Skip to content

CNLP 291: David Platt on Hell, Suffering, Eternity and Why the Hard Questions About Christianity Haven’t Led to His Deconversion, and What Needs to Change Among Christians to Truly Impact the World

There are so many deconversion stories away from Christianity these days. David Platt has seen some of the greatest suffering on earth and has again, recently, asked some of the toughest questions: In a universe governed by a good God, is hell really a place? Will so many people born into an earthly hell really end up in eternal hell?

David shares how seeing profound suffering and asking those questions hasn’t led him away from faith but deeper into his faith. And, he shares what needs to change in Christianity is really going to impact the world.

Welcome to Episode 291 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

 Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Radical

Episode Links

Need help with your church’s website and digital outreach? Check out Pro WebFire, and get a FREE custom website build for the plan you choose by using the discount code Carey2019. Act now before the offer expires at the end of this month.

Remodel Health recognizes the intrinsic value of keeping healthcare costs sustainable without sacrificing the level of care to your faith-based organization. Learn more about their technology-based, innovative solutions by visiting this special link here, and download their church buyer’s guide today for FREE.

CNLP 143: David Platt on Overcoming the Struggles of His First Decade of Leadership

Something Needs to Change by David Platt

McLean Bible Church

The Genesee Diary by Henry Nouwen

3 Insights from David

1. When sharing the gospel, some people will always think we are weird—we can’t let that stop us

In today’s isolated culture, it is so easy to let the fear of being perceived as “weird” stop us from sharing our faith with the people in our lives. One way David overcomes this is by finding ways to work different parts of the Christian experience into his daily verbiage without sounding “super spiritual.”

He tries to do this as often as he can in his life. At the gym, he will talk to the guys that he works out with between sets about what God has done in his life. He doesn’t let the fear of being seen as “weird” stop him because that’s going to happen to anybody trying to share their faith including the early apostles, and even Jesus himself.

2. Have we lost our ability to weep?

While on a trip in the mountain villages of the Himalayas, David saw people with urgent needs up close and personal—young girls in brothels, men with infections eating away their bodies, and villages of people where 50% of kids die before the age of eight. When he encountered these people, it caused him to weep in his hotel room that evening in a way that he had not wept in a long time.

Looking back on that experience, David realized that it is so easy for us to talk about the world’s urgent spiritual or physical needs and speculate about what we can do to fix it without feeling any major emotions about it. We have gone numb to just how tragic the pain and suffering in the world is. We have to be aware of this and do our best to share the gospel with as many people as humanly possible.

3. No other world religion compares to the gospel of Jesus

There are some very real questions that people have about the world if the gospel is true. “If God truly is good, why is the world so full of pain and suffering?” David was seriously wrestling with these questions while writing the journal that eventually turned into his most recent book, Something Needs To Change.

One of the realizations David made is that for the people that are in the midst of suffering, there isn’t a better belief system in the world than the gospel of Jesus Christ. What would you rather tell a young girl caught in the midst of sex trafficking? That the whole world is happening by chance and that we are living out what our DNA pre-programmed us to do? Or that there is a God that loves her and will judge all men’s actions at the end of time? That is an obvious choice.

Quotes from Episode 291

The last thing I want to do, as a pastor, is program my way through challenges without desperate dependence on God and prayer. @plattdavid Click To Tweet

We live in a changing climate, and we can't control that. What we can control is our trust in the gospel. @plattdavid Click To Tweet

You can't help but ask, “Why are some people born into earthly suffering, only to move on to eternal suffering without ever hearing the name of Jesus?” @plattdavid Click To Tweet

Are we willing to open our eyes and our hearts like we're willing to weep? And are we willing to get close enough to people in order to experience that kind of reaction?” @plattdavid Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 291

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our new YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen. We’ll add select episodes to YouTube as time goes on.

Get Your Church Growing (Again…or for the First Time)

Getting a stuck church growing, or helping a church that’s reaching new people grow even further can seem daunting.

It doesn’t have to be.

Whether you’re a church that isn’t growing, has plateaued, or whether you wish your church was growing faster than it is, I’d love to help you break through. That’s why I created the Church Growth Masterclass.

The Church Growth Masterclass is everything I wish I knew about church growth when I got into ministry more than 20 years ago.

Naturally, I can’t make a church grow. You can’t make a church grow. Only God can do that.

But I believe you can position your church to grow.

You can knock down the barriers that keep you from growing. You can eliminate the things that keep your church from growing and implement some strategies that will help you reach far more people. That’s what I’d love to help you do in the Church Growth Masterclass.

In the Church Growth Masterclass I’ll show you:

  • The 10 reasons your church isn’t growing
  • Why even committed church-goers aren’t attending as often as before
  • How to tell if your church leaders are getting burned out
  • The 5 keys to your church better impacting millennials.
  • What to do when a church wants to grow … but not change
  • 5 essentials for church growth
  • 5 disruptive church trends to watch—and how to respond
  • How to increase church attendance by increasing engagement.

The Church Growth Masterclass includes a complete set of videos that you can play with your team, board or staff, PDF workbooks that will help you tackle the issues you’re facing, and bonus materials that will help you navigate the most pressing issues facing churches that want to reach their cities today.

You can learn more and gain instant access to the course today.

Subscribed Yet? 

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts

Spotify

Google Play

Stitcher

TuneIn

Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Clay Scroggins

Clay Scroggins is back on the podcast with some fresh insights from his brand new book, How to Lead in a World of Distraction. In an open and vulnerable interview, Clay talks about how the pressures of leadership led to him missing some of the signs of emotional ill-health, breaking down in his boss’s office, and finding quiet and healing in a noisy world. And if you think this is just theory, Clay is learning all this while leading a church of over 9,000, nurturing his marriage, and parenting five kids under the age of ten.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 292.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.