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May 9, 2020 1:00 am
How should we defend the Christian faith in a culture marked by skepticism? This can be done, when correctly paired with acts of love and mercy. On this week's Let My People Think, Ravi Zacharias is bringing us a message of encouragement on how to make a difference in today's world.
Examining national ministry of finance comes from your generous donation. I know more about running the horizon having a party and my name is Michael Ramsden, Pres. about the item we are living in difficult and challenging times we've all felt the impact of COBIT 19 in one way or another whether that be through the economic challenges and hardship is brought to the physical separation from loved ones to those who know wrestling with illness are present with you. I would like to thank you also for praying for us in the last few weeks I've been reflecting on if you famous words in Romans eight where it says what shall separate us from the love of God shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword.
What is amazing to me as the first few words in that sentence.
The first two is a matter of fact refer to that of living with constraint or being Hampden to be the narrow place to work history. To sum up so much of the global challenge we see right now. Wherever you are with you with family where you're going and facing this challenge alone. Please know our prayers and thoughts are with you. Would also like to thank all of you will be praying for us during this time we have seen fresh openness to the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We recently launched a series go take 55 short minutes. Thoughts of five minutes each. Once a day during the week to try to bring light into a situation of darkness.
Some of the Oz young life events which we have done have had audiences in the hundreds of thousands, both in Europe and across note North America as well as across the world is managing in wondering where they can find solace and comfort but also the promise of a new life.
I would like to thank all of you who been standing with us in prayer and financial support to help us take that message to where it needs to go. We know that so many of us are hurting right now as we do with the economic challenges, but for those of you are able, regardless of how bagels moral gift may be.
Please know that we are very grateful and will and feel very blessed to have been given the privilege in trust by you to take a message to those who most need to hear it. Thank you for standing with us and if indeed we are to be a neighbor to the world and there is pain in every few and the heartache in every home and the brokenness on every street, then I do not know all the more unity that we as Christians have, to express the glory of God. As believers in Christ, not spiritual – right with compassion toward our family well GTB CPC thinks it impact the home passing. I let my people think Christian faith" among them can be done is not is not find encouragement on how to make different things while violating mate and wagon his body with one of his message. The revelation of God through what I want to speak to you tonight is just this that we are intended to be neighbors to world and to bring up all again. I'm so back with the touch. The statement is been attributed to many.
I really don't think Mother Teresa is the one who said it, although it is attributed to her more often than anybody else. I trust somebody more Amos than that I recall, but it had something to do with preach the gospel to everyone you meet, and only use words if you have that's the idea that sometimes your life and urine but payment speaks much louder than the words you can use and if indeed we are to be a neighbor to the world and there is a pain in every pew heartache in every home and a brokenness on every street and I do not know all the more privileged opportunity that we as Christians have than this very situation in which to express the glory of God. Some of you may recall that over the last few years I have delivered a message in which I talk about apologetics in the 21st century and my outline goes something like this is just like me to three minutes till the backdrop of the outline and then make the deductive imperatives that result from that the five great changes that I believe took place in the 20th century goes something like this. First is the popularization of the death of God and the willingness to live with its ramifications.
That second part of this statement is as important if not more important than the first part of the statesman. Why do I say when the popularizers all atheistic thinking the likes of Nietzsche and in the scientific world the likes of Darwin, who would've called it naturalism when they will propounding their CRA's which basically was an explanation of all of reality only in naturalistic terms. The one caution they all had within their own thinking was what does this mean for human life in terms of ethics or the lack there. If God is dead quoting Dostoyevsky then everything goes.
Darwin was concerned, Darwin made the comment that if this naturalistic framework is taken and extrapolated into metaphysics the imperatives of ethics. He said then violence is going to be the order for the future because nature is red in tooth and claw. He was concerned about it.
The writers like Aldous Huxley who were humanists warned us about it coming more recently into the middle part of the last century thinkers like Malcolm Muggeridge and REMINDING us that violence could become absolute in the light of humanistic thinking. Now therefore I say to you that at least two that benefit naturalistic thinkers Lukens learned about what it would mean for daily living.
Now as we begin the next century. May I suggest you that the likes of Dawkins and the others in their writings have this clear attitude towards is the way it is Dawkins's idea. For example, that we are all there is no such thing as good or evil.
We just sing to our DNA.
He said that addressing the British humanist Association in his Voltaire lectures and this is what dear Peter Singer from Princeton in November. If a baby is not human in the terms that we like to define it on when it's even one-year-old wipe it off, eliminated so the ramifications are now being made X double by Karen thinkers. The second thing that changed.
I think in the 20th century was the disorienting hints of religious pluralism that destabilized Western culture. The year was 1893 when the famed Indian philosopher, salami the bacon on the walked into the Parliament of world religions in Chicago and took the microphone even though he was not an invited acre and basically lashed out that the Christian faith and attacked Reese imperialism Mende joined it to the Christian worldview that Christianity is one his followers by putting their foot on the necks of people and on and on and on and the world was on the bacon on the America openness universities and the change began to take place now with the depot chill present all of the popularizers of eastern mysticism and Eastern philosophy. What's really happened is Western culture no longer has a point of reference for the very ethical norms that framed so the hints that were taken came from religious pluralism, but it destabilized the West number three was the power to inform through the visual DIA gate became the principal means of communicating through and when you think of that notion that the eye begins to circumscribe all begins to bind the parameters for you and you see everything in a picture, then you forget that there are other pieces of information that needs to be brought in to complete the picture, but modern media is very comfortable just showing pictures and not really giving you the context to the text that is being presented. Number four is the loss center for cultural molding. There was no one point of reference of culture.
It started to come from the arts.
Once upon a time within the church that it became the Academy.
Now, the arts and other media and various sources music and on and on with this sort of fragmentation of authorities that there is no single source of unifying our culture and the last one is the shifting power to a younger world where over 60% of the world now is under 24.
All of these facts are very critical to understand and especially when you think of the two thirds world that we call the comparison between the city of Chicago and the center in Mexico City is like this. The average age in the city of Chicago. I think some time ago they said was either the high 20s, or even up to 30 or so Mexico City is 14 1/2 and falling median age over 50% of the world's youth live.
I think within a 2 to 3 hour flight of Singapore and the median age is dropping instantly. We must understand then this come to terms with why this is so because for one reason alone.
A generation ago in a person would start supporting another persons ministry.
My parents generation.
For example, they would start supporting that ministry principally on the basis of the message that was being proclaimed the younger generation will support a ministry, principally on the life and the lifestyle that they see being lived out and they are very very critical of the lives that are not in keeping with the propositional truth that is being dispersed so that the generation today in their 20s that I talked to, they are highly suspect very suspicious of ministries that they are observing and they will probe with the right kind of discomforting questions to find out who you are actually butane these five exchanges of the imperatives I drew with three of them number one we are going to need in apologetics. That is not merely hard but also seen not merely argued but also felt and in apologetics that rescues not only the ends. Switches to reach them for Christ but the means the methods by which we reached the understand what I'm saying. It is unapologetic that is not merely hard but also seen not merely argued but also felt that is going to rescue not only the ends, but also the means when you think of the criticisms that apologetics is faced.
It is very very defining for us as a ministry to constantly's step back and reassess our own calling and our own methods because apologetics has been principally criticized for full reason number one a diminishes biblical authority, number two, it dries up spontaneity number three. It denies the role of the Holy Spirit and not before.
It distorts priorities so from diminishing biblical authority to drying up spontaneity to denying the role of the Holy Spirit, and distorting priorities. You can go back to each of these ends see how Jesus actually addressed all of them.
For example, when he healed the paralytic. The man is lowered through the roof and of course the paralytic is there for one reason he wants to be healed and as he is dropped through the roof.
Jesus looks at him and says, thy sins be forgiven. The and as soon as he said that there was a kind of a all you gotta be kidding Christ not what he came here for. And Jesus looked at him and said I know what you're thinking. I know exactly what you're thinking and therefore I want to ask you which is it easier to say some thy sins be forgiven. The Oro's eyes, take up thy bed, and walk and he looked at the man healed him and said, but this is done that you might know that the son of God has power to forgive sins. Also keep the two needs in juxtaposition without distorting them in any way when he was tempted to turn the stones into bread he could have, but he didn't.
He did later on.
Now he said man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of God and yet he himself at the end of that season of temptation was ministered to by the Angels who came and gave him something to eat, to restore his own physical strength always in balance. Therefore, with that in mind, I want to address this issue of apologetics with attached so that you will know we are very mindful of the fact that we do not want to distort, diminish denying in any way we want to keep this in balance. In fact, even as I talked to you. My daughter Naomi has just left Delhi and is flying en route now to the city of Chennai in Madras and Chennai, which is used to be called Madras and is there because tomorrow morning, she was invited to come there by these fishermen in this fishing village because our CIM was involved in purchasing 40 fishing boats after the tsunami disaster and each boat serves about 10 families and these fishermen are being given brand-new boats and brand-new nets, and these boats are going to be launched tomorrow and they told her we are so happy to even tell you we painted the name of your ministry on the side of the boat but we want you to come here and so my my little girl along with one or two others are flying in there to see these 40 boats launched to give these 400 families back their livelihood and it throws a father's heart and it throws a Christian's heart to know that that's exactly what we needed to be doing at at times such as that. So we keep this in balance and just bear that in mind as I go I want to read for you, our Lord's commission, which he referred to in Luke chapter 4, but he close it from Isaiah 61.
Mary read it for you. The spirit of the Lord is on me because the Lord's anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives notice in each one of these descriptions that could be both the physical and the spiritual reference in every one of these descriptions to preach good news to the poor to the poor in spirit, and to the poor poor deprived of even physical well-being.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, we are spiritually broken and is a physical brokenness that he's talking about, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who moan provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, how I love this verse. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. If I were wanting to give title to this sermon, I would call it the planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor that what apologetics with touch is all about where you are planting for the Lord to display his splendor. You do remember in the Gospel of John. The ninth chapter. When a man comes up and somebody says was he born blind because of his sins or his parents, sins and Jesus is neither, but that the work of God might be displayed in his life. God takes us into situations where his work is going to be this laid and replying to that effort in order to show the glory of God I give to you. Five definite steps that I think apologetics with a touch must engage in one is this our presence in prox committee now that may almost seem like a redundancy. Our presence in proximity I don't believe so we could be present in many ways. In some ways I'm present on the tsunami relief episode tomorrow in the person of my daughter in the person of our ministry in the person of our giving, but I'm not present in proximity and there are situations in life where we must get close in, the people are going to be reached but me give you a couple of illustrations of this and by the time I pull it together. I think you'll see the trend that I'm trying to weave through all of this by family and I and our team and some of you where there are present in the audience. We went into a little place called little drops on the outskirts of Chennai in India.
It's a home for the destitute, nearly 300 of them.
You see all kinds of pitiful looking bodies out there, some so disfigured that you you don't even know where to begin.
If you should even ask what went wrong with this body. How did it get to look like this.
And so we go from room to room and the man who runs that place goes on his motorbike and with other people's help and with ambulances except the totally destitute and brings them into this place called little drops and as we were walking through there. We are engaged in a project for them right now as we were walking through there. There were three sisters who asked if they could sing for us and she one of them they did in their senior years they they were both all three of them were raised as orphans and dad. Then when they were 12 years old.
They were separated and send it to different orphanages. 50 years later they were reunited and now they were in this place and they were in their veteran years that couple of them. Not very well very some old what they would call frocks and didn't fit in any sense at all, but they were very proud of it and the colors and then she she.
One of them said to me, did you ever know Amy Carmichael. I said no she was before my time, she said. Amy Carmichael raised us. We were babies held in Amy Carmichael's arms. We were in her home in southern India when we became orphans and then one of them said can I sing a song for you and three sisters sang it for me.
I gave them some of the lines of Amy Carmichael, one of them know from love that us that I may be sheltered from winds that beat on the from failing when I should aspire from faltering when I should climb higher from silken self AND free thy servant who would follow the from subtle love of softening things like easy choices.
We can things not. Thus, Oscar is fortified know this. We went the crucified from all the Dems like Calvary or Lamb of God deliver me, give me the love that leads the way the faith that nothing can dismay the hope no disappointments tire the passion that will burn like fire. Let me not sink to be a clod make me I feel the flame of God and his elderly women.
The tears come into their eyes said Miss Amy wrote that yes can we sing few.
One of her songs. They did and then one of them says to me you never knew her. Did you know soon. Her eyes were blue, her eyes blue. I quoted that somebody phoned our office and told married is Robbie not know that Amy Carmichael did not have blue eyes. She always prayed that she would have blue eyes always had brown this woman was as certain as their existence that Amy Carmichael's eyes were blue and Jesus telling Marg in the old.
Her eyes were blue.
Her eyes were blue.
The point I wanted to make his when you get close enough that they can see your eyeballs. They know you care apologetics with a touch is apologetics that gets close. When our Lord walked the earth and those with all kinds of deprived situations felt him walk by, or even the touch of his garment of the touch of his hand. The sound of his voice.
He got close the Word became flesh and tabernacle among us, full of grace and truth all and sundry times and in divers manners. He spoken to us of the prophets, but now in the last days spoken to us through his son. The evangelical Christian is going to reach this society and this generation will have to be's theme in the settings of pain and are not just sending help, we will have to be's lien and the more you are seeing in that the more use DER's mouth and the more you see the real need and they will never ever forget like Joseph Damien of Molokai who went and worked amongst the people of leprosy and Molokai.
Damien went because his brother had made a commitment to go and his brother dying. This Belgian family and Joseph said he would go and take his brothers place to Molokai's amongst those with leprosy, contracted leprosy himself and died there, and the Belgian government demanded that his body be flown back because he was a hero and the people of leprosy pled that his body be kept there.
Finally this truck middleground and they said since he is the son of your soil and you want him back will send him back but will you please allow us to cut off his right arm and Harriet write him because that's the arm that reached out and touched us. And today, and Molokai. Damien's arm is buried in that island and there's a grave marker in there. So it is our presence in Brooks Cemetery.
Some of you. I look across here and I know what you do as one young man sitting here who works with them. AIDS victims you go and bind their wounds. You tell me then I'm going to notice that when you get that close.
You must ask God in your lifetime and there's a privilege. He will give you to get close to hurting community and let them see the color of your eyes. That's apologetics with the touch. It is our presence and proximity. You can listen to this episode of let my people think again by visiting our firstname.lastname@example.org and clicking on the listen tab.
If you listing in Canada that web address is all that I am.ca you can as a patches this entire message by calling us at 1-800-448-6766 and asking for the title, the revelation of God through us stating Ravi will be right back. If you enjoy the content from this radio program will love the content on all ye cheap channel to skate he cheap Telcom and sets for the channel. Ravi Zacharias International ministries hello friends this Ravi Zacharias for nearly half a century now I have been covering this globe visiting scores of countries and in the open forums which are unique particularly to academic settings, and more and more, even in the business arena. There are three phases to the program, we present to talk then we field questions and after that we talk privately to individuals and now especially in cultural history and the chaos with which we are living people have scores of questions good Christian answers make truth claims clear and they answer specific questions whether they be soft or hard on just thinking of using the Q&A format. Taking people's questions, answering them and then finding the bridge from the head to the heart.
I know this will be an exciting format. You will enjoy it and I pray you will be inspired and blessed. Thank you for standing with us. I hope you will tune in the question-and-answer format on our just thinking nothing less than supporting lady ministry manage my eyes and