Blog Posts by John Piper
Letter to a 13-Year Old Asking How to Go Deeper in Bible Study
I got your note about going deeper with your Bible reading. Thanks for asking.
First, let me say that I am really encouraged that you take the Bible so seriously. Sometimes I hold it in my hand and feel the wonder that it is the very word of the Maker of the universe. Amazing.
You are right to read it every day and seek to let it permeate…Continue Reading
Hope for More Than Unconditional Love
If you only hope for unconditional love from God, your hope is great, but too small.
Unconditional love from God is not the sweetest experience of his love. The sweetest experience is when his love says: “I have made you so much like my Son that I delight to see you and be with you. You are a pleasure to me, because you are so radiant with my glory.”
My Response to the Vote on Jason Meyer
Last night, in a special All-Church-Strategy Meeting, 792 of Bethlehem’s members gathered at 7 PM and voted 784 to 8 to confirm God’s call on Jason Meyer to take hold of the baton that I have carried for the last 32 years. I wrote a letter to be read at that meeting giving my sense of God’s leading to this point. Then I wrote a response that we sent to…Continue Reading
Letter to a 12-Year-Old Girl About the Eternal Destiny of Those Who Have Not Heard the Gospel
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…Continue Reading
La historia de Ian y Larissa
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…Continue Reading
The Story of Ian & Larissa
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…Continue Reading
I Don’t Think So, Doug
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”).…Continue Reading
C. S. Lewis on the Temporary Importance of Fear
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…Continue Reading
Old Shocks in Getting Ready for Romania, Switzerland, and Germany
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…Continue Reading
Learning from John Stott’s Godly Ambition
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.…Continue Reading
My Future at Desiring God
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…Continue Reading
Earnestness in Preaching (and Life)
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…Continue Reading
Ajith Fernando – Through the Eyes of His Son
Asiri Fernando has posted a remarkable reflection on the life of his father, Ajith Fernando, who has led Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka for three decades. Though Ajith is two years younger than I, he is one of my heroes. If you read Asiri’s tribute you will see some of the reasons.
Here is an excerpt to whet your taste. No doubt Ajith will feel awkward about this celebration…Continue Reading
What Does Paul Mean: “Christ Will Reconcile to Himself All Things”?
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.
… Continue Reading
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.
Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell?
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.…Continue Reading
Why I Love Bethlehem College
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…Continue Reading
Race and the Horrific Frequency of Abortion
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…Continue Reading
The Mega Millions Lottery Is a Suicidal Craze
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…Continue Reading
Bonhoeffer on Abortion
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…Continue Reading
Trayvon Martin, Race, and the Gospel
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…Continue Reading
I Was Warned by Job This Morning
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…Continue Reading
What’s the Difference Between Jesus and the Lawyers?
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…Continue Reading
Will We Arrive Blameless on the Day of Christ?
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.
Paul is certain that God…Continue Reading
Don’t Give Up in the Lean Seasons
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…Continue Reading
How Is Future Grace Being Revised?
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…Continue Reading