Racial Diversity in Hell

John Piper

The difference between heaven and hell is not that heaven will be ethnically diverse and hell won’t be. Both will be diverse. All races and all ethnicities and all cultures will be present in hell.

The difference between heaven and hell is that in heaven—that is, in the new heaven and new earth—there will be perfect racial and ethnic harmony, but in hell, racial and ethnic animosities will reach their fullest fury and last forever.

Paul spoke of the ethnic diversity of hell in Romans... Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, Barnabas

John Piper

Born March 31: Rene Descartes, 1596 (“I think, therefore, I am”), Joseph Hayden, 1732 ("The Creation" Oratorio), and Barnabas William Piper, 1983 (Son of Encouragement).

Things just keep getting better and better.

Happy birthday, Barna!

Does God “Lead Us Into Temptation”?

John Piper

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13).

James 1:13 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13).

That’s true. But the Bible also says, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).

So God does not do the tempting—he does not put evil desires in our hearts (for he can have no evil desires in... Continue Reading

The Global Twin Cities and the “Ethnoburb”

John Piper

This is our new world in the Twin Cities:

  • The Twin Cities’ Hispanic population more than doubled from 1990 to 2000. The Twin Cities was the eighth fastest growing Hispanic city in the United States during the 1990s.
  • The Twin Cities was the 9th fastest growing Asian city in the U.S. during 1990s.
  • There are 13,000 international students in the Twin Cities (10,000 college students and 3,000 high school exchange students).
  • There are 200 different languages spoken by... Continue Reading

The Most Important Prayer Request in the World

John Piper

The most important prayer is that the most important person in the universe do the most important act in the universe.

That’s why Jesus put this request at the beginning of the Lord’s prayer: “Hallowed be your name.”

God is the most important person in the universe. More important than all others put together.

All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isaiah 40:17).

The whole-souled act of... Continue Reading

The Sorrow and Joy of the Seasoned Soul

John Piper

It is not a sign of a seasoned Christian soul that steady joy is untinged with steady sorrow.

Or to put it positively, the seasoned soul in Christ has a steady joy and a steady sorrow.

They protect each other. Joy is protected from being flippant by steady sorrow. Sorrow is protected from being fatal by steady joy.

And they intensify each other. Joy is made deeper by steady sorrow. Sorrow is made sweeter by steady joy.

For the seasoned Christian soul, I do not see how... Continue Reading

A Plea for Heart Devotions and Head Study

John Piper

This is a plea that all of you would build into your lives both personal devotions and purposeful study of God’s word.

Both:

Daily prayerful meditation seeking personal application of God’s word to your own heart and life.

And:

Regular study in a class or with a book where the (living or dead) teacher has seen more than you have and can give you insight in 30 minutes that might otherwise take you ten years to see.

The reason I plead for both is that without a... Continue Reading

Clarence Thomas’s God-Centered Submission

John Piper

Clarence Thomas was confirmed to be a Supreme Court Justice on October 15, 1991 after one of the most divisive confirmation battles in history. He tells the story movingly in his autobiography My Grandfather’s Son.

What many may not know is how he handled the tidal wave of lurid accusation and public humiliation. Here is what he said.

I had been reading Bible verses all summer, and as the confirmation process ground on, I spent even more time doing so. I knew that... Continue Reading

The Second Coming Is Like Lightning and Vultures

John Piper

Jesus is going to return to earth. I pray very soon. He said that before he comes—periodically throughout history—some people would think he has already come.

If they say to you, "Look, he is in the wilderness," do not go out. If they say, "Look, he is in the inner rooms," do not believe it. (Matthew 24:26)

Then he gave two reasons not to believe such rumors.

The first is that his coming will be globally unmistakable. It will be as publicly unmistakable as... Continue Reading

Never Let the Gospel Get Smaller

John Piper

Here is a simple exhortation that I have been trying to implement in our family:

Seek to see and feel the gospel as bigger as years go by rather than smaller.

Our temptation is to think that the gospel is for beginners and then we go on to greater things. But the real challenge is to see the gospel as the greatest thing—and getting greater all the time.

The Gospel gets bigger when, in your heart,

  • grace gets bigger;
  • Christ gets greater;
  • his death gets more wonderful;
  • his... Continue Reading