Why We Need to Share the Gospel with People in Other Religions

Secret Church 16: A Global Gospel in a World of Religions

Session 9: Why We Need to Share the Gospel with People in Other Religions

In this session of Secret Church 16, Pastor David Platt highlights the reality of hell, the promise of heaven, and the means through which the saving message of the gospel spreads. These truths must stick in our minds as we think about engaging people from other religions. This study closes with three exhortations in light of the great needs of the world—pray, give, and go. There is often risk when we spread this gospel to the ends of the earth, but the reward is worth it. In this series, Pastor David Platt encourages Christians to boldly proclaim the gospel with people of every religious belief.

  1. The Word Before Us
  2. The World Around Us
  3. Common Objections We Must Consider
  4. Critical Questions We Must Answer

Here are three conclusions. 

First, an eternal hell awaits every person in the world who does not believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Revelation 20:11-15 says,

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

We’ve talked about a lot of people—billions of them right now—who are on a road that leads to eternity separated from God. 

Second, an eternal heaven awaits every person in the world who does believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Third, God has ordained our mouths to be the means by which the gospel goes to every person in the world.

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:12-17)

Three Exhortations

So, here are three exhortations.

Pray Passionately

First, let’s pray passionately for the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth. Let’s plead for God to save Animists and Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and Atheists, and let’s plead for God to awaken His church to see Who He is, to see the need around us, and to speak the Word with great boldness.

“Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

Give Sacrificially to Help Share the Gospel with People in Other Religions

Let’s pray passionately, and let’s give sacrificially. Let’s spend our resources, not for more pleasures and pursuits in this world, but for the spread of the gospel in the world and for His purposes on the earth. 

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Go Confidently and Share the Gospel with People in Other Religions

Then third, let’s go confidently to the people right around us—right where God has put us. God has put you in communities—whether it’s here in Charlotte, whether it’s in 84 different countries around the world or 50 different states—He’s put us in places uniquely for the spread of His gospel in those places. So go to people right around us. Think, “Who do I know, who do I have a relationship with, who is in my sphere of influence who needs to know the gospel?” 

Be active in sharing the gospel with the people right around you, and then raise your eyes to the peoples around the world. This is the command of Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). I have prayed that God would so work in some hearts tonight, seeing this global gospel in a world of religions, that some of you might say for the first time—maybe it’s for the first time in a long time—“God, however You want to use my life, even if that means going overseas, or if that means going across town to this area of my city, I want to go for the spread of the gospel to people who are different from me, people who believe different things.” 

There is a Risk when Sharing the Gospel with People in Other Religions

Know that there will be risk. If we start sharing the gospel, there will be risk to our reputation, to our comfort, to our careers—increasingly so in this culture. There will be risks with our finances if we’re giving sacrificially for the spread of the gospel in a world of religions. There will be a risk in our future. There will be a risk in our families. There will be a risk to our safety. There will be a risk in our lives as we take the gospel into a world of religions. None of us is guaranteed to keep our lives. If we look at Revelation 6:9-11, it’s a clear teaching of Scripture that there are still more people who will lose their lives in the spread of the gospel around the world. 

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”

It doesn’t sound like we can go confidently with all this risk until we realize, brothers and sisters, that we are looking to our reward. There is coming a day when, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let’s run with endurance the race that’s set forth before us, fix our eyes on Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). There’s coming a day when the great dragon will be thrown down. Look at this passage in Revelation 12:7-12: 

“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

There’s a day coming when the Kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ will have come fully. So in a world of religions, brothers and sisters, let’s long for that day, and let’s give our lives for that day—starting right where we live, right now, and wherever God leads us in the future.

Will you pray with me? I want to close our time together tonight in prayer, and specifically, I want to invite you, just right now in your hearts—followers of Christ here and all around the world—would you lift up names of people you know who don’t know the gospel, asking that you will have opportunity to share it with them? Just generally ask God to bring them to a knowledge of the gospel and to use your life, to give you boldness to share with them. 

Then would you pray specifically, if you haven’t already thought of them, for people who maybe are in your community, your city, or people around the world, that you would have an opportunity to be part of reaching someone who is Buddhist or Muslim or Hindu or Animists or atheists. And would you express to God a willingness to go wherever He leads you, in your life, your family, for the spread of the gospel in the world in the days to come.

Praying for help Sharing the Gospel with People in Other Religions

O God, You know how I’ve prayed for this night, that You would bring about these aims and that You would bring about a firm confidence in the gospel in our hearts. God, I pray for that. I pray that we will walk away with deeper love for the gospel, for the beauty and uniqueness of Christ, and the salvation You’ve given us. Help us to hold firmly to it. God, You know I’ve prayed that it would lead to a commitment in our lives to proclaim this gospel right where we live and wherever You lead. 

I pray right now that there would be ripple effects felt in cities and communities and among people groups in the world as a result of the gospel in hearts in this gathering—the gospel spreading through lips from this gathering. Help us, we pray. Help us all to be faithful to proclaim this gospel, this good news. We pray that You would use and spend our lives and our families to draw many Animists to Yourself, many Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, and agnostics to Yourself. 

We believe You love the world so much that You have given Your Son to die for our salvation. So help us to make that salvation known in a way that resounds to Your glory—right where we live, in our neighborhoods and cities, and far beyond where we live to the ends of the earth. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Thank you for persevering about 25 minutes past what we said we were going to do. But that’s under 30! Which is better than we’ve done sometimes. I hope that we will walk away with firm confidence in the gospel and a commitment to making it known. 

I was reading this morning Numbers 6:24-25, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you,” that His ways may be known on earth, and His saving power known in the communities where you live and to the nations of the earth (Psalm 67). God bless.

Session 9 Discussion Questions

Study Guide pp. 135-139

1. After completing this study, what worries do you still have about sharing the gospel with people of other religions? What steps can you take to address those worries? What promises in Scripture could you memorize to help?

2. Which world religion in this study most surprised you in terms of its actual beliefs? Did you have any misconceptions exposed?

3. The consequences of getting the gospel right (or wrong) are eternal. How might you communicate this fact in a way that is both loving and candid?

4. Why isn’t it arrogant to tell followers of other religions that the gospel is the only way to be saved?

5. Respond to this statement: Peace-loving followers of other religions will likely embrace the gospel on their own, so we don’t have to call them to repentance.

6. What role does prayer play in your efforts to spread the gospel? What are some practical ways you might remind yourself to pray for the nations?

7. Explain why sacrificial giving is an act of faith? What does your current attitude toward giving say about your priorities?

8. Reaching those of other religions with the gospel can be costly. What motivations does Scripture give us to take those risks?

9. Where do you come into contact with people of other religions? How might you intentionally try to form relationships with such individuals?

10. What steps might your church take to engage unreached people groups?

Key Terms, Concepts, and Scriptures

Three Conclusions

  1. An eternal hell awaits those who do not believe the gospel (Acts 4:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Revelation 20:11-15).
  2. An eternal heaven awaits those who believe the gospel (John 3:16; Revelation 21:1-4).
  3. God has ordained our mouths to be the means through which the gospel spreads (Romans 10:12-17).

Three Exhortations

  1. Let’s pray passionately (Matthew 9:37-38; Ephesians 6:10-20).
  2. Let’s give sacrificially (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:48).
  3. Let’s go confidently (Acts 20:24) . . .
    • to people right around us (1 Peter 3:13-17).
    • to peoples around the world (Matthew 28:18-20) . . .
    • knowing there will be risk (Matthew 24:9-13; Revelation 6:9-11).
    • looking to our reward (Hebrews 12:1-2; Revelation 12:7-12).


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!