The Best Quotes from Cross

Something potentially historic happened last week as thousands of students gathered for the sake of the unreached peoples around the world. Hundreds stood on Monday night at the close of the first Cross conference to commit to returning to their local church to be sent out to see Jesus treasured where he is not.

We’ve collected some of the most powerful quotes from the ten plenary messages (along with some from John Piper’s breakout sessions). May these talks — and more importantly the word of God — inspire us all to think creatively and sacrificially about how to make our lives count for our God’s global glory.

John Piper: “The Chief End of Missions: The Supremacy of God in the Joy of All Peoples” (full message)

  • “There are a thousand needs in the world, and none of them compares to the global need for the gospel.”
  • “I am not a missionary, but I have wanted my life to count for the unreached peoples of the world.”
  • “God aims to look valuable in the world, and that happens when we treasure him above all else.”
  • “If you remove enjoyment of God from faith in God, it ceases to be faith.”
  • “We will not let you choose between being a lover of God and his sovereignty and being a lover of lost people.”
  • “One day America and all its presidents will be a footnote in history, but the kingdom of Jesus will never end.”
  • “God is on the move to rescue people from misery to everlasting happiness, which can only be found in him.”
  • “If you don’t know God as beautiful and satisfying, you don’t know him.”
  • “Jesus came at Christmas to bring glory to God and satisfaction to sinners everywhere.”

Thabiti Anyabwile: “Beauty from Ashes: The Plight of Man and the Purposes of God”

  • “Strategy never saved anyone. Only the gospel saves anyone.”
  • “God is not embarrassed by his wrath or ashamed of his judgment, so we shouldn’t be either.”
  • “If we mitigate the harshness of God’s wrath, we will minimize the urgency of God’s mission.”

Kevin DeYoung: “Five Surprising Motivations for Missions”

  • “Just about everybody in America likes Jesus, but few like him for who he truly is.”
  • “It is our confidence in the sovereign grace of God that gives us any hope of success in missions.”
  • “If you will go to the nations and last, you must rest in the promise that the word of God will do the work of God.”

Conrad Mbewe: “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: The Good News of a Bloody Cross”

  • “The one word that can describe the misery throughout the human race is death.”
  • “Jesus purchased our redemption by suffering on the cross as a substitute for sinners to satisfy a holy God.”
  • “Our death died at the cross. It did not faint. It died.”
  • “Trust in our works for salvation is the back door to Hell.”

Richard Chin: “Seeing Jesus Properly: The Lord to Gladly Obey Forever”

  • “To take up your cross is to consider it better to die than to live for something other than Jesus.”
  • “My wife’s fatal bout with cancer made her more like Jesus. She lived and died for the glory of Christ.”

Mack Stiles: “The Call of Christ: Inspired, Informed, Confirmed”

  • “I know God’s call for your life. It’s to be an ever-growing disciple of Jesus.”
  • “Without the message of the gospel, you do not have missionary work.”
  • “Don’t take the gospel for granted in certain areas of your life. It’s essential to everything.”
  • “Going to the nations without the support of the local church is a little like baptizing yourself.”

Matt Chandler: “The Life Worth Living for Christ Is a Life Worth Losing”

  • “When we join God in his plan for his global glory, we get to be a part of the cosmic take-your-kid-to-work day.”
  • “There isn’t a violent soul on the planet that God might not save and transform for himself.”
  • “Every missionary I know is extraordinarily ordinary. Everything they do, they do by the grace of God.”
  • “When God saves you, he doesn’t do it because you gave him permission. He did it because he’s God.”
  • “Comfort is the god of our generation, so suffering is seen as a problem to be solved, and not a providence from God.”
  • “Why do we try so hard to make Jesus cool?! He doesn’t need a makeover.”
  • “When we see the bankruptcy, slavery, and vanity of everything else, we can finally say, ‘To die is gain.’”
  • “Nobody dies early.”
  • “In 10,000 years you will not regret anything you didn’t have or do in this life.”
  • “Until Christ is our treasure, any other motivation we have to suffer for him is a fool’s errand.”

Michael Oh: “What Do Cross-Cultural Missionaries Cross Cultures For?”

  • “It takes more than clicking like for a good cause to change the world.”
  • “How great an injustice it is to know about eternal suffering and do nothing.”
  • “Are you a champion of Christ on Twitter, but not in your neighborhood?”
  • “The less money you spend on other things, the more you have to spend on things eternal.”

D.A. Carson: “The Church as the Means and the Goal of Missions”

  • “Sin corrupts even our good deeds. We injure our shoulder trying to pat ourselves on the back.”
  • “The gospel overturns everything sin does.”
  • “The greatest aphrodisiac in marriage is kindness.”
  • “Tragically, we buy the lie that the gospel is only for the unconverted.”
  • “The very love of God is fleshed out in our local churches.”

David Platt: “Mobilizing God’s Army for the Great Commission”

  • “I’m asking every single person listening to this message to lay a blank check before God, open to go wherever he leads.”
  • “Ask, could my gifts, education, career, or experience be used to spread the gospel where it’s needed most?”
  • “What if the word of God was enough to inspire passionate worship among his people?”
  • “Saved people this side of heaven owe the gospel to lost people this side of hell.”
  • “There are no innocent unreached people in the world. Their knowledge of God is only enough to damn them to hell.”
  • “Our God is worthy of the worship of 6,000 more people groups.”
  • “If you can trust God to save you for eternity, you can trust him to lead you for a lifetime.”
  • “Do not underestimate what God can do when the church is sending and workers are going to people who need the gospel.”

Other Piper Quotes from Breakout Sessions

  • “You ought to marry someone who’s willing to go anywhere for God. If they’re not, they're out.”
  • “You don’t need to see the fruit of your life for there to be real, lasting, exponential fruit.’
  • “Don’t let your personality keep you from missions. God gave it to you and has a place for you to use it for his glory.”
  • “The Great Commission will not get done if we’re not ready to risk our lives and the lives of our family.”
  • “God doesn’t waste anything for those who are yielded to him.”
  • “Bitterness about your parents’ brokenness will kill you. Be the grace-filled end of generational sin in your family.”
  • “Do not be more devoted to your own brain than you are to the Bible.”
  • “God is not worn out running the galaxy. He’s not taxed at all guiding every dust particle all the time.”
  • “All your money is God’s, not just 10%.”
  • “I challenge everyone who hasn’t yet to memorize Romans 8 in 2014. It is useful for everything everywhere all the time.”

Other resources about missions to unreached peoples:

Marshall Segal (@MarshallSegal) is executive assistant to John Piper, a graduate of Bethlehem Seminary in Minneapolis, and regularly writes on the topics of singleness and dating.