Platt and Chan Discuss Gospel Opportunities for the Next Generation - Radical

Platt and Chan Discuss Gospel Opportunities for the Next Generation

In this video, David Platt and Francis Chan encourage young Christians to remember God’s grace in their lives and long to experience deeper intimacy with God. During this conversation, they discuss their desire to see the next generation give their lives to go to the nations and walk in purity from sin.

David Platt: Francis, feels good to be together man. I thank God for bringing our paths across each other many years ago at Passion. And it was right after a Crazy Love had come out.

Francis Chan: Yes.

David: And Radical. And I remember Heather read Crazy Love before I did and she was like “Did you did  you copy Francis’s book?” And I was like “No, I didn’t. I didn’t read it.” But anyway. Just kindred art, you know, from the beginning. And then fast forward to right now, I think I would say for both of us, there’s a lot of burdens on our heart and excitement, exhilaration really, on our hearts for this time and place we’re in. So let me just ask you, when it comes to things that are burdens on your heart or the things  that you are really exhilarated about in this time and place, where does your mind go?

Francis: Gosh, I think burden goes to division in the church or just kind of following the pattern of the world. Or maybe we set the pattern, or divisiveness and just a lot of fighting over things that aren’t essential. We’re not giving each other the benefit of the doubt. People are quick to leave churches and slander. And so it just so hard when you see Christ’s heart for the Church and his heart for oneness that the world hasn’t seen. So that burdens me. And another thing that burdens me I think is how attached people are to their phones and electric, you know their devices. You know 1 Peter 4:77, “The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be self-controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayers.” And I think we have a generation growing up who’ve never known what it was like to not be attached and distracted by their electronic devices, to be able to pray, and be sober minded. Like my mind is clear. I don’t go to pray and then there’s 30 thoughts that run into my head because I’m going such a fast pace. But if we really want to see something happen, there needs to be a depth in our prayer lives and our ability to connect with God. And so it burdens me when I see the busyness of people and unnecessary busyness, and just keeping up with all sorts of things. But on the flip side, it could be  that people are coming to the end of those things. Like, okay, are we so divided that this doesn’t make sense anymore?

Everyone’s fighting with everyone. And is there just like this sadness to this busyness to where people go, okay, there’s got to be something more. Seems to be more of a pursuit of silence. But what I’m most excited, I think, is I see a younger generation that’s just going, it’s almost like with the ugliness of the world and kind of the sad thought of this country doesn’t look like it’s heading in the right direction. This world doesn’t seem like it’s heading in the right direction. Almost like a losing of that American dream that maybe I had when I was younger and going, okay, there’s really no such thing. And so.let me look to something else and actually look in Scripture and go, let me give my life up for this. I feel like there  are more young people ready to just go completely biblical rather than than the little dance that we’ve been doing for decades.

David: I think about one of the last times you and I were together, hundreds of  18, 19, 20, 21 year olds zealous for the word. That morning you and I spoke. It’s not like they were sitting back. They were on the edge of their seat, even standing on their seat opened to Romans. They’re like Romans. It’s like you could be praying for hours at a time or that morning. So we got there. They were there praying and worshiping for hours one night, and then the next morning they got up at like 8:00 and got together and prayed  for the nations. They’re praying for all these different nations and from a variety of different backgrounds. I just think about by putting those two things together, what you just said. There is a hunger for one, not just the turf wars. It’s just we love Jesus. We love his word and, and we’ve got a variety of differences. But, but these things are the same.

And we were just having lunch with another brother, Andy Bird, we all have differences in a variety of different ways. You know there’s a beautiful depth of family and unity that we were talking about that, that is actually the depth is highlighted when we’re honest about those differences, when we cling to that which like, we love Jesus, we love the word and we want to get the gospel to the world, and we want to see spiritual awakening in our country. I see how in a sense what you just said, these burdens, these struggles are actually kind of opening up doors to step into deeper ways. A hunger for unity and a hunger for more than what can be found on scrolling on this device. And that can be found here and in him.

Francis: Well, it’s a fun season, too, right now. I mean, after the  Asbury, you know, whatever you want to call it, renewal or revival. It just seems like more and more people are seeking that experience. And I don’t want to leave this space. We are so focused on the person of God, and it’s happening all around the U.S. First time I’ve seen it going from city to city and seeing, wow, they really love the presence of God. And there are times when I felt like we’re really joining the worship in heaven and it’s just all of us around the throne telling him how great he is. It’s new.

David: And yes, exhilarating I think is the right word. We were texting back and forth over the last few weeks. I’m laughing about a couple of those text. But anyway, they are less important to talk about now. But as you and Andy were coming out with groups and then we and our church family were experiencing similar things and really, and you use the word experience. I just used it. I’ve heard some people say, “Well, it’s not all about experience.” I don’t know. I read Exodus 33 this morning, and I saw Moses go into the tent of meeting to be with God, and he spoke with him face to face. The man speaks with this friend. And I was like, that sounds like an experience to me. That, well, I’m sitting there reading it, thinking I’ve got this experience now. I don’t have to go to the tent. And then he says, now show me your glory. That sounds like he wants more. And not of experience in and of itself. He wants more of God. He wants to know God more. He wants to see God more. He wants to see God’s glory on display more. And not that He hasn’t seen it, right?

Francis: Yes, exactly. But that’s what happens. You want more, right? He saw the burning bush, and then he goes on. I mean, he’s been on a mountaintop and with God. He walked up there, and he said I want more. I want more. Come on, let me see your face. But when I read a passage I’ve been wrestling with, 2 Corinthians 3, talking about that experience, “Now, if the ministry of death carved in letters on stone came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there is glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceeded it in glory. And indeed this case, where once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.” I mean it must far exceed the Ministry of the Spirit?

David: Yes, more glory.

Francis: See, we can talk about Moses and go, gosh, what was it like on the mountaintop? And he’s saying the ministry of the Spirit, you know. And so many people are looking at our current, you know, life like now all we get is the Holy Spirit. They had,  you know, the glory. His face was glowing. And so I’m wrestling, going there should be zero jealousy over that, and we should be experiencing something. that far exceeds it in glory.

David: Far exceed it. And not just for one person. I mean, this is, we celebrate this.

Francis: Yes, it’s the Spirit. It’s this ministry of the Spirit.

David: “And we all with unveiled face are holding the glory of Lord being transformed.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) I, I do. I believe there is hunger among God’s people for more and more of His glory.

Francis: I’m hungry for it.

David: Yes, yes, I’m hungry in a way. In a fresh way I say, yeah.

Francis: I feel like I’m  experiencing him more and I want to experience him more. I mean, it’s, the commands are supposed to lead us to life. You know, there’s life that’s supposed to come from it. That’s experience. We should have this joy that’s inexpressible. Yeah, we should experience a joy that is inexpressible, A peace that is beyond comprehension. I mean these are all things that we we feel and internalize and come from the depths of our being.

David: Yes, the way we’ve been putting it in our church family recently, just praying continually for that which he said is beyond comprehension, inexpressible, that which can only be explained by the hand of God’s Spirit and only be attributed to his glory. It can’t be explained any other way. That’s when when we read the story of the church in the New Testament this only can be explained by the hand of God and only be attributed to the glory of God. And we were talking earlier about that’s the thing that we minimize. The ordinary means of grace.But that’s part of the beauty, ordinary means of grace. It’s quiet time with God. It’s opening the word and experiencing this. And then getting together with others and experiencing this. This is, those are ordinary means of grace that are, I would say, truly extraordinary.

Francis: Yeah, I mean the Scriptures are extraordinary. But I am seeing the Scriptures more and more, like I said at lunch, like a treasure map. Like, okay, I read this, there’s something available to me. I’m going to turn off my phone, get in the closet, get alone with the Lord, you know, and worship him. It should lead us to something, you know. It’s not to just sit and discuss it. That’s important, but it’s to lead you to action. That’s the whole book of James. You don’t just read it and go, okay, that’s what it says. But you go out  and you do it. It leads us to action, whether it’s, you know, sharing the gospel, caring for the poor, or just confessing our sin. I mean it’s got to lead us to something and some of it, you know, being filled with all the fullness of God. You know, it talks about our prayers that to him, He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, you know. I mean it’s in that same context of being filled with all the fullness of God that seems impossible that he says, no let’s pray to the one who does beyond what we think and what we can imagine. And going, I want that. I certainly feel and can see in my life change, things that God’s done, but to say that I’ve been filled with all the fullness of God. I know there’s a lot more and I want that.

David: Yes, and to see him showing his glory in more and more ways. One of the things that comes to my mind when I think about what you were just saying is, as we’ve been just creating some more space to pray and respond to the word and confession, people turning to their spouse in a worship gathering and confessing adultery or sexual immorality. People turning to each other confessing addiction. People saying, hey, I’m struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, just all kinds of, but instead of just going through the motions, pausing to soak in what we read, respond to it with our hearts, and authentically do that in life together. That all sounds like normal Christianity. But it feels like the temptation is so strong to go through the motions and miss what we’re talking about and see that as normal Christianity. And I just don’t I just want, I invite myself being drawn to deeper levels of confession that are needed like God is. In a way that Paul like he just, and we know this, the closer you get to God, his Holiness, the more you see your sin and the more you hate it. And that’s happening in my own life. That’s happening in our church. But that’s what I want more of. I mean that’s if I’m going to be filled with all his fullness.

Francis: Yeah, you know, lately I’ve been praying this prayer for the last few months. And it’s been so good for me. I just beg God, I go, please, Lord, show me where I’m deceived. Show me where I’m deceived. Because I can look back and, you know, see, you know, in the past, things we’ve said or done in ministry, we’re like, wow, that’s embarrassing. Or I, you know, it’s revealed to you later, but I’ve going, Lord, there have to be things now. I don’t want to find out later that I was deceived. And it’s so different from temptation because you and I know when we’re tempted, but we don’t know when we’re deceived. And God’s been showing me things just in faithfulness to answer that prayer. Well, my gosh,  this is so great. Just showing me  weaknesses in my life, leading me to repentance, which is a good thing. It’s like, oh, we have to repent. That’s a joy. It’s a gift. It’s a cleansing. It’s oh, I mean, we walk away from that and just be cleansed by you. It’s been a great journey for me. I encourage everyone to do that because we’re all deceived in some way.

David: Yes. None of us have it all figured out.

Francis: But how many are humble enough? Or is God just giving you the grace to go, gosh, I should pray for that because I haven’t thought to pray that until a few months ago. I don’t  know it just hit me like, of course I don’t know where I’m just deceived unless God Almighty just pours his grace on me and says, look at what you’re doing here. Why are you doing that? Sin, I want it out. Or it’s a misunderstanding of scripture. You know, times when I’ve tried to earn his love and work for it. That’s so unbiblical, but I’ve been doing it. I don’t know if you ever wrestle with that.

David: I know I definitely do. I was just about to say one of the things that comes to my mind is “This is the one whom I esteem”– Isaiah 6– “He who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles in my word.” That’s when I hear he’s like, I want to be humble and contrite in spirit, and tremble at your word. I don’t want to get your word wrong. I don’t want to disobey your word. I want to obey your word completely. God help me to do that and to pray for humility and contrition in spirit. That’s the text that comes my mind when I hear you saying that.

Francis: And to add to that, I notice that I would tremble at his commands, but not at his promises. So even what we read there in 2 Corinthians 3 is a good thing, but when you tremble at that this is possible, you know, and his promises is where I’ve struggled more in life. And then he was showing me in Romans 5:10, if while we were sinners, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life? I was noticing, I was reading a book and he was talking about how some of us we believe we’re saved by grace through faith, absolutely. But then when it comes to our day to day living, there’s this sense in which I had a good week in my thought life, in my discipline. I got up early. I prayed. So he loves me more or I really failed. And so like his love towards me has diminished. And he was going to Romans 5:10 saying, no, he loved you when you were enemies, so much more having been reconciled. So you think now that you’re his son, you got to earn your love?

And I, oh I totally do that. I totally do that. And how much of it is, you know, from upbringing, or and I had to apologize to my church. I go, you guys, you know, I’ve never taught to be that way, but it’ll come out of my mouth because it’s what’s in my heart. And that overflow from my heart, things are going to come out. And so some of you have some insecurities brought on by my teaching because it’s in me, and I’m asking God to change me of this. But it was, you know, is just confessing to the church and apologizing and asking for prayer because I want to be 100% secure in his love, his great love for me much more now that I’m a son. You know, he’s saving me by his life.

David: And to bring that full circle with what you were talking about earlier, Ephesians 3:19, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. That just flows directly from “that you might know the height and breadth and depth of God’s love for you in Christ.” What a picture. I think I was just in John 15. “Abide in my love. As the Father has loved me so I have loved you.” What a promise. I love you like the Father loves me. Like the trinitarian, the love of the Father for the Son is the same love he has for you and me. So abide in my love. One of the promises that I travel a lot, Matthew 24:14. “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed as a testimony to all the nations, and the end will come.” And I know there’s different interpretations of that, but it’s what we were just talking about at lunch. I tremble when I think about one, just that reality of every nation being reached for the gospel.

And two, I tremble all the more so, this is what we were talking about at lunch, that we have an opportunity, like never before in history, to spread the gospel to all the nations. And I know some people might hear that and think, I mean, every generation has opportunities. Yes, without question. But with technology, like we actually over with what Illuminations is doing with Bible translations, we have the opportunity to see the Bible translated into all the languages of the world. Potentially in our lifetime like in the coming ten years. And we have more opportunity. Paul could have only dreamed and he could never have imagined all that we could do for the spread of the gospel from a device in our pockets. So I know that’s one of the things that we’re both burdened and exhilarated about. It’s let’s go after the nations with the gospel. Let’s mobilize everybody in the church from every age, and particularly as we work with next generation, let’s steward the opportunities we have. With trembling. We have the opportunity to get this gospel to 3 billion people who have never heard it before. So let’s do it. So I think about words.

Francis: Yeah, yeah. With that passage right before because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved in this gospel. The king will be proclaimed throughout the whole world. But I just see this connection of so many people because of the increase of lawlessness which we’re clearly seeing in our world right now. They’re almost ashamed of the gospel, ashamed of God’s Word, and their love is growing cold. But it’s seeing the ones who endured to the end will be saved. And I think it’s all connected in this gospel is going to go out through those people who are going to endure.

And so, I was going into the speaking engagement thing, and people have so much so many strikes against them here. Their minds are foggy because of this digital age. They can’t pray and the sin is so rampant, and it is such an extreme time that we think, well, for somewhere in the middle, we’re okay. You know, as like, “Oh, this is the generation they’re growing up and these poor people.” And I almost for a moment there didn’t have faith that, no, wait a second, there’s no way God would say there’s no chance for you guys to be the most prayerful, generation, clear minded. I could make you be the most self-controlled and go, no, I’m not going to watch every video on Earth and I’m going to go after this. And just because sin is great doesn’t mean that the Spirit is any less weak to make you the most pure generation. It’s going I’m going after total holiness. I want to give my life to go into the nations as I go Lord, forgive me, I was starting to lose my faith in what he could do with this generation.

David: If we really want to see what can only be explained by God’s hand and only be attracted to His glory, what better set up than that? Yeah. Maybe so. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Francis Chan

Francis Chan is an American preacher. He is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, a church he and his wife started in 1994. He is also the Founder and Chancellor of Eternity Bible College and the author of Crazy Love.

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