On Wednesday night, Pastor David Platt of McLean Bible Church hosted a simulcast called Something Needs to Change, part of an ongoing initiative from The Gospel Coalition.
In the simulcast, Platt, an author and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, shared an interview with a missionary named Yazim.
“He lives and works in a part of the Middle East where, not only is it illegal to share the Gospel, it’s life-threatening to talk about how the Gospel is advancing,” Platt shared.
In the simulcast Yazim, a Middle East church planter shared with Platt and the listeners through a disguised voice how, “God is moving inside the Middle East with dreams, visions, and personal visitations.”
Yazim shared one incredible story in particular of a Middle Eastern man who came to know Jesus through a miraculous way.
“This man said this to us when we visited him: ‘A man wearing all white knocked at my door every night and I couldn’t look at him because his face was so shiny and bright,'” Yazim shared. “‘When he would come inside, he asked me to write down what he said. As I wrote, I fell asleep. The next night, he would come again for the next month.'”
The man, who lives 50 kilometers outside of an unnamed city shared his notebook with Yazim to show him what he had written down.
In the notebook, the man had written down: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”
The man’s notes came from the book of John, which God had revealed to him in his visitations.
“He had the whole book of John verbatim in his notebook,” Yazim shared. “Jesus visited him every night until he finished the book. The amazing thing is, the man actually asked us, ‘who was this man that visited me?'”
“I learned a valuable lesson: God will do his part, but we still have to do ours,” he added.
Following the vision, Yazim was able to share with the man who had been visiting him in his dreams. The visions were not unique to the man, many Muslims have come to know God and testify in His name following these divine visits.
After Yazim shared the story of the man’s visions, Platt shared Yazim’s own story, which is a miracle in itself.
Yazim’s wife, who was once a Muslim, experienced her own divine encounter with God. After struggling with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts, she decided that she was going to take her own life. That same exact night, she heard the story of Jesus and gave her life to God.
The encounter saved her life and brought the calling of both her life and her husband’s life into focus, and they have been sharing the word of God in the Middle East ever since.
“Our focus is to make disciples who make disciples who then start new churches,” Yazim shared. “We believe that what God commanded us to do is Matthew 28. We believe that if you make disciples, churches will grow.”
Yazim and his wife have been working to plant churches all over the Middle East, their next goal is another 10 in undisclosed locations.
“This training, along with supporting the leaders, will cost $25,000 for ten churches to be developed,” Yazim shared.
Platt, whose proceeds from his latest book “Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need ” are all going to various urgent needs around the world, then gave Yazim some amazing news.
“Well, Yazim, we praise God for what you’re doing on the front lines in the Middle East,” he shared. “We want you to know from your brothers and sisters who are behind you on those lines that you’re not alone.”
“Count us in for that $25,000 to plant ten churches in the Middle East,” Platt announced.
Platt: Why change is crucial to the Christian walk
During the simulcast, Platt explained why his new book was so important for Christians to read, and why the theme of “changing” is crucial to the Christian walk.
“It’s impossible to be a Christian without change,” Platt stated. “We are continually being changed more and more into the image of Jesus … It’s what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, and it’s what it means to make disciples of Jesus, which is what we’ve all been called to do.”
“This is everybody’s greatest need in the world; the need to change, the need to be changed … by the love of Jesus. Girls need to be rescued from trafficking. People need to be saved from preventable diseases. Men and women need to hear the Gospel before they die. In order for change like that to happen in the world, there’s some change that needs to happen in us.”
Platt pointed out that “something needs to change, and something can change,” adding how God changing a person is so real, and so easy to see in how they live their lives.
“The problem is, I talk with a lot of people in the Church, and it’s like we don’t believe that,” he said. “A lot of people look at a world of urgent need and think it’s impossible to change the number of people trafficked, in poverty, and those who haven’t heard the Gospel.
“It’s like we settle into a reality where we know there’s a need in the world, but we don’t see a way we can change it. It’s called fatalism and it’s wickedness … it’s evil, it’s sinful, and God has not called any of us to live this way.”
Platt encouraged the audience, and listeners, to look within themselves for change, not to others.
“Something needs to change, and something can change. The question is: Will we lay ourselves before God and let Him work the change He desires to do? I pray that the answer is yes.”