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Platt warns of 'false, superficial faith' during sermon at Pastors Conferencecomments (3)

June 22, 2012

By Jennifer Davis Rash

Platt warns of 'false, superficial faith' during sermon at Pastors Conference

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.”

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Comments (3)

    Thomas Cook 6/25/2012 8:06 AM

    Jennifer, how about also posting the part where he disavows Romans 10:12, just sweeps it aside using Matthew. He spent 15 minutes explaining why Paul in Romans 10:12 is wrong, how about printing that truth instead of this idol worship of the man.

  • Richard Bradford 6/28/2012 11:12 AM

    I got a chill as I read this, I was not at the conference, but I have to ask..this was for southern baptist right? We need to under stand that
    Jesus said "Not all who call me Lord, Lord will enter the THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN." He did not say they would not be in Heaven. When we read scripture we must realize that the Kingdom of Heaven is a place in Heaven reserved for those who do the work of the Father. Believing in The Son gains Heaven...not our works.

  • Bob Hadley 7/9/2012 5:06 PM

    Dr. David Platt takes another swipe at the validity of “inviting Jesus into one’s heart” at the 2012 Pastor’s Conference in New Orleans. After reading the last 3 verses of John 2 and then the account of Nicodemus’ coming to Jesus, he makes the following statement:

    “Many people in John 2 believed in Jesus, but Jesus did not believe them. Many people in John 2 accepted Jesus, but Jesus did not accept them.—John makes clear to us that there is a kind of belief, a kind of faith, that does not save.

    It is clear that John does not say Jesus rejected anyone’s faith. John says, “Jesus did not commit Himself to them.” Perhaps John is noting Jesus’ reluctance to let this outbreak become a celebration which could lead to a public promotion of Him as Messiah! John says Jesus knew their thoughts; He knew His hour had not yet come. Perhaps Jesus’ reluctance was similar to His telling people on several occasions, to go and tell no one about the miracles He had just performed.

    Platt moves to Nicodemus and says, “This man of faith who believed in Jesus was dead in sin and at that moment he was destined for condemnation.” Nicodemus was not a believer in Jesus. Platt is correct in saying that he is dead in his trespass and sin but he in serious error when he suggests that Jesus is rejecting Nicodemus as a believer in His Name, as Platt attempts to tie this account to the closing verses of chapter 2. Platt is completely out of bounds in this statement as he tries to justify the overall theme and thrust of his message.

    Platt tells of two members in his church who had prayed a sinner’s prayer as youngsters only to discover they had not been saved. After presenting them the gospel, the two were baptized and are now on fire for the Lord. Platt concludes that they along with many others are individuals “who do not know Christ; we must be biblically clear about saving faith, lest any of us lead people down a very dangerous and potentially damning road of spiritual deception.” Platt demonstrates his determination to continue his original position that the sinner’s prayer is both dangerous and damning.

    It is impossible for Platt to make any such determination. Who can say that God did not save these two early on and has now brought them to a place of committed service to Him? After all it is God who saves His own.

    Platt does go onto finish with a solid gospel presentation. “We tell men and women and boys and girls everywhere to repent and believe in Christ! Turn from yourself and trust in Jesus. Believe in Christ; follow Christ. Receive new life, eternal life. Look to Him and live.” “That’s the word that’s used all over John 3:11-21: “believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe.” Repent and believe.”

    To Dr. Platt, I say a hearty AMEN!


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