Articles by Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer
Stand with Me on the Mount of Olives As we stood on the Mount of Olives, the words of the prophet Zechariah kept coming to mind, “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east.” (Zechariah 14:4, ESV). This wasn’t my first visit to the Mount of Olives. But on this particular trip I co-led to Israel just weeks ago, I was especially awed to think that the most spectacular event of all history will take place on this spot…affecting every person who has ever lived on planet Earth. The Mount of Olives has a remarkable history, but it will have an even more remarkable future. Jesus ascended into heaven from the top of this mountain, an event seen only by the disciples and perhaps a few bystanders. But when He returns to this mountain, “every eye shall see Him” and He will proceed to establish His kingdom.
The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent My most important book, The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent—an informed response to Islam’s war with Christianity, was released by Harvest Publishers early in this new year. I began writing this book several years ago after Rebecca and I toured Turkey, visiting the cities where the seven churches of Revelation were located. Of course, those churches disappeared in the early centuries, but Turkey (biblical Asia Minor) maintained a distinct Christian presence until Islam came and conquered the city of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453. Churches were destroyed or transformed into mosques; Christians either converted to Islam or became slaves to Muslim masters, while others chose to die as martyrs.
Why the Middle East Awaits the Coming of Christ I’ve just recently returned from Israel, a land drenched in history; a land acquainted with war; a land to which all believers will someday return with our great and glorious King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Until then, we can expect conflict, unrest, and the threat of war. What chance does peace have in the Middle East? In my opinion, none until Jesus returns to establish His kingdom. Naïve politicians speak about a “two-state solution,” “land for peace,” or other bargaining incentives to bring peace. But I believe all of these plans shall fail for one good reason: the Muslim Palestinian leaders cannot allow peace to come to the Middle East under any settlement. For them, it’s not just history and land that’s at stake, but Islam itself.
Voting with a Christian Conscience I believe the evangelical church has finally been forced to conclude we cannot depend upon politics to turn this country around, bring us back to biblical principles, or reverse the anti-Christian bigotry developing in the courts, the media, and the wider culture. Only the church, armed with the Gospel, is able to bring lasting change in the hearts and lives of people. God’s House—and not the White House—holds the key to the future of our nation. If there’s ever been a time for the church to stand tall, it’s today—whether it’s with or without support from our political leaders. As you look back at history, you’ll see times when God has given nations better leaders than they deserved—at other times, far wares (think of 20th century dictators). Still other times, the leader was a perfect fit for the people. But regardless of the leader, the church must remain faithful to its calling.
Why Good Marriages Go Bad Dear Friend, I have witnessed many marriages I believed to be good, go bad—filled with rancor, immorality, divorce, and the like. What a far cry from the wedding day, when the bride and groom believed there were no difficulties they could not conquer with love — and they fully expected to live happily ever after! In my observation, several root causes surface after marriage, some of which could have been anticipated before the “I do’s” were said. Love—or what passes for love—often blinds us to the realities of who a potential spouse really is. So what are some reasons a good marriage can turn sour?
Beginning Your Day with God Do you begin your day with God? If you can’t say yes to that simple question, you can’t affirm you are “walking with God,” which happens to be the greatest honor imaginable. Jesus, who had all power, would rise up before daybreak to commune with His Heavenly Father. Can we do any less? D.L. Moody, who founded The Moody Church and Moody Bible Institute, was a great evangelist, but also a humble man who sought God with all of his heart. Read his words on daily time with God carefully: “A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God’s boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.” I’ve heard all the excuses not to have a daily private meeting with God: “I don’t have time,” or, “I don’t know how to make the experience a meaningful God-encounter,” or “I don’t see how it’s relevant to my daily life.” Many people tell me they’ve tried, but gave up out of boredom. No more!
What will Americans be thinking about this Christmas? Around the world, Christians will soon be retelling the familiar story of Jesus’ birth. But the controversy surrounding the “Ground Zero mosque” will also dominate the minds of millions. Two religions—Christianity and Islam—will be in the headlines; both are controversial and both claim to have “the truth” about the nature of God and the path of salvation.
The Great White Throne Judgment When Terrified Multitudes Stand Before God Unprepared There is no topic as terrifying as the Great White Throne Judgment…but what do we really know about it? Let’s look at Revelation 20:11-15 together. Who is on this majestic throne? We can be sure that Jesus is sitting on this throne, for God has “committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). Jesus is now the Judge of all the unredeemed. His throne is great, majestic, and being white, signifies His holy justice and impartiality. Who are the defendants standing in line? John continues, “I saw the dead, small and great stand before God.” They were summoned from all parts of the world, raised from the dead to give an account to God. John explains, “and the sea gave up the dead who were in it…” The ancients believed that if you died at sea or were cremated and your ashes thrown into the sea, the gods could never find you so you need not fear an afterlife. But God knows every particle of matter in the universe and thus summons all bodies, regardless of circumstances, to appear before Him.
When a Nation Forgets God You may be acquainted with my book Hitler’s Cross, in which I attempt to answer two questions: how could Nazism have arisen in Germany, a country that prided itself in its freedoms? And, why was Hitler not condemned by the pastors of Germany with a unified and consistent voice? Of course, I also paid tribute to those who did courageously stand against Hitler’s agenda.
A Biblical Perspective We All Need in Good Times and Bad! God is purposeful. He has reasons for allowing this recession to come to America. No doubt He has many purposes, but surely one of His primary goals is the spiritual growth of His people. If we miss what He wants to teach us, we will only become cynical and begin to doubt His love and care. The first lesson is the most obvious: He wants us to learn that He is with us not just during prosperity but also in times of adversity. When there was famine in the land and Isaac was tempted to follow everyone else to Egypt, God appeared to him and said, “Do not go down into Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live…and I will be with you and will bless you” (Genesis 26:2-3). God promised to bring him through the famine rather than offer him escape from it.