Samford University students were urged on Tuesday to put aside pride, and with the Gospel in their hearts, live with “radical abandonment” to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
“Whatever your skills and passion, consider how best you can use them to take the Gospel to the world,” Birmingham minister David Platt said during a convocation that was the opening session of a Go Global Mission Fair at the school.
The two-day event, Oct. 6-7, was designed to help Samford students know how to go, learn and serve the God of the nations
Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brookhills, told students of a long-ago encounter with a pastor and deacon who candidly shared that they had rather write a check to support foreign missionaries than to go themselves
At first angry and confused at the men’s reaction, Platt said he soon realized that they likely expressed what many Christians feel but will not say
“How many of us are running with a passion to those who are hostile to the gospel? How many of us would as soon give money to send others,” he asked.
Platt said that a billion and a half people, including 3,000 people groups, are unreached by the Gospel.
“They are born, they live and die without ever hearing the gospel. What happens to them when they die?” he asked.
The answer to the question determines how we live our lives, he said, noting that seven truths in the book of Romans give understanding to the implication of the question.
Those truths are, he said: that all people have knowledge of God, that all people reject true knowledge of God, all people are guilty for God, all people stand condemned for rejecting God, God has made the way of salvation for the lost in Christ, people cannot come to God apart from faith in Christ, and that Christ commands the church to take the Gospel to all nations.
The latter, he said, starts with Christ sending the servant to preach. Then, the people will hear, and when they hear, some will believe. The book of Revelation, he noted, assures that in the end, every nation, tribe and people will be around the throne of God.
“The only breakdown is when those who are called fail to share,” said Platt.
The mission fair featured workshops and an exhibit staffed by representatives of 20 international mission-related agencies.
Whittney Faucett, a first-year student at Samford’s Beeson Divinity School, attended the exhibit to learn about varied mission programs.
“At Beeson, we learn that we are to go out and make disciples. Learning about these different opportunities puts it in the real world, and shows how you can apply yourself,” said Faucett, who has served in local missions and was active in Campus Crusade for Christ.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate from Bradford, Ala., looked forward to attending a Go Global workshop session entitled “The call to missions: what is it, how do we discern it, and is it that important?”
“I want to know more,” she said.