Why Not Destroy the Devil Now?

John Piper

Why doesn’t God totally remove Satan and all demons now, since he will someday without their approval (Revelation 20:10)?

Here is the answer I propose in the first paragraph of chapter nine of Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. The rest of the chapter gives the biblical basis and implications.

The glory of Christ is seen in his absolute right and power to annihilate or incapacitate Satan and all demons. But the reason he refrains from destroying and disabling them altogether is... Continue Reading

The Godward Focus of Faithfulness

John Piper

One of my long-standing dissatisfactions with the focus of biblical theology is the habit of tracing God’s faithfulness only as far back as his covenant-keeping. Righteousness (tsedeqa) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Love (hesed) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Faithfulness (emet) is portrayed as covenant-keeping.

This has an ill-effect. It skews biblical revelation by making God’s relation with man seem more ultimate than God himself. There is always something more... Continue Reading

Don't Desire Wealth

John Piper

I can smell it. It’s like toast or steak or brownies. It doesn’t just draw our desire, it creates desire. Deep drops in the stock market make many people salivate. They know it will rebound. They are sitting on cash. By year’s end their pile could ride the recovery to riches.

For such people I have a word from God. The word is: Don’t desire to be rich. It will kill you. And in a world like ours many will probably perish with you. Paul’s language is more graphic than mine:

There is great... Continue Reading

What to Say to the Depressed, Doubting, Skeptical, Confused, Angry

John Piper

If you care about people and risk talking to the depressed, thedoubting, the skeptical, the confused, and the angry, you will soon runinto a person who says to your counsel: I’ve tried that. Whatever yousay, they will minimize it and say it doesn’t work. Do not be surprisedat this response. This is what it means to be depressed, doubting, skeptical, confused, angry. It means that whatever they hear sounds useless.

So I want to offer some... Continue Reading

My Mother's Birthday

John Piper

Today my mother turns 90. She has spent the last 34 years with Jesus in heaven. That’s not a euphemism for “dead.” It’s a solid-steel statement of God in scripture: “...away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Bill and Ruth Piper's grave

I do not know why God took her so early. She was six years younger than I am now when she died. I have often felt a deep need for her counsel in my marriage and parenting. The all-wise God has his reasons. I trust him.

My gratitude for her still grows. She... Continue Reading

Jonathan Edwards' Birthday

John Piper

Today is Jonathan Edwards’ 305th birthday. Lyman Beecher wrote to his son in 1836,

Next after the Bible, read and study Edwards, whom to understand in theology...will be as high praise in theological science as to understand Newton’s works...of natural philosophy. (Iain Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, 459)

Jonathan EdwardsI suppose, after the Bible, no theologian has a greater ongoing effect on me as Jonathan Edwards. There are few in the world who combine the sharpness of mind, the... Continue Reading

Kathy and Kenny Stokes

John Piper

We are marking Pastor Kenny and Kathy Stokes’s 10 years of ministry at Bethlehem.

Kenny and Kathy met at Bethel College and were married in December1979. He graduated with a double major in Psychology and BiblicalStudies in 1981. During his seminary days at Bethel, Kenny was part ofBethlehem.

Those of us who were here in those days remember him as an unusuallywise and sensitive lover of people. People would turn to Kenny readilyfor a trusted, caring, listening ear. His internship... Continue Reading

Grace Is Resistible...Until It's Not

John Piper

Learn your doctrine from texts. It stands up better that way, and feeds the soul. For example, learn irresistible grace from texts. In this way you will see it does not mean grace cannot be resisted; it means that when God chooses he can and will overcome that resistance.

In Isaiah 57:17-19, for instance. God chastises his rebellious people by striking them and hiding his face: “Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry... Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, Clyde Kilby

John Piper

106 years ago today Clyde Kilby was born near Johnson City, Tennessee. He was one of the most formative teachers of my college days at Wheaton. He taught English literature. What made the difference was his extraordinarily awake, God-oriented palate for wonder in poetry and nature.

Dr. Kilby stood in front of us and exulted in beauty and wonder. He did not say: This poem is amazing. He was amazed. He didn’t just say the last chapters of the book of Job are mind-boggling glimpses... Continue Reading

God's Delight in the Son He Strikes

John Piper

Five times in Isaiah 53 we are told that God is the one who brings about the suffering and death of Christ.

We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted ... (v. 4)

But he was wounded for our transgressions ... (v.5)

The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all ... (v. 6)

It was the will of the Lord to crush him ... (v. 10)

He has put him to grief ... (v. 10)

In Romans 8:3, Paul says God does what the law can’t do:

By sending his own Son in the... Continue Reading