The problem of evil with Dr. Lutzer
Below is a video from a previous Reformation Tour to Europe with Dr. Erwin Lutzer of Moody Bible Church. Here, Dr. Lutzer talks about what our response as Christians should be to why God allows evil in the world.
Rhonda: (I’m) with Dr. Erwin Lutzer in Prague and Dr. Lutzer gave a fantastic sermon two days ago regarding evil. And I’ve asked him to just repeat a couple of key points. Dr. Lutzer, would you repeat that for our audience?
Dr. Erwin Lutzer: I’m very glad to repeat what I said earlier. I need to say that we’re standing, actually, in Bethlehem Chapel in Prague, and behind me is the pulpit of John Huss, who died at the stake. And one of the things that we think about when we are here in Prague, as even in Germany, is the problem of evil, specifically, as it relates to Adolf Hitler. Because Hitler believed that he was carrying out the will of Providence and what we need to do, as theologians, is distinguish man’s role in evil and God’s role. And the Bible is very clear, first of all, that God rules in the kingdom of men. The scripture says clearly that He puts down some and raises up others … “Behold, I raise up the Chaldeans!” God says.
So, on the one hand, we have to recognize that God is totally under control and is, HAS, everything under control. We also have to recognize that man has responsibility and he is answerable to God. In other words, he’s answerable to God and yet clearly, God “signs-off” on the evil that takes place.
We have to admit that without blinking. Jesus, in the presence of Pilate, said, “You would have no power at all against me unless it was given to you from above.” Now, as Christians, we have to rest in the fact of God’s sovereignty. Rather than it being a stumbling block, we have to know that God knows what He’s doing. We don’t need to know the hidden details of His will and His purposes in order to trust Him.
Now, in conclusion, what do we say to atheists when they talk to us and they say if that’s the kind of God there is that He permits the Holocaust, I’m out of here!? Here’s what we need to say: First of all, that’s one option that many people take but it’s a very unwise option. If God is the kind of God who can permit the Holocaust, you had better prepare to meet Him, because the Bible says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!
So, here’s a better option: flee to CHRIST! Come to Him for refuge! The Bible says that He saves us from the wrath to come. So, rather than being angry at God, take advantage of what He has provided! We know that He cares because Jesus came to redeem us and, as a result of that Redemption, you and I can savingly believe and we not need not fear God’s judgment because Jesus bore it for us! You’re a skeptic? Come to Christ, and He’s the one that will receive you and welcome you into everlasting habitations. Thank God for Him!
Rhonda: Wow! thank you so much, Dr. Lutzer, for that concise and powerful message for our audience. I appreciate you being here. Thank you so much!
Dr. Erwin Lutzer’s next trip with Living Passages is a Reformation Tour to Germany in 2020. Interested in traveling with him? Sign up to receive email alerts when registration for this tour opens.