Ravi Zacharias — Your Freedom, Your Future
Thank you for being here. Thank you for joining us on a day like this for the momentous events that surround your life and mine. It's amazing all over the world that I go and travel, and even within a week from now we'll be in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and so on. The same question is being asked, especially by the young, "What's happened to America? What's gone wrong?" They're noticing that things are simply not right.
It was about two months ago I was in Moscow having spoken at one of the events and having breakfast with one businessman out there and he looked at me and he said, "You know my hope has always been, for the future of the world that America would rise to the occasion and somehow come to the rescue." He said, "I don't have that hope anymore."
Here's what he said. His English was not the best but he put it this way. He said, "They don't think right there anymore." He said, "They're not thinking right anymore."
It was in the latter part of the '60s that Malcolm Muggeridge one of my great heroes said this: "It is difficult to resist the conclusion that 20th century man has decided to abolish himself.
Tired of the struggle to be himself he has created boredom out of his own affluence, impotence out of his own erotomania, and vulnerability out of his own strength. He himself blows the trumpet that brings the walls of his own cities crashing down until at last having educated himself into imbecility, having drugged and polluted himself into stupefaction he keels over a weary battered old brontosaurus and becomes extinct."
He keels over, a weary battered old brontosaurus and becomes extinct. Ironically around the same time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was getting the Nobel prize and here's what he said: "I refuse to believe that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life. I refuse to believe that mankind is so starlessly bound to the dark midnight on racism of war, at racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality."
Then he said this: "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."
A weary battered old brontosaurus in becoming extinct, unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. Which of the two ways are we going to go?
If Dr. King is right then our whole educational system is wrong. I'll tell you why. Naturalism does not give you the imperative of unarmed truth and unconditional love. Those are metaphysical propositions: Truth and love.
They are not the natural bequest of a test tube lifestyle that works in the lab and tells you what happens when such-and-such mixes with suchand-such. The imperative of truth and love really are metaphysical propositions. And may I dare suggest to you they are embedded in the Judeo-Christian worldview -- the imperatives of truth and love are deeply embedded in the Judeo-Christian worldview.
It was about seven years ago I was in Damascus. One of my favorite stops in the world; I've been there many times. Every time I arrived there the chief of intelligence would always bring me in for the same briefing, the same plate of baklava sitting in front of me, which none of us dare touch because of the sternness on his face took away any appetite for any sweets or whatever.
But he would look at me and say, "Mr. Zacharias, we know you are here and we welcome you. Just don't get involved in the politics of the region." And it was the same line.
I said, "I don't plan to get involved in the politics." But this time I said something different. I said, "But since you are, can you tell me what's really going on in this part of the world?" This was about seven years ago before everything broke loose.
Here's what he said to me. I quoted him immediately after I came back because I had his permission. He said, "I give this part of the world no more than five years and the whole thing is going to blow up if nothing changes. If nothing changes here the whole place is going to blow up."
Did he know something then? Did he know Isis was looming in the background? Did he know of all the terror that stalked them? He was one of the first to be assassinated after everything collapsed out there long before this all began.
Today what are they talking about? Maybe 200,000? In a city that had a man in a basket lowered over the wall to bring the message of salvation and hope, he himself being a terrorist, having been converted and took the message of peace all over the globe, and to give us onethird of the New Testament. And as I take that story and illustration in the background, which of us knows what looms ahead in the next five years here? What lies ahead for us?