Blog Posts by John Piper

Letter to a 12-Year-Old Girl About the Eternal Destiny of Those Who Have Not Heard the Gospel

John Piper

Dear [Sarah],

You asked what happens to people who live far away from the gospel and have never heard about Jesus and die without faith in him.

Here is what I think the Bible teaches. 

God always punishes people because of what they know and fail to believe. In other words, no one will be condemned for not believing in Jesus who has never heard of Jesus.

Does that mean that people will be saved and go to heaven if they have never heard of Jesus? No, that is not what God tells…

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La historia de Ian y Larissa

John Piper

Estimados amigos,

Deseando a Dios existe para ayudar a gente de todas partes a comprender y aceptar la verdad de que Dios es más glorificado en nosotros cuando estamos más satisfechos en él. Y yo agregaría, sobre todo en el sufrimiento.

Estar satisfechos en Dios (o en cualquier otra cosa) siempre parece más fácil cuando todo va bien. Pero cuando las cosas que usted amas están siendo despojadas de sus…

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The Story of Ian & Larissa

John Piper

Dear Friends,

Desiring God exists to help people everywhere understand and embrace the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. And I would add, especially in suffering.

Being satisfied in God (or anything) always seems easier when all is going well. But when things you love are being stripped out of your hands, then the test is real. If God remains precious…

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I Don’t Think So, Doug

John Piper

Doug Wilson, in a recent blog titled “Paul on Divorce and Remarriage,” says 1 Corinthians 7:28 permits a divorced man to remarry. I don’t think that’s what Paul is saying.

1 Corinthians 7:27–28 says, “Are you bound to a wife (or literally, “woman,” as in a betrothal)? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife (or “woman)? Do not seek a wife (or “woman”).…

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C. S. Lewis on the Temporary Importance of Fear

John Piper

I think that when we are sinless we will still fear God in the sense of reverential, trembling awe — as when we stand on a peak before vast stretches of unscalable cliffs. And we will also fear, I suppose, in the sense of shuddering with thankfulness that we are not among the number who still dishonor God.

But the painful fear, the guilty fear, the craven fear, the humiliating…

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Old Shocks in Getting Ready for Romania, Switzerland, and Germany

John Piper

I have been preparing for ministry in Romania, Switzerland and Germany. One of the messages I am to give is “What is Gospel-Centered Ministry?” I have let my mind run back over the decades of preaching about this. One message leaps out of my memory with great joy and force. The message at One Day in May, 2000.

The text was Galatians 6:14, just one verse — for One Day…

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Learning from John Stott’s Godly Ambition

John Piper

Today is John Stott’s first birthday in heaven.

Coming toward the end of my (32-year) ministry as Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church, I read Alister Chapman’s new biography of John Stott with special interest. I wanted to see how he finished at All Soul’s and how he shaped the rest of his life.

Stott became Rector at All Souls in 1950 at the age of 29.…

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My Future at Desiring God

John Piper

Dear Friends,

This has been a season of transition at both Bethlehem and Desiring God. In both cases I feel more carried along than pushing or pulling. God is manifestly moving. May the Lord give me grace to stay in step with the Spirit, as he kindly leads us through these happy days.

I am overjoyed with the elders’ choice of Jason Meyer as the candidate to eventually take my…

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Earnestness in Preaching (and Life)

John Piper

Earnestness is the demeanor that corresponds to the weight of the subject matter of preaching — and life. The opposite of earnest is not joyful, but trivial, flippant, frivolous, chipper.

It is possible to be earnest and have elements of humor, though not levity. Spurgeon had a way with words, for example, that caused some foolish things to look ludicrous. “Live on the substantial doctrines of grace, and you will…

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What Does Paul Mean: “Christ Will Reconcile to Himself All Things”?

John Piper

Some have used Colossians 1:20 to argue for universalism — that all rebel creatures, including the devil will be reconciled to God in the end and there will be no eternal hell.

Colossians 1:19–20,

In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

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Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell?

John Piper

The Apostles’ Creed says, “[He] was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.” There are many meanings given to this phrase. I simply want to ponder the traditional interpretation that Christ went to the place of the dead to preach the gospel to Old Testament saints that he might set them free for the full experience of heaven.…

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Why I Love Bethlehem College

John Piper

After doing serious church-based higher education for decades, we made it official in 2009 and started Bethlehem College and Seminary (BCS). I love what God has put together.

As many of you know, I began my ministry back in 1974 as a professor of New Testament. Now that the end of my three-decade-long chapter as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church is on the horizon, I am excited that…

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Race and the Horrific Frequency of Abortion

John Piper

Tucked away near the bottom, and easily out of sight, is one of the compounded tragedies of abortion. The profoundly disproportionate number of black babies being aborted.

Every child is created in God's image and is knit together by him in the womb. Every child, of every race, is God's design and gift (Psalm 139:13). None should be killed.

And when there are historic and contemporary evidences that certain minorities…

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The Mega Millions Lottery Is a Suicidal Craze

John Piper

Tonight a ticket will be chosen worth over half a billion dollars. Lottery agents in New York were selling 1.3 million Mega Millions tickets per hour Thursday.

Officials were expecting to sell about 1.2 billion tickets total before the drawing.

“Americans spend about $60 billion on the lottery every year,” says Stephen Dubner, co-author of “Freakonomics.” “More than $500 per American household goes to playing the lottery.” (CBS This

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Bonhoeffer on Abortion

John Piper

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is claimed as a patron saint by theological schools, ranging from God is Dead to evangelical conservatives. Eric Metaxas sees his biography as one step in the rescue of Bonhoeffer from the most bizarre misuses of his thinking.

Along the way he points out, for example, Bonhoeffer’s clear and strong views on abortion. They are decisive on the immorality of it, and pastorally compassionate toward the persons in…

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Trayvon Martin, Race, and the Gospel

John Piper

Racial tensions continue to rise just as I prepare to go to New York next week to talk with Anthony Bradley and Tim Keller about race and the Christian. I watched a video on Wednesday of an African American pastor who said that recently he was denied service at a convenience store. The woman behind the counter said, “We don’t serve your kind.” That’s 2012 not 1962.

From Miami…

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I Was Warned by Job This Morning

John Piper

I take this as a serious and sober warning to people with significant influence and respected standing in the church and community. Job was a good man. “Blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). His fall from health, wealth, and family wholeness was not owing to an evil lifestyle.

Whatever remnants of pride lying in the bottom of Job’s glass of holiness, which…

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What’s the Difference Between Jesus and the Lawyers?

John Piper

Jesus said, “Woe to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:46).

How is Jesus different from that? (Be careful.)

Does he give us no burden to bear? That is not the difference. He does give us a burden to bear.

Is it a lighter burden? The question is ambiguous. Does it…

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Will We Arrive Blameless on the Day of Christ?

John Piper

There is a faith-sustained holiness that Paul wants his converts to have on the day of Christ — the day of his return, when the dead in Christ will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:23). This holiness (which he also calls “blamelessness” and “guiltlessness” and “being above reproach” and “purity”) is certain through God’s faithfulness, contingent on persevering faith, and dependent on human agency.

Certainty

Paul is certain that God…

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Don’t Give Up in the Lean Seasons

John Piper

I want to encourage you who are younger in ministry that lean seasons will come, and by grace you can make it through.

A Billy Graham illustration and a personal one.

Sometimes It Rains

We always think of Billy Graham’s crusades as full and successful. It was not always the case. The London Evening Standard recounted “a rain-soaked service on Streatham Common where  Graham’s music director, Cliff Barrows, had to…

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How Is Future Grace Being Revised?

John Piper

I am in the midst of revising Future Grace for a new edition this fall. For the few of you who have read the book and stumbled over some ambiguities, I hope to bring new precision and clarity.

One area for clarification is what I meant by saying “Faith is primarily future oriented” (13). I’m changing the word “primarily.” I’m going to use “profound and pervasive” and then explain. All…

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Fierce Tornadoes and the Fingers of God

John Piper

Why would God reach down his hand and drag his fierce fingers across rural America killing at least 38 people with 90 tornadoes in 12 states, and leaving some small towns with scarcely a building standing, including churches?

If God has a quarrel with America, wouldn’t Washington, D.C., or Las Vegas, or Minneapolis, or Hollywood be a more likely place to show his displeasure?

We do not ascribe such independent…

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Tell Your Children What Hitler Did

John Piper

While  John Knight (www.theworksofGod.com) stands on the wall and warns the world of murder by other names, let Eric Metaxas do the same with the story of Hitler’s slaughter of the weak.

“As early as 1929 [Hitler] had publicly proposed that 700,000 of the ‘weakest’ Germans be ‘removed’ per year.” It seemed ridiculously implausible — even as “after-birth abortion” (infanticide) does in America today.

But ideas have…

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How Do We Hear the Voice of Jesus?

John Piper

Do you want to hear the voice of Jesus? So do I. The Father certainly wants us to. “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” (Luke 9:35).

To which we cry, “Yes, Lord. Yes! We want to listen to him.”

Does he speak today? He does.

Every word of the Bible is the voice of Jesus.

How do we know this? By inference. And better, by…

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