Why Did God Allow Ravi Zacharias to Die?

Earlier this morning — May 19, 2020 — renowned Christian apologist, international speaker, and best-selling author Ravi Zacharias died at his home not far from Atlanta, Georgia.

The immense record and scope of Ravi’s life and work, and the notice of his move on this date from earth to heaven, are all available in detail at RZIM.org.

Just four years ago this month Ravi Zacharias was the keynote speaker at WHY JESUS? 2016, a major conference on Evidence for Christian Faith hosted right here in northern New England. AIIA was privileged to play a leading role in organizing that event. But those of us present on that occasion could hardly have imagined that Ravi’s life on earth would be over so soon.

A few hours ago I received an email from a personal friend who had just heard the news of Ravi’s death and was asking: “What was God thinking? Just being honest.” Here’s how I answered:

I’m supposing that long before the foundations of the world God determined that May 19, 2020, would be the very best day to reward Ravi Zacharias for his faithful years of service — by welcoming him home. I suppose that God was also simultaneously planning to fill the void of Ravi’s absence by raising up another individual of exceptional ability and passion and commitment to Himself, and to the work of Christian apologetics. But I believe that God was also determining from long ages past to bless and use the continuing work of RZIM and many smaller sound regional apologetics ministries such as the AIIA Institute as they carry the torch until that next apologist comes into place.

We know that physical death is a curse which affects all people, because of sin (Romans 5:12). For that reason, God’s great gospel plan for the world is never dependent on any one person. Just as He has raised up great men and women in Bible times, and others in modern times such as Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, C. S. Lewis, Billy Graham, and Ravi Zacharias, so He will raise up others to effectively speak and defend his truth in the years ahead.

Today we pay tribute to Ravi’s unique life and powerful influence in the defense of historic Christian truth — and we pledge to do what we can in our own smaller way to continue to defend that same truth, and to honor Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life, here in spiritually cold New England and beyond.


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