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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

Ravi Zacharias - Doesn't explain the Gospel

Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias is an international Christian celebrity, author, speaker, preacher, running Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.  His wealth is estimated at a cool $7.5 million net.

I've been searching high and low to find Zacharias's presentation of the Gospel, that is, how one becomes saved, becomes a Christian, and it's been a somewhat of a struggle.

However, I found a presentation by Ravi Zacharias on You Tube



YouTube link

Zacharias presents the Gospel as "a relationship with Jesus".  He begins by quoting of C S Lewis, digressing into discussing self help groups.  Then says that the Gospel is diluted, because, when asked what the Gospel is, the average person says, "You are a sinner, you're heading to hell." (0:48)

Sin is not the Gospel, but a part of it.  It is what we need the Gospel for, because without the Gospel, we are going to Hell!  If that is what the average person says, then it is closer to the Gospel than what Zacharias says, who describes that Gospel as a 'relationship'.

Zacharias then goes on to discuss feelings of loneliness, suicide, that the Gospel addresses that the "human heart .. will end up lonely" (1:30).

At 2:20, he still hasn't explained the Gospel in a way I can understand, but again says that the Gospel is about 'building a relationship' (2:40), then describes what a life of 'relationship' is like.

Finally, he sums up the Gospel at 3:20 by again saying that it is a 'relationship', that you won't be 'destitute' and 'not alone'.

Nowhere is scripture quoted, nowhere is it explained what the Gospel is, how to become a Christian.

The Lord says,
"Ye must be born again." John 3:7b

What IS the Gospel?

Here is the Gospel:

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1.  Christ died for our sins
2.  He was buried
3.  He rose again the third day
4.  By recognizing ourselves as guilty sinners, and believing on Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, Christ, who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again three days later, we are saved, guaranteed to go to Heaven.  Born again, with the Holy Spirit living inside us, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ's IMPUTED righteousness.

THAT is the Gospel!

The Gospel is that we are sinners, and that Jesus, the only begotten son of God, God in the flesh, who without sin, sacrificed Himself for us, paying a debt He did not owe, because we never could, and by believing on Jesus for forgiveness of our sins, His death, burial, and His bodily resurrection three days later, we receive His righteousness, imputed onto us, our sin washed away by His blood, and we too are then children of God.

Ravi Zacharias's conversion story

At the age of 17, after an attempt at suicide, during his recovery,

"Because I live, you also will live." He said that he thought, "This may be my only hope: A new way of living. Life as defined by the Author of Life." and that he committed his life to Christ praying, "Jesus if You are the one who gives life as it is meant to be, I want it. Please get me out of this hospital bed well, and I promise I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth." Source: Zacharias, Ravi (2006). Walking From East to West: God in the Shadows. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

This is a conversion story of sorts, but it's not a conversion in terms of becoming a Christian.  It is good to hear that he had hope, and wished to embrace a new way of living, but, that is not what the Gospel is.

There is no mention in his conversion story of realizing himself as a guilty sinner, Romans 3:10, β€œAs it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”, nor is there any mention about believing in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, His death, burial and ressurection, whereby receiving His imputed righteousness.  Instead, Zacharias speaks about 'a new way of living' and to search for the truth, 'I promise I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth'.

He did go on to turn his life around, as he puts it, 'a new way of living', but, that is not getting saved, it is not the Gospel, as shown from the Bible in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

One can live a good life, one can turn their life around, but none of that matters unless we accept our guilt as sinners and believe on the Lord's sacrifice on the cross for our sins, His death, burial, and, that death could not hold Him, as He was without sin, that God raised Him from the dead, His bodily resurrection.

On believing on Christ's sacrifice for forgiveness of our sins, we too will rise, with glorified bodies like unto the Lord's, our sins washed away by the imputed righteousness of our Saviour.

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." Philippians 3:21

Ravi Zacharias's current YouTube video

From his YouTube video, and his conversion story as a teen, Zacharias would be unsaved, and, he is not explaining to people how to become saved.  He is focusing on a sort of Christian related life, rather than how we become Christians, that is, how we become children of God.  He is not presenting the new birth that is in Christ, 'Ye must be born again.' John 3:7b

Sadly, after all this time, a boy who at 17, who is now in his 70's, is still saying the same message, that the Gospel is a 'relationship', it's a 'new way of living', it's 'not being lonely'.  He still isn't addressing what the Gospel REALLY is, which is clarified from the Bible, by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

The Gospels in the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, all testify to this.  That Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, that, by believing in Him, His sacrifice for our sins on the cross, that He was buried, and bodily rose from the dead, that we too become a part of God's family, sons of God, and thereby have eternal life, through Christ our Lord.

Zacharias is not only not mis-presenting the Gospel, which PREVENTS other people knowing the simplicity that is in Christ, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 'But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.', it would appear, from his own testimony, and supposed explanation of the Gospel, that he is not saved himself, but, is a false prophet.

β€œAnd many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:11

The first birth is of flesh, the second birth is of Spirit

I have on my heart, that people would hear the Gospel for what it is, the simplicity that is in Christ, not corrupted to some philosophy, or some form of metaphor for a lifestyle, but it is the instant spiritual birth of a person, as the Bible teaches us.  The first birth is of the flesh, and when we believe on the Lord's sacrifice for forgiveness of our sins, we have the second birth, which is of Spirit, the Holy Spirit, which is when we become spiritually alive.

I would like also, that Zacharias would be saved.  Time is running out for us all, for life is short.

For these reasons, and others, we shine light upon the darkness, when we can,

"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." Acts 26:18

 

 









 

15th April 2018

 

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