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May 2, 2020 1:00 am
Graduation is a very important milestone in a student's life. What is it that makes the difference between students that go on to succeed in life, and students that end up in disappointment? Join Ravi Zacharias this week on Let My People Think, as he speaks directly to graduates about the importance of remaining faithful to God.
Examining comes from having an hello friends this is Ravi Zacharias. You know, a recent survey revealed a very high percentage, nearly 70% of all college students might will walk away from the Christian faith.
By the time they graduate. That's a daunting statistic. Our goal is to reach them early in high school and university with the message of the gospel committed to training young believers to better understand their faith so that they are equipped to presented and do defended the opportunities of their and the challenges before us, will you partner with us. Your gifts will help us hold conferences such as reboot, refresh and remind these conferences are geared towards high school and college students as well as young professionals, we are really excited about all that God has in store for this ministry with our growing team.
We hope you will join others in supporting our efforts by donating online at RZ.
I am.org and thank you for doing that young men and young women. My challenge is when you enter many holes of learning the fundamental assumption is going to be challenged. Are you going to remember for trouble comes the challenge comes me remind you challenge you will face is not an evidential one challenge you will face as a topical recommitment to naturalism. Many of those have already made.
Think about that carefully graduation time. The young passing and sometimes time caring divine beginning hello and welcome to think Rob is facing many making sweet what makes the difference in life and pointed today.
Ravi thinks directly remain faithful to God, having the right kind is possible to make it your life that comes to mind, might be an encouragement to graduate unite states enough to find out how to get things that the mind now he is Ravi. I had been invited to speak at a gathering of young people who were in a kind of 1/2 way house setting. The average stay for those young people averaged 14 to 18 or 19 was about 18 to 24 months because that's how long it took them to be weaned off their addictions. I had never spoken in a setting such as that in fact it was quite fearsome to be standing there I was kept at the back of the room before my turn came to speak to them and the principle of this place alerted me to the fact that they were going to be engaging in some activities of the beginning with which I might be quite unfamiliar. She said they will take about three or four minutes just to ventilate their anger and their frustration. She said don't be alarmed by it and all of a sudden they were told to stand and commanded with the word motivate at all of these young people stood up and as I watch them. I was so puzzled by it all. They will literally hunching into the air for about 3 to 4 minutes delay had punch themselves into exhaustion.
Then they sat down with their hands blasted flat against their legs and the limits of their for 1 1/2 hours of their last me to speak for that length of time after which I was to answer questions were about 2 1/2 hours for four hours.
I stood in front of them.
Every one of them was an addict and addict of the most serious kind, either to drugs auto alcohol or to sex and one young man stood up at the question-and-answer time handsome looking young man would his lips quivering and tears running down his face.
He says Mr. Zacharias. I have a question for you. I have really messed up my life I have completely lost self-control.
He said it is impossible for me to look at a young woman without just one desire in my mind. I am an addict to sex. Can you do anything to help me.
Can you say anything to break me off this. I am already so destroyed. I'm afraid there is no future for me in the way my mind is now working and as I stood there startled by the frankness of this all of them, of course, trained under the Alcoholics Anonymous program just looked at him and in unison said to him, we love you, and named him to sort of affirm him or us sharing and accepting his vulnerability. Keep that in the back of your mind. The second vignette I give to you is of this young teenager who is now known internationally.
Her name is Cassie Burnell who was murdered by one of her classmates just two days before she died. She was being videoed by her Christian youth group and in the middle of her testimony. She said these simple words. I just try not to contradict myself to get rid of all my hypocrisy and just live for Jesus Christ and so at her funeral. All of the young people who had gathered played that video clip not one of them was aware that two days after she said this she was going to be for in the face of the barrel of a gun having to affirm our commitment to Jesus Christ and young people. I ask you this question pointedly. What is the difference between these two lives, how does it come about that one can be so much of the point of destruction where he dehumanizes the members of the opposite sex and stands there as a man completely ashamed of that which possesses him.
And then you look at a young woman like Cassie who stands up and says in the face of an imminent murder that she is proud to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Much of it.
If not everything of it has to do with how you train your mind.
Now the mind is the soul what the brain is the body, the mind is to the soul. What the brain is to the body. When a person begins to get incoherent. We do not say of them. They are losing their brains.
The physical organ may still be functioning. We talk of them is losing their minds because a mind is that facilitate which God has given to you and to me, which calls together all that you know to be true, or all that you know to be false, and on the basis of training that mind you respond at the moments of trial and temptation. I want to challenge you tonight to think of your minds as you move on from here.
What are some of the choices I would like to see you making that I think will be God honoring a viewer to bring that mind under the control and the will of God. I'd like to read for you one verse from the apostle Paul in the book of Philippians chapter 3 he says this, brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. He's talking about perfection, but one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus, and it is already true in Philippians 2, where he has challenge them to let this mind be in them, which was in Christ Jesus, man I give you three simple challenges of how to garrison this mind how to develop that strength of soul because you going to be tested, you can be sure of that. The first is the challenge of learning how to forget there are some things in your life which you must learn to forget.
It's like shutting the gate on those issues which bring you down those issues which are in the past which somehow demoralize you and I can assure you those issues are there in your life.
Just a few days ago I was 12,000 miles away in a distant country sitting in my hotel room for several days completing a manuscript for another book and in the opening paragraphs of that particular book. I was going back over the years of some of my own teenage struggles how I had come to know Christ literally lying on a bed of suicide, and I started to trace that path and at a certain point in that chapter I had to stop and close those pages and take a long walk because I suddenly felt I was reopening some wounds that I felt may have been healed over the decades that have gone by and I talked back to a conversation I had with a young man he was a winner of an Olympic medal and do it three years ago he phone from a distant city and asked if he could come and spend the morning here with me in Atlanta.
He said I have some real struggles and when we went out to have lunch together. I was not expecting to tell me what he was about to say. I knew his name. I had seen them on television seen him when that metal but as he sat across the table at lunch. That's what he said to me are powerful muscle build young man.
He said Ravi said from the time I was 12, my only goal in life was to become an Olympian. In fact, I bought myself a camera and I filmed the world champion in the event that I wanted to run and as that film was developed and I was getting better and better at the event. I had somebody fill me and I broke that clip down into frame by frame, to see where it was I was losing these precious seconds to the world champion and finally the time came, whereas able to bridge that gap and get it so close now in his late teens he was representing his country at the Olympics.
Nobody had expected him to get where he did. Now he had won all of his seats and the gun was about to be sounded for the finals. He said there I stood at the gate, wondering if this was real, but the whole world was watching that seven years had gone by and now I was possibly about to become the world champion and he said as that gun was about to be sounded. He said from out of the blue I thought I had no revision of it all, did not anticipate this in any sense of the term. Just as the gun was on the verge of being sounded. I suddenly had this question invade my mind. I wonder if my father is watching to see over the years he and his father had gone apart and there was no love and no relationship between them and at this moment of his greatest triumph.
Somehow the door was opened up to the years gone by, and the memory of a lost relationship with his dad, may well have at that moment cost him the gold-medal. He strode along and was very privileged to have won the bronze medal but it was quite a strange feeling to be sitting across the table from a well built, strong young man whose face was covered with tears asking me how he could rebuild this relationship in all the years that an been lost in the process. Ladies and gentlemen, it can happen in your life. It can happen in mine and to you as young people, I say to you that there are some issues from the past which you can settle and they ought to be settled and you would be very wise dealing with them. Even before too many hours have gone, but I say to you that there are many others in which you must shut the gate and forget those things which are behind or they will continue to plunder you in the years that lie ahead. They may have been some difficult moments in your schooling years may have been tough moments at home, but I urge you to forget some of those things that are behind on which you can do nothing to correct now, but God asks you to set them aside and bury them under his grace.
There is a second choice. Not only must you learn to forget, but you must be determined or what you are going to remember and it is Solomon who tells us in the book of Ecclesiastes. When you struggling with this whole thing called life's meaning. He says, remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth before the time of trouble comes, remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, many of you are going to go into different universities and most of you will run up against one fundamental issue that is going to challenge your faith in God and that issue is this is this world here by accident. A random product of time. Plus, matter, plus John's or is this world here by the created and design will of a loving heavenly father, I can tell you something very plain here and I want you to follow me. Listen carefully. Please. The fact of the matter is that science has not disprove the existence of God. Science has not established naturalism as a justifiable posture or origins you will read and find out again and again that that which is espoused by atheists on university campuses. While professors espouse that atheism, not because of the science that has led them to believe it, but because of our pre-commitment to a philosophy of life. This is the whole point that Philip Johnson Prof. Berkley makes in his book Darwin on trial and reason in the balance. He said there's an under guarding philosophy Dragon drives the secular scientific worldview, where science is sort of made into that which it was never intended to be. Let me give you a couple of illustrations of this I will had finished a series of lectures at Princeton University. The place was packed to capacity and my whole talk was to challenge atheism and defend the Christian gospel. The questions were there and very hostile form and antagonistic form. And yet, the students return for electronic collection applauded and received what was given on that last night. One student stood up in front of this fact audience and he said this to me. He said Mr. Zacharias.
I brought two of my atheistic friends here last night for the lecture and they had come prepared to challenge anything you'd said, as we were walking away. I said to one of them.
Why didn't you ask the questions you said you were going to us. There was silence in the stillness of the night and then he looked back at this Christian and invited them and said the arguments what do persuasive to counter and then he paused and said this, even though the arguments what do persuasive. I am still remaining a convinced atheist. He said what do you have to say to my friend. I said I said it to him in the opening line of my lecture last night that my goal is to try and demonstrate to you that if you are an atheist. It is not for intellectual reasons but for moral reason, there's a precommitment Aldous Huxley in 1946, of this I wanted this world not to have meaning. I want this world and not to have meaning because it frees me to my own erotic pursuits. Think of all of the grandeur that God has poured into this universe. All of the specified complexity.
The marvelous design that is there wasn't enough Carl Sagan while he was still professor at Cornell who made this astounding common. He said if we can get on the one intelligent message from outer space. We'll know there is intelligent life out there. If we can get only one intelligent message did Carl Sagan not pause to think for a moment that one strand of human DNA has 600,000 pages of information.
One strand of human DNA 600,000 pages of information. Think of that. The marvelous design young men and young women.
I challenge you when you enter many holes of learning a fundamental assumption is going to be challenged. Are you going to remember your creator before that trouble comes in. The challenge comes. Let me remind you that challenge you will face is not an evidential one that challenge you will face as a philosophical precommitment.
The naturalism that many of those have already made. Think about that carefully.
Learning some things to forget determined what you're going to remember the last thing I share with you is will you be committed to his love so that it is not only the posture of the mind, but it is also the affection of the heart. We are living in a lonely world we are living in a very needy world. Some of you may remember the name of Madeline Murray O'Hare, the famed atheist recently her diaries were auctioned off hundreds and hundreds of pages of her diaries in her journal as an atheist, three times, punctuated in these diaries with these words.
Will somebody somewhere. Please love me, will somebody somewhere. Please love me. How do you feel that love as you graduate and leave your moving into other parts like close now with this most fascinating story that is something that some of you may be familiar with because I have reprinted it in one of my books.
It was 1971 I was still doing my undergraduate in theology and I was invited to speak in Vietnam, the war was still pretty heavy. A lot of killing was going on during those days, my interpreter was a 17-year-old young man.
His name was Ken.
Hannah and I traveled across the length of Vietnam all the way to the demilitarized zone God in an extraordinary way. Use these two young lives in many, many settings to break in our inner revival in the land of Vietnam. We were in many US Armed Forces bases. We were in prisoners of war camps.
We are in military hospitals. Both of us were too young to have been in places like that. But God in his sovereign grace used our lives. At the end of the four months after I finished preaching in that land. I am braced here and not thinking if I would ever see him again. That was 1971, 17 years had gone by in 1988 I received a telephone call and it took me only a moment when he said brother Robbie on the phone for me to recognize that I was talking to him. I sit here and where you calling from. He said I'm calling you from Los Angeles. I said what are you doing in the United States.
How did you get out of Vietnam. He said he got a few minutes to listen to my story. I said yes I have.
He's a brother Robbie after Vietnam failed to the north and to the Vietcong I was arrested and put into prison and I was brainwashed every day.
I was being asked to read Marx and Engels. They were trying to knock faith in God out of my life. Marx and Engels Marx and Engels every day and I was not allowed to read anything in English because they were trying to cut me off from the West completely saying the missionaries and all had poisoned my mind they were breaking me away from all of this French and Vietnamese, Marx and Engels on the Marxist ideology. It was just pouring in. In my mind. One day I was reading Engels's book describing a Marxist man, caged by capitalism and the Marxist man is a bird bashing away against those wires trying to break free blooding itself in the process but keep heading. He says keep hitting someday you will break those bars. He said I went to bed that night and I taught the mice of God are you only a figment of my imagination did the missionaries really brainwash me were all those meetings we held in the revival. He talked about me in his prayer to God. Wondering if all those messages that it interpreted would just not did not hold out against reality and he said I got so frustrated with all that I dread I said I'm going to disbelieve in God from this very night and I was determined that from the next morning I was not going to pray going to act as if God did not exist.
He said in the morning when I wake in the commanding officer assigned me to clean the latrine and as I was cleaning those latrines.
He said Rob it's a horrible place in those prison camps.
As I was emptying out those waste bins.
Suddenly I noticed a piece of paper that looked like it had English on it even though it was a it was so stained with human excrement.
I'd seen English and wondered if I could pick that up somehow. He said I washed it and took that piece of paper, put it into my hip pocket and went back to my room.
I could not allow open it up to Lanai to my roommates was sound asleep and he said there in the darkness of the night under the mosquito net. I flashed my lights on that little piece of paper and here's what it said and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who been called according to his purpose and the rest of Romans chapter 8 he said I couldn't believe what I was reading I said God here in this prison camp on the first day in years when I was going to disbelieve and you you have followed me with your love with possibly the most precious verse that I needed peace and I got so surprised that this the next day I went to the commanding officer and said do you mind if I clean the latrines again and he said I started to clean the latrines every day to find out that the commanding officer had years ago been given a Bible. He was staring out one page at a time using a test toilet paper every day and he said I was washing it taking and completing the rest of the book of Romans and other parts of the Bible and reading it is my devotions every night. He said finally. They released me from prison a set and I started to build a boat and to escape with about 52 others. One day for Vietcong came and grabbed me and said again. Somebody us told us of trying to escape is that true, and he said no it's not true.
They pressured him and he said no it's not true. He lied to them and they left him moments after they left him.
He and said I wept alone in my room and I said, there I go again God trying to run my own life while you have followed me with your love for so long. He said I prayed a prayer and hoped it would never be answered.
I said God. If you send those four men back to me again I will tell them the truth and it was only hours before, if not minutes before they were to set sail these four men came grabbed him by the collar random against the wall and said we know you are trying to escape. Is that true inset.
I look them in the eye and said yes what are you going to do put me back in prison.
They said no we want to go with you and the four of the Vietcong got on the boat with him. He said brother Robbie Bieber slept on the high seas with wild storms. We would never have made it except for these four men and this could bring ability who brought us safely to Thailand and ultimately as the United States opened its door.
He and came to the United States, finished his degree at Berkeley. Now he is working as a businessman.
He came and visited us here in Atlanta sat at our kitchen table with my children and within gentlest of voice reminded them of something that the love of God is so precious that he follows you an all is you even of the darkest moments of your life.
You have to be graduates to appreciate the wisdom of Robbie's message plus tooth of the mind sections of the hot we can all benefit from remembering that there are some things we must learn to forget loan path that ends that we should. Barry undergoes grace and then the importance of remembering God as he means through life's constant challenges. If you like to order a copy of today's message cool is that 1-800-448-6766 and after the message title pulses of the mind affections of the hearts if he perfect order online.
Visit our firstname.lastname@example.org or is that I am.ca and Canada.
Hello this is Ravi Zacharias. Listen to these words from Philippians chapter 4 verses six and seven do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
My prayer for you is that you will truly find comfort in these words, my people think is in his thinking ministry ancien Jicha