Great Quotes from Let the Nations Be Glad! by John Piper


John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2010), 288pp.

The Difference Between Missions and Worship: Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. (35)

Our Goal in Missions: The deepest reason why our passion for God should fuel missions is that God’s passion for God fuels missions. Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God. And the deepest reason why worship is the goal in missions is that worship is God’s goal. We are confirmed in this goal by the biblical record of God’s relentless pursuit of praise among the nations. “Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!” (Ps. 117:1). If it is God’s goal, it must be our goal. (39)

Why Our Heart Matters in Missions: A heart for the glory of God and a heart of mercy for the nations make a Christlike missionary. These must be kept together. If we have not zeal for the glory of God, our mercy becomes superficial, man-centered human improvement with no eternal significance. And if our zeal for the glory of God is not a reveling in his mercy, then our so-called zeal, in spite of all its protests, is out of touch with God and hypocritical (cf. Matt. 9:13). (54)

The Importance of Prayer: We cannot know what prayer is for until we know that life is war. Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that. Our weakness in prayer is owing largely to our neglect of this truth. Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts in the den. God has given us prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie so that we can call headquarters for everything we need as the kingdom of Christ advances in the world. Prayer gives us the significance of frontline forces and gives God the glory of a limitless Provider. The one who gives the power gets the glory. Thus, prayer safeguards the supremacy of God in missions while linking us with endless grace for every need. (65) 

The Reality of Hell: Hell is a dreadful reality. To speak of it lightly proves that we do not grasp its horror. I know of no one who has overstated the terrors of hell. We can scarcely surpass the horrid images Jesus used. We are meant to shudder. Why? Because the infinite horrors of hell are intended by God to be a vivid demonstration of the infinite value of his glory, which sinners have belittled. The biblical assumption of the justice of hell is the clearest testimony to the infiniteness of the sin of failing to glorify God. All of us have failed. All the nations have failed. Therefore, the weight of infinite guilt rests on every human head because of our failure to delight in God more than we delight in our own self-sufficiency. (142-143)

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