My heart was already full as John Piper began his message that would close the recent Together for the Gospel conference. I prayed that God would use his message to implant a passion within our hearts that would shape our lives and ministries for the length of our days.
I was very moved by John’s faithful, careful, and precise exposition of Romans 9. He pointed us to the infinite grace of God and to the assurance of his sovereignty and then pointed us to Paul’s agony over the lostness of his own people, his “kinsmen according to the flesh.” Are we driven by the same agony when we see the lost around us?
I was honestly unprepared for where John would take us at the conclusion of his message. He took us into a crowded tent where he, as a young boy, saw his own father, an evangelist, plead with sinners to come to Jesus — “Won’t you come? . . . Won’t you come?”
Time and space seemed to collapse for me as I remembered being in the same kind of meeting, hearing the same gospel pleading, many, many times as a boy. I remember one time in particular, when as a nine-year-old boy I heard a part-time preacher who was a full-time phosphate miner preach the gospel and then plead with us to come to Christ. And I did.
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