Ravi Zacharias, a well-known apologist and persuasive Gospel preacher, died this morning, May 19, 2020. His legacy will continue through the organization he founded—RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries)—which trains and supports scholars who defend and preach the Gospel in many countries of the world.
When you talked with Ravi, he made you feel as if you were the only person in his world. In his Q and A sessions at universities, he answered with great attention and respect, no matter how antagonistic the questioner might be. When he was finished speaking, he would stay and answer more questions, no matter how long the line and how late the hour. Each person was important to him.
In his sermons, he quoted many writers, particularly philosophers, whether Christian or non-Christian. He read widely and brought with him a broad context of experiences from his visits with people from different countries and cultures. Always, his focus was on the Gospel.
Ravi preached with a sense of urgency, a deep passion, and yet with a sensitive heart. That’s why even those who disagreed with him respected him and were willing to give him a hearing. To me, his philosophy of apologetics seemed to combine the historical with the scientific and the personal. He always inspired with his stories and capped his point from human experience.
A few days before he died, I sent an email that was read to him. In part it said:
My friend, it all comes down to what we have preached for years: Faith in everything that Jesus has done for us is enough. As the song goes, “I have no other argument, I have no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.” Paul wrote, Christ died for us “so that whether we are awake [alive] or asleep [dead] we might live with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:10). Jesus has gone before us and He is waiting for us to join Him behind the curtain (Hebrews 6:19).
Take heart, you have left a great legacy that will continue for years to come. You have run the race and left a light on for future generations!
Thanks for the memories and remember, everything is gonna be okay.
When news came that he had died, I thought, “Yes, Ravi everything is okay,” it’s just those who are left behind who mourn. And we only do so until we also shall join him and others in the presence of Christ.
May Ravi’s life be an inspiration to all of us: to love the Gospel, be willing to defend it, and share it with all who will listen. And may we always remember the oft quoted statement by Charles Wesley, “God buries His workmen, but carries on His work.”
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them” (Revelation 14:13). Let us pray for all who will pick up Ravi’s mantle and continue the work that is needed now more than ever.