“I feel like I’m 22 again,” says the newly transitioned John Piper.
Now that his pastorate at Bethlehem Baptist Church has officially ended, Piper says he feels like a recent college grad who is free to do anything God lays on his heart. “When you have that much freedom, you’re really faced with significant ‘don’t waste your life’ choices.” He plans to seek God in a focused way in the next year as to how to invest his next 10 or 15 years, if God would give that many.
This past week Piper sat down with Collin Hansen of The Gospel Coalition to talk about his hopes for the future, including some reflections on his past 33 years as a pastor and how that has shaped him for what’s next.
Have you marked your calendar for Ascension Day on May 9? How many of us have even heard of Ascension Day? Or perhaps just a sermon about Jesus’s ascension into heaven? It is impossible to overstate the importance of Good Friday, when Jesus died for our sins, and Easter Sunday, when he was raised from the dead — but Jesus’s earthly ministry did not stop there.
After the resurrection, Jesus taught his disciples about God’s kingdom for forty days (Acts 1:3) and then he was “taken up” to heaven (Acts 1:2, 11). The cross and empty tomb are at the very heart of the gospel message proclaimed by Jesus’s followers throughout history (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). However, for many evangelical Christia…
John 12:24–25 records these words from Jesus:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
In other words, a fruitful life comes from this: dying like a seed in what looks like hating your life in this world. This is the legacy of Adoniram Judson, America’s first foreign missionary, who died so many times and in so many ways.
Today, on the 163rd anniversary of Judson's physical death, we direct you to two resources that might encourage you:
- John Piper's biography of Judson, available as a free eBook.
- This 6-minute video overview of legacy of Judson and how that connects to the m…
“Do not disbelieve, but believe.” (John 20:27)
In the race of faith that Jesus has called you to run (Hebrews 12:1), doubt is a weight you simply can’t keep running with. You’ve got to drop it. Today.
But first, let me explain what I mean by doubt. Doubt is not synonymous with unbelief in the Bible — at least not complete unbelief. The Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus were full unbelievers (John 10:26). But the man who cried out “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24) was not a full unbeliever, but a doubter.
Peter gives us a picture of doubt when he walks on the water with Jesus and then begins to sink. Jesus says to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).
It was 1948, during Jackie Robinson’s second season in Major League Baseball, when some bigots in Cincinnati were really giving him the business.
Just the previous year, Robinson had been the one with the monumental courage to break the color barrier as the first African American of the modern era to play in baseball’s highest league. He had endured unthinkable cruelty and injustice for de-segregating the game, and he was succeeding on the field and off. Not only did he bat just a shade under .300 in 1947, and was named Rookie of the Year, but he was holding his tongue, and fists, and not fighting back.
But now, in his second campaign, some still weren’t convinced. Eric Metaxas tells the s…
One moving testimony to me as I ended my ministry at Bethlehem on March 31 was that of a young woman who has battled cancer. She thanked God for my cancer. She had listened to the messages leading up to my surgery in February 2006. They were life for her.
God knows what pastors must endure to be useful to their people. It is sobering to read in 2 Corinthians 1:6, “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.” That is one reason the ministry is as hard as it is. We are afflicted so that in our afflictions our people will be saved.
Charles Spurgeon suffered repeatedly from depression. But he had an unwavering belief in the sovereignty of God in all his afflictions. This was his…
God has given us a mouth to speak, a heart to feel, and gospel joy to share. He has taken away every excuse for not spreading gospel grace in our words every day to those around us (Ephesians 4:29).
So what corks the flow of grace speech to others?
One answer is grudges. Not always big grudges, like the ones we hold towards those who have wronged us personally. The kinds of grudges that hinder our generosity are typically subtle ones, grudges towards those who seem less significant than us, or grudges towards those who seem more significant than us. Either way, we like to compare ourselves with others. We withhold grace like a miser withholds money. We are natural-born begrudgers.
If you think spiritual warfare is irrelevant to you, you may already be losing the battle. At least you’re ripe for Satan’s picking.
Demons have a notorious way of acclimatizing to where they are, warns Tope Koleoso, pastor of Jubilee Church in London. And in secular Western society, this means playing right into our neglect and diminishing of the supernatural.
But Ephesians 6, and the rest of the Scriptures, would have us stay aware of the unseen realm, and remember that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). It is not Christian to suppress the s…
Here is the theological summary of one preacher’s lifetime of investment in a local church: Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching, from John Piper.
Preaching, you could say, is where the rubber begins to meet the road on what a church believes. It is the living statement of faith. And in the case of John Piper, we have this statement captured online in over 1,200 sermons, including a whole series where he devotes a single message to the main theological emphases of his near 33-year preaching tenure. These theological emphases, preached as ten sermons last year and now edited into this volume, embody the legacy Piper hopes to leave at Bethlehem Baptist.
It’s every pitcher’s worst nightmare. For the Detroit Tigers’ Darin Downs, the nightmare became a reality, and almost meant the end of his life.
On August 17, 2009, he took a 103-mile-per-hour line drive off the left side of his head. In an instant, his skull was fractured, blood began pooling, his head was swelling, and he couldn’t speak. Soon he lay terrified in an ambulance en route to the hospital. But in that moment, he had a strange peace and hope. God was at work.
His fellow Tiger Donnie Kelly tells a similar story — though not as dramatic. For Kelly, it was a mysterious injury in 2004 that sidelined him from the game he loved and threatened to end his career almost before it began.…