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John MacArthur and John Piper Discuss During Q&A Session How American Christians Can Prepare for Persecution

Rather, Piper wants Christians to be “thrilled with the sovereignty of God, thrilled that they’re saved, thrilled that they have meaning in life rooted in the Gospel, and thrilled that no matter what happens in this world, they’re going to be able to walk in the truth and joy.”

“There’s a concern in my heart that the way to get ready for suffering is to namely narrate how bad things are, which way you just did. And I know that if you were preaching right there on Sunday, you’d have a text open in front of you, and you would be leading people into, around, and up to God,” Piper concluded.

MacArthur clarified that his response was meant to point out that the times have changed in America, saying, “It’s different for us in America now than it was in terms of the tolerance of Christianity.”

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One who exposits Scripture can’t get away James’ command to count all suffering as joy, MacArthur went on to express.

“God’s greatest work is done in our suffering and that’s in the fabric of all of the teaching of the New Testament,” MacArthur said. “So on the one hand, I’m assessing. I think what you said is so important. I’m simply saying it’s different today. And there are things that the church has gotten away with that you’re not going to be able to get away with anymore and still be faithful, because there’s such hostility towards the truth.”

MacArthur concluded, “But at the same time, you’re not only prepared to suffer, but you prepare to see God do his best work in the suffering. And I think the longer we live, John, we will look back and see that the times when we suffered the most, we drew most near to him.”