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May 22, 2020

World-Renowned Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias Has Died

Ravi’s presence will be sorely missed yet his legacy will live on for generations to come.

Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias went to Heaven on Tuesday after a short bout with cancer that was discovered on his spine in March. He was 74 years old.

Born in India, Ravi was a skeptic of Christianity and had declared himself an atheist. But at the age of 17 and in the hospital recovering from a failed suicide attempt due to his despairing of life, he was given a Bible, and he came upon John 14:19: “Because I live, you also will live.” Ravi was awakened to faith in Jesus Christ and he became a Christian. From that moment on, Ravi’s life changed, and he become passionately dedicated to sharing and defending the truth of Christianity and Jesus his Savior.

At 20 years old, Ravi and his family emigrated to Canada, where he graduated from Ontario Bible College and then Trinity International University. After that, Christianity Today says he “was commissioned as a national evangelist for the United States in 1977 and ordained in the CMA in 1980.”

Seeing the need to help Christians develop a more robust ability to defend their faith, in 1984 Ravi founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Its mission was teaching Christians how to engage skeptics and show how Christianity addresses and answers the most fundamental and essential questions of life.

During his 48-year career in ministry, Ravi authored more than 30 books and preached in more than 70 countries, impacting millions both directly and indirectly with his passionate, gracious, gifted, and winsome defense of the Gospel.

Vice President Mike Pence expressed sorrow over the news, stating that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ravi Zacharias.” Pence noted, “Ravi was a man of faith who could ‘rightly handle the word of truth’ like few others in our time & he was my friend.” He added, “Upon the death of Abner, the Bible tells us David said ‘do you not know that a prince & a great man has fallen today?’ Ravi was such a man & he will be missed. Karen & I send our deepest sympathies to his family and know he heard ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’”

Ravi’s eldest daughter, Sarah Davis, may have summed up her father’s life best. “It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about,” she wrote. “Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done. He perpetually marveled that God took a seventeen-year-old skeptic, defeated in hopelessness and unbelief, and called him into a life of glorious hope and belief in the truth of Scripture — a message he would carry across the globe for 48 years.”

Ravi is now reveling in eternity and speaking face to face with Jesus. He will be sorely missed by the millions who have benefitted from his God-given insights and passion. Yet, like many pillars of the Christian church before him, his legacy will live on until that day when Christ returns and faith will be turned to sight.

Update: Months after Zacharias’s death, his ministry was left to contend with allegations of sexual misconduct by its late leader. An independent investigation is ongoing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good. Jesus saves sinners, though it may be that Ravi Zacharias was guilty of more sins than the millions of people who benefited from his ministry ever knew.

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