‘DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ – LIFE OF RAVI ZACHARIAS IN FOCUSSue Afutu
Growing up, there was a popular series aired on television, in my country, called “Days of our Lives”. The series always opened with the statement ‘As sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”. The life of Ravi Zacharias, like that of any other, when examined brings into focus this imagery.
I was introduced to the ministry of Ravi in my undergraduate years at the university. My young inquiring mind found his ministry to be both compelling and necessary. It was my first introduction to Christian apologetics.
Early life of Ravi Zacharias
Ravi was born in India on 26th March 1946. Though his parents were Anglican, he was a skeptic in his early life. At the age of 17, he attempted suicide and while lying on the hospital bed, the words of John 14 were read to him.
What pricked his heart in that passage were the words ‘because I live you also would live’ which can be found in John 14: 19.
Ravi held on to these words as his only lifeline. He committed his life to Jesus, asking Him to get him out of the hospital and promising Christ to leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of the truth.
Ravi obtained his first degree from the Ontario Bible College in 1972 (now Tyndale University) and his Masters in Divinity from trinity International University in 1976.
Ravi’s ministry as a Christian Apologist
A Christian apologist is someone who defends the Christian faith through systematic argumentation and discourse. Ravi gave 48 years of his life to ministry in diverse forms including apologetics and humanitarian work; the former being what he is well noted for. He was an evangelist who defended the truth of the Gospel and the existence of God before politicians, especially those of the eastern divide. He also had the opportunity to speak to university students in the United States addressing issues of evil and suffering among others.
Ravi authored more than 30 books on Christianity which include the following: Can Man Live Without God, A Shattered visage: The Real Face of Atheism, Deliver us From Evil, Cries of the Heart etc.
Lessons from the life of Ravi Zacharias
When we examine the life of Ravi, a few things stand out.
One is his unwavering commitment to defend what he described as the coherence of the Christian worldview; that the Christian faith could answer four nagging questions – the origin of life, meaning of life, morality and destiny. His stance was that Christianity was unique in its ability to answer these questions.
We can also take a cue from his humility and honesty. Ravi received a number of honorary doctorate degrees. He used the title ‘Dr.’ subsequently but withdrew the title when it attracted criticism from certain quarters.
Beware of the subtlety of sin
At a point in his ministry, a woman called Lori Anne Thompson accused him of impropriety towards her. Lori had sent nude pictures of herself to Ravi but he stated that he neither solicited for those pictures nor did he send any nude pictures to her. However he admitted that it was wrong for him to be a willing participant in extended communication with a woman who was not his wife. The issue was settled out of court.
Ravi was diagnosed with cancer of the spine in March 2020 and on 19th May 2020 he passed on. It is without doubt that his contribution to Christian apologetics in particular and humanitarian work in general would not soon be forgotten. The Ravi Zacharias International Ministries continues to train and equip Christians to defend the Gospel around the world.
Like Ravi, we all would take our bow someday, the question is how are we spending the days of our lives? Ravi’s life took a dramatic turn when he accepted the lifeline Jesus offers in John 14:19. Have you made that ultimate decision to accept Jesus into your heart? You can do so by saying this simple prayer. Lord Jesus, I accept that I am a sinner, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Come and live in my heart and make me your child in Jesus name.
Credit: Ravi Zacharias -Wikipedia.