John Piper's Last Sermon: Woe to the prosperity preachers and playful worshipers

John Piper spoke for the last time (as Senior Pastor) at Bethlehem Baptist Church last Sunday.  Here are some quotes from Piper from his last sermon (as reported by the Christian Post):

“If you entice people with wealth, … ease, health, chipper, bouncy, light-hearted, playful, superficial banter in your worship service posing as joy in Christ, you will attract people, oh yeah, you can grow a huge church that way. But Christ will not be seen in his glory and the Christian life will not be seen as the calvary road that it is.”

“I turn with dismay from church services that are treated like radio talk shows where everything sounds chipper and frisky and high-spirited and chattering and designed evidently to make people feel light-hearted and playful and bouncy,” he said. “I say, don’t you know there are people dying of cancer in this room? Don’t you know some are barely making it financially? … And you’re going to create an atmosphere that’s bouncy …? I just don’t get it. It’s not who we are.”

More from the Christian Post article:

So many pastors today try to attract people to Jesus with their lavish houses, cars and clothes, Piper lamented. But that’s not the way the Apostle Paul did it as recorded in the New Testament.

“You shouldn’t ever attract anybody to Jesus like that because if they get attracted they’re not coming to Jesus. They’re coming to the stuff and the one who can provide it. Thank you very much Jesus for giving me what my fallen, selfish heart always lived for anyway,” he said.

The Apostle Paul made it clear that the Christian life is not without suffering such as beatings, hunger, imprisonment and sleepless nights. But in the midst of those hardships, Paul’s spirit was never broken and all he could do was rejoice because he had Jesus.

“We’re commending the value of Christ and we’re doing it exactly the opposite of the way that prosperity preachers do it,” Piper noted, preaching from 2 Corinthians 6.

What Paul does is show that knowing Christ and having eternal life with Christ “is better than all the worldly wealth and prosperity and health that there is.”

“We commend our life in ministry by afflictions, … calamities … It means that Christ is real to us, more precious than sleep, health, money, life … Wouldn’t you want a Christ that precious?

“If not, Christianity is not for you.”

// Read more here…


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  • skflaherty January 3, 2013 Reply

    Very true. Unfortunately many Christians today just want to go what they hear. Real biblical truth isn’t preached anymore. There are so many heretics on TBN and people like Joel Olsteen, Rick Warren, and such. I don’t agree with Piper theologically or replacement covenant theology at all. But he has a point. Jesus was born poor and was a carpenter, what does that say about Christians in general if we want to be just as worldly as our next door neighbor and materialistic? There was a reality show the other day call ‘pastors wives’ in Atlanta. They are anything but Christian. Starting lies and rumors about each other. That show just gives Christianity a bad name along with most of the preachers that get on tv and always have a 1800 number at the bottom of the screen.

    • Fred January 7, 2013 Reply

      You sure are judgmental.

      • skflaherty January 7, 2013 Reply

        “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Tim 4:3. I don’t judge anyone. Just because it’s on a christian book store and it says it’s Chrisitian doesn’t mean it is. You judge them by their fruits. Jesus was a poor carpenter and told us to take our cross up everyday. Having “Your Best life” without Jesus in the middle of it is heresy. And I laugh at Christians that have the audacity to defend pastors that go on CNN and can’t even say Jesus is the only way. Watch this link- WAKE UP CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • turby January 4, 2013 Reply


  • marksimpson1953 January 4, 2013 Reply

    Faithful or popular? This is the decision that every minister has to make. I have learned that you simply cannot be both.

    • Techlistener January 16, 2013 Reply

      But John Piper has a mega-church so your comment does not make any sense. Is he not popular? Therefore, according to you he is not faithful.

  • Rev. K. A. Christian January 4, 2013 Reply

    I’m a huge follower of John Piper’s work… and this is a big loss for the Christian community… I pray he keeps lecturing, preaching, teaching and writing… as we need to hear more from John the Baptists crying in the wilderness… I’m tired of cheap preaching and the cheap grace that’s offered the people…

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