John Piper at Liberty University September 16,2013

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Theologian and Pastor John Piper speaks at Liberty University for the first time, kicking off the university’s biannual Global Focus Week during Convocation.

Liberty University’s biannual Global Focus Week kicked off at Monday’s Convocation with messages from theologian and Pastor John Piper and Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedin who is imprisoned in Iran.

Piper is the founder of and is the chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He also served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., for 33 years and is the author of more than 50 books. This was his first visit to Liberty.

Piper spoke on Hebrews 10-13, challenging students to embrace the opportunity to suffer for Christ and emphasizing the importance of being satisfied in Christ.

“Confidence in fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore in the presence of Jesus on the other side of this so-called dying is the root of love that is willing to lay down its life for the sake of the nations,” he said. “This confidence that you cannot die but only have increased pleasures produces martyrs who die in love, not martyrs who kill from hate.”

Piper also reminded students that loving their heavenly home is more important than loving their earthly one.

“All the students at Liberty aiming to pour their life into the city of man for her good will serve her better if they love the other city (Heaven) more. If you love the city that is to come, and the world that is to come more than this city (earth) you will serve this city better,” he said. “You will go to the hardest places and peoples on the planet in order to make plain the value of the other city and the other king.”

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