Ravi Zacharias Answers Questions from Students in America

Ravi Zacharias Answers Questions from Students in America

October 12, 2019 41 By Stanley Isaacs


>>ANNOUNCER: TODAY ON
THE JOHN ANKERBERG SHOW: RAVI ZACHARIAS ANSWERS
THE SKEPTICS. RAVI GREW UP IN INDIA WHERE HIS ANCESTORS
BELONGED TO THE HIGHEST CASTE OF HINDU PRIESTS. BUT ONE DAY HE HEARD
THE WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST AND BECAME A CHRISTIAN. HE HAS GONE ON TO BECOME
ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST’S IN
THE WORLD, TRAVELING TO MORE THAN 70 COUNTRIES AND
SPEAKING AT THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS UNIVERSITIES,
NOTABLY HARVARD, PRINCETON, DARTMOUTH, JOHNS HOPKINS,
AND OXFORD UNIVERSITY. HE ADDRESSED THE WRITERS OF
THE PEACE ACCORD IN SOUTH AFRICA AND MILITARY OFFICERS
AT THE LENIN MILITARY ACADEMY AND THE CENTER FOR
GEOPOLITICAL STRATEGY IN MOSCOW. THREE TIMES
HE HAS BEEN INVITED TO SPEAK AT THE ANNUAL PRAYER BREAKFAST
AT THE UNITED NATIONS IN NEW YORK,AND HE HAS ADDRESSED
THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFASTS IN THE SEATS OF GOVERNMENT
IN OTTAWA, CANADA AND LONDON, ENGLAND, AND SPOKEN AT
THE CIA IN WASHINGTON, DC. JOIN US TODAY FOR
THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF THE JOHN ANKERBERG SHOW.>>JOHN ANKERBERG: WELCOME TO
OUR PROGRAM. I’M JOHN ANKERBERG,
THANKS FOR JOINING ME TODAY. AS YOU HAVE JUST HEARD,
WE HAVE A BRILLIANT GUEST WITH US, CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST,
PHILOSOPHER, THEOLOGIAN RAVI ZACHARIAS. AND WE ARE TALKING, WE ARE
ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS THAT STUDENTS HAVE GIVEN TO HIM,
ON CAMPUS LIVE, IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD. AND WE HAVE ALREADY COVERED THE FAR EAST AND THE MIDDLE EAST AND LAST WEEK EUROPE. AND TODAY WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT QUESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ASKED OF RAVI ABOUT GOD, JESUS AND THE BIBLE AT PLACES LIKE HARVARD AND DARTMOUTH AND PRINCETON AND OTHER, OTHER PLACES. AND SO, RAVI, I AM GLAD THAT YOU ARE HERE. AND HERE’S THE FIRST QUESTION
FROM A STUDENT HERE IN AMERICA: HOW CAN A GOD OF
ALL POWER AND ALL LOVE ALLOW FOR EVIL IN THIS WORLD,
ESPECIALLY IF HE KNEW IN ADVANCE THAT THE WORLD WOULD
FALL APART AFTER HE CREATED IT, AND WE WOULD HAVE
ATROCITIES AND THE SICKNESS AND THE SUFFERING
THAT WE HAVE?>>RAVI ZACHARIAS: I THINK,
JOHN, THIS IS THE THORNIEST QUESTION, TRULY THE ONE THAT
PROBABLY MOST PEOPLE ASK. SOMEONE PUT IT IN THESE
WORDS, “VIRTUE IN DISTRESS, AND VICE IN TRIUMPH HAS MADE
ATHEISTS OF MANKIND.” OR WHAT ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
SAID, “NEVERMORE MORNING WERE TO EVENING BUT THAT SOME
HEART DID BREAK.” IT IS A… IT IS A PAINFUL
QUESTION IN ITSELF, BECAUSE IT DEALS WITH PAIN. PAIN IS A REAL THING;
IT’S NOT AN IMAGINARY THING. THERE ARE MANY WAYS THAT ONE
CAN APPROACH AN ANSWER, BUT C.S. LEWIS USED TO REMIND US THAT IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO EXAMINE THE ASSUMPTIONS WITHIN A QUESTION. AND I REMEMBER YEARS AGO AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM WHEN
I’D FINISHED A TALK, WHEN A PERSON STOOD UP,
A STUDENT STOOD UP AND SHOUTED FROM THE FLOOR AND HE SAID,
YOU KNOW, “THERE IS TOO MUCH OF EVIL IN THIS WORLD, THERE
CAN’T BE A GOD; THERE’S TOO MUCH OF EVIL AND SUFFERING IN
THIS WORLD.” AND THE IRONY OF THAT QUESTION TO ME WAS,
YOU KNOW, I COME FROM THE EAST, I NOW LIVE IN
THE WEST. I DON’T EVER REMEMBER BEING ASKED
THIS QUESTION IN THE EAST. NOW THEY DO BECAUSE OF ALL
THE CROSS-POLLINATION OF THINKING AND ALL OF THAT. BUT IT’S HARDLY EVER
ADDRESSED. IN ISLAM YOU HARDLY EVER FIND A BOOK DEALING
WITH THIS SUBJECT. IT’S INSHA’ALLAH,
IT’S THE WILL OF ALLAH, YOU KNOW. AND IN
THE PANTHEISTIC SYSTEM IT’S KARMA; YOU ARE PAYING
YOUR DEBT AND SO ON. IT’S IN THE WESTERN WORLD,
WHERE WE ACTUALLY LIVE WITH THE GREATEST COMFORTS, THAT
WE RAISE THE QUESTION ABOUT PAIN AND SUFFERING. BUT THIS ENGLISHMAN RAISED
IT, AND I SAID TO HIM, “WHY DON’T I MAKE IT CLEAR
FIRST, WHY YOU ARE ASKING THIS QUESTION, AND
WHAT YOUR ASSUMPTIONS ARE.” I SAID, “WHEN YOU SAY THERE
IS EVIL, AREN’T YOU ASSUMING THERE IS SUCH A THING
AS GOOD?” HE PAUSED AND HE SAID, “YES.” I SAID,
“WHEN YOU SAY THERE’S SUCH A THING IS GOOD, AREN’T YOU
ASSUMING THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A MORAL LAW ON THE BASIS
OF WHICH TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL?” HE STRUGGLED WITH THIS AND
WE INTERACTED, AND FINALLY HE SAID, “YEAH, THERE WOULD
HAVE TO BE AN OBJECTIVE MORAL STANDARD FROM WHICH TO
DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL.” I SAID,
“WHEN YOU SAY THERE IS A MORAL LAW, YOU MUST POSIT
A MORAL LAWGIVER. BUT THAT’S WHOM YOU ARE
TRYING TO DISPROVE AND NOT PROVE. BECAUSE IF THERE IS
NO MORAL LAW GIVER, THERE IS NO MORAL LAW;
IF THERE’S NO MORAL LAW, THERE’S NO GOOD; IF THERE’S
NO GOOD, THERE’S NO EVIL. WHAT IS YOUR QUESTION?” [CHUCKLE] AND HE LOOKED AT
ME, PAUSED AND HE SAID, “WHAT THEN AM I ASKING YOU?” NOW THIS WAS YEARS AGO. I SAID, “I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE
ASKING ME, AND I’M NOT TRYING TO MAKE IT HARD FOR YOU. IT’S AN EXISTENTIALLY FELT
QUESTION THAT OFTEN DOESN’T EXAMINE THE LOGICAL
PRESUPPOSITIONS WITHIN THIS. GOD HAS TO REMAIN IN
THE PARADIGM FOR THE QUESTION TO BE REAL, AND THEREFORE
THE ANSWER HAS TO COME FROM WHAT GOD’S PURPOSES AND GOD,
GOD’S DESCRIPTION IS ALL ABOUT REALITY.” IN A RECENT BOOK THAT I
CO-AUTHORED WITH VINCE VITALI, MY COLLEAGUE FROM OXFORD,
WE CALLED IT WHY SUFFERING?. MY OPENING CHAPTER WAS WHAT
IS CALLED THE TRILEMMA. GOD IS ALL POWERFUL, GOD IS
ALL LOVING AND THERE IS EVIL; THAT’S THE TRILEMMA,
THE THREE REALITIES THAT J.L. MACKIE, THE AUSTRALIAN
PHILOSOPHER, SAYS ARE INCOHERENT. GOD IS ALL
POWERFUL; GOD IS LOVING; EVIL EXISTS; HE SAYS
IT’S AN INCOHERENCE. SO MY QUESTION IS,
WHY IS IT A TRILEMMA AND NOT A QUADRILEMMA OR
A QUINTILLEMA? INTRODUCE ONE MORE: GOD IS ALL-KNOWING. THAT’S ALSO A BELIEF WE HAVE. AND NUMBER FIVE, GOD IS ETERNAL. GOD IS NOT JUDGING EVERYTHING JUST IN TIME, THERE’S AN ETERNITY. SO IT IS NOT JUST THE… THE, THE QUESTION IS STACKED WHEN IT IS STACKED AS A TRILEMMA. GOD IS ALSO ALL-KNOWING AND ETERNITY ALSO EXISTS AS A REALITY. AND MAYBE THOSE EXPLANATIONS CAN COME IN ETERNITY. LET ME JUST MOVE TO TWO QUICK
ANSWERS ON THIS. THERE IS A YOUNG GAL IN GEORGIA WHERE
I LIVE. I LIVE IN ATLANTA. AND SHE, HER FIRST NAME
IS ASHLYN. AND ONE DAY HER MOTHER WAS ON A TELEVISION
PROGRAM DISCUSSING A STRANGE PROBLEM THAT SHE HAS,
WHICH IS CALLED CIPA, CONGENITAL INSENSITIVITY
TO PAIN WITH ANHIDROSIS. SHE CANNOT FEEL PAIN AND
HER SWEAT GLANDS DON’T WORK. THE PROBLEM MAY SOUND
GOOD-YOU DON’T FEEL IN ANY PAIN. BUT THE REALITY IS,
IF SHE STEPS ON A NAIL WHILE SHE IS ON THE SPORTS FIELD,
IT COULD PUNCTURE THE SKIN, CREATE AN INFECTION,
AND NOBODY COULD BE EVEN AWARE OF IT. THE MOTHER SAID
THE PROBLEMS IT HAS CREATED IN HER LIFE, FOR WHAT
THIS MALADY BRINGS INTO HER BODY. SHE SAYS,
“I PRAY ONE PRAYER EVERY NIGHT, ‘GOD, PLEASE LET
MY DAUGHTER HELP TO FEEL PAIN.'” SHE COULD PUT HER
HAND ON A BURNER AND NOT KNOW THAT HER HAND IS BURNING. NOW MY QUESTION IS THIS. IF, IN OUR FINITE EXISTENCE,
WE CAN SEE THE ROLE OF PAIN TO WARN US THAT SOMETHING IS
WRONG, IS IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD, IN HIS INFINITE WISDOM,
TO ALLOW PAIN IN OUR LIVES TO HELP US KNOW THAT SOMETHING
IS WRONG? PAIN IS FELT WITH MORAL CONNOTATIONS IN
THE HUMAN FRAMEWORK. THAT IS BECAUSE WE ARE MORAL
BEINGS; THEREFORE, THE ANSWER HAS TO COME FROM WITHIN
A MORAL SPIRITUAL FRAMEWORK AS WELL. THE QUESTION ASSUMES
MORAL REASONING, AND THAT CAN ONLY BE ASSUMED IF GOD
IS IN THE PARADIGM, NOT PARADIGN… NOT OUTSIDE OF IT.>>ANKERBERG: YEAH AND YOU’VE
ALSO SAID THERE’S ONLY THREE OR FOUR OPTIONS FOR EXISTENCE
THAT WE CAN IMAGINE. GO THROUGH THOSE OPTIONS FOR
THE FOLKS SO THEY CAN HEAR THEM.>>ZACHARIAS: YES. I THINK
YOU CAN HAVE IT THIS WAY. NUMBER ONE, GOD COULD HAVE
CREATED NOTHING AT ALL, THAT IS FOUR POSSIBLE WORLDS,
AS IT WERE-GOD COULD HAVE CREATED NOTHING;
SO WE WOULDN’T BE THERE TO BLAME HIM AND HE WOULD
BE SELF-EXISTENT AND SO ON. NUMBER TWO, GOD COULD HAVE
CREATED A WORLD WHERE THERE WERE NO SUCH THING AS GOOD
OR EVIL; IT WOULD BE AN AMORAL WORLD. NUMBER THREE, GOD COULD HAVE
CREATED A WORLD WHERE WE WOULD ONLY CHOOSE GOOD,
PROGRAMMED JUST TO CHOOSE GOOD. OR NUMBER FOUR,
GOD COULD HAVE CREATED THIS WORLD WHERE
THERE’S THE POSSIBILITY OF GOOD AND EVIL, AND WE WILL
THEN CHOOSE GOOD FOR WHAT IS BETTER FOR US. THE FOURTH
WORLD IS THE ONLY WORLD, JOHN, IN WHICH LOVE IS
POSSIBLE. IN THE OTHER THREE PARADIGMS THERE IS
NO POSSIBILITY OF LOVE, NO WORLD CREATED, NO CREATED
ORDER FOR FINITE BEINGS. HOW DO FINITE BEINGS LOVE? WHERE THERE IS AN AMORAL
WORLD, NO SUCH THING AS GOOD OR EVIL, THEREFORE LOVE COULD
NOT BE THE SUPREME ETHIC. WHERE WE WOULD ONLY CHOOSE
LOVE, THEN IT IS NOT A CHOICE, IT IS PROGRAMMED FOR
YOU, YOU ARE THEN A MACHINE. OR THIS WORLD, WHERE GOOD AND
EVIL WERE POSSIBLE, AND LOVE COULD BE CHOSEN. IF LOVE IS
A SUPREME ETHIC, WHICH IT IS, SUPEREROGATORY LOVE IS
A GREATER LOVE, WHERE SOMETIMES YOU COULD EVEN
RESCUE, AT THE COST OF YOUR OWN LIFE, RESCUE A TOTAL
STRANGER; THAT SUPEREROGATORY ACT WHERE LOVE IS SEEN AS,
SEEN AS A SUPREME EXPRESSION. ALL OF THOSE REALITIES ARE
ONLY POSSIBLE IN THIS WORLD. AND THEN, I ACTUALLY HAVE TO
SAY ONE MORE THING, JOHN. WHEN YOU READ OTHER
WORLDVIEWS. AND IN MY BOOK WHY SUFFERING?, I POINT OUT
THE WRITERS WHAT THEY HAVE SAID IN OTHER WORLDVIEWS-ONLY
IN THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN WORLD IS THERE REALLY AN ANSWER,
BROUGHT ABOUT BY SIN AND THE HEALING WITHIN AND
THE COMFORT GOD GIVES. THERE WAS A WOMAN WHOSE
BIOGRAPHY I READ, ANNIE JOHNSON FLINT. SUFFERED IMMENSELY, SHE WAS,
WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, CANCER, BLINDNESS AND
INCONTINENT. LIVED YEARS WITH PILLOWS AROUND HER JUST
TO CUSHION THE SORES ON HER BODY. AND SHE WROTE MANY
HYMNS. ONE OF THEM WAS THIS, “HE GIVETH MORE GRACE WHEN
THE BURDENS GROW GREATER HE SENDETH MORE STRENGTH WHEN
THE LABORS INCREASED TO ADDED AFFLICTION HE ADDETH HIS
MERCY. TO MULTIPLIED TRIALS HIS MULTIPLIED PEACE. WHEN WE HAVE EXHAUSTED
OUR STORE OF ENDURANCE WHEN OUR STRENGTH HAS FAILED
AND THE DAY IS HALF DONE WHEN WE REACH THE END OF
OUR HOARDED RESOURCES OUR FATHER FULL GIVING
HAS ONLY BEGUN. HIS LOVE HAS NO LIMIT, HIS GRACE HAS
NO MEASURE HIS POWER HAS NO BOUNDARIES KNOWN UNTO MEN. FOR OUT OF HIS INFINITE
RICHES IN JESUS HE GIVETH AND GIVETH AND GIVETH AGAIN.” GOD SUSTAINS US IN OUR PAIN
AND SUFFERING.” WHEN I ENDURED MY BACK,
I LIVED WITH PAIN I NEVER EVER THOUGHT WAS POSSIBLE. I WOULD SIT IN THE, MY CAR
SOMETIMES, HEAD ON THE STEERING WHEEL, AND JUST
CRY BECAUSE OF THREE HERNIATED DISCS AND STENOSIS. WONDERED WHERE I WAS HEADED
WITH ALL OF THIS. BUT I WILL TELL YOU WHAT; IT
HAS TAUGHT ME HOW GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT AND MADE ME
FOREVER DEPENDENT ON HIM. IN EFFECT, PAIN CAN BECOME
GOD’S INVITATION TO LIVE. ONE MORE THING: “NOW ABIDE THESE THREE: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE. AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.” THESE ARE THE 3 EXCELLENCIES OF LIFE. THEY ARE IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT SUFFERING.>>ANKERBERG: WE’RE TALKING
WITH RAVI ZACHARIAS AND, RAVI, HERE IS THE QUESTION. A STUDENT ASKS, “WHAT ABOUT THE LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION? I FEEL LIKE CHRISTIANITY AT ITS CORE VIOLATES THE DOCTRINE OF NON-CONTRADICTION. THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF GOD AS TRINITY CLAIMS THAT GOD IS BOTH ONE AND THREE. ARE CHRISTIANS VIOLATING THIS LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION?”>>ZACHARIAS: GOOD QUESTION. I THINK WE AS CHRISTIANS THINK A LOT ABOUT IT. AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN
THE MIDDLE EAST IT IS A REAL ENIGMA TO THE MUSLIM MIND WHO
THINKS WE ARE POLYTHEISTIC. AND NOW HERE IN THE WEST
IT IS RAISED AS A PROBLEM OF VIOLATING THE LAW OF
NON-CONTRADICTION. BUT, TWO OR THREE THINGS AS
A BACKDROP THAT ARE IMPORTANT HERE, JOHN, FOR THE LISTENER
TO UNDERSTAND. AND THE FIRST THING IS THIS. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT GOD,
WHEN WE USE LANGUAGE ABOUT GOD, THOMAS AQUINAS WAS SO GOOD
IN THIS. HE SAID THERE ARE THREE WAYS WE CAN USE
LANGUAGE, UNIVOCALLY, EQUIVOCALLY OR ANALOGICALLY. UNIVOCALLY MEANING WHEN
WE USE THE SAME WORD IN TWO DIFFERENT SENTENCES
WE MEAN THE SAME THING. SO IF I SAY I LOVE YOU AND
ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS LOVE YOU, YOU IMMEDIATELY TAKE IT TO
MEAN THE SAME THING; IT’S THE SAME WORD. BUT THEN COMES ALONG
THE EQUIVOCATION. I SAY TO YOU, “I LOVE YOU,
JOHN, AND GOD LOVES YOU TOO.” I HAVE USED THE SAME WORD,
BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU KNOW THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN WHAT
I ACTUALLY MEAN; BECAUSE GOD LOVES YOU IN A DIFFERENT
WAY TO THE WAY I LOVE YOU. YOU SAY, WELL, IF IT’S
AN EQUIVOCATION THERE, WHAT DOES IT HELP ME TO KNOW
THAT YOU ARE USING THE SAME WORD? AQUINAS SAID THERE IS
AN ANALOGICAL USAGE. BY ANALOGY WE USE LANGUAGE
ABOUT GOD. SO IF I SAY I LOVE YOU AND YOU REFUSE
TO LOVE ME, I WILL HURT. I WILL HURT BECAUSE
I HAVE LOST SOMETHING. BUT IF I SAY GOD LOVES YOU
AND IF YOU DON’T LOVE GOD, GOD HURTS TOO. I SAID BUT, JOHN, GOD HURTS
FOR A DIFFERENT REASON. I HURT BECAUSE I HAVE LOST
SOMETHING; WHEN GOD HURTS, GOD HURTS BECAUSE YOU HAVE
LOST SOMETHING. THE ANALOGICAL USAGE RAISES
THE WHOLE QUESTION OF GOD. THAT’S WHY AQUINAS SAID
GOD IS OFTENTIMES MORE THE QUESTION THAN THE ANSWER,
BECAUSE TO UNDERSTAND HIM. SO HERE IS WHAT I SAY. WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
THE TRINITY, HE IS ONE IN ONE SENSE AND THREE IN ANOTHER
SENSE. HE IS NOT ONE AND THREE IN THE SAME SENSE. WHY DO I SAY THAT? GOD IS NOT A PHYSICAL
QUANTITY OR AN ENTITY. YOU AND I ARE PHYSICAL BEINGS;
WE TALK OF ONE IN THREE PHYSICALLY. GOD IS A SPIRITUAL
BEING AT HIS CORE. AND SO, WHEN WE TALK OF
THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, C. S. LEWIS
PUTS IT IN THESE TERMS. HE SAID IF YOU HAVE
ONE DIMENSION
YOU CAN HAVE A LINE; YOU HAVE
TWO DIMENSIONS
YOU HAVE FIGURES; YOU HAVE
THREE DIMENSIONS
YOU HAVE AN OBJECT.
HE SAID THE MORE
YOU RISE IN
THE CAPACITY OF DIMENSIONS,
YOU HAVE
THE SAME
BASIC INFORMATION, BUT IN A MORE
COMPLEX FORM
AS YOU RISE WITH EACH DIMENSION.
GOD IS NOT
IN THE DIMENSION
OF FINITUDE THAT WE ARE. HE IS AN INFINITE
BEING. THE DISCIPLES WERE FISHERMAN; THEY KNEW ONE FISH
AND THREE FISHES WERE NOT THE SAME. THEY COULD
QUANTITATIVELY KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. BUT WHEN
THEY CAME TO THIS TRUTH OF THE TRINITY, THE FATHER,
THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE FATHER WHO SENDS THE SON,
THE FATHER AND THE SON WHO SEND, WHO SEND
THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEY RECOGNIZED THE COMPLEXITY
OF THIS TRUTH FOR WHAT IT WAS: GOD WAS A BEING IN RELATIONSHIP. AND I THINK THIS IS KEY. HE IS A BEING IN RELATIONSHIP. NOW, GO BACK TO THE ABSTRACT
NOTION OF ONE AND THREE. THE GREATEST PURSUIT OF
THE GREEK PHILOSOPHERS WAS TO FIND UNITY IN DIVERSITY. THEY SAW UNITY AS A PURSUIT,
DIVERSITY AS A REALITY. THAT’S WHY THEY CREATED
UNIVERSITIES. DEFINE UNITY IN DIVERSITY:
THAT’S WHY AMERICA WAS CREATED-E PLURIBUS UNUM,
OUT OF THE MANY ONE. BUT WHAT THEY COULD NOT FIND
IN EDUCATION, WE FIND UNITY AND DIVERSITY AS A PURSUIT;
BECAUSE THERE’S UNITY IN DIVERSITY IN THE FIRST
CAUSE-THE UNITY IN DIVERSITY IN THE COMMUNITY OF
THE TRINITY. GOD IS A BEING IN RELATIONSHIP. THAT’S WHY WE HUNGER FOR
RELATIONSHIP. THAT HUNGER IS PLANTED WITHIN US; WHETHER
IT’S HUSBAND, WIFE, OR FRIEND OR PARENT AND CHILD;
ALL OF THESE ARE REALITIES. AND SO I SAY IF GOD WERE NOT
A BEING IN RELATIONSHIP, WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO SAY
GOD IS LOVE? OR YOU SAY GOD HAS SPOKEN. WHO IS HE
SPEAKING TO? WHO IS HE LOVING? HE WOULD END UP AS A MONAD
IN NEED OF A CREATED ORDER IN ORDER TO EXPRESS BOTH
LOVE AND COMMUNICATION. I THINK WE ARE TO LEAVE IT,
AS MORTIMER ADLER SAID, “IN THE MYSTERY AND
THE MAJESTY OF THE COMPLEXITY OF THE GODHEAD.” THAT HE IS A BEING IN
RELATIONSHIP WHO LOVES US, AND THERE IS A HIERARCHICAL
REALITY WITHIN THAT THAT’S ALSO A TRUE ASPECT. TO ME THE TRINITY IS NOT ONLY
A BEAUTIFUL ANSWER, I THINK IT IS THE ONLY EXPLANATION OF
THE GREATEST PURSUIT OF PHILOSOPHERS AND EXPERIENCE.>>ANKERBERG; YEAH, GREAT ANSWER. AND I, I WANT YOU TO FOLLOW THAT UP WITH
A STORY, A PARABLE, THAT YOU HAVE TOLD
IN DIFFERENT PLACES, THAT TALKS A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
WHAT THIS GOSPEL IS IN OTHER TERMS. THAT’S WHAT I WOULD
CALL IT. IT’S THE PARABLE OF DESERT PETE.>>ZACHARIAS: YEAH. IT ALWAYS DATES ME, YOU KNOW. MY WIFE SAYS TO ME THAT
MY MUSIC DAYS DIED IN THE 60’S; ALL OF THE MUSIC,
THE SONGS I HUM, YOU KNOW. ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, EVEN IN
INDIA, EVEN THOSE THAT ARE LISTENING FROM INDIA, YOU
KNOW, SOME OF THE GREATEST SONGS, YOU KNOW, THAT IS
MOHAMMED RAFI, OR MANNA DEY OR LATA MANGESHKAR, THEY WERE
ALL GREAT MUSICIANS OF THE 60’S IN INDIA. AND HERE WE HAVE THE GREAT
SINGERS LIKE PRESLEY AND ALL OF THOSE WHO MADE BIG-TIME. BUT WHEN I WAS LISTENING AS
A YOUNGSTER IN DELHI, THERE WAS A SONG BY
THE KINGSTON TRIO. IT’S CALLED “DESERT PETE.” TALKED ABOUT A MAN WHO WAS
WALKING THROUGH THE DESERT. AND HE IS USING UP ALL
THE BOTTLES OF WATER SLUNG AROUND HIS SHOULDERS, AND
REALIZES THE WATER IS GONE. AND HE IS GOING TO DIE OF
DEHYDRATION. UNTIL HE SEES A PUMP AND HE WALKS OVER
TO,… AND YOU KNOW, I’M LISTENING TO THESE THINGS
WITH THE HIDDEN MEANINGS, YOU KNOW. HE LOOKS AT THE PUMP
AND HE WANTS TO FIND WATER THERE, BUT HE LIFTS THE ARM;
THE SOUND OF METAL UPON METAL; NO WATER. UNTIL HE SEES
A TIN CAN SLUNG AROUND THE NOZZLE. INSIDE
THE TIN CAN IS A PAPER. IN THE PAPER IS A MESSAGE. IT SAYS, “DEAR PASSERBY,
DON’T DESPAIR. THERE IS A LOT OF WATER HERE,
JUST FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. LOOK BELOW THE NOZZLE,
THE PORTION OF SAND, DIG IT OUT. UNDER THE SAND
IS A BOTTLE OF WATER. IT SHOULD BE FULL. DON’T DRINK IT. EMPTY IT OUT INTO
THE CYLINDER, GRADUALLY PRIMING THE PUMP WITH
THE OTHER HAND, AND THE SUCTION SYSTEM WILL BEGIN
TO WORK. WATER WILL COME GUSHING OUT. DRINK ALL
THE WATER YOU WANT, REFILL ALL THE BOTTLES
YOU’VE GOT. DON’T FORGET TO FILL UP THAT ONE BOTTLE
AND PUT IT DOWN FOR THE NEXT PERSON WHO COMES. WARNING: YOU ARE GOING TO
BE TEMPTED TO DISBELIEVE THIS NOTE AND CONSUME
THAT ONE BOTTLE OF WATER ON YOURSELF BECAUSE
YOU CAN SEE IT AND FEEL IT. YOU WILL SOON BE THIRSTY
AGAIN AND SO WILL EVERYBODY ELSE WHO COMES BY. EMPTY IT OUT AS I HAVE
INSTRUCTED IT TO YOU. YOU WILL HAVE ALL OF
THE WATER YOU WANT AND SO WILL THE NEXT PERSON WHO
COMES BY. SIGNED, DESERT PETE.” YOU KNOW, THAT’S LIKE
THE SIGNATURE OF OUR LORD, IN A LAND WHERE
WE ARE PARCHED AND THIRSTY FOR MEANING AND HOPE AND
SALVATION. HE TELLS US WE HAVE A CHOICE. WE CAN CONSUME
OUR LIVES UPON OURSELVES. AND WHERE DO WE END UP? YOU SEE, THE LONELIEST PERSON
IN THE WORLD IS NOT ONE WHO’S WEARY OF PAIN, BUT ONE
WHO IS WEARY OF PLEASURE. THERE IS NO PLACE TO GO. WE END UP EMPTY. JESUS SAID, “EMPTY, EMPTY
YOUR LIFE INTO MY HANDS. I WILL GIVE YOU ETERNAL LIFE. IF YOU CONSUME IT ON YOURSELF,
YOU WILL SOON BE THIRSTY AGAIN; YOU WILL SOON BE
LONGING AND MEANING WILL BE GONE.” THAT’S WHAT HE SAID
TO THE WOMAN AT THE WELL, “I CAN GIVE YOU THE WATER
SO THAT YOU WILL NEVER THIRST AGAIN.” AND SO TO THE LISTENER I SAY
THIS, ARE YOU HONEST WITH YOURSELF IN YOUR SEARCH, THAT
YOU REALLY ARE BEREFT OF MEANING AND PURPOSE? WITH ALL OF THE WEALTH
YOU MAY HAVE AND ALL OF THE EDUCATION, WHERE HAS IT
BROUGHT YOU? DEEP INSIDE YOU ARE STILL LONGING FOR
THE MOST MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP OF ALL. THAT WILL
COME IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST. SUBMIT YOURSELF; POUR YOUR
LIFE INTO HIS HANDS. THAT’S THE STORY OF
THE PARABLE OF DESERT PETE, JOHN, AND IT’S THE STORY OF
OUR LIVES WITH JESUS CHRIST.>>ANKERBERG: I, I LOVE
THAT STORY. AND IN THE FEW MINUTES THAT WE’VE GOT LEFT,
THINK OF THE FOLKS THAT ARE WATCHING IN INDIA RIGHT NOW. THINK OF THE FOLKS THAT ARE
IN THE DIFFERENT STATES OF EUROPE; DOWN IN AFRICA. AND I WANT YOU TO EXPLAIN
TO THEM, BECAUSE THEY MAY BE CONFUSED, OKAY. THEY KNOW JESUS CHRIST WAS
A HISTORICAL PERSON, AND THAT’S ABOUT AS FAR AS
THEY’VE GOT. THEY WANT TO KNOW, HOW DOES IT
IMPACT ME THAT HE LIVED? AND MAYBE YOU COULD TAKE THEM
BACK TO YOUR OWN STORY OF HOW YOU STARTED, HOW YOU CAME
IN CONTACT WITH JESUS CHRIST. AND I WANT YOU TO LEAD THEM
TO JESUS AND MAYBE OFFER A MODEL PRAYER THAT
THEY COULD INVITE CHRIST INTO THEIR LIFE.>>ZACHARIAS: YOU KNOW, SOME
YEARS AGO I WAS AT ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS PRISONS
IN AMERICA. IT’S CALLED ANGOLA PRISON; OVER 5,000
PRISONERS, 85% OF THEM ON LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE. AND AS I LOOKED AT THEM AND
TALKED TO THEM, SOME AMAZING STORIES EMERGED. ONE OF THEM TOLD ME IT TOOK
PRISON TO BRING HIM TO JESUS CHRIST, AND IF THAT’S WHAT IT
TOOK, HE WAS NOW FREER THAN HE HAD EVER BEEN. AND AS I SAW THAT,
I REALIZED, THE WORST EFFECT OF SIN IS NOT MANIFEST IN PAIN
OR BODILY DEFACEMENT BUT IN THE DISCROWNED FACULTIES,
THE UNWORTHY LOVES, THE LOW IDEALS THAT BRUTALIZE
IN THE ENSLAVED SPIRIT. WE ARE ENSLAVED IN OUR SPIRIT. THAT’S WHERE I WAS; AND
AT THE AGE OF 17 INVITED JESUS CHRIST INTO MY LIFE. AND THEN YEARS LATER
I SAW MY FATHER DO IT; HIGHLY-POWERED MAN IN INDIA
WHO WALKED UP AT A CHURCH SERVICE AND BENT AT THE ALTAR
AND SURRENDERED HIS LIFE TO CHRIST. MY WIFE SAID
BY LOOKING AT HIS PICTURE SHE COULD TELL WHEN HE GAVE
HIS LIFE TO JESUS CHRIST. FROM A HARD ANGRY MAN TO
THE MOST TENDER MAN I HAD EVER KNOWN. YOU ARE WATCHING
THIS PROGRAM FOR A PURPOSE. YOU ARE ENSLAVED ON
THE INSIDE; ALL OF US IS ENSLAVED ON THE INSIDE. AND SO I SAY TO YOU, ARE YOU,
DO YOU WANT TO BE FREE? DO YOU WANT TO THAT,
HAVE THAT FREEDOM FOR WHICH GOD HAS CREATED AND DESIGNED
YOU? IF SO, WHY DON’T YOU BOW YOUR HEAD WITH ME AND
PRAY WITH ME ONE LINE AT A TIME. HE IS THE LIBERATOR;
HE IS THE REDEEMER; HE FREES YOU FROM THAT ENSLAVEMENT FROM
WITHIN, WHATEVER IT MAY BE. JUST BOW YOUR HEAD NOW
AND PRAY WITH ME. HEAVENLY FATHER, YOU BROUGHT
ME TO LISTEN TO THIS BY YOUR WILL. THIS IS NO ACCIDENT. I AM WATCHING THIS PROGRAM
BECAUSE YOU WANTED ME HERE. TODAY I CRY OUT TO YOU. I AM IN CHAINS ON THE INSIDE. FREE ME FROM MY SIN,
FORGIVE ME FOR MY SIN. TAKE MY WILL AND MAKE IT YOURS. MAKE ME A NEW PERSON AND LET
MY LIFE FOLLOW YOUR ROADMAP. I NEED YOU. I WANT YOU. I SUBMIT TO YOU, LORD JESUS. BE MY SAVIOR FROM NOW ON. THANK YOU FOR ANSWERING
MY PRAYER. IN YOUR HOLY NAME I ASK THIS, AMEN.>>ANKERBERG: WONDERFUL, RAVI. AND, FOLKS, I HOPE THAT
YOU DID SAY THAT PRAYER. OR IF YOU’RE STILL THINKING ABOUT IT, THAT’S OKAY. AT OUR WEBSITE, JASHOW.ORG, YOU CAN FIND A PLACE WHERE IT SAYS, “TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST OR TO PRAY AND ACCEPT JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR.” AND IT WILL
EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HIM,
BUT IT WILL ALSO GIVE YOU A MODEL PRAYER THAT YOU
CAN PRAY. IF YOU HAVE PRAYED THAT PRAYER, THERE IS
SOME ENCOURAGEMENT; THERE’S SOME PROMISES FOR YOU
ON HOW TO LIVE WITH THE LORD JESUS. YOU DON’T KNOW
EVERYTHING. YOU HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED HIS POWER
IN EVERYTHING. SO JUST TAKE IT STEP BY STEP. GOD LOVES YOU
AND HE’LL WORK WITH YOU JUST WHERE YOU’RE AT. RAVI, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU
FOR BREAKING INTO YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE AND COMING AND
SHARING THESE SIX PROGRAMS WITH ALL OF OUR AUDIENCE. AND I JUST APPRECIATE YOUR,
YOUR SCHOLARSHIP AND ALL OF THE TIME THAT YOU HAVE PUT
INTO TACKLING THESE TOUGH QUESTIONS, AND FOR YOUR
COURAGE TO TAKE ON AUDIENCES ALL AROUND THE WORLD. AND I HOPE THAT WE CAN HAVE
YOU BACK IN THE FUTURE. AND, FOLKS, IF YOU’D LIKE TO
KNOW HOW TO GET ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT RAVI
HAS PRESENTED TO US DURING THESE SIX PROGRAMS, JUST A LOT
OF INFORMATION, STAY TUNED. WE’LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW.>>ANNOUNCER: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ALL OF THE INFORMATION IN OUR NEW SERIES, RAVI ZACHARIAS ANSWERS QUESTIONS FROM EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST AND AMERICA. AREN’T ALL RELIGIONS BASICALLY THE SAME? ISN’T JESUS
JUST ONE OF
MANY PROPHETS? ISN’T IT
UNFAIR
TO CLAIM
THAT ALL THE PEOPLE
WHO LIVED BEFORE
CHRISTIANITY ARE DAMNED
TO HELL? IS THE CHRISTIAN
DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY,
THAT GOD IS
BOTH ONE AND THREE,
A VIOLATION OF THE LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION? IF GOD IS ALL POWERFUL, AND ALL LOVING, WHY WOULD HE CHOOSE TO CREATE A WORLD HE KNEW WOULD FALL APART AND BRING SO MUCH EVIL AND SUFFERING? IT’S AVAILABLE ON DVD FOR A GIFT OF $49. THEN OUR SECOND SERIES IS CALLED RAVI ZACHARIAS ANSWERS SKEPTICS, IT IS AVAILABLE FOR A GIFT OF $49. IN THIS SERIES RAVI DESCRIBES HOW HE GREW UP IN INDIA WHERE HIS ANCESTORS BELONGED TO THE HIGHEST CASTE OF HINDU PRIESTS. IN A LAND OF 330 MILLION DEITIES HE OFTEN PONDERED LIFE’S MEANING, BUT FINALLY LOST HOPE AND ATTEMPTED TO TAKE HIS OWN LIFE. WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL A MAN GAVE HIM A BIBLE AND HE READ JESUS’ WORDS “BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU SHALL ALSO LIVE.” HE THEN GAVE HIS LIFE TO JESUS CHRIST AND WENT ON TO BECOME ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTS IN THE WORLD. IN THIS SERIES HE ALSO ANSWERS THE QUESTION “CAN MAN LIVE WITHOUT GOD?” AND SUMMARIZES A LECTURE SERIES HE WAS ASKED TO GIVE AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY. AND THEN THIRD HE ANSWERS THE MOST ASKED QUESTIONS HE RECEIVES FROM STUDENTS IN THE FAR EAST. THE THREE PROGRAMS IN THIS IMPORTANT SERIES ARE AVAILABLE ON DVD FOR A GIFT OF $49 U.S. THEN THIRD, WE HAVE WRITTEN TWO NEW STUDY GUIDES WITH EXTENSIVE NOTES THAT PARALLEL OUR TWO TELEVISION SERIES. EACH STUDY GUIDE CONTAINS THREE SESSIONS FOR YOUR PERSONAL STUDY OR BIBLE STUDY GROUP AND IS AVAILABLE FOR A GIFT OF $8 EACH OR FOR FIVE OR MORE COPIES FOR $5 EACH. AND FINALLY IF YOU WISH TO ORDER ALL FOUR OF THESE ITEMS TOGETHER, THAT IS BOTH TELEVISION SERIES PLUS THE TWO STUDY GUIDES, THEY ARE AVAILABLE TOGETHER IN A SPECIAL PACKAGE FOR ONLY $99 U.S. THOSE OF YOU LIVING IN AMERICA OR CANADA, YOU MAY ORDER THIS SERIES NOW BY CALLING US AT 1-800-805-3030. THAT’S 1-800-805-3030. AND IF YOU LIVE IN OTHER COUNTRIES, YOU MAY ORDER THESE PROGRAMS NOW AT OUR WEBSITE AT JASHOW.ORG. THAT’S JASHOW.ORG.>>ANNOUNCER: AND TO LEARN HOW TO START A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST, GO TO OUR WEBSITE AT JASHOW.ORG. AND CLICK ON: “PRAY TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR.”