WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Of the 6.5 billion people on earth, 3.7 billion have little or no exposure to the Gospel, Tom Elliff told students during chapel Oct. 12 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Elliff, senior vice president for spiritual nurture at the International Mission Board, told students he came to present a case for world missions, hoping the verdict from students would be one of “willingness to respond to whatever God says to you about world missions.”
Elliff said he was concerned that most Christians do not fully understand the extent of a non-believer’s lostness. Preaching from Proverbs 24:10-12, he said non-Christians are hopelessly, helplessly and hellishly lost.
“Hell is an actual place; it’s an awful place, and it’s an always place,” Elliff said.
After describing the depths of being lost, Elliff challenged the audience to examine their own lives and witness.
“What advantage is it to the world that you are alive at this hour?” he asked. “God has put you here for a purpose.”
Referring to the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia in December 2004, Elliff explained how the catastrophic event began far beneath the ocean with a shift in the earth.
“A massive shift has got to take place deep below the surface of your life,” Elliff said. “Sometimes I think we forget that God is going to hold us accountable for all we do with this precious gift He has given us called life.”
Elliff shared the story of how a man from Kenya approached him after a church service in Oklahoma and thanked him for sharing the Gospel at the Kenyan Islamic school the man attended as a young boy.
“Heaven is going to be a wonderful place primarily because of Jesus, but it’s also a place where you get to run into your past,” Elliff said.
He challenged the students who were surrendered to seeking God’s will for their lives in world missions to kneel at the altar while he prayed for them. More than 50 students went forward to kneel before God and surrender their lives and their futures to His will in the area of world missions.