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October 31, 2020 1:00 am
What are you passionate about? Having a cause helps give your life meaning, but is there one cause that's more important? This week on Let My People Think, RZIM's Founder, the late Ravi Zacharias, takes a look at our purpose in life.
I the Vice Chancellor of the University and rudeness tried to tear everything not set apart, and even shut the microphone off what I was trying to make a response and you sit there literally with a quivering limb and say why do I have to go through this back to let my people think standing up for the gospel can be difficult and often comes with heartache and ridicule way to endure the hardships and still be seen by God does weekly land. What Jesus Christ himself towards as the most important reason for living on Sam's found that the late Ravi Zacharias said without some missionary I did know I'm Judson came to believe in that same cool is why he was galvanized to change every part of his life for the sake of the gospel for Judson and for us as well. The way to ensure the struggles to stay in place to save yet as possible and that means bathing our lives in Pratt. That's listening now, as Ravi concludes his message is that notes accordance I don't know how many of you have read CS Lewis's book letters to Malcolm chiefly on prayer only he can get away with a title like that if I wrote a thought like that nobody by letters to Malcolm chiefly on prayer and in his book he has this particular poem. He says you know Lord everywhere I go. They tell me that prayer is a monologue that you're not really listening. I'm talking into the air and there is no voice returning every time I talk it sort of evaporates into something and doesn't autosuggestion the process where I assume that your listening in your answering back and he said Lord I don't know how to respond to them. They keep saying there's only one voice you're not there I'm dreaming, and so on and CS Lewis always had an answer to these people and eroded in the poem form they tell me, Lord, that when I pray only one voice is heard that you are no there that I am dreaming and this whole thing is absurd and he goes to build the skeptics don't and then ends it with this response, he says maybe Lord there right, maybe they're right. Maybe there's only one voice that that's heard. But if they are right that there's only one voice that certain whether wrong is if there is only one voice is not mine, but it's yours.
I am not dreaming. You are the dreamer and I am your dream if there is only one voice, Lord, it is not mine.
It is yours. You are doing the dreaming and I am your dream. Listen to what the early St. Chrysostom said about prayer.
The potency of prayer had subdued the strength of fire.
It had bridled the rage of lions in hushed anarchy to rest it has extinguished wars appease the elements and expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun and its cost arrest of the progress of the thunderbolt prayer is an all sufficient panoply of mind which is never diminished.
A treasure which is never exhausted, a sky obscured by the clouds of heaven's unruffled by the storm. It is the root the fountain in the mother of a thousand blessings is that mere rhetoric if you go back every one of them has a scriptural reference. May I ask you when was the last time you got on your knees and prayed for the Islamic nations the gospel would make a penetration there.
When was the last time you rose up long before the sun had arisen and recognize that the burden beating up on your soul was the burden of the world that needed to be one not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of God so that we prayed that moment in prayer. You see, I think Leonard Ravenhill is right.
He said when they had prayed, the place was shaken. He said our preoccupation is when we have paid the places taken.
He said we got that preoccupation with structures while the early church had its preoccupation with communicating and communing with Almighty God. If there is one challenge I leave with all of you tonight as I leave it with myself. The most important thing in your life is your personal devotional study each day.
If you fail there you will fail everywhere. If you fail, there you will fail everywhere get back to your home and form a systematic study for this kind cometh not out except by fasting and prayer, sensing that burden, meeting it with prayer thoroughly and quickly he went into the proximity of the situation and saw the destroyed walls and began to realize that that's where he was going to have his labor cut out.
Sometimes I have to admit I live with a little bit of fear. I have breached in countries where I've had to had soldiers standing around me guarding with their guns for threat upon our lives. I was speaking in one Middle Eastern country where, in the late at night when I just walked in a man phone and threatened my wife's life my families life and my life. Our lives were in danger and Sarah was in the next room.
We were living in a suite in this hotel in Amman and as she was soundly asleep there I be honest with you.
We even went to bed with a dresser placed against outdoor for fear that night we going to be victimized by his attacks and my daughter has never ever done this before and never done it since argue tell you the terror that struck our hearts that night at about 130 in the morning. Suddenly she let out a bloodcurdling's dream, and we leapt out of their both of us ran to the door where Sarah was sound asleep and as surely as I exist.
My heart was pounding as hard as I possibly think it good for a moment terror was the only way I could describe my feelings. Thankfully it was a bad dream. But you turn around to me and say, is it fun doing that know it really isn't. As a matter fact, sometimes I wish I had the money to pay somebody else in order to do it. You go into these settings and you faced the onslaught with two friends. I was having dinner tonight and sharing the intimidation of an audience in one of India's cities by the Vice Chancellor of the University and rudeness tried to tear everything I've set apart, and even shut the microphone off while I was trying to make a response and you sit there literally with a quivering lemon thing. Why do I have to go through this. One of the reasons I do is because I believe the problem is many of us are waiting for them to come here and they're not coming.
Jesus never said to wait for them to come and he told us to go there. Think of our university students of today. Please think of them. Some of them sit in front of professors of philosophy who tear their faith to shreds. Some of them are pining for someone to come and help them to give a viable answer they're living in a soap operatic world where sensuality is offered to them every day that they go into those classes and sometimes I feel a guilt within my own heart that we as evangelists have betrayed our thinking people.
We have breached soul simplistically and I don't mean simply simply is different to simplistically we breached soul simplistically and taken volumes of problems and shrunk them into simple statement we've told people that when they make that response. All of their problems are immediately solved, neither of which are true you found the source of the solution and it's only the beginning.
But there's a backhoe that dominates you as you try to serve the Lord and the plurality of questions in the scientific worldview and the philosophical worldview on their and the charge needs to go where the walls are broken two of the most powerful instruments we have within us, our youth in our community. In the business world and we need to move in and get closer and closer. Remember what I said. Charlie starts comment some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell. I want to run a rescue yard within a mile of hail within a yard of hail may I encourage you as a believing person to go out there to meet with the neighbor to talk to him to meet with a friend when you're sitting in a plane or traveling somewhere in a bus or a train talk to the person next to you while flying and I was talking to a young military man going into Fort Bragg. I was telling your pastor that he said to me as I finish talking when I told him I was an evangelist and always. I'm not sure whether I should tell them that because the start looking into up and down wondering whether this free come from. So he looks at me and says you are the first man of your profession I've ever talked to it as he began to unfold the loneliness of his own travels in his own life. He made my tasks simpler, the longer he taught we get close to rebuild the walls falsely and quickly he went and saw the walls as bad as they were. He came back with a sense of hope. He came back with a sense of hope. I am optimistic about what can happen here. Speaking of the University of Georgia last week, a professor who is a professor of radiology in cancer. He now is the chief director of that radiology unit in Athens, Georgia. A gentleman who came to see me after my lecture at Athens.
There he came to me and grabbed my hand and he said 10 years ago I was a professor at the University of Yale is that somebody gave me a tape and he named the tape of my subject. It was all delusions of our culture.
He said I heard that tape but my knees and give my life to Jesus Christ, professor at the University of Yale. I'm embarrassed to sell that tape today. We don't even have it available.
It's 10 years old and yet he phone the next they want to know we had any in stock and that my secretary said yeah but it's 10 years old.
Robbie is him breeze that he said that's the one I want the tremendous, tremendous sense of hope meeting this dear couple before the evening service so that the unfortunate experience of losing their boy in his mid-20s there and yet to know that 10 years ago God spoke to his life in a camp in the conference. Isn't it wonderful to know that God reinforces that hope and encourages you that it can be done.
Let me give you a classic illustration of this Amsterdam 83. My wife and I sitting around a big table having dinner with about eight Middle Eastern leaders planning for this year and I was kind of in a daze, sometimes in a big group letter that I use it to check out and mentally. Wander across the globe.
I remember recently some time ago. Being in Florida at the head table, ready to speak at a banquet. I didn't realize why everybody was staring at me and let suddenly dawned on me what I was doing mentally.
I checked out and I picked up my cup of fruit with huge chunks of watermelon and all those things and I was actually drinking it.
And as they all were looking at me. You know I put it down and I said leave it to a cultural hangover. If you would please and put it down right there, but Margie jabbed me and she knows when I checked out.
She stopped me in the middle of every sentence, and so the listening and I can't get away with it anymore. I use to.
She looks at me and says you know who we having dinner with somebody mean, do we know who we having dinner with. I was long-lost you could come with me to have dinner was. I know she's another unit will be having dinner with. I said yes dinner with Sammy.
She said no she is not good, not getting the point.
I said what you mean. She said you know where they come from.
And as we sat around this hotel in Amsterdam.
It suddenly hit me. The man in front of me was Lebanese. The man next to him. Money should Roche was Palestinian man next to him.
Funny Howdy was sitting and as you went right around, you realize that these fellows belong to countries and groups that nationally were at war with each other and the only time they even mentioned it was when the bill came and send me the Lebanese grabbed it and on Easter Palestinian grabbed it and said and he said he had give it to me or I'll use my machine gun on you & me always having the last word grabbed it away from him and said oh no my friend, you can't afford it I can. I have American a you know it's marvelous, it's marvelous. It is only the fact that these things are recorded that keep me from telling you the in-depth stories. Maybe I'll tell you this because it would not be a betrayal. Sammy dagger was instrumental in bringing Franklin Graham back to the Lord, the son of Billy Franklin was in Beirut a loser and the lost hanging around with a life completely confused and Sammy was instrumental in bringing Franklin to Christ, and Sammy didn't even know who Billy Graham was these are the man. And when I drive through the streets of Beirut go right up to the city of Sidon, and I see bullnose down buildings because they have been ruined by bombings. When I see vast villages like the village of Dunmore, which means love burned by one of the factions shortly before trying to get into Beirut. This time the Druze and the Shiites were involved in a tank and an artillery battle, deciding whose flag was going to be flying on the building for independence and you going to some of these countries where terrorist dominates the land where Christians are persecuted by those followers of Christ are in the minority, and yet you drive in this band then seeing Thompson all the ammunition around you still realize that Jesus Christ has a mission and he's found these since people were successfully operating in these countries I have hope that secularism is a pushover. Believers are godly just like the painting called hope you see that man that person clutching over the liar with all the strings apparently broken and despondency is on the face until he gets closer and closer and wonder why it's called hope and then you see closely one string still stands. Josh McDowell was telling me that he is had some of the best meetings in his life. In the last 4 to 5 years and it has to do with relationships and love and human sexuality, thousands of university students are jamming into get in there and I can say to you in the last three years of my ministry. We have never had bigger crowds.
We have never had a better response.
People are coming in by the hundreds and in some instances by the thousands.
Men and women giving their lives to Jesus Christ and I want to leave you with that confidence that there is hope. He looks of the ruined walls and like a brilliant businessman says if that's all. The problem is with it.
Let's go for it, build it fitfully and after that my last thought will be brief. She knew exactly what he was going to need to hear me. He knew exactly what he was going to need give me the letters give me this give me that before I resigned from the seminary. I made this statement and I'm going to make it here. I have serious reservations or whether we prepare our seminary students for into seminary debates or whether we prepare our seminarians for evangelism. Most theological education specializes in health, but they do not understand the disease. I went to a doctor and I said is problems with my kidney and he says that's too bad. I only know what healthy can he looks like I can't help you go to bed one some doctor is in a and yet so many of us have sold the theological dilemmas of schools of thought again and again and again seminarians are preparing other seminarians to deal with the people in Africa do you know who in Ningbo is chances are you will never meet up with an equal anywhere. But we know how to reach the ball but we sit next to a plane on the diamond merchant and we don't know how to talk to him. We got to know what we need fronts of the CC by the way, I won't get sidetracked. I read these books that bless my life so much.
Young Francis as you know was very missionary minded man and shortly after he got into the ministry. One of his eyes began to get disease and he was losing eyesight, and that in a makeshift physician said to him, look, this disease is so bad is going to spread into the other eye and the only way you can keep the disease from spreading is to cauterize the side choice of what he means, and burn it out so Francis said.
How do I do it is I'll do it for you as a young Francis stood there and this man took up burning red hot rod of iron red absolutely burning handles on the day and believe it or not rammed it against the naked eyeball of young Francis and as that grimacing contorted face was betraying that unbearable pain and the I plastered with this burning Roth to get the burning inside the very makeup of the and as he stood there clutching his hands and just in uncontrollable agony. Sometime later, as the wounded begun to heal one of his friends said to him, how come you didn't complain too much about it and he said when I became a servant of Christ. I frankly expected a lot more pain than just a burning eyeball as a matter of fact he loved a girl so dearly so dearly.
He wanted to marry her.
But he knew that if he did, he would have to give up a lot of his lonely call and one night all alone. He went outside and built their forget whether it was the Sanders snore walked he built the shape of the girl that he loved as best as he could see her face. He built two or three little children standing around her and he stared and stared at that makeshift that he had built to remind him of what his family could have been in there on his knees. He sacrificed that delight to the hands of God and never ever again looked back. He buried that desire once and for all and my challenge to you as an individual is what are you going to need to help this world in evangelism can't. And lastly, she did it all to the glory of God.
He did not build that wall because he wanted to put a plaque there saying Nehemiah built it. He did not build that wall because of a personal aggrandizement of personal glory seeking he was not building a personal Empire for anybody's sake, but he built this wall for the glory of God so that men and women in centuries to come would stand there and look at that wall and say to the glory of God.
This wall was built by the engineer Nehemiah when I was in East Germany some years ago wound my way through those narrow streets, and I stood in front of the iron door of the castle church there in Wittenberg. There where Martin Luther had done his thing for the Reformation and as you stand in front of those gates, there carved onto those doors are the words of the 95 theses that he defended and not always remember that first line out of zeal and love for the elucidation of the truth.
The following theses will be debated out of zeal and love for the elucidation of the truth. The following theses will be debated in my final challenge to you and me is this the most powerful evangel is the glory of God dwelling in the midst of his people the most powerful evangel is the glory of God dwelling in the midst of his people. Let me close with this illustration. Please give me your undivided attention. This is pivotal. Peter, James and John climb up on top of the mountain.
The Mount of Transfiguration.
Please allow me to reminisce with you on it, the highest peak in the area. You look in that direction.
You see the spires of Nazareth. He looked down below you see the sprawling jagged valleys and hills of Megiddo. You turn around and there you will see the tender snowcapped peaks of Mount Herman done a little more. You will see the soft gentle waters of the sea of Galilee, all around you, reminiscent of the glory of Christ, his birthplace, the ultimate to Armageddon the Sea of Galilee, where he had done so much of his teaching Mount Herman such a singularly impressive piece in Old Testament history there and you see all these scenes around and I remember planning right to the top. There and picturing in my mind what Peter, James and John must've gone through. Remember, there were nine of the bottom of the mountain the masses away from the bottom of the mountain free right of the top. The closer you get to God the fewer they will be in these experiences and these three men are in the presence of Jesus. Now and then. Jesus bids them to stay at a distance and he goes right into the center of that high mountain. There, and the Bible reminds me that all of a sudden the heavens are rent and two luminaries descend from there Moses there. Elijah is there and with all their Celeste Teal beings in strength, coming down the body of Jesus begins to glow our fighter right says Mark. The human mind cannot conceive and as that body is brilliantly signing with that whiteness that this inconceivable to the mine, Peter, James and John fall prostrate onto the dust of the earth, and Peter predict Lee opens his mouth and he says Jesus. Let us not go down anymore.
Let us stay here is the voice of God resonates. This is my son, listen to him, but the challenge of evangelism is always been to get a glimpse of that glory and go down to the Valley and share it. If God is dead man becomes God. If God is dead. The body becomes the sole if God is dead. Time becomes eternity, but to challenge these axioms. The church needs its inspiration number one will never lighten any low dental we feel that pressure in our soul. Number two, we face the challenge first, by prayer, number three we go into the proximity of the situation.
We cannot reach them from a distance.
Number four after being in the proximity we can come back with a sense of hope. Number five, you go to know exactly what we need. Number six go to due to the glory of God the many courses that anyone of us can lay a commitment to following Christ leadership. If the only coolers that were lost for a tendency with that, we conclude Robbie's message is not cool if you missed any of this remarkable message. We encourage you to listen again online and are there IM.LYG we can order a copy by calling us at 1-800-448-6768 Atlanta traffic on the IM.LYG or is that I am to CA for days in Trinidad that my people think if the listener supported radio ministry we say grateful for your prize and financial gain is program expertise by the INN Atlantic to chat if you'd like to find out more about our ministry shows and hula. Visit our website