Ravi Zacharias – Absolute truth in relative terms

Ravi Zacharias at Lee University

Spring 2011. Zacharias talks about finding the bridge between the temporal and the eternal:

  • There are answers in the Bible to all the tough questions of human life. They may not always be comprehensive answers, but, they are meaningful answers.
  • All of our temptations have a context and it is very important to understand the context. He (Satan) does not tempt Jesus with lust of the flesh, because he knew that would not be an issue. He tempted Jesus in a very subtle way. As the English writer T.S. Eliot said, „It is great treason to do the wrong thing for the right reason”. Notice the approach of the devil. He comes to Jesus first- intellectually. Have you ever had intellectual doubts about God? Have you ever wondered why life doesn’t make sense? So the devil comes to Him and says, „Look, there are hungry people all over. Here are some stones. You have the power to change stones into bread. Why don’t You do it? If you change these stones into bread, people will eat it, and people will follow you”. Have you (yourself) ever thought that? That if the whole world had food enough to eat, then the whole world will be followers of God? India is a very poor country. Sweden is a very prosperous country. More people believe in God, than people in Sweden believe in God. So, evidently, having enough food does not make you a Godly person. Jesus responded and said to him, „Go away form Me, have you not heard? Man will not live by bread alone..”
  • Do you really believe that if all your intellectual questions were answered you’d become a follower of God? When I was studying philosophy, my professor of philosophy was a very brilliant man. He had 8 degrees, 3 of them were doctorates. And I remember him telling me this story: He talked about a man who woke up one morning and said to his wife, „I think I’m dead”. And his wife thought this was just another one of his crazy moods, and she started to laugh at him. He said, „I want you to know that I really am dead”. This went on every day. He’d go to work and tell his colleagues, „I believe I’m dead”. So his wife took him to some doctors; they couldn’t help him. She took him to a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist said, „I will solve this for you”. He said, „This is a very intellectual man, I have to intellectually convince him”. So he took out some charts and some overhead projectors, and all his information and he tried to prove just one thing to him: Only living people bleed.  Morning, afternoon, evening, he told him: Only living people bleed. Finally the man said, „Ok, I have to admit: Only living people bleed.” The psychiatrist took out a pen and poked his arm and the blood came spurting out, and he looked at it and said, „Great Scot, I guess dead people bleed too.” There are some people, no matter how much evidence you give them, they will never be convinced of the evidence. Why is that? Because the problem is not intellectual. The Bible says our problem is not the absence of evidence, it is the suppression of evidence.
  • Jesus said, „Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” What did He mean? He said, „If you abide in My word, you are my disciples.” Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”The freedom comes from knowing the truth. You see, without the truth you are not free, that is the problem. When you are living a lie, you are a slave to that false belief. And if you really think your problem is intellectual, that itself is a false intellectual belief. (19:34)

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