May 19th, 2012 09:45 EST
Is the World Really Going to End This Year?
A new Reuters survey reveals one in seven people worldwide believe the world will end in their lifetime. But if you want to know how it`s going to happen, don`t look to Nostradamus or the Mayan calendar for answers.
When it comes to predicting the future, the Bible is an unimpeachable source of information, says Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of the venerable Moody Church in Chicago and author of The King Is Coming: Preparing to Meet Jesus (Moody Publishers).
The book outlines 10 events recorded in Scripture that will take place at the end of the world. The author points to the Bible`s track record as proof of its reliability.
"All Bible prophecies eventually become true history," Dr. Lutzer explains. "There was a time when the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus was prophecy.
Today, it is history. Just so, the return of Christ is prophecy today, but it will be history at some future date."
The end of the Mayan calendar has many people speculating that the world will end on December 21, 2012. While he agrees that world events seem to be shaping up for the end of days, Dr. Lutzer cautions against putting too much stock in this prediction.
"When we open the pages of the Bible we are not left to the confusing intention of a cyclical calendar," the author notes.
"In the prophecies of the Bible, nations are named, geographical locations are described ... Antichrist is not only described, but the speeches he will eventually give are summarized."
So just how close are we to these events taking place? "A day closer than we were yesterday!" Dr. Lutzer says. "We must humbly confess that we don`t know exactly when God will wrap up history."
He concludes: "Regardless of one`s view of end time events, the Bible teaches the visible, literal return of Jesus back to earth. It teaches the personal judgment of all individuals; it teaches an eternal heaven and an eternal hell.
We don`t have to know when all of this will happen in order for Bible prophecy to change our entire perspective on life."
Since 1980, Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer has served as senior pastor of the world-famous Moody Church in Chicago. He is the featured speaker on several radio programs, including the popular evening program "Songs in the Night." An award-winning author of more than 20 books, Dr. Lutzer is an in-demand speaker at Bible conferences and seminars, both domestically and around the world. He has also led tours of the cities of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Dr. Lutzer and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Chicago area and are the parents of three grown children and eight grandchildren.