A Great Loss   Leave a comment

Earlier this week we lost one of the most influential figures in the Body of Christ. Dr Ravi Zacharias was a towering intellect and an amazing communicator. He had a seemingly encyclopedic memory for Scripture, quotations and poetry. When he stood up at the podium he instantly captured the attention of audiences all ages and sizes. He made his talks seem short regardless of how long he spoke and always left you wanting to hear more. 

I had the privilege of meeting him when I played a small part in the leadership of a conference in the UK when he came to speak. So far as I remember it was the first time a speaker had been scheduled to speak to the major gathering on two consecutive nights. Ravi delivered two messages on the Death of God. The first night he masterfully expounded the work of Friedrich Nietzsche. During that message he recited from beginning to end the lyric of “21st Century Schizoid Man” by King Crimson with the entire audience on the edge of their seats. He left us suspended in anticipation of the second night when he proclaimed a glorious message on the resurrection of Jesus declaring that God was not dead but very much alive. It left an indelible impression on me.

However, as amazing a preacher and teacher as he was, influencing hundreds and thousands for the gospel, this was not the most remarkable thing about Ravi Zacharias. For me the most compelling thing about this man was his gentleness, grace and compassion. He had an amazing ability to stand before a gathering of university students and take questions one after another. ( you can watch many of these sessions on YouTube). Often these questions were delivered by people who clearly felt they knew a lot more about the subject than he did. Every answer he gave was delivered in such a way as to make the questioner feel valued. He would reply clearly and fully and often say how much he would like to talk with the person later in the evening. His ability to engage people with whom he differed greatly with grace and respect while maintaining his unshakable convictions was a skill we are sorely in need of today.  

We are privileged that, in addition to his other skills, Dr Zacharias was a great writer and leaves us with a large number of books. Our technology provides us with the gift of many recordings of his messages and conversations. He leaves a thriving ministry of amazing young apologists to carry on the work he started.

Whatever you read or hear of Ravi Zacharias you cannot escape being challenged by his passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ. His first and only purpose was that people should encounter the living Lord Jesus, accept the amazing gift of salvation and live the rest of their lives in His service. We know that Ravi is now in the arms of the Savior He loved and served so faithfully and it remains for us to continue to proclaim that message.

Posted May 21, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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