Our world lost a giant in the Christian faith on Tuesday. Mere weeks ago, Ravi Zacharias announced that he had been suffering from a terminal illness, but we did not expect his death to come so quickly. Death is a mixed bag for us Christians. It is not the end. It is the culmination of everything we have striven for in this life: to stand before our God whom we love and to hear the words from His mouth, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
In Philippians 1:23-34, Paul talks about the odd juxtaposition where he would rather be with Christ, but it is better for those to whom he ministers that he be in his body. So, while there is a glimmer of joy that Ravi is now standing face-to-face with His Savior, we are still saddened by this news because it is we who are left behind to continue in ministry until the Lord calls us home, as well.
We knew that Ravi didn’t have much time left, so we asked our mama bears to tell us how Ravi had impacted their lives. This post was originally intended to be a letter to Ravi, a word of encouragement to him of a life well-lived. Instead, we would like to pay this tribute to both the man who has left us, and stand in solidarity with the family and ministry he has left behind at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Our hearts grieve with you sweet friends, but we do not mourn as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We do not grieve like those without hope, but we grieve nonetheless. #thanksRavi #RZIM Click To Tweet
With that in mind, we’re going to share some of those messages with you.
A Stalwart Defender of the Faith
“Ravi Zacharias made me rethink all my old non-believing convictions. He put a “stone in my shoe.” He was definitely part of the path that led me to not just accept Jesus but be on Fire for Him. His answers to some of the toughest questions make me excited to engage with others (believers and non-believers alike) about challenging topics.” – Arielle C.
“Ravi was an amazing Christian and apologist who impacted others in so many ways. He left a profound example we can all strive to follow in sharing the Gospel and articulating the Truth of Jesus to those around us.” – Jennifer B.
“God was growing and sanctifying my faith through motherhood and my hunger for more landed me at Ravi. He was my first introduction to apologetics and from there I never looked back. … Thank you, Ravi, for your dedication to Truth and for the loving spirit with which you share it. What joy and peace you will know in eternity. Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Erin M.
“Ravi was my first foray into apologetics! I watched many of the videos that RZIM put out and thought, I want to be able to do that! It has deepened my love for my Savior!” – Heather G.
“He is the first who unlocked the deep passion in my own heart for what I didn’t even know was a thing: Christian apologetics. His books helped me as I navigated my own growing faith and as I also tried to witness to friends of mine from other faiths. He helped to temper my passion, too — teaching me how to use reason and logic instead of merely reacting and drawing from a well-intentioned but unprepared faith. His testimony gave me a deeper respect for people of different faiths, reminding me that only God sees a person’s true heart and knows their ultimate destiny — and we must never cease to pray that each and every person would come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.” – RebeccaLynn D.Ravi's gentle spirit and willingness to step into the fray to share his faith inspired others to seek truth and learn more about Christ. #thanksRavi #RZIM Click To Tweet
A Peaceful and Gentle Spirit…With Humor Sprinkled In
“I listen to and have read so may apologetics leaders and each has their own way of conveying God’s truths. But Ravi… he was certainly something special. So full of God’s peace and love and heart. It flowed through his every word, from when he was challenging someone with a different worldview to when he was comforting someone who was struggling and questioning God after a loss. His demeanor and methods and heart for Jesus (and all truth) will forever be a personal goal of mine, not just to my children but to any and all who ask.” – Mindy E.
“As I’ve grown as a Christian and budding apologist, I’ve grown to appreciate Ravi’s style and wisdom even more. There is something so sweet about the way he answers even the harshest critics and toughest questions. His grace and peace are delightful to watch and engaging for anyone. He has been a light in this dark world for God’s glory and an example to anyone who hopes to share the gospel.” – Jennifer D.
“Ravi is so inspiring in the way that he answers all the world’s arguments and their reasoning God out of everything, so graciously, with love and without personal agenda, but still SO effectively. He is one of the people who has made the biggest impact on me in providing hope that we can make a difference in this world which is increasingly after its own pleasures, and which I had given up hope of reaching with reason.” – Lisa C.
“When I first began my journey with apologetics, I would watch him in awe of how composed he was discussing difficult topics. I strive to maintain composure just like Ravi when enervating with people on difficult topics. He certainly is a model and his Christian example does not go unnoticed.” – Amanda B.
“My youngest son who just turned 16 listens to Ravi all the time. He has really admired him and learned so much from his teachings. I’m reading his book The Logic of God right now. What a tremendous man of God that has impacted the world with his wisdom and humor.” – Nancy M.
Jesus Among Other Gods
“Jesus Among Other Gods kickstarted my apologetics journaling. I realized that I could read all the informational books in the world, but if I couldn’t retain those facts for later, it was a waste of time. Now I have notebooks full of everything from creation science to moral philosophy to reference long after I’ve returned the book to the library. Thank you for empowering God’s people.” – Amy S.
“I am currently reading Jesus Among Secular Gods and am being strengthened and blessed by the thoughtful and critical analysis of Christianity vs the societal norms. As a mom, I am so thankful for all of his work and how it is helping me better prepare my girls for the world they face as they get older. Critical thinking and reasonable faith are such wonderful gifts I can give them, gifts they would be lacking if ministries like RZIM didn’t exist.” – Tania K.As an author of more than 30 books, Ravi worked hard to ensure that others could learn about Christianity and other worldviews. #thanksRavi #RZIM Click To Tweet
This One Says It All…
“For probably the past 7 years, the voice of Ravi Zacharias has been a comfort and guide in my life. A friend introduced me to apologetics, and it sounded so high brow to me. But then I started listening to videos of this guy named Ravi sharing his testimony, answering skeptic’s questions, using research and reason to intentionally love on people who had made intellectual arguments a barrier to belief. Sometimes with a baby strapped to my body, and often with an armful of laundry, I would turn on YouTube and listen, hoping to absorb just some of what he said. At night when I couldn’t sleep, I would sometimes play a video and let his words lull me to slumber.
Because of his ministry, I started listening to other speakers – people like Amy Orr-Ewing, Nabeel Qureshi, and Vince Vitale. When we started hosting exchange students from around the world, young women from different faith backgrounds and belief systems, and we started having deep spiritual discussions with non-believers it was often Ravi’s words and arguments that would sit in the back of my mind. When I have sometimes felt discouraged about faith or a certain spiritual question, I have often gone back to Ravi’s ministry.
Today, I host a podcast for skeptics, seekers, and those believers needing encouragement and I’d like to think so much of that ministry for me has been positively impacted by someone I probably will never meet this side of heaven but whom I one day hope to hug in glory. Ravi, thank you for your faithfulness. For speaking truth. For loving well. … I know God is sovereign, and He alone knows our days. Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Janell W.
Farewell, dear friend. This is how your ministry impacted our Mama Bears. #thanksRavi #RZIM Click To Tweet We know that many of you are struggling with this news, but we also rest in the hope of eternity with the Lord. As you can see from the messages above, Ravi made a huge impact on apologetics, and he also mentored countless others who will continue on with the message of truth and hope. We will forever be grateful for his work. Please keep his wife, Margie, in your prayers, as well as his children, grandchildren, and members of his ministry team. To see all of the tributes made on our Facebook page for Ravi, please click here.
Farewell, dear friend. ‘Til we meet again.
If you’d like to share how Ravi’s ministry impacted your life, please feel free to do so in the comments!