From the Associate Pastor’s Desk: The Impact of Ravi Zacharias On My Ministry

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“We have in the universities, the search for unity and diversity. That’s what university means. We have got unity and diversity in the effect of this universe. The only way to explain unity and diversity in the effect is if you’ve got unity and diversity in the first cause and the only way, we can truly find unity and diversity in the first place, is in the unity, and the diversity, and the community of the trinity.”

This quote by Ravi Zacharias was spoken by him at many speeches throughout the years of his ministry. As a young high school student, I received a recording of this speech. To this day, I do not know where the speech was given. I had the recording on a CD that someone had given my parents. Out of curiosity, I played that speech and was hooked. I was fascinated by the intelligence of what I was hearing from this godly teacher.

That moment had a profound impact on my life for what I believe are two reasons. One, I found someone who not only taught on the Word of God, but was able to answer skeptics in a way that was so intelligent and eloquent. He often used big words in combination with one another to such a point that I found it hard to keep up. This forced me to listen to the same teaching over and over again so as to absorb the point being made. This created a love in me for understanding the deep truths of God’s Word. This is so important for Christians. There are far too many tough questions that arise throughout our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, for us to casually accept simple, incomplete answers that do not measure up to the full council of God’s Word. God used Ravi to answer those tough questions in such profound ways.

Second, Ravi had such a gentle spirit whenever he taught. You could tell just by listening and observing him, that he deeply held these convictions, but was also deeply concerned with the souls of those he was speaking to. He was not concerned with “owning” somebody during a debate. He was concerned with reasoning his audience to the truth. While he always used such intelligent and articulate arguments, he understood that his words were not the solutions to the unbeliever or skeptic’s problem. He understood that he was only a tool God would use to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

We as Christians need to follow the example of this great man of God. It is not enough for us to give simple, unintelligent answers, nor will it win the day to argue someone into the kingdom. We must demonstrate a deep and practical understanding of the issues, but more than that, we need to demonstrate the same love our Savior displayed for us. We can certainly look to the example Ravi left for us.

In Ephesians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul says that God has gifted the church with certain people for the evangelism, teaching, and the building up of the body of Christ. Just a few verses later, he will exhort us to speak the truth in love and grow until we attain to maturity in Christ. My prayer is that I would be just one of the many faithful men who carry the baton of faith to the next generation. God gifted Ravi to the church for a time, but has now taken him home. Would God raise up many more men who, like Ravi, demonstrate the love and complexity of the truth once delivered to the saints.

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