so be encouraged
by the grace of God,
the power of God’s spirit,
even in you now,
and in the future,
just know, that’s the beauty
in this mission
we’ve all been called to,
making disciples of the nations
wherever we live.
Like, it’s not
dependent on us.
It’s dependent on the spirit
of Christ in us,
and He’s sufficient
to empower us over sin,
and He’s sufficient
to empower us to be witnesses
if we will not look
to ourselves but look to Him.
– There have been a few
questions about the role
of the local church,
and so I’m just gonna combine
a question from Kent
and a question from Sarah,
’cause I think
they go together,
and I’m really thankful
that they asked this,
’cause I know, in my own life,
when I was in college,
I developed a heart
for the nations,
but I wasn’t developing,
alongside of it,
a heart for the church.
I didn’t understand
how the two went together.
So the question, David, is:
what is the role
of the church–of
the local church
in someone’s life–when they’re
discerning their calling?
– Hmm.
– And then the other part
I want you to answer is:
what should be the role
of the church
for a missionary on the field?
– Hmm.
– So discerning calling
on the front end,
on the field afterwards.
– I would just say,
in everything we’re talking
about, like, the local church
is central in many ways,
because, like, I mean,
what is the church?
I mean, it’s a body
of believers joined together
on mission in the world.
That’s one of the pictures
I give in the book,
is just meeting
these brothers and sisters
in this small church
after days of hiking,
and just seeing, like, simple,
raw love for
Jesus, love for each other,
willingness to lay down
their lives
to make the gospel known,
and it’s like, “Okay. This is
what the church is.” Like–
– And hiking two hours
to get there.
– Yes. Yes.
That’s right.
Hiking up mountains
to get there, from all ages.
Like, this is what
the church is, so, like,
let’s be
a part of churches like that.
That’s why–oh, like,
work all of this together
through–with a church,
and then,
as God leads different people
to do different things,
like, it’s the church
that speaks into that,
so maybe it’s being
a missionary,
maybe it’s doing this or that;
like, do that in community.
Like, none of us is called
to be lone rangers
in this picture.
So yeah, Acts 13,
anybody who’s gonna go
and be a part of the spread
of the gospel
among the nations
needs to be sent
by the Holy Spirit
through the church.
I mean, that’s the picture
we see in scripture.
So I would encourage anybody
who’s, like, wrestling through,
“Okay, what does this mean
in my life?”
Like, go to your church.
Wrestle through this
with even church leaders,
and this is where I would say
church leaders and–yeah,
let’s make sure
we’re cultivating a zeal
for urgent mission
in the church.
Like, let’s not take those
results about mission
and be like,
“Oh, okay,
kind of put you over
in the corner somewhere.”
Like, let’s work together
to have just simple,
raw love for the Lord,
love for the lost;
how do we make the glory
of Christ known?
This is what our community
is about,
and then that leads to–I mean,
inevitably,
people will go out
from the church
to places where the gospel
has not yet gone.
The spirit’s gonna do that
in any church
that is focused
on the Great Commission,
and–but the church is gonna
be central in all of it.
– Yeah, and one thing
I appreciated in the book
was how you encouraged readers
to look to scripture
for how we do church,
and I think we often go
to scripture for other aspects
of theology–we go to scripture
to get our soteriology,
what we understand
about salvation;
we go to scripture
for our missiology;
but we also should go to
scripture for our ecclesiology,
and I think you do a good job
in this book of calling us
back to “the book” when we’re
thinking about the church.
– Mm-hmm. And, you know,
one other thing there, Matt,
that I tried to emphasize
in the book–like,
so, yeah, like, the gospel
is people’s greatest need,
but really, in a sense,
you take that a step
further–like,
the church is where the gospel
is made visible.
In a community of people,
that–that transforms lives
and, in many ways, communities.
Like, I just–I think about
one–this isn’t
even in the book,
but there’s this one
small church
I gathered together with,
and they said–their words
were–so you’ve got this small
group of believers; they said,
“Our village was like hell
until we heard the gospel.”
And they just talked about
how hearing the gospel,
how it’s transforming
not just their lives
but their marriages,
their–the social fabric
of their relationships,
and, yeah, the gospel has
detonating power in this way
when it comes to life
in a community,
and that’s–when I think
about those villages,
like, yes, the gospel’s in those
villages,
but it’s the gospel
made visible in a people
and the church,
and so let’s be those kind of
churches wherever we are,
and then let’s be
a part of planting
and strengthening
those kind of churches
amidst urgent spiritual
and physical need.
– Yeah. One of the great things
about this event this evening
is that people from all stages
of life who are tuning in,
so I want to pitch
to you a question
from a college student,
and then from
a stay-at-home mom.
– Okay.
– So first, Adam asks,
“How can I best utilize
my college years
to the glory of God?”
– Uh, Adam, I wish we had
a long time to talk,
but I would encourage you
–I mean,
one we were just talking about:
like, be in a local church
where you’re making disciples.
Like, you don’t have to wait
to do this somewhere else.
Like, be in a local church
where you’re making disciples,
sharing the gospel,
leading people
to Jesus, like,
teaching them to obey Christ.
Like, do that right now.
I would encourage you to,
at some point
in your collegiate–like,
I had to tell all
our college students here,
speaking to a big group
of college students
recently, like,
spend at least–unless God
tells you otherwise,
so this is–I don’t have
a verse I can go to
in the bible on this one,
but–spend at least a summer,
if not a semester or a year
or two, somewhere in the world
where the gospel has not yet
gone–like, extended time.
You have a unique opportunity
to do that now that, yeah,
once you get settled into a job
or this or that, family, like,
it makes it a lot harder.
Like, you have
a unique opportunity
to spend at least a summer,
if not semester, year,
or two years,
somewhere where the gospel’s
not yet gone, working there.
It’s gonna change your mindset,
your framework,
and then think through–I would
encourage you to think through,
how can you–what are
the marketable skills,
gifts, I mean, the degree
you’re getting–how
could it be leveraged
for the glory of Christ
among the nations?
Whether you’re getting
a dentistry degree–and,
kind of like we heard tonight,
that can be leveraged–or
I think about all kinds
of medical professions.
Like, I was talking
with somebody
last–it was two weeks
ago–who was telling me
they know
about 2,000 jobs right now,
’cause they’ve created
some avenues-
-2,000 jobs for people–nurses,
doctors of all kinds,
all kinds of levels-
-2,000 jobs
right now available
in the Middle East
for any follower of Christ
who wants one.
Like,
those opportunities are there.
Like, the nations will pay you
to bring the gospel
to the nations.
So teaching jobs–
– Yeah, let me–and can
I interject here?
– Yeah, sure.
– ‘Cause I want to actually
read a quote
from your book about this.
You write,
“I can’t help but wonder if God
has designed the globalization
of today’s marketplace
to open up avenues
for the spread of the gospel
around the world.”
I’m sure there are people
tuning in right now
who don’t feel called
to pastoral ministry
and don’t feel called
to traditional missions,
but you’re saying that doesn’t
mean they can’t go overseas?
– I’m saying actually
all the better–like,
now, I mean, I’m not saying,
like, pastoral ministry
is a bad
calling–I don’t think it is;
I’m kind of there–and–or
traditional missions,
but yes, like, you can’t
get into the Middle East
with a seminary degree.
You can get in
with a teaching degree.
You can get in
with a medical degree.
You can get in
with an engineering–with
engineering experience
or degree.
Like, there’s so many different
avenues like that
that are available
for you to go
and be a part of what God’s
doing in the world.
Like, take advantage–like,
yeah, steward the globalization
of today’s marketplace
to make your life count
for the glory of Christ
among the nations.
So, yeah, I hope that maybe
is a small picture
of encouragement
to a college student.
– Yeah. And the question
from Danae–she says,
“I’m a stay-at-home mom
of young children
in rural Minnesota.
How can parents like myself
teach our children
to be a part of what God
is doing in the world,
even at a young age?
What are some practical ways
I can parent
with missions in mind?”
– I love that question.
Like, just get a vision, like,
for 18 years of pouring a heart
for God’s glory
among the nations,
and to a child, like,
you have no idea
the fruit that can bring.
So yeah, so practical
things–I would encourage you,
uh, pray with your kids
continually for the unreached,
so use, like, an app, like,
the Joshua Project app,
and that’s something we use
with our kids
to just kind of pass it around,
and every day, there’s a new
people group on there,
tells you about where
the gospel’s not yet gone,
you read about it,
learn about it,
and then you pray together,
so start praying there.
I would encourage you to read
with them
missionary biographies,
so our family right now, like,
around the table this morning,
we were reading
Amy Carmichael’s biography,
so, yeah, just expose them
to stories of people,
like we’re looking
at this biography,
like, here’s this girl.
She was so disappointed
that she had brown eyes
instead of blue eyes,
and she thought,
“Ah, I’d be prettier
if I had blue eyes,”
and then God used her
to be a missionary in India,
where she was going into places
and rescuing little girls,
and she would
have been recognized
if she had blue eyes,
but she could cover up,
and she had brown eyes.
Like, God has designed
every single fabric
of who you are
for his purposes in the world,
so just teachable
moments like that.
I would encourage you
just in family worship,
in times where you’re in
the word together with them,
point out, show–like,
Daniel in the lion’s den,
that’s my six-year-old’s
favorite story,
but, “All right, buddy.
It’s not just about Daniel
being rescued from lions;
it’s this king right
afterwards who declared,
‘The God of Daniel deserves
praise among all the peoples,
nations,
and languages of the earth.
That’s who our God is, buddy.
He deserves the praise
of all the peoples.'”
And if you were to ask
my six-year-old right now,
like, “All right, what does Dad
pray over you every night?”,
and it’s Psalm 67:1 and 2,
what we just pray,
like, “My God,
be gracious to us, bless us,
cause his face
to shine upon us so that
Your ways be known on Earth,
Your saving power
known among all nations.”
Like, I’m just praying that
that prayer will yield fruit
in him and my other kids,
so hopefully that self will
just–to sow
seeds–sow seeds of God’s heart
for the nations
into your kids continually,
and then show them–like,
I would just encourage you
to look for opportunities
to give,
like–oh, I’m starting to think
of all kinds of other things,
but one of the things we do,
I’ll just share real quick.
Like, our kids get allowance,
and then, so we help them
think through saving,
and then we help them
think through,
“How do you give to your
local church?”, and then,
“What can you be a part of
giving to that’s gonna be
a part of making the gospel
known in this way or that way?”
At Christmas,
we do these giving jars,
where they do extra things
around the house,
and we give them more money,
and then, on Christmas Day,
the first thing we do
before we open presents
is we count how much money they
got from their Christmas jars,
and then we use some gift
catalogs that are doing work
among the nations,
and we spend,
and we–amidst urgent spiritual
and physical needs.
I mean, my son, like,
was convinced
he was getting a goat,
but then we were like,
“Buddy, it’s not for you.
It’s for this family over here
where”–anyway,
so there’s opportunities
to think through giving,
and then you show them
what this looks like,
and then going–look
for opportunities to take them
on a short-term trip
when they’re older
somewhere in the world
where the gospel’s
not yet gone.
Like, involve them in missions.
There’s so many ways.
– Yeah.
– I’m talking too much. Sorry.
– No. That’s excellent,
and helpful for me as a parent.
– Mm.
– So many questions I wish
we could get to,
but we only have time
for one more,
so we’ll close on this note,
and this question from Alexia
is a representative of many
questions that have flooded in,
and this is appropriate that
people would be asking this.
“I have a heart
to share the gospel,
and I want to go
to the unreached.
I’m willing to go,
but I’m not just sure how.
What is the first step
I should take?
How do I even begin?”
– I would encourage Alexia,
others, like, one,
just start–make sure
to start right where you are.
Like–and by that I mean
just be active
in sharing the gospel
right around you.
So that’s one of the things
I’ve been convicted about,
even recently, in my own life.
And then I’m talking
with Yazid,
who’s risking his life
to make the gospel known.
Like, I have–I live
in one of the freest countries
in the history of the world.
Like, I want to be more bold
in sharing the gospel,
like, right where I live,
so I want to encourage you
to just be bold and share
the gospel wherever you live,
one; then, two, obviously
I don’t know where you live,
but look for,
are there opportunities
to share the gospel
with unreached people groups
that are represented
right around you?
So certainly in a city
like metro Washington, D.C.,
we have tons of
unreached people groups
that are represented here,
whether it’s Somalis,
whether it’s Muslim
[indistinct], Uyghurs;
like, there’s all kinds of
different people groups here,
and so be intentional.
Look for opportunities
right around you
where you can be involved
in making–in
sharing the gospel
with the unreached there,
and then,
I would encourage you,
the first step beyond that,
look for
an opportunity–ideally
with your church–to
go somewhere in the world
where the gospel
is not yet known,
and be a part of the spread
of the gospel there.
So encourage,
if you don’t already,
your church leaders to develop
some relationship
with somebody who’s working
somewhere in the world
where the gospel
has not yet gone,
and go be a part of it,
and join with them–obviously
you’re not gonna make
disciples in a week,
but you can be a part
of a long-term
disciple-making process
that’s happening there that’s
short-term missions done right,
helping fuel a long-term
disciple-making process there,
and then, as you start
to take those steps,
God will do all kinds
of work in your heart.
He may lead you to eventually
not just take a short-term trip
to go for a couple months,
a year or two, longer,
maybe longer than
that–the rest of your life,
potentially–or
He may lead you to stay
in a more reached context.
That’s where a lot–that’s
where I live;
but you’ll live with
a different perspective.
You’ll live with zeal
for the spread of the gospel
wherever you live,
particularly among unreached
people groups that are there,
and you’ll be looking
for opportunities,
you’ll be praying,
you’ll be giving to get behind
what God’s doing
among unreached people,
and in supporting those who are
on the front lines like Yazid,
and then,
as you have opportunity,
you’ll be going,
and that’s the beauty.
I would just encourage
everybody to listen to this.
Like, every single one
of our lives is designed by God
to count for His glory
in light of the fact
that many people have never
even heard His name,
and so let’s just
open up our lives,
start to take
some of those steps,
I hope, that’ll be helpful,
and just see what He does.
– Yeah. Well, David,
thank you for taking this time,
and again, I would encourage
all the viewers
to get a copy of
“Something Needs to Change.”
It challenged
and encouraged me,
and I was startled
by the vulnerability
with which you share the story.
It’s not just a travelogue;
it is an immersive narrative
about what God accomplished
in you
and what He’s accomplishing
around the world.
Thank you for watching
this simulcast and this live Q
and A hosted
by “The Gospel Coalition.”
Pick up the book,
and most of all,
pray that God
would reveal to you what
He might have for you,
both here and around the world,
for the spread of His grace
and His gospel for His glory.
Have a good night.
[upbeat music]

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