A pastor and author of more than 20 titles has published a new book, The King is Coming, analyzing the signs given in the Bible that he believes tell of the return of Jesus Christ. He says his book is "a message of hope" for Christians but a terrifying one for those caught unprepared during this event.
Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody's Church in Chicago, shared in a recent interview with The Christian Post that the reason he wrote The King is Coming was "to help people realize that what the Bible predicts is actually going to come to pass."
"So it is a message of hope to those who believe and those who are prepared, but quite a terrifying message for those who do not know the Lord and are not prepared," he added.
The return of Christ, also known as the Second Coming or parousia, is believed by some Christians to refer to an undisclosed future day in which Jesus will descend from heaven and return to Earth.
The King is Coming focuses on various instances that Dr. Lutzer believes provide clues about what the world can expect upon Christ's return. The book further outlines 10 events recorded in Scripture the author believes will take place at the end of the world.
One passage the author offers is from 2 Peter chapter 3, which in part talks about the "destruction of the ungodly" and the fate of those awaiting Christ's return.
The passage encourages Christ's followers to "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him" when he does return.
"The Bible also says that there is a special reward for those who long for his appearing. So the first thing Christians need to do is to live as if Christ is going to come at any moment," Dr. Lutzer explained. "That means in terms of a holy life, it means in terms of how we spend our money, it means that we are in love in Christ, and that we really live in heavenly values, and not to be tied to this Earth," Dr. Lutzer says.
The Moody Church pastor, aware that readers might be skeptical of end times prophecies, suggests that those who are doubtful consider Christ's first appearance on Earth.
"People ask 'how do you know these things,' and I say 'well how sure are you that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, died on a cross and was raised again?' Most Christians answer that they are very sure, but remember that at one time, those events were prophecy – and now they are history," he said.
Dr. Lutzer explained that he makes no timeline and believes it is a mistake for people to believe they are definitely living in the last days before the return of Christ.
"We've been hearing about that for many years. However, there are certain indications that seem to be coming to pass. For example the return of Israel to the land is very significant, because in the End Times, I believe that Israel is going to be regathered – and I believe that is happening," he said.
On the question of how Christians should relate to unbelievers who do not trust in the Bible or Christ, Dr. Lutzer shared that "it's interesting that we have many bridges in our culture that can lead to discussions about this. One is for example is the Mayan Calendar, where the world is supposed to end in 2012, though that is questionable as to whether or not it's even being interpreted correctly, but according to opinion polls, most Americans believe that the Lord is going to return to Earth."
A 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 79 percent of American Christians do believe that Jesus Christ will return to Earth someday.
"When we discuss these things with people, we already have a culture that is open to what the Bible predicts, and therefore we can discuss these things and help them understand what the Bible says," Lutzer concluded.