I can't believe we are already on Chapter 7 of our Radical journey. As I ventured into this chapter, I wasn't sure what to think. I have been warned about other chapters…wrestled through my feelings about things that Platt has brought to light and fought through wanting to throw this book across the room at times or bury my head in the sand. This chapter was different for me to start off with. I agree with everything Platt said and these are truths that I have learned for years, so there was no wrestling with what he wrote per say…but it brought to light some critical things for me.
The question posed in this chapter is what happens to someone who dies never having heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some people believe that we will all be in heaven…some believe that those who don't ever hear the gospel will just "get to go in"….this chapter breaks down the truth behind the scriptures so clearly…and it reveals that yes..Hell is real, that real people will go to this real place, and that we are His plan…and there is no plan b.
We struggle to believe that a loving God would send people to hell, but if we are being fair…that's what we all deserve. You see we fail to see that we are all evil…that we deserve God's wrath and that it is only by His grace that He holds that wrath at bay. God is loving, but He is just. We all know of God…we all reject God…we are all guilty before Him…we are condemned if we reject Him…God has made a way of salvation…people can't come to God apart from faith in Christ…and the last truth is that Christ's church is commanded to take the gospel to all people. That's where I want to sit for a bit.
As I read this chapter and heard about the 4.6 billion people that have NEVER heard the gospel of Christ and that it is our job to take the gospel to them. I loved the verse in Romans 10 where Paul quoted a verse from the book of Joel:
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of who they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?"
God sends His servants ->His servants preach->People Hear->Hearers Believe->Believers call->Everyone who calls is saved….that's the simple plan of taking the gospel to those 4.6 billion people and the only way that plan gets messed up is at the beginning…when servants of God don't preach the gospel to all peoples. We are the plan of God…and there is no plan B. So what do I do with that? This is God's will for me…bottom line, to share the gospel. I sat there and thought about how blessed we are…why are we (people here in America…affluent countries) the ones who hold the Truth in our hands? And if we are the ones that hold this truth in our hands…why are we wasting our time on this American Dream? Why am I concerned with the things I am. People are lost and dying…going to hell never hearing the name of Jesus…because I won't go. Because you won't go.
I loved the story Platt told about the man who went to minister to a group of people that were completely unreached…unengaged. They were kind to him and invited him in to have a drink. The man went into his shop and got a drink and came out with a classic red Coke can. It hit him immediately that a soft drink company here in Atlanta had done a better job getting brown sugar water to those unreached people than the church of Jesus Christ has done in getting the gospel to them. 4.6 billion…an astounding number. May I never forget that I am His plan….here am I…send me!