Platt warns of 'false, superficial faith' during sermon at Pastors Conferencecomments (3)
June 22, 2012
By Jennifer Davis Rash
David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, was one of several preachers from around the nation spotlighted during the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference in New Orleans June 17–18.
During his sermon, Platt pointed to a “pandemic problem” of spiritual deception taking place in churches and urged Southern Baptists to beware of a “false, superficial faith” as opposed to a “true, salvific faith.”
“Are we calling people to biblical faith in a day of rampant easy believism?” he asked. “We must be very clear lest we lead people down a damning path of spiritual deception.”
Preaching from John 2 and 3, Platt noted how many people in the Scripture believed in and accepted Jesus but were not accepted by Jesus.
“Clearly from the beginning of the Gospel of John revolves around the centrality of belief in God. He makes clear there is a kind of faith that does not save,” Platt said. “Jesus says (to Nicodemus), ‘Your belief, your trust is insufficient for salvation. You must be born again. This is shocking.’
“Here is a devout, respected … man who has devoted his entire life to entering the Kingdom of heaven. Yet Jesus looks at him and tells him he has no spiritual life in him whatsoever. He believed in Jesus but he is dead in sin and headed toward condemnation.
“Is this possible? For people to say they sincerely believe in Jesus, have accepted Jesus, have received Jesus but are not saved and will not enter the Kingdom of heaven?” he asked. “Absolutely it is possible. Not only is it possible, it is probable.
“The devil has been deceiving people into thinking they are in Christ when they are not,” Platt said. “There are a whole lot of people in the world who think they are Christians but they are not. … Some, or many, of them have been deceived in or by a church.
“Many … assume they are saved simply because of a prayer they prayed,” he said. “It’s not that praying a prayer in and of itself is bad … but the question in John 2 and 3 is what kind of faith are we calling people to?
“We are dead in sin. … What can save us from this state? Raise your hand, say these words, do this deal? No, no, we all know that these things cannot save us. We need supernatural regeneration. We need to be born again … repent and believe.
“God help us never to reduce salvation to … human regulations.”
Platt also urged Southern Baptists to “behold the mystery of biblical conversion” and “be gripped by the urgency of global mission.”
“Let us humbly discuss the things we do not know and boldly declare Truth that we do know. Everyone who repents and believes in the Lord Jesus will be saved,” Platt said. “We can all amen that and everyone who is saved is saved by the grace of God. We are together on this.
“We can debate all day … but the Scripture is fundamentally clear, God loves the whole world and everyone who trusts in Him will be saved,” he said. “We do not have time to waste debating the Good News when we have been commissioned to share the Good News.
“Could it be because many people are not praying with zeal is because they are not born again?” Platt asked.
“Let’s sit around these days, brothers and sisters, and discuss how we can risk our lives and leverage our resources to the nations because our God loves the world and He gave His one and only Son for their salvation. … People who are truly born again will boldly preach the gospel.
“Following Jesus will cost you everything you have but He is worth it.”