Tributes Pour in for Beloved Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias: ‘I Join the Thunderous Applause of Heaven’
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As believers around the world mourn the death of beloved Bible teacher Ravi Zacharias, popular Christian leaders are posting their own tributes.
“I join the thunderous applause of Heaven,” wrote Louie Giglio, founding pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, in a tribute to the late apologist.
Zacharias passed away Tuesday at the age of 74 after a battle with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer in the itinerant speaker’s spine. Zacharias had traveled to Houston for chemotherapy treatment after the cancer was found by surgeons performing back surgery on him. He was subsequently sent home to Atlanta after oncologists determined the cancer was too advanced for continued treatment.
Christian author Jackie Hill Perry wrote Tuesday about the time she and her husband, Preston, met Zacharias, praising him for his humility and “naturally inquisitive” spirit.
“In his office that day, I understood why he knew as much as he did, it was because he was naturally inquisitive,” she wrote. “But I also saw why he was able to communicate as he did, because he was incredibly humble. For anybody who has been impacted by Ravi, today we grieve, but not without hope. A part of me is so happy for him. He’s spent decades of his life defending the validity, necessity, and beauty of a Person and now, face to face, He finally stands before the One He defended.”
About a year ago, I got invited to @rzimhq to chat about some things with their team and to have lunch with @ravizacharias. After taking a tour of the offices, we were escorted into Ravi’s office. Me and Preston were sitting there, looking like a couple of kids, wanting to say something but not knowing what to say. I mean, it’s Ravi Zacharias for goodness sakes. He’s brilliant! Then Ravi broke the awkwardness by asking about our stories. We told him. Then he asked follow up questions, about our marriage, our children, our ministries, Chicago, everything and he simply listened. In his office that day, I understood why he knew as much as he did, it was because he was naturally inquisitive. But I also saw why he was able to communicate as he did, because he was incredibly humble. For anybody who has been impacted by Ravi, today we grieve but not without hope. A part of me is so happy for him. He’s spent decades of His life defending the validity, necessity, and beauty of a Person and now, face to face, He finally stands before the One He defended. Rest well Ravi
The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and president of the humanitarian nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, described Zacharias as “one of the great Christian apologists of our time.”
“Don’t feel sorry for Ravi — his fight with cancer is over, and he has placed his crowns at the feet of the One who deserves all glory and honor,” Graham wrote. “For those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, we will see him again on the other side of the river.”
@RaviZacharias, one of the great Christian apologists of our time, has stepped into the streets of glory and into the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Don’t feel sorry for Ravi–his fight with cancer is over, and he has placed his crowns at the feet of the One who deserves all glory and honor. For those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, we will see him again on the other side of the river. Ravi shared the truth of God’s Word with millions worldwide, “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” ( ). Ravi will be greatly missed—join me in praying for his family and loved ones in their loss. Ravi is pictured here with me and our dear friend, Sami Dagher, another of the world’s great apologists and Bible teachers, in 2017 at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.
Conservative radio host Erick Erickson, who is outspoken about his Christian faith, published a blog post Tuesday, calling Zacharias a “great evangelist.”
Erickson said he had plans to meet the apologist, writing Zacharias had asked to take him and his wife out to dinner.
“Though we never did meet, I considered him a friend in a way,” the talk radio host said. “He was such an inspiration. He helped me make better arguments in discussions of faith and culture on television and radio.”
“Ravi Zacharias served the Lord faithfully,” Erickson continued. “When faced with smear and slander, he turned the other cheek and carried on to the end. Even while undergoing treatment, he served as a witness for Christ.”
In an Instagram post of her own, Christian journalist Paula Faris lauded Zacharias for the “profound impact” Zacharias had on so many people.
#RIP Ravi Zacharias. I am so saddened by this man’s passing—he has had a PROFOUND impact on so many as a Christian Apologist and teacher...one of the *best*, if not THE BEST of our time. I had the great honor of meeting him and his team this past October over breakfast in NYC. We discussed those big, existential questions we all have. And he explained with his signature grace and smile. When it was time to leave, I asked him to record a video message for my brother Dan, who reveres Ravi and first introduced me to his ministry years ago. Swipe to see his incredibly gracious response. While Ravi has passed, I know this man’s impact is JUST beginning. This world is not our home... #ThankYouRavi
NFL star Benjamin Watson, a Christian, penned a tribute to Zacharias as well.
“Thank you, Ravi, for being steadfast and faithful in your calling and for demonstrating Christ’s love in explaining our hope!” wrote Watson. “I count myself among the millions who have been impacted by your voice, your life, and your legacy.”
Woke up today incredibly grateful for men like @ravizacharias who exhort instruct and challenge us all in truth and love. Thank you Ravi for being steadfast and faithful in your calling and for demonstrating Christ’s love in explaining our hope! I count myself among the millions who have been impacted by your voice, your life and your legacy. Now enjoy the glorious presence of our wonderful Savior!! Well done good and faithful servant. We rejoice in sadness. Your family and ministry will remain in our prayers.
Johnnie Moore, a commissioner for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, praised Zacharias as “a once-in-a-millennium Christian leader, a hero of mine [and] a friend.”
“If it has ever been true of anyone, this giant of a Christian was welcomed by God himself as a ‘good [and faithful servant’ — with a standing ovation by those who came before,” he wrote.
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