[I wrote this article on May 16, 2020. Ravi Zacharias passed away three days later, May 19, 2020. We miss him on earth, but will rejoice with him in Heaven.]
There’s an old saying about telling people you love that you love them while they’re still with you. I want to do that for Ravi Zacharias. You may have heard that Ravi has a rare form of bone cancer and is at his home in the Atlanta area surrounded by his family. Tim Tebow, Abdu Murray, Michael Ramsden and others have asked people to share their thoughts and thanks with Ravi at #ThankYouRavi, so here goes.
I’ve known several members of Ravi’s team through the years, but never had the privilege of meeting Ravi in person. So, why do I love him? Why do I want to thank him?
The reason goes back about 50 years.
I hosted a radio talk show that promoted atheism in 1970. Ravi was studying to be a Christian minister at the time. We’re about the same age.
God was gracious to bring three Christian men into my life who altered the course of the last 49+ years. One was a scientist. One was an apologist. One was an evangelist. Each man played the part God intended to answer my many questions and eventually introduce me to the most wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Going from atheism to Christianity was a big leap and I had a lot to learn in order to share my new belief with atheists and other non-Christians. I was interested in people who addressed the evidence for Christianity and found the writings of many men who had defended the faith centuries earlier.
An apologist friend of mine, Dr. Ed Hindson, also introduced me to C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer and Josh McDowell. Their books and films helped me learn more about how to defend Christianity, but there weren’t many other Christian apologists that were well known at the time. Then I heard about Ravi Zacharias.
I first heard about Ravi in the 1980s. He had started a new ministry known as RZIM. He traveled the world preaching the Gospel and addressing some of the hard questions people had about the existence of God, the credibility of the Bible and the reliability of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ravi was a true defender of Christianity and that appealed to me. So many Christians are in the trenches at work, in the community, in their family and in their churches doing their best to answer tough questions and deal with the growing negative perspective about Christianity. Ravi and his ministry have been a great encouragement in those trenches.
Ravi has written many books about defending Christianity that have helped millions of people learn about the powerful evidence for the truth of the Bible and Jesus Christ. Millions more have seen him on YouTube answering tough questions and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ravi has one of the best ‘minds’ in Christianity today. He is a philosopher, theologian and great thinker about things that matter.
Ravi’s ministry has had a huge impact on Christianity and the world at large through his writings, radio programs, podcasts, conferences and television appearances. Christians and non-Christians alike are quick to tell me they admire Ravi Zacharias. Even people who know nothing about apologetics know about Ravi. That’s the kind of world-wide impact he’s had.
Someone asked me if I was a fan of Ravi Zacharias. My answer is the same now as it was then: “I’m a fan of Jesus Christ and so is Ravi.” That, I think, is the best thing I can say about Ravi. He loves Jesus.
It was hard to lose Nabeel Qureshi, an RZIM team member, a few years ago and it will also be hard to lose Ravi Zacharias. However, I look forward to meeting Ravi and Nabeel one day in the presence of our great King. We will rejoice together in the eternal love of our most gracious God.
In Christ’s Love and Grace