Union with Christ – Topic for the next Desiring God Conference Feb. 3-5 in Minneapolis, or watch livestream

Desiring God 2014 Conference for Pastors
February 3–5, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Plenary Speakers: John Piper, Sinclair Ferguson, Michael Horton

More information at the event page.

Union with Christ.

Whether this doctrine is an old friend or one you haven’t heard much about, it will be greatly enriching to give three days to basking in the theology and everyday implications with Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, and John Piper. (Full schedule below.)

Whether or not it’s a live option for you to join us, we invite you into the 2-minute video below, narrated by John Piper. Our prayer is that you might pick up something fresh about this important doctrine and be inspired for a lifetime of diving deeper into its bottomless sea.

Source http://www.desiringgod.org

John Piper at Liberty University September 16,2013

Story, video and Photo credit http://www.liberty.edu

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 desiringGod.org 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.”

Reflections on pastoring three decades in a downtown church (upon John Piper’s retirement from Pastoring)

This message is from September 12, 2012, when a new pastor was chosen for Bethlehem Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota where John Piper pastored for three decades (33 years to be precise). This allowed for Pastor John Piper to retires as pastor, in order to pursue more projects (such as traveling and speaking engagements, and writing more books) There are two previous (milestone) messages before this one that you can watch at the following links: (photo via www.desiringgod.org)

  1. There is the message given on December 29th, 2012 on his last official day as Pastor. You can watch it here – Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing
  2. And there is the last service he attended and preached, Easter Sunday March 31,2013 at Bethlehem Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota before retiring as Pastor there You can watch that video here – Last sermon John Piper preached. You can watch it here – God Raised Your Great Shepherd from the Dead
  3. There is also this new book being offered by Desiring God, authored by John Piper – FREE Ebook – Doctrine Matters by John Piper – Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching
  4. And here is a short snippet video message given at Southern Baptist Seminary recently in which John Piper talks about his love for the Book (Bible) and the influence Jonathan Edwards has had on his life- John Piper – What will you do your last 2 days?

The following message is from September 12, 2012 and has just been posted recently.

John Piper:

English: The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in M...

When I came to Bethlehem, in summer of 1980, which is just a few blocks from here, the Metrodome was under construction, and the first game was in 1982. And so, I came when it was being built, and I will leave next year, when it is being disassembled, and I’ve been thinking about the implications of that. (This was preached 9/12/2012 and by now, John Piper has already preached there for the last time, with the exception of  future visits at Bethlehem church). But, mainly, I’m mentioning it because of the way I responded to that felt threat. Not only when the dome was being built, did it feel threatening to our church: traffic, parking, crowds Sunday. Will this work anymore, when the games are at 12:03 and everyone’s driving in? But, when that freeway, that big junction, 94 & 35, when that was being built, in the late 60’s, early 70’s, you can imagine what a devastation that felt like to a nice, peaceful community that went across these nice little homes everywhere, and they’re wiping them out by the dozens, moving some of them. And our church is 100 feet away.

And the thought, „Can we even begin to survive, how is it even possible, will anybody be able to get here? So, the point is, how does one respond to threats. Because the point is, if you live even near an urban center, change is what happens. And maybe in little, rural communities the demands are very different. But, when you’re in a city, it is just one very exciting or threatening change, or both, one after another. And so, here’s what I wrote: I printed out the September 14, 1982 article that I wrote for our newsletter, called- God threw His shoe on Edom, or, The Dome is Dead. And the text was Psalm 108:9 „Moab is my wash basin, upon Edom I cast my shoe.” And, I’ll read the first two paragraphs:

Picture Edom in rebellion, against Yahweh and His people. Picture them mustering thousands and thousands of warriors. Picture the iron chariots, the war horses snorting and stamping, the bulging muscles and brawn skin of the mighty men, the razor sharp swords, the awful  pointed spears, the shields, flashing in the sun. The unflinching countenance of seasoned soldiers. Picture a horde of fierce fighting men, thundering through the valley. Fearful, dreadful, fierce, and powerful.

When God sees them coming, He sits down. He will wash His feet. With 18,000 fighting warriors approaching, like a stampede of Texas longhorns, God sits down to wash His feet. And then, as one would flick a fly, he tosses His shoe on Edom and 18,000 soldiers fall. God never even looked. He scarcely heard the noise. The world sits stunned at the victory, and God sits with His feet in the water. (3:40)

And that’s what I tried to show our people. That’s what I have been trying to show them for 30 years. We have a massively strong God. He’s never confused. He’s never perplexed. He’s never nervous. He’s never without an answer. He’s never threatened. And so, what I’d like to take my few minutes to do is just mention five things about that God that marked my efforts in the city here. And, you will discover immediately that they are not urban specific. And that is part of who I am. It’s been the way I’ve led, but, they are transferable, and they’re basic. So, here are the five things (4:35):

  1. Submit, (I have tried to, and I am encouraging you to)Submit to all of Scripture, as your absolute authority and bring into being a people who do the same. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The testimonies of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, and the ordinances of the Lord are pure and righteous, altogether, more to be desired then gold, yeah, much fine gold.  Yeah, sweeter also than honey, and drippings from the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19) Brothers, it marks the God pleasing churches when there is an absolute commitment to His word. (5:48)
  2. Think through a coherent God centered theology and build a people who breathe that vision. Acts 20 „I do not count my life of any value, or as precious to myself. If only I might finish my course, and the ministry God has given me, to bear witness to the Gospel of the grace of God.” And then, he goes on, „And now, behold, I know, none of you whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom of God will see my face again. Therefore, I testify to you, I am innocent of the blood of you all. For, I did not shrink from telling you the whole counsel of God.” I am going to say that to my people. But, what’s that mean? ‘Whole counsel of God’, Paul said he did it. So it’s not impossible to do, for a human being. ‘Whole counsel of God’ can’t mean infinite. He did it. My take is that the whole counsel of God is that whole cluster of truths surrounding the core, the Gospel- Christ crucified, risen for sinners… Packer sums up the Gospel in Propitiation through Substitution. So, around that are clusters of doctrines. They are supportive and they’re explanatory, and they’re necessary to protect it and explain it, and to work it out, and that’s the whole counsel- it’s not every word in the Bible. I have not even preached one sermon in 33 years on the Song of Solomon. I’m ashamed of that, it’s a great love story. Is should have done that. But, I’m just illustrating, you pick and you choose, and you realize at the end of 33 years… oops. I shouldn’t have spent 8 years on Romans.But, you do the best you can. (photo below via www.gostandspeak.com)
  3. Preach the glories of that Good News, and all the truths that support it, and flow from it. I am underlining the word preach. Herald. I don’t mean teach, that’s great. I don’t mean share, and discuss, that’s great. I mean: HERALD- what a town crier does. Preach. So here’s the connection. All Scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, and correction, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God can be completely equipped for every good work. I solemnly testify, in the presence of God, and of Christ, who will appear to judge the living and the dead, by His appearing, and by His kingdom. PREACH THE WORD!!! That’s a weighty series of thoughts. And so, I’ve made that the bread and butter of the Bible theology preached. Because, frankly brothers, there are a lot of people today who don’t think preaching is uniquely used by God, but only one of many options. I believe that that word kerusso in 2 Timothy 4:2 means God has a special gift for His people, in the hour of worship over the word. And that, when a pastor full of the Holy Spirit, full of the word of God, heralds the glories of God in the Gospel, something unique happens. Other things are also essential. Small groups are also essential, education is essential, mission is essential. But, something unique happens, and I believe Bethlehem has thrived, flourished, maintained it’s unity through some really rocky times, because something happens in those moments, that, over and over again unite a people, in the presence of the living God, addressed by God almighty. So, I’m commanding it to you. You don’t have to have any particular personality to do this. If you have Jonathan Edwards on one side and Billy Sunday on the opposite side- they’re really different, and they both preached. Edwards, (with) one arm on a pillar and a manuscript in his hand, reading with blood earnestness, hardly a gesture. So, don’t write off preaching as a personality thing. (13:00)
  4. PiperMake prayer the visible engine of your life, and corporate prayer the visible engine of your church. So, have a place, and have a time for yourself. Spurgeon preached a sermon on a verse, that he called Robinson Crusoe’s verse. And the verse is „Offer to God a sacrifice of Thanksgiving, perform your vows to the most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me.” So: (1) Call on Me (2) I will deliver you (3) you will glorify Me. That’s the pattern of life. (1) Call (2) Receive (3) Glorify. And if your people learn that rhythm: (1) Call every day. Call on Him, ask Him for everything. Talk to Him continually, cry out. We love to say at Bethlehem, „What shall we render to the Lord, for all His blessings to us? We will call upon the name of the Lord!!! What a deal! You wanna pay me back? Ask for more! Because I am strong, and I get glory by being wealthy to my poverty stricken people. So, prayer is such a gift. So, personally, have your place, have your time. Don’t let anything take you from it. Kneel every day. There’s no big trick in that. (It’s) just something happens when the body says, once a day, „This too Lord (my body), I’m going low Lord, before You with my body.” I’m just gonna say it that way, too. Fasting and feasting. Both are good, neither has any rules on how long, or how much. It’s a good thing. And then, one of the hardest things we face is building a praying church, and a corporate praying church. And, Bethlehem is no great model. We’ve just tried over and over again to put prayer all over the place, and then to encourage the staff to be at one of those, or two of those, or three of those. I have, probably for 20 years, been to 5 prayers a week. 30 minute prayer meetings. Sounds big, it’s not big, because 3 of those are before services. Show up early and pray with 5 or 20 people, before service, for 30 minutes. And then, Tuesday morning and Friday morning, those are my prayer times with people. And, it makes a huge difference to pray with people. And then, model it from the pulpit. People don’t know how to pray, they don’t know how to feel when they pray, they don’t know what to say. But, if they hear you pray every week like a broken hearted, needy sinner, counting on God, crying out to a Father who loves you, they’ll learn how to pray. They will. And God will do mighty things, in answer to prayer.
  5. Trust every day that God cares for you, and will work for your good. Humble yourselves (1 Peter 5)  under the mighty hand of God, that in a due season (not now), in a due season He may exalt you, casting (and I think the participle means that the casting is an expression of humility), casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. So, keeping your anxieties for yourself is pride. Humble yourself (by) casting your anxieties away, on Him. He’s got shoulders that can handle them, and He won’t be the least burdened by them. If you keep them, you’re proud. It is proud to be anxious. You look weak, and you look frightened, and you look like a puppy, and all nervous, and you’re not, you’re proud. Because you’re not saying, „Ok, You want them, here they are.” And you give them to the Lord. (16:00)

Photo Wikipedia – John Piper born January 11, 1946
Chattanooga, Tennessee,United States

I’m gonna close, and I’m gonna give examples of how God’s been faithful to me:

(1) The excorcism. After the 1st or 2nd year here, I got a call that, „We have a demon possessed girl in this room, we want you to come.” (Up to that time) I had never in my life encounter a demon possessed person. I called Bob Stellar, cause the Bible says, „Go out, two by two.” I believed that, and we went together, at about 10 o clock at night. We were there ‘til, probably 1 in the morning, and she was ‘a gorilla’ with a knife, a little pen knife. So I kept on my coat, because I thought she could stick the winter coat (it was winter), and it wouldn’t do too much damage. And she’s walking around just – (sticking the knife) at people. And these were young Bethel students, unbelievably anointed and fearless, because they just stood there, they wouldn’t let her out. They were standing at the door, not letting her out, and she had a knife. She sounded like a (makes gruffy sounds). To make a long, horrible story short, about 2 hours later she’s passed out on the floor. We sang over her for about half an hour. She screamed for Satan to not leave her, went unconscious on the floor, as far as I could tell. (I thought) Did we kill her? I’ve never experienced something like that before. This is what you get handed, right? And she woke up, her face looked totally different, voice totally different, She had knocked the Bible out of my hands half a dozen times, as I was trying to read the Bible. I handed her the Bible, and asked her to read all of Romans 8. She did. She was in church the next Sunday, on the second row, scared to death that she was going to go wild in the service. She was resoundingly converted. She was in the church 6 more months, broke her leg playing soccerI visited her in the hospital and had long talks about what was behind all this. And if I could tell you her story you would not believe what she had done. But, God comes to me, and I’m a zero educated person, when it comes to demon possession and deliverance. What did I have? MY BOOK!!!! I knew, I knew that  I didn’t have anything. But, right here is power. I just kept reading it, and reading it, and reading it. And then, we just sang it. We took the tune „Aleluia, Aleluia’, and we put new words- ‘Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord’, ‘He is coming, He is coming’… someone would throw in another Bible truth and she went absolutely berserk and was delivered. God was faithful.

(2) A prodigal. My son came home one night (I won’t tell you which one), 15 years old, and he was an hour later than I had told him, I had waited up for him, „I said, „What happened?” And he lied to me. I didn’t know it at the time. In the morning he was gone. So, my son ran away. This is Friday morning, sermon preparation day.  I’m at home with him alone, Noel and the kids are gone. It’s just me and him. He’s gone. He left me a note under his pillow. „I love you, and I let you down, again. Don’t worry. I’m okay. Another city.” I wasn’t too worried, frankly, except: He’s gone! What do you do? How do you preach? How do you get a sermon ready? This is life guys. This is what you’re dealt with. And, I made the decision, knowing him, I wouldn’t call the police. He knows what he’s doing. I didn’t think he was suicidal, or anything like that. Big judgment call. And I prepared my sermon. I have no idea what I preached on. And I called one man, one guy, and I said, „This is the situation, pray with me, don’t know what to do.” (I) walked into church from behind, looking, maybe he’ll be here. You’re preaching under these c… He wasn’t, and on Monday I called the school and asked, „Is my son in class?” They said, „Yes.” „I’m his dad, I wanna see him now”. So I drove to the school. And he’s walking down the hall, and I’m walking out of the principal’s office, and he just starts to weep on my shoulder. God is faithful. And we had the longest, best talk that night…

(3) The spiritual gifts battle– trying so hard to be a bonafide noncessationist. To be open to all the good things God has given us. And crazies come out of the woodwork, and people give you false prophecy that just about devastates you, and God is faithful. I didn’t throw it away, I didn’t despise prophesying, but, I sure am cautious, because we got some of the weirdest stuff happen in the late 80’s, because we were trying so hard. And, I encourage you to try hard. „Earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may propehsy.” They are all for the upbuilding of the church. Don’t let them tear anything to shreds. And don’t let them make you bitter and ugly, which was my temptation. Because when a lawyer prophesied over me that my wife would die in childbirth, and my next child would be a girl, and you’re weeping your eyes out saying, „God, is that what you’re giving me?” And a boy was born, and she didn’t die- so- a false prophet.

(4) The moral failure in our church in ’92 and ’93 is the biggest challenge we ever faced, and God wonderfully got us through that

(5) The worship wars were hard, and He brought us through that

And so, the last point is TRUST HIM, trust Him. Cast all your anxieties on Him. He cares for you. Last verse:

„Let him who serves, serve in the strength that God supplies, so that in everything, God will get the glory, through Jesus Christ. To Him be dominion forever, and ever.” Amen

John Piper: „Brothers, Be Bible-Oriented—Not Entertainment-Oriented—Preachers”

John Piper has updated and added content, 6 new chapters and a new Introduction, to his book „Brothers We Are Not Professionals” to coincide with the theme of the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference 2013 also titled „Brothers We Are ‘Still’ Not Professionals” (the word ‘still’ added for 2013). Here is an excerpt form the newly added Chapter 13 here. You can read it in full at http://blog.bhpublishinggroup.com

Chapter 13: Brothers, Be Bible-Oriented—Not Entertainment-Oriented—Preachers
by John Piper

Earnestness is the demeanor that corresponds to the weight of the subject matter of preaching. The opposite of earnest is not joyful but trivial, flippant, frivolous, chipper. It is possible to be earnest and have elements of humor. But there is a vast difference between humor and levity—between robust laughter that grows up out of the realities of life and the silliness that constantly angles for a clever line and savvy turn of phrase.

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 outlive and out-work those who delight in the pastry and syllabubs of ‘modern thought’” (C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954], 310). Now “syllabubs” is an extraordinary word! I don’t know how many of his people knew it. It means “a sweetened drink or topping made of milk or cream beaten with wine or liquor and sometimes further thickened with gelatin and served as a dessert.” It is a funny-sounding word. But he probably did not smile, and I doubt there was a calculated pause for the laughter to register. He is earnest but not so solemn in his earnestness that he cannot experience human folly as both sad and comical.

Unbroken seriousness of a melodramatic or somber kind will inevitably communicate a sickness of soul to the great mass of people. This is partly because life as God created it is not like that. There are, for example, little babies in the world who are not the least impressed with or in need of our passion and zeal and earnest looks. They are cooing and smiling and calling for their daddies to get down and play with them.

The daddy who cannot do this will not understand the true seriousness of sin because he is not capable of enjoying what God has preserved from its ravages. He is really a sick man and unfit to lead others to health. He is in the end earnest about being earnest, not earnest about being joyful. The real battle in life is to be as happy in God as we can be, and that takes a very special kind of earnestness, since God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.

As far as I can remember in thirty-two years as a pastor, I have never told a joke in a sermon. Don’t feel picked on. My father, whom I esteem as high as any man, startedevery sermon with a joke. But joke, or no joke, our people laugh with uninhibited joy when humorous things happen, and I laugh with them. For example, once I was comparing the dolphin with the jellyfish. The dolphin swims where he wills. He is free and can cut against the current. But the jellyfish floats with the tide in bondage to every current that comes along. You can tell where I am going. So I looked out over the people and said with a loud voice, “Who in the world would want to be a jellyfish?” And a little girl in the second or third row said loud enough for all to hear and full of joy: “I would!” The place erupted in laughter. As it should.

There are hundreds of such things in life. And only the sick soul fails to laugh. But we live in a day when, it seems to me, few pastors are falling off their horse on the side of excessive seriousness. The trend is all in the other direction—toward the flippant, casual, clever, hip feel of entertainment. The main problem with this is that it is out of sync with the subject matter of the Bible and diminishes our people’s capacities to discern and feel the weight of glorious truth.

God
The sheer thought of God should make us tremble. Isaiah 66:2 says, “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Quipping and jesting about God—or in an effort to point to God—simply means a person is oblivious to reality. The domestication of God is a curse on preaching in our day. We need to recover reality and the language of majesty and holiness and awe and glory: “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Exod 15:11).

Sin
Sin is intrinsically ugly and outrageous in the universe. To trifle with sin and treat it as minor or casual is to miss what it is. We get some idea of its outrage by considering the images of physical suffering and agony that have entered the world to testify to sin’s moral horror.

And if we do not feel the immensity of sin’s contemptibleness from its images in human suffering, then the final penalty of it should make us shiver with what it must really be: “He . . . will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night” (Rev 14:10–11).

Sin’s outcome is eternal misery. What infinite ugliness then must be the ugliness of sin. This is the constant subject of preaching, for this is what we must ever overcome. It is more serious than Satan and sickness and insanity. None of those can damn a soul. Only sin can damn. This we must defeat in preaching, or all is in vain. Flippancy in and around our preaching communicates to people that sin is not as serious as the Bible says it is.

Hell
Jesus, more than anyone else in the Bible—and the apostle of love, after him (see Rev 14:10–11 above)—spoke of the horrors of hell. Jesus spoke of “outer darkness” (Matt 18:12), and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 13:50), and a place where “their worm does not die” (Mark 9:48), and “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43), and a “place of torment” (Luke 16:28). These are descriptions of an eternity to which many people are heading because “the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction” (Matt 7:13).

Preaching has hell ever in view because so many people are going there and because the Word of God saves from hell. This makes a preacher earnest. If it does not, he is simply out of touch with reality.

Cross
The death of Jesus was unspeakably horrible. Not only because of its moral hideousness as the ultimate desecration of the infinitely pure Son of God but also as one of the most cruel kinds of torture a human can endure. The central saving event of our preaching was a horrible reality. Had we been there, we probably would have thrown up at the sight and then wept uncontrollably at the suffering of the most precious Person who has ever lived.

This act was the price for all we offer in preaching. Virtually every benefit or hope we offer in preaching was obtained at this cost. How can any of it be trifled with?

Read the article in full here –  http://blog.bhpublishinggroup.com

John Piper recites his poem: Pilgrim’s Conflict with Sloth (with subtitles)

John-Piper

A beautiful poem from one of the tireless workers of our times, on behalf of the kingdom of God, John Piper:

just a small bit of the poem, read the rest here- http://www.desiringgod.org

You cannot understand my aims.
I do not live for wealth or games.”

Sloth felt the sting and said, “I know
Your kind, a workaholic. O,
Sleep not, play not, throw to the wind
God’s gift of leisure days. Rescind
The work of Christ who bought your rest.
O, yes, I know your kind: invest,
Invest, invest. And never take
Your dividends on earth. You make
Your way to heaven by your work,
Your precious work. O, do not shirk
A moment from your service of
This holy god, your life, your love.”

…or watch John Piper recite it below. For those who do not know, John Piper has ‘retired’ from being Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Church in Minneapolis, but has in now way retired from doing the work in God’s kingdom of preaching, writing, mentoring and doing missions all over the globe.

Pilgrim’s Conflict with Sloth (with subtitles) from Desiring God on Vimeo.

John Piper website –

John Piper’s last sermon as Pastor of Bethlehem Church

Photo from Star Tribune

from the Star Tribune-

After more than 30 years as senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, the fiery preacher of hardline biblical values is retooling his priorities.

But he won’t go quietly into retirement. At 66, he still has the passion to write books, preach and tour the country with his Desiring God ministry, just not so much for the day-to-day duties of running a megachurch with close to 5,000 weekly attendees.

„I have … a limited amount of energy, and I want it to go toward reading, writing, preaching but not organizational efforts at meetings,” Piper said in a recent interview.

A prominent theologian and author of dozens of books, Piper is considered one of the most influential voices in conservative evangelicalism.

This was Pastor John Piper’s last sermon as Pastor of Bethlehem Church, due to his retirement from the position. The sermon  was delivered on December 29th, 2012. However, to our delight, Piper will still be speaking at different conferences and venues and his work will continue. from desiringGod.org – http://desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/sorrowful-yet-always-rejoicing

Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing

Desiring God National Conference 2012 September 28-30 Minneapolis


Visit the Desiring God website here for full information- http://www.desiringgod.org/events/national-conferences/2012

Theme – Act the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification

September 28-30 in Minneapolis, MN

The conference will feature the following speakers: Kevin DeYoung, Elyse Fitzpatrick, R W Glenn, Sally Lloyd-Jones, David Mathis, Carolyn McCulley, Russell Moore, John Piper, Ed Welch, Jarvis Williams.

This year we’re also excited to welcome Fernando Ortega, who will lead a seminar on corporate worship. He will also lead us in „An Evening of Worship” on Friday night after Pastor John’s first message.

Jason Meyer to succeed John Piper at Bethlehem Church

Jason Meyer with 2 of the 4 children he and his wife Cara adopted while teaching New Testament at Evangelical Theological College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Gospel Coalition reports that 36 year old Jason Meyer is to succeed John Piper as pastor for vision and preaching at Bethlehem Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Piper will remain at the church (after a year away) and he will serve as chancellor and teacher at Bethlehem College and Seminary, and as founder and teacher at Desiring God (John Piper was himself 34 years old when he became pastor at Bethlehem in 1980).

You can read the announcement as well as John Piper’s statement on the transition here and here.

I will however excerpt one answer John Piper gives that makes one (esp. me) look forward to his next 10 years and more than that:

What will you do?

After the overlap season with Jason, Noël and I and Talitha plan to leave town for a year or so and find a place for writing and reflection. There are several writing projects I want to make headway on. And I want some time and distance before I lock in to any pattern of ministry too quickly. I need to get some perspective and pray and think about the next 10 years.

In general I can say that, if God gives me life and health, these years will involve my role as Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary, and my role as founder and teacher for Desiring God. I love to teach seminary students, and I love to encourage and strengthen the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated vision of pastors. And I love to write. So some configuration of those loves is what I expect to see.

My life’s calling remains the same: I exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. Pray that I will spend and be spent for this till I can speak and write no more.

Can’t wait to read what will flow from the pen of this mighty man of God!

Here’s one of my favorite and most uplifting John Piper sermons, He spends the first 16 minutes quoting Bible verses from memory:

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