MissionFest Opens Asking 'What Does it Mean to be Human?'

TORONTO – One of Christianity’s leading philosophers opened the 12th annual MissionFest Toronto by explaining the meaning of being man.

Dr. Ravi Zacharias - host of the weekly radio program “Let My People Think,” broadcasted to over 1,500 stations worldwide – spoke about the intrinsic worth of man and the final moment of consummation with God.

He shared about his personal experience as a 17-year-old attempting to commit suicide and how God chose that low point in his life to reveal Himself.

“Why does the Lord of glory – with the billions of people in the world – take the time to send someone into a hospital room in Delhi of a young lad who is wanting to end it all,” asked Zacharias.

“Because of the value placed on every single life,” he answered.

The president of the Atlanta-based Ravi Zacharias International Ministries said that a man came and read John 14 to him while he was recovering in the hospital from his suicide attempt. He responded to God’s outreach by committing his life to Christ at the age of 17-years.

Zacharias highlighted that one of the greatest compliments to man is that God said He created man in His image and man is created to reflect the glory of God.

The apologist used the well-known story of the Pharisees who asked Jesus if they should pay taxes to Caesar, to which Jesus replied, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Zacharias noted that there was a second question that should have been asked by the Pharisees if they had a good intention to truly learn about God. The Pharisees would follow Jesus’ response by asking, “What then belongs to God?”

Jesus would have likely responded, “Whose image is on you?” Zacharias said

Following his explanation of the value of the creation of man, Zacharias spoke about the Incarnation of God as Jesus Christ and how there is an absolute moral law because of the Incarnation.

“Reason alone does not get you to a moral framework,” He noted, “It needs something transcendent – it’s God. Only God can give you and me a moral law - reason alone does not here.”

Zacharias then spoke about the ability of God to transform sinful man back to the image of love and goodness.

His final point was about the consummate moment where man ultimately stands before God face to face.

“What does it mean to be human? It means there is a moment God has prepared us for – that consummate moment when we stand before Him and probably the only word there will be is ‘amazing, amazing’ because we are fearfully and wonderfully made,” concluded Zacharias.

Dr. Ravi Zacharias is a sought after speaker who has spoken at prestigious universities including Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford as well as to political heads such as top Hamas and Syrian leaders, the president of Albania, and the parliament of Peru.

Zacharias will speak again on the last day of MissionFest on Mar. 3 along with Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, who will speak later that night.

MissionFest is the largest missions conference in Central Canada and this year's Mar. 1-3 gathering is expected to attract more than 20,000 people.