Ravi Zacharias was received by the Passion 2016 crowd of 18-25-year-olds with cheers and wild applause. The conference that was attended by 40,000 young people came to an end on Monday evening. It was held in Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas and also live-streamed.
When Zacharias took the platform, he was following Christian hip-hop artists whose song was rooted in Romans 1:16.
He joked with the crowd, “Romans 1:16 has always been my favorite and life verse. Even if it weren’t before, it will be now.”
He told the crowd that he had gotten many e-mails saying that prayers were going up for the conferences.
“I have never sensed a time as uncertain as the times in which we live,” Zacharias said.
He spoke of his son Nathan, who has a 2-year-old daughter and Nathan confided in Zacharias that, “I am so nervous about the future.”
Zacharias detailed that his son was, “thinking of all the political rhetoric and all of the quicksand on which we are building our structures and wondering what sort of a world his little one will grow up to be in.”
“The only reason that I have hope,” Zacharias said, “apart from the fact that we serve a sovereign and an awesome God, is because of young people like you whose lives He will transform and make you a light in this very dark world.”
Zacharias said his journey to Christ began with a lot of questions, but one night in a hospital bed, it ended with a challenge: “If You are who You claim to be, take me out of this hospital bed and I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of the truth. Young people, truth is the most valuable thing in the world… So valuable that it is oftentimes protected by a bodyguard of lies… And so my one challenge to you today is: Does the truth matter to you? It doesn’t seem to matter in the political arena, it doesn’t seem to matter in the cultural arena, and it doesn’t seem to matter in so many other pursuits.”
He told a story of a former justice minister of Israel who had been incarcerated under the Soviet regime in isolation for a long period of time. When he was finally released and returned to his homeland, he decided that he wanted to return to visit the prison because that was where his life was changed, pondering what the truth is. Zacharias detailed how the former Israeli justice minister wept over all the hours and days that he had spent there. Then when he came out, he asked for a bouquet of flowers that he could place on the grave of Andrei Sakharov, the physicist who had given the former Soviet regime the atomic bomb. When he was asked why, Zacharias said that the former Israeli justice minister replied, “Mr. Sakharov, who gave you the atomic bomb, made this comment before he died… ‘I always thought that the most powerful weapon in the world was the bomb. I’ve changed my mind. The most powerful weapon in the world is not the bomb, the most powerful weapon is the truth.’