I don’t think I would have been able to tell you who Ravi Zacharias was before Passion 2016, a college student conference. But after hearing him preach, I was never going to be able to forget him.
I remember being immediately drawn in by the crispness of his articulation and the inflections of his voice. He chose every word with deliberate purpose and I could tell he was quite the practiced preacher.
I remember him reciting Scripture and maybe a poem from memory. . . and just thinking, “I am listening to one of the most brilliant men alive.”
I remember him sharing his testimony and how he tried to kill himself. . . but God had a different plan for the man who was going to become one of the most renowned speakers and apologists of his day.
Less than one hour.
I can’t tell you what he even preached on, but he had my respect. As a Bible student in college, it was impossible to not read his works or listen to his sermons in classes such as world religions, modern cults and apologetics.
We took notes on his lectures.
We read his materials.
We learned from him.
I remember reading Sam Harris’s End of Faith and, immediately after, reading Ravi Zacharias’s response, The End of Reason.
I remember Zacharias is the one who sought after difficult questions, unafraid of difficult answers. He was a very learned scholar, a persuasive preacher and someone who inspired multitudes to dig deep and engross themselves with the study of the Word and how to defend it.
I wish I had the chance to hear him speak again, I really do. But God called him home, and if I were a betting person, he received a saint’s welcome in heaven (whatever that looks like). He inspired me and left his mark on my life, as I know he did on many others.
The life of Ravi Zacharias is proof of what God can do with just one man who is willing to say yes to God and surrender his life to God’s will.
There is gratitude in my heart for the life and ministry of Ravi Zacharias, and I am just one person of the multitudes who feel the same.