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February 25, 2021 7:00 pm
Zacharias founded and presided over a large ministry bearing his name, with upwards of $25M in annual revenue, that was devoted to defending the Christian faith. He authored over 30 books and was the keynote speaker at major events all over the world, including non-Christian venues of higher education and government.
People mourned when Zacharias died last year of cancer at the age of 70. But when allegations of widespread sexual impropriety and even criminality surfaced, which were confirmed by an investigation, mourning turned to shock and disgust...
Rodney Zacharias, the man who answered life's deepest questions leaves us wondering about the biggest one today as part two to this topic right here in the Christian worldview radio program with the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Host your website is the Christian worldview.thank you for joining us in this part two are topic series on the fall of Ravi Zacharias. Now the word sorted, which is defined as morally ignoble or dirty is a tragic but appropriate way to describe the story of Ravi Zacharias one of the world's most well-known evangelical leaders and influencers. Zacharias founded and presided over a large ministry bearing his own name with upwards of $25 million in annual revenue that was devoted to apologetics or defending the Christian faith. He authored over 30 books and was the keynote speaker at major events all over the world including many non-Christian venues as well in higher education and in government. No one Zacharias died last year of cancer at the age of 70 people mourned all over the world, but in the subsequent months when allegations of widespread sexual impropriety and even criminality surfaced which were confirmed by an independent investigation by the ministry itself morning turned to shock and discussed the last week in part one we discussed Ravi Zacharias's extensive background leading up to the allegations. I think it's important understand about who he is and how he came to be the person that was so well known in Christian apologetics this week and part two. Discuss how could this happen to such a prominent Christian teacher nephew missed the program last week. You're just a very quick review. We first answered the question. Should we even be discussing this and the answer is yes.
I believe the Bible details soon. Even great sin of many of its characters. There is the example of Lot, the nephew of Abraham getting drunk and impregnating his daughters in a couple of sharp listeners pointed out the fact. I mentioned that was Noah who did that Noah did get drunk and it was his sons who saw his nakedness, but it was a lot to got drunk and impregnated his own daughter. So I make sure I made that correction.
The example of David King David, a man after God's own heart committing adultery and murder of Bathsheba's husband Peter's betrayal of Christ, so you look at Scripture in Scripture doesn't hide the great sins of some of its great leaders and you wonder why well because I think they're supposed to be examples for us when we hear about them. They hear about their stories. We should fear that if some of the great characters of Scripture fell while there is that possibility within us as well. So Christians often look the other way on these kinds of things. I don't think that's a good way to handle these kinds of things I think we need number one need to discuss these things with humility. First Corinthians 10 says therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall so we need to know as we discussed us that don't sit here in judgment in all I would never do something like that or I'm beyond that, no, let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
We also need to discuss this to increase our own fear of God, that fear is something that is commanded actually so much. In Scripture, just one passage. You mentioned several last week. Proverbs 16 six by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil other words, if you have a great reverence, and all in a literal fear of offending God, and the resulting consequence that will help keep you away from sin.
I think another thing why it's helpful to discuss is that we need to know how to overcome these kinds of temptation. It says in first Corinthians 10 that there's no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man. This isn't this is an out there. Ravi Zacharias is in the only one that some unusual or unique temptation to him know this is common to man in the hope comes the promise comes but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it and we'll get into that passage a little later in the program today to find out what that means just to further review a little more from last week who is Ravi Zacharias in case your tuning in this week and didn't hear last week's program. Who is this man will he was born in India in 1946, he professed to come to saving faith in Christ at age 17. From that point on he devoted his life to speaking for Christ.
He became an internationally known speaker on Christianity.
He founded our GIM which is the Ravi Zacharias International ministries money.
Think of the name Ravi Zacharias your you're talking about one of the top 10 or 15 most well-known evangelicals in the world and we close last week saying that he died of cancer in May 2020 had a really difficult form of cancer that took his life quickly. He was from Atlanta where he was, where his ministry was located and it was a really big news when he got cancer and died so shortly thereafter, but then after his death, things began to surface about Ravi Zacharias that all of a sudden change the complete perspective and perception of him. This is from Wikipedia Canadian woman named Lori Ann Thompson and her husband. They sent a demand letter to Zacharias requiring him to pay $5 million in exchange for them refraining from filing a lawsuit that would've accused Zacharias of impropriety involving an exchange of text messages between Lori and Thompson and Zacharias. She had texted nude photos of herself to Zacharias. There was a a S settlement apparently was settled in November 2017, Zacharias denied being wrongfully involved with her. He said he been absolutely faithful to his own wife that he failed to exercise wise caution and to protect himself from even the appearance of impropriety. So there was that in the background that raise some eyebrows at the particular time, but it seemed to be someone who is trying to extort Ravi Zacharias and in and get money out of them based on some false allegation will turned out not to be false to turn out to be true. That was the first tremor back in 2017 of what turned out to be a terrible earthquake, as the end of the year came in 2020, and this investigation came out in will just earlier this month. So, in light of all this Ravi Zacharias International ministries hired an investigative firm named Miller and Martin and they just recently really released a 12 page report on their investigation of Ravi Zacharias and you can read this online is pretty widely available now. In that report. There is much not to be read on Christian radio.
So I'm just going to give a sampling today in the program and they're all good to be direct quotes from the report.
This is public information. Again, this is not hearsay. This is a widespread deep investigation.
They did of all these allegations that came in against Ravi Zacharias and frankly it's quite painful to read it sickening to read.
Actually it's shocking to read but again ignoring it door or looking away is not what the Bible does in instances like this, there is the Wert, the passing of Scripture.
It's a shame to speak about those things done by them in secret. So, in light of that, and in light of the fact that the Bible does does describe some of the sin of its prominent characters. I will be try to be as explicit as the Bible is in situations like this no more explicit but no less explicit as well, but just took to briefly summarize the report. There is a a combination of consensual coercive and criminal yes criminal sexual activity by Ravi Zacharias and I believe that he if he were alive today he would likely be arrested and prosecuted for the widespread nature of his I guess you could only call it predatory sexual behavior, the report says. We reviewed Mr. Zacharias's electronic devices and found evidence of text and email based relationships with women who were not his wife, as well as over 200 self E style photographs of women.
So women took selfies of themselves or sending them to Ravi Zacharias.
There were over 200 massage therapist contacts in Mr. Zacharias's phones, including many from overseas. Five. Therapist reported that he touched or rub them inappropriately.
Again, I'm keeping out some of the more graphic revelations in this report.
Only one of the witnesses we interviewed. This is from report said that Mr. Zacharias engaged in sexual intercourse. This witness reported details of many encounters over a period of years that she described as rape. There is the criminal aspect of this. She reported that after he arranged for the ministry to provide her with financial support she required sex from her. According to this witness, Mr. Zacharias used religious expressions to gain compliance as she was raised to be a person of faith. She reported that he made her pray with him to thank God for the court opportunity.
They both received.
She said he called her his quote reward for living a life of service to God. Any reference the quote godly men in the Bible with more than one wife. She said he warned her not to ever speak out against him or she would be responsible for the quote millions of souls whose salvation would be lost if his reputation was damaged unquote the report goes on to say the four phones that Mr. Zacharias used in that our GIM provided to us for this investigation also provided significant compelling evidence.
For example, in the notes application. Mr. Zacharias Translations of certain words and phrases in Thai and in Mandarin is used to go to the Southeast Asia quite a bit.
The Thai phrases included quote. I miss you so much I want to see your face again. I'm leaving out a lot here. I like to have a beautiful memory with you skipping much further down here in addition to communications in Mr. Zacharias's phones contained over 200 photographs of women much younger than him, including six of Lori and Thompson. She was a Canadian woman who were the first allegation surface several years ago, and dozens of photographs he took of himself again skipping down a little more here.
In addition to finding alone time when you travel with others. Mr. Zacharias traveled alone to Bangkok and other parts of Southeast Asia for substantial periods of time. Our CIM staff describe these trips as quote writing trips were he would work on his latest book on such trips, he would stay for days and sometimes weeks alone, according to a text message to a time masseuse in February 2016. He spent his days writing in his nights receiving massage quote treatments several our CIM staff reported to us his shifting narrative because this is where they serve the confront him on the questions about what he was doing as emails and other relevant facts were publicly leaked and he was forced to explain them rather than fostering an environment of truth seeking and transparency. Here's the cover up the deceit.
Mr. Zacharias was strident and inflammatory. He described his critics as nasty people. "Lunatics who are engaging in quote satanic type slander and falsehood to high level staff from our CIM approached him directly asking for the phone records since he claimed they would prove exculpatory both of the staff members told us Mr. Zacharias responded to this request with rage and threatened to resign from the organization. So it is very clear from this report is little more to go here that there were people inside our GIM even high-level people that were approaching Ravi Zacharias about these allegations and they were getting straight answers they were getting a lot of angry retort to questions about what was going on several our CIM staff reported to us that they were concerned about Mr. Zacharias is traveling with a personal masseuse, not because they feared actual impropriety because they fear the appearance of impropriety will will good for them for thinking that. Finally, a Wikipedia concludes the board of our CIM stated it was shocked and grieved by Ravi's actions for this report came out and apologized to his victims or to the said quote. Words cannot come close to expressing the sorrow that we feel for what you have been through, or the gratitude we feel for the bravery with which you have responded so what can one say to all that and there's more. There's much more that I didn't even read Ravi Zacharias, the famed Christian apologist wasn't unrepentant adulterer and deceiver in thought and deed, and now I know that's hard to sink into really comprehend to process if you're like me and hurt him on the radio and heard him speak anew about his books and so forth. But there's no other conclusion that can be made then that she harmed these women's lives. I know some of it may been consensual but some was clearly coercive and somewhat potentially criminal as well. He harmed their lives. He harmed obviously his wife. You can imagine what she must be going through their children, his ministry, of course, is a complete shambles likely going to be disbanded, probably in some ways. Who knows what's going to happen there and Christians himself. People who followed Ravi Zacharias learn from him obviously are completely probably many of them just disillusioned about who is this man that I was following.
He was living a double life a secret life. He shamed and disqualified himself, but the greatest offense above all these things of whom he harmed more than even in the women in his own wife and family in the ministry and Christians who listen to them the greatest offense at any of us can do is to bring shame to the name of Jesus Christ or to God himself.
You recall what the prophet Nathan said to King David when he confronted him after his adultery of what with the Bathsheba and the murder of Bathsheba's husband Uriah. He said this line which should be emblazoned across her mind weren't tempted to sin. He said to David, you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord, to blaspheme vets from second Samuel chapter 12 and it's absolutely the case when we sin we give occasion to nonbelievers of the enemies of the cross, to blaspheme the name of Christ. Nothing more serious than that the Christian worldview. David Wheaton returns in just a moment the new year has brought new features to the Christian worldview radio program first good news for those who don't have an affiliate station in their area and those who subscribe to a free podcast, the latest program will now be email@example.com VR podcast feed at 8 AM central time on Saturdays. Short takes will also be released on Mondays. Following the weekend during the program. These bite-size highlights are great for those who don't have time to listen to the full 54 minute broadcast short takes can be heard at our website podcast feed or social media pages on Facebook and YouTube for more updates, program previews and resources.
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At first the deceiving and the rationalizing about how how can that be know the answer to that is comes directly from Jeremiah 17 nine the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick. Who can understand it and I heard someone say one time. The human mind can rationalize any sin and that's absolutely the truth and so you look at this you realize how wicked and how sinful our human hearts can be in our there's been so many examples of these kinds of things in the past.
So maybe we shouldn't be too surprised when it happens but I think we always are to a certain standpoint, especially when it's from a highly respected Christian leader. Think about the president of the national Association of Evangelicals. Ted Haggard never he had to resign years ago after a sexual scandal or Jerry Falwell Junior, the president of Liberty University resigned or was let go. I think it was a not too long ago, after some sexual impropriety from him or his wife or something. They are Carl Lentz, the pastor of Hill song in New York recently was was let go after committing adultery. Another one that you may have not heard of a man art as earlier. I remember he was a speaker at the shepherd's conference that I attend most every year and I'd heard him speak that year and he's an excellent preacher, both in a few months after the conference else and it came out that he was involved in a adulteress relationship register shock now there'll be more in the future. This is going to be the last. Ravi Zacharias is maybe the last name on the list, but the question goes back to how can a respected Christian leader be studying the word preaching about the faith publicly and then be hypocritically living in denial of it privately.
I think that that's the hard thing to understand the sexual drive is one of the most powerful human desires. God gives us the sexual drive to be used in ways that honor him. Whether it's intimacy and unity of the marital relationship for procreation having children advancing the continuing that the human race so sex is beautiful gift when used as God and intends it to be used, and as he commands it to be. This is not a dirty thing but it becomes dirty becomes perverse when it's used in a way that God never intended and doesn't command it to be used.
You read in first John chapter 2, where it gives these categories, the big three of temptations that we face it says for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the father but is from the world have always wondered about those three big categories, the lust of the flash, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life and what temptations or what sins do they refer to the loss of the flash seems to me to be temptations to please our physical appetites.
In this, that that's where the sexual drive would come in, or even to please our bodies with like a gluttony or food or so forth are so there's a fleshly lust to please our physical appetites, the lust of the eyes. There is that the temptation to please what we desire in life not so much a physical appetites but things we desire. Like, gaining possessions, materialism, money agreed those types of things is the lust of the eyes we see things and we want those things then the third category is that the boastful pride of life.
I think this is the category of temptations. It has to deal with gaining power or attaining position in life or pride about who I am and where I where I am, those kind of encapsulate some of the major temptations that all that is in the world as it says in first John chapter 2 now we expect nonbelievers to to follow after those lust right they don't have the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is given to believers at the the moment of justification to help us live out the Christian life and in a way pleasing to God. So we don't expect nonbelievers to act or to live like believers visit on the power inside to do so.
That's the only reason a believer can live a life honoring to God is because they have the Holy Spirit of God living within them. But when Ravi Zacharias or any Christian lives in a sinful way, a shockingly sinful way the conclusion the world makes is that following God doesn't change you on the inside it's just it's just a way you're trying to live on the outside it doesn't change the way you you actually live your life.
It doesn't give you victory over temptation you're no different. You're just a hypocrite. So why would I become a Christian. It's obvious that Ravi Zacharias lost the battle of this sexual temptation in his mind a long time ago, and that's where the battle needs to be one when it's lost in the mind in the thoughts.
Sin eventually will come out you can't Sin you can't be festering lost inside your mind and not overcoming it. Not repenting of it and having mastery over it before too long it's going to come out in a sinful action. It says this and in James chapter 1 verse 13 let no one say when he is tempted I am being tempted by God for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone.
And here's a key verse 14 but each one each one of us is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Verse 16 it closes by saying, do not be deceived, my beloved brother, Nestor, James, sin is conceived in her mind and then it gives birth sin is birth, interactions, and we continue habitually and sin, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived. It's a great way that pathogens don't be deceived, my beloved brother another adobes deceived by this sequence of what takes starts in your mind becomes an action which becomes a habit which becomes leads to spiritual death. Don't be deceived by your own weakness and I read that and I think I remember very well my own sin my own life back before I came to saving faith in Christ. When I was 24 years old. I was a professing Christian growing up, but I remember very well in my late teens and early 20s, a time a life when I was professing to be a follower of Christ, but dishonoring God in the way I was living my life and I look back at that time and in shutter and I shutter and also in the in thankfulness how God led me to repentance and see my need to be right with him to see my sin for what it was a offense against him in and lead me to saving faith in Christ as that just my Savior but to commit to follow him as Lord, and he gave me the Holy Spirit and began to help me overcome the things in my life that I previously couldn't overcome in the process of doing that. He he increase my my fear of him my reverence for him.
My love for him so that when were tempted. We think in terms of how not, how can I get away with this, or how can I please myself and get away with this, but that boy how could I do this great evil and sin against God.
Okay, so we'll go from the how could this happen? Two really the biggest question here that maybe is an unknowable question but the fact that we would have to ask.
It is extremely troubling. The question is this is this man Ravi Zacharias who spoke about God eloquently about God, was he actually right with God, was he actually born again and the question is not how could a Christian sin, all Christian sin. But Christians according to Scripture, don't practice sin without repentance is not a habitual characteristic of their life.
They may sin the Mason for a time but then they come to confess and repent of it when they realize they've sinned against God, not the question here was she actually said because it appears that he was practicing sin that Ravi Zacharias understood the gospel I will play another soundbite here were she talks about that our greatest need in life is for forgiveness that is really the heart of the gospel that were sinners and we are greatest need is forgiveness from the God who created us, that will be or just judge someday and that forgiveness can only be given through the person in the work of Jesus Christ in our behalf. Here's Ravi Zacharias heart of the Christian message is this unique thing we call forgiveness at the heart of the message is this unique thing we call forgiveness. I dare you to look at any other worldview.
I don't even need to name them. Look at any pantheistic worldview.
Look at any other monotheistic worldview and you will find out one way the on the other. You are way in the balances and is one of them will say your righteous deeds your unrighteous deeds out in the pantheistic worldview.
It is, you pay you pay you pay one way or the other you paying the Christian faith is unique in giving you the joy and the beauty of forgiveness at one of the most exorbitant prices ever.
The very son of God says I forgive you.
I forgive you. Remember, the same Jim Baker who was at the helm of PTL years ago, and that Empire fell so sadly is about six in the morning when I heard the news in the 80s and I was heading out play a game of racquetball. When I turned it on and heard that news I pulled up on the side of the road. I said this in a change the landscape for evangelicalism for sure and ended forgiveness is a huge burden falling off your shoulders like pilgrim comes to the hill and the first angel of dong says, thy sins be forgiven. The in the back back burden of sin falls off pilgrim again that's Ravi Zacharias and that is literally haunting to listen to knowing what his life turned out to be, and I just pray before she met God after his death that she had repented of the grievous sin that he had been conducting in his life, but you can see from that that soundbite there that she understood the gospel he understood that all the religions are all about working to attain forgiveness from God and whereas true biblical Christianity is not our own work, but the work of Jesus Christ in our behalf putting our faith in his work on the cross and not our own works. So he understood that, so how does someone who understands the gospel and professes to believe in Christ. It was he actually right with God that I don't think we can know the answer to that for sure because we can't know what is believing in his heart for sure. But the Bible does say clearly that those who practice sin unrepentant only will not inherit the kingdom of God, perhaps, that the scariest passage in all Scripture Matthew seven, part of the sermon on the Mount by Jesus. She says this. Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father who is in heaven will enter first. 22 many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demons in your name perform many miracles. First 23 and then I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from me, you who practice lawlessness. So, apparently, according to Jesus, we can call him Lord, we can prophesy in his name we can cast out demons in his name perform many miracles. All you do all these great things we think are doing and then we stand be for him. She can say to us. I never knew you depart from me, you who practice lawlessness is the practicing the unrepentant practicing of sin, lawlessness, that is the differentiation so that that's why we have to even asked this question a man who who speaks about God Ravi Zacharias was he actually right with God because there's no report or no evidence that there was that there was ever any repentance he he was practicing. This is a pattern of his life for year after year after year with no end point of saying how hot I got a come clean on this before God and men. Galatians 5 says the same thing but I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh sets his desire against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, for these are in opposition to one another so that you may not do the things that you please others out there's a battle going on inside of the believer. There's the Holy Spirit there's our flesh that part of us that never gets redeemed part of our our dying fleshly body that has sinful desires. A battle there is says this now, the, the deeds of the flesh are evident. This is what the flesh wants to do a morality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, all four of those deal with sexual sins, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, with a long list of sins, of which I forewarn you, Paul writes, just as I have forewarned you that those who hear this word again practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God and I for one know what that word practice means I've used to be a tennis player who would quote practice all the time is something that you do as a pattern of your life day after day after day is not something you can't do in a one-off time. It's something that that is a pattern of your life, and Ravi Zacharias according to this investigation was a practicing adulterer, a fornicator, there's no report that he ever repented, even on his deathbed. So to answer this most difficult question. Only God knows his heart those she harmed can trust in the justice of God. God justly deals with each of us for our sin, but those people he harm these women and other people who are offended by what he did. They can't use Ravi Zacharias as an excuse like oh there's too many hypocrites in the church. They can't blame him for not receiving the offer of forgiveness and reconciliation by God through his son Jesus Christ. They also need to be reconciled to God. Yes, they were hurt deeply, we can understand and empathize with that they, too, as we hope Ravi Zacharias may have before he died, came to repent of his practicing of sin, the Christian worldview returns in just a moment.
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The new year has brought new features to the Christian worldview radio program first good news for those who don't have an affiliate station in their area and those who subscribe to a free podcast, the latest program will now be firstname.lastname@example.org VR podcast feed at 8 AM central time on Saturdays. Short takes will also be released on Mondays. Following the weekend during the program. These bite-size highlights are great for those who don't have time to listen to the full 54 minute broadcast short takes can be heard at our website podcast feed or social media pages on Facebook and YouTube for more updates, program previews and resources sure to sign up for our free weekly email by visiting the Christian worldview.org or calling one AAA 646-2233. That's one AAA 646-2233 or visiting the Christian worldview.org thanks for joining us on the Christian worldview. Just a reminder that today's program and pass programs are archived at our website.
Christian worldview.org things are also available and be sure to share with others. Now back to today's program with host David. We focus of the next question is what should happen now. Should Ravi Zacharias International ministries be disbanded and folded. Should his books and messages be removed as a part of Castle culture is the truth that he spoke, actually not. The truth will to answer that one quickly.
Of course not. Truth is never dependent on the person speaking the truth is always depend on the God who establish his truth. So even though he spoke out the truth. That doesn't mean it wasn't truth just means he wasn't living that truth now, James White, who is a Christian apologist actually himself for the is the director of Alpha and Omega ministries. He wrote a Facebook post in room in response to what happened with Ravi Zacharias and he really brings out some some good points. One of them has to do with what should happen to the ministry itself is that I will be blunt here are CIM does not need to be hiring consultants and embarking on an apology to her legacy ministry requires a legacy in Zacharias's legacy is now something you do not want perpetuated.
I believe the need to distribute their resources to other ministries close the doors and turn off the lights when I have young men come to me asking how to quote get into apologetics. I throw as much cold water on them as I can. I always tell them they must either work as apologetics as part of the ministry of the church they must beat churchmen balanced and rooted I could name. Right now I doesn't apologist who might darken the door of the same church once a month at best, such should not be the case in the Zacharias situation explains why I think it's a very well spoken point by James White will talk a bit more about being under the authority of a local church in just a second.
Again we view the example of King David in the Bible.
She send well his book of Psalms. Many of the Psalms that he wrote are still in the Bible, same with King Solomon. Many of his Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and the song of Solomon were written by King Solomon and both of them had sexual sin in their life. Mafic Solomon ended his life very very badly. He was the wisest man who ever lived. The Bible says about the end of his wife many foreign women. He had was a thousand wives 700 wives and 300 concubines or something turned his heart away from the Lord. Yet there what they wrote is still in Scripture. This is a disqualifying sin for a Christian teacher or pastor which is really the position evenly was an official pastor. He was a Christian teacher first Timothy three says if it is a trustworthy statement. If any man aspires to the office of an overseer or an elder or teacher is a fine work he desires to do verse to an overseer that must be above reproach, the husband of one wife can print prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine pugnacious but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money and the situation with Zacharias fails on many of the levels there. This is disqualifying for someone like this to remain in ministry and the legacy after he's gone by thigh think should be discontinued may imagine someone reading one of Ravi Zacharias's books now about God or some philosophical question or the gospel itself and then finding out that he was in fact a sexual predator, which is what the investigation found out I mean the response of that person would be. You mean I can believe this, what he's writing, but then live a completely different way. As he was. I agree with James White's if I were a bookstore or radio station.
I would not feature his content is purely a simply for the just the confusing nature of the might disillusion someone who reads and finds out that he was completely living. Living a life in opposition of what he taught. The final thing were going to discuss today about the situation and were going to leave the story of Joseph and how to overcome sexual temptation for for next week is this there. There are many things to learn in summary from this situation of Ravi Zacharias that number one.
Our hearts are sinful and wicked, and if you are not restrained by God in his word, and the Holy Spirit.
We can be immersed in ministry and also be immersed in sin.
That's how duplicitous our hearts can be.
That's one big thing we can learn another thing we can learn is how a lack of accountability fosters this kind of sexual sin. James White had written about. He wasn't probably part of a local church that he that he knew about. At least he writes apologist have a tendency of fatal tendency in my observation, they are not churchmen by and large they are often on the fringes often away from the fellowship often aloof.
I have no idea what church Ravi Zacharias was a member of, or if he even held membership formally anywhere. I don't know that either. But reading the report showed me that he was very rarely in whatever fellowship that would've been who were his elders who had oversight not of some huge empire of finances and organizations, but of his teaching and preaching or did he quote preach it all in a proper sense of a balanced regular Scripture based ministry. I don't see how he could do that when spending literally months alone overseas that's in James White.
As of this is a textbook example of disregarding what the Bible says about a man in ministry. He wasn't under the authority that at least we know of the local church. He wasn't in fellowship in a local church, far as we know, every Christian needs to be under the authority of a sound local biblical church God is established that authority for protection and are on our benefit and not so typical in the case of people who travel to speak over the world are Christians speaking on Christianity, but the not part of or under the authority of a local church. He was gone all the time speaking all over the world with little accountability when he was doing so, he was spending time alone from his wife and his family on these long trips he was putting himself in tempting situations and you add all that together and frankly none of this is very surprising that it happened because you can't break these laws of God. Put yourself in tempting situations you're going to get burned so that's one of the big lessons here's another lesson. This one comes from Ray comfort the president of living waters ministry who is a well-known evangelist.
The lesson is this preach Jesus Christ far more than apologetics. She wrote a column after the fall of Ravi Zacharias where he said his fall was painful because his name was synonymous with integrity.
He was the gentleman's gentleman, the proud mountain of intellectualism to which we pointed as evidence that Christianity isn't just for the fool on a hill you at the same time, his eloquence concerned me. I often express that concern in a self-deprecating way by saying that a listen to him and all will come away.
Not having a clue what you just said the big lesson we should all take away from this tragic situation with Ravi is to listen to our apologists and ask are they preaching sin, righteousness, and judgment are their hearers being impressed with eloquence or have they been awakened to their terrible danger do they tremble, as did Felix.
After hearing Paul preaching next 24 intellectual preaching produces intellectual converts who name the name of Christ, but are strangers to the new birth. Each of us should be asking if we were talked into our faith, or if we had an encounter with the living God. If we came to the door of argument that all it will take is a better argument to cause us to leave by another door take to heart. Paul's warning about such so-called conversions in first Corinthians 2 and I brother and when I came to you did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And my speech and my teaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God Ray comfort goes on to say, as a ministry. We believe in the use of apologetics as is commanded in first Peter 315, always being ready to give a defense to everyone who asked for a reason for the hope that is in you, but he goes on to say we have a problem. We elevate apologetics above the gospel and never preach the actual good news of salvation. Paul reminds us that is the gospel, not apologetics. That is the power of God unto salvation. So what he saying is it's not that apologetics is wrong or unimportant. But what is most important for someone to be reconciled to God is not believing apologetic arguments about reasons for Christianity, but that they must believe in the person in the work of Jesus Christ on their behalf.
That is the only way someone can be saved and it's a good reminder by Ray comfort. Here's another lesson. If you are enslaved to sin, repent of it now to God and to others. Of those, you are sinning against.
I know that's hard to do but it's better to get right with God and others. Now then phase God on judgment day later the fear of standing before God in heaven give an account of our life and being a professing follower of his but all this practicing of sin that you put fear in us from when we face the first temptation to go down that particular dark road.
Another lesson we can take away from this is that this can happen to anyone, but there's a big but here, but it's not random like we have absolutely no control, like someone comes up behind us and pushes us off a cliff and I had no control, just standing there know back to that verse that we read earlier in the program from first Corinthians 10.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man. So we all attempted and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. So were not just random bad luck that you we go down the sinful roads, no temptations we face are common, and God is faithful.
He doesn't let us get tempted beyond the were able to bear to provide a way of escape, so that will be able to endure another word. When we sin, we are purposely driving past the off ramps of the freeway to sin that God is providing what is driving right past him. He's providing he's off ramps that we just go barreling down the road we can overcome temptation. God is providing ways of escape, but we need to take those avenues of escape, that God is offering to us. You think back to the story of Cain, the son of Adam and Eve back in Genesis, for Cain had killed his brother Abel.
Cain had brought his own sacrifice of sacrifice that he thought would be good to sacrifice to God. He was jealous and angry at his brother, who brought the sacrifice that God commanded and God told Cain when he confronted him, sin is crouching at the door and its desire is for you but you must master it other words, sin can be mastered, it can be overcome and that's where the life of Joseph comes in because the life of Joseph inscriptions lots of principles in Scripture commands flee immorality.
Although things will get into that, but the life of Joseph is the personalized illustration of how to face sexual temptation and how to overcome it. And that's were going to get into next week on the program suck on your part three, and Ravi Zacharias. This can be a program on one of the biggest temptations in the biggest ways that so many Christians are get embroiled in enslaved to sin, start practicing it. Whether it's sexual immorality. Whether it's pornography whether it's lost in the mind so many different ramifications in ways it is manifested in so next week I hope you'll tune into that program because it's a super important thing for us to understand how to overcome sexual temptation. If you missed any.
The program today. You can always go to the website the Christian.org to hear the program again, thank you for listening because we do live obviously in a very challenging world in which there is much temptation to sin. We do not want to end up on life living in a way that's dishonoring to God who has hurt other people through our sin. So there is one thing Christian.
We can always trust in encounter.
The Bible says Jesus Christ and his word. They are the same yesterday today and forever, when we rely on him and his word and empowered by the Holy Spirit we can, with God's strength, overcome temptation, we will take those ways of escape, that God provides. Until next time think biblically live accordingly and stand firm.
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