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Ravi Zacharias: Evangelizing in Today's World

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Andrea Gonzales - Contributing Writer

Ravi Zacharias was a skeptic.

That's right, the well-known Christian apologist and evangelist didn't believe.

Here's his testimony:

When former skeptic and seventeen-year-old Ravi Zacharias heard the words of Jesus in John 14:19, "Because I live, you also will live," the trajectory of his life changed forever. In a time of helplessness and unbelief—when he was on a bed of suicide—the truth of Scripture brought hope to Zacharias, and he committed his life to Christ, promising, "I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth." Earlier in John 14, Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." This verse has become the cornerstone of Zacharias's ultimate mission as a Christian apologist and evangelist: to present and defend the truth of Jesus Christ that others may find life in Him. (www.rzim.org)

Zacharias found the way, Truth, and life in Jesus Christ. Now, he lives to share that Good News with the world.

You and I may not be called to such a public ministry of the Gospel, but we are each – in our own realms of influence – called to share Jesus.

Recently, at the Together 2018 event in Dallas, Texas, I sat down with Ravi Zacharias to talk about evangelizing in today's world. Here are excerpts from our conversation:

Gonzales: What does evangelism look like in the 21st century?

Zacharias: Very difficult. Evangelism in the 21st century… to a graduate-level skepticism, you cannot bring an undergraduate response anymore. The skepticism has reached a lot of sophistication through mass media and through being emboldened by education and so on. So, evangelism is going to be a slower path to reaping the harvest. You know the days of Billy Graham and so on, the masses and the massive crusades, it's like the fruit that was ready to be picked. The gifted evangelists went and picked it, but now there's some fruit that is not that easy to pick.

Evangelism in our time is now looking at a generation that's wearied of terminology and wearied of bad answers that do not connect. It is almost going to be like it used to be when I was growing up in India. It was always tough there. It's now becoming tough here, but that does not mean it doesn't happen. It happens. And when conversions take place, they are sure of footing and they are stronger in their commitment because they know from whence they have come.

Gonzales: What would you say to someone who has a fear of evangelizing?

Zacharias: I think you have to seriously look at your own personality and ask yourself the question, what is the reason for this fear? Is it because you're afraid of being rejected? Are you afraid of being unable to answer the questions? Are you just an introverted person in your own personality?

With each one of those answers comes a different response. If one is introverted, then I think it's a harder thing to break out of that shell. You're better off doing it with friends by your side at a table or under a cup of coffee so that somebody can pick up where you're struggling.

If it has to do with unsure of your answers, then get the kind of training you need. Ask your questions that your friends are asking you and see where the best answers are. But don't be afraid if you don't get immediate results. Sometimes these things take a while.

Look at the Lord himself. It took so long, you know, those three years of public ministry and even then, He lost one of the nearest fold. Don't be fearful of being in the right, be fearful of being in the wrong. So, go out with courage and let God anoint you and equip you to do what He has called you to do.

For more insight and advice from Ravi Zacharias, go to: www.rzim.org.

*Co-authored with Hannah Goodwyn.

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