Tag Archives: John Piper

Missions and the Glory of God’s Name

Originally posted at

Isaiah 66:18-19  “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory,  and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations.

Recently I was struck by a comment made by John Piper concerning the missions commitment of the local church and its relation to the name and glory of God. His words were:  “If you say that you love the glory of God, the test of your authenticity is whether you love the spread of that glory among all the peoples of the world.”  That statement hit me like a truck! It was a wake up call. How can I, as a preacher of the Word of God, say I am passionately committed to the glory of God in all I do and yet not be passionately committed to spreading that glory in the world? I would pose the same question to you.

 How can you say that as a Christian you are committed to God’s glory, but you are at the same time not committed to spreading His glory in the world?

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Posted by on September 25, 2009 in Missions Articles, PRAYER, VIDEO


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Hope-filled Allegiance to Christ and Hope-filled Missions

Isaiah 25:1 O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
like heat in a dry place.
You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
as heat by the shade of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is put down.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over
all peoples,
the veil that is spread over
all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from
all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

John Piper comments on this passage:

We have always believed at Bethlehem that a great and indispensable motivation in world missions is HOPE. By hope I mean the confidence that we are engaged in a cause that will triumph in the end.

  • No life laid down in the cause of world evangelization is laid down in vain.
  • No dollar given is in vain.
  • No sermon preached is in vain.
  • No prayer offered is in vain.
  • No candle of gospel light is ever lit in vain.

Our energy and sacrifice and focus is sustained by HOPE—the confidence that God’s kingdom will triumph in the world.

This passage in Isaiah is a picture of that hope. Don’t worry that you can’t answer all the timing questions and all the detail questions about how the triumph of God will eventually come. This text doesn’t answer all our questions about the end. What Old Testament prophets do again and again is give us a picture of the final day of victory—from one angle and then from another angle. Each time the aim is that we take heart, give God the glory, and press on in hope-filled allegiance to Christ and hope-filled missions…

….So the picture Isaiah gives us is one of all nations turned to God in worship, a great banquet for all the peoples, the removal of all suffering and grief and reproach from the nations who have become his people, and the final putting away of death forever. This triumph is sure because God is doing it. As verse 1 says, he planned it long ago and he is working wonders to bring it to pass. Therefore we can be certain of it. Not one life spent in the cause of world evangelization is spent in vain. Not one prayer or one dollar or one sermon or one letter of encouragement mailed or one little light shining in some dark place—nothing in the cause of the advancing kingdom is in vain. The triumph is sure.

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Posted by on September 8, 2009 in Missions Articles


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Passover and Missions!

Passover and Missions

September 7, 2009 by pamlarson | Edit 

What did Jesus mean that the passover would be fulfilled in the kingdom of God? “I shall not eat it until it (the passover) is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” [Luke 22:16] 

lamb-of-godI thought the passover was fulfilled in the death of Jesus our final passover lamb. Remember the passover was the yearly celebration of the time in Egypt when God sent an angel of death who passed over homes where blood from a slain lamb was on the door post. It was a celebration of past deliverance from Egypt and of future deliverance when Messiah comes.

In 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul calls Christ our Passover Lamb. In other words God will save anyone from judgment who banks his hope on the blood of Jesus. So I thought the passover was fulfilled at Calvary when the Lamb of God was slain to deliver us from death.

But in verse 16 Jesus says the passover will be fulfilled in the kingdom. What does he mean? Just like last week, John’s glimpse of the kingdom gives the answer. In Revelation 5:9–10 John says that the 24 elders sang to Christ the Lamb, “Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made them a kingdom.”

A Ransom from Every Tribe and Tongue and Nation 

missionsHere’s the key. Jesus the Passover Lamb was slain to ransom people from every tribe and tongue and nation. So the Passover can’t be fulfilled until all those peoples are reached and the ransomed are gathered in and the kingdom is established.

I have been moved afresh by this picture of Jesus on the night before his death setting before himself the joy of his coming kingdom, telling his disciples that what he is signifying tonight in the meal and accomplishing tomorrow on the cross will one day be fulfilled in the kingdom—a kingdom of people ransomed from every tongue and tribe and people and nation. Then he adds this: I’m not going to eat it till that day comes. You eat it to remember me and keep your hope strong and empower yourselves for mission. But I am going to wait until I can eat it new with you and with all the ransomed that you will gather from every tongue and tribe and people and nation.

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Posted by on September 7, 2009 in Missions Articles


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