NEW ORLEANS (BP) — Thirty-five candidates were appointed missionaries by International Mission Board (IMB) trustees Nov. 8 during a service at First Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana. The new missionaries join IMB workers around the world serving in global cities and hard places such as jungles, deserts and warzones.
Preaching from Revelation 5:1–14, IMB President David Platt challenged the congregation to be willing to go wherever and whenever God wants them to go because the sovereignty and grace of God demand it.
“As a Christian, you have surrendered the right to determine the direction of your life,” he said. “You can’t be a disciple of Jesus if you don’t renounce everything.”
While Platt acknowledged this level of commitment might cause some people to fear, he reminded the congregation, “Don’t forget who you are saying this to. You’re saying this to the God who loves you. He knows so much better than you what is best for your life. … It’s a good thing to put your life in the hands of this God.”
The decision to “go” is the natural response for any believer who fully understands the glory of God, Platt said.
“People who really believe God is glorious, will give their lives to make Him known,” Platt said. “God’s purpose is not just to save you. God’s purpose is to send you.”
Platt said, “Unreached are people who have not yet been reached by the Gospel. Apart from Christ they have no hope. More than 2.8 billion people find themselves in that position.”
Yet, he added, “The purpose of God is radically gracious, global and glorious. We are followers of Christ because God has pursued us. The whole point of Revelation 5 is that He hasn’t just purchased me or you but those from every tribe and people and nation.