Ravi Zacharias passed away a few hours ago. He had a form of incurable cancer that took him in a matter of a few short months. Ravi was one of the foremost Christian apologists in the world. He had a brilliant mind. My observation is that the older Ravi got the more Bible centered he became in his emphasis. His "apologetics" became more Bible centered. I love that emphasis because I believe the Bible itself is ALL SUFFICIENT and that the greatest proof for the truth of Christianity comes internally from the power of the Scriptures themselves. Outside intellectual arguments are fine, but they are like a dim light in comparison to the POWERFUL SONLIGHT of the Word! Son in this case is spelled SON! The KEY is the Holy Spirit and the Spirit works uniquely through the Word. God's method is "through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." (1 Cor. 1:21) The GOSPEL itself is "the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Rom. 1:16). Ravi said, "You can only learn so much from books. You can only learn so much from education. Ultimately, it is the wisdom of God that will carry you through in the toughest situations in life."
I once heard Ravi tell the story of how his godly father-in-law died. He said that after saying, "I love you" to his wife he leaned back and looked up and said, "That's amazing!" and then passed into glory. "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints." (Ps. 116:15) Death for the believer is still the last enemy but more than a consolation is the truth that Christ on our behalf has conquered death! In death we face an already conquered foe! As Paul says, "thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 15:57). John Wesley famously said, "Our people die well!" Indeed, for us death is part of the sacred journey - the final step of our sacred calling. God has a purpose in our dying just as He does in our living. After Jesus told Peter the manner in which he would die, John 21:19 says, "This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God." How we die is God's prerogative used for His glory!
D.L. Moody said, "I find that many Christians are in trouble about the future; they think they will not have grace enough to die by. It is much more important that we should have grace enough to live by. It seems to me that death is of very little importance in the meantime. When the dying hour comes, there will be dying grace; but you do not require dying grace to live by." There is great wisdom here. God gives living grace for living and dying grace for dying. The whole experience of the Christian is wrapped in GRACE. John 1:16 says, "For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." The experience of the believer is GRACE piled upon GRACE until we are ushered into eternity where we will behold the FULLNESS of His GRACE!
What Moody said about “dying grace” proved true in his dying experience. As he lay dying he said, “Earth recedes; Heaven opens before me. No, this is no dream…it is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go.” D.L. Moody rightly said, “Death may be the King of terrors... but Jesus is the King of kings!”
In Christ, death is swallowed up in victory! "That's amazing!"
1 Corinthians 15:51–58 (NKJV)
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.