In his last message as pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper condemned prosperity preachers for enticing worshippers into a faith that’s not real Christianity.
“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,” said Piper on Sunday.
After 32 years of preaching at Bethlehem in Minneapolis, Piper handed the baton to Jason Meyer, who will be installed on Jan. 20.
While Sunday’s sermon was not likely Piper’s final message, it was his last on an official level as pastor for Preaching and Vision. In his last official message, Piper wanted to convey to the congregation “what the world needs from the church.”
What it needs, he preached, is “our indomitable, invincible joy in the midst of suffering and sorrow.”
He wasn’t speaking of a “chipper” or “bouncy” joy that he sees in many church services but true rejoicing in the face of suffering and sorrow.