Ravi Zacharias 1946 – 2020 Word on the Week 23rd May 2020.
Ravi Zacharias is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries an organisation whose members have carried the Gospel to every corner of the globe. This week he went to be with the Lord Jesus Christ whom he served so faithfully from his conversion in 1963.
When he was a 17-year-old student, in despair, he attempted suicide. Mercifully it failed and afterwards, when reading the Bible, he came across the words of Jesus “Because I live, you also will live” (St John Chapter 14 verse 19). He felt that this was address to him and it was confirmed when on a family visit to his Grandmothers grave shortly afterwards he saw the same words written on her gravestone.
After a distinguished college career during which he had found his feet as an evangelist he started his International Ministries. It now has close on 100 evangelists on staff. Their desire is to explore the different worldviews they find in many countries and “help the thinker to believe and the believer to think”! They follow Ravi’s passion for apologetics (reasoned arguments in justification of, in Ravi’s case, Scripture) although few could compare with his ability to handle the question and answer sessions which took place after the talk. His aim was “to engage people in meaningful interactions with gentleness and respect, bearing in mind that behind every question is a questioner”.
He spent his early years in India, his college days in Canada and the USA and established his global base in Atlanta, Georgia. Through God’s grace with clarity and an intellectual philosophy, Zacharias gave countless speeches and wrote numerous books answering key objections and questions about the origin, meaning and morality of Christianity. His illustrations were very well thought through. I heard him explain that he committed them to memory he valued them so much in making his case for Christ.
Earlier this year he
recited a stanza from this hymn from Richard Baxter
(1615-1691): “Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.
If life be long, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short, yet why should I be sad
To welcome endless day?
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before;
He that unto God’s kingdom comes
Must enter by this door.
Come Lord, when grace hath made me meet
Thy blessed face to see;
For if Thy work on earth be sweet
What will thy glory be!
None of us could have imagined just two months this hymn/prayer would be answered.