Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Rankin Defines Global Mission — and Warns of Hell

Dr. Jerry Rankin, President of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, addressed the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists in Greensboro. As he spoke, he defined the Great Commission and made a very important point. [See Baptist Press coverage here.]

As the report summarizes:

“The Great Commission was just a reminder and reinforcement that the heart of God was to reach the nations and the ends of the earth,” Rankin said. “Where are the uttermost parts of the earth? It’s those places where people have yet to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Rankin expressed sorrow over those who die without having heard the Gospel.

“People will say, ‘How can we say they’re condemned to hell?’ — that surely a merciful and loving God would not condemn them to hell,” Rankin said. “But they are condemned by their sin. I’ve been challenged on that point, and I say it deliberately.”

In a day of theological confusion in so many quarters, it is reassuring to see Dr. Rankin make this point so deliberately.