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Screenshot of Dr Ravi Zacharias in one of his latest videos talking about his newest book, Seeing Jesus from the East .

Christian apologist, philosopher and evangelist Dr Ravi Zacharias has ceased all cancer treatment and is returning to his home in Atlanta, having run out of medical options for further treatment.

He was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer, just one month shy of his 74th birthday. The tumour in his sacrum was discovered in early March this year after emergency back surgery for his chronic back pain which has plagued Dr Zacharias for much of his life.

Dr Zacharias underwent chemotherapy but it has been of limited success because “the area where the cancer metastasised has actually worsened”, announced his daughter, Sarah Davis.

Next steps for the Zacharias family

Davis, who is also the CEO of Ravi Zacharias’ International Ministries (RZIM), put out an update yesterday in a message disseminated to over 300 staff in 15 countries.

“While we are full of many emotions, we are also at peace, resting in the truth that God is sovereign and good.”

Thanking friends and the medical teams at the cancer centre who came alongside in many generous and unexpected ways.”, Davis said that Dr Zacharias will be going home so that “our family can be together for whatever time the Lord gives us.”

“We are so grateful to God for His goodness and His love that we have seen evidenced in so many ways. The love and care that you have given to us is one of the most beautiful expressions of God’s kindness.

“After many weeks of separation, our family is anxious to spend time together,” Davis wrote.

Dr Zacharias was previously receiving treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, accompanied by Margie, his wife and Naomi, his other daughter.

The couple had just celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary in hospital.

Ravi Zacharias and his wife, Margie, have been married 48 years and have three children and five grandchildren. Photo from Ravi Zacharias on Facebook.

On his 48th wedding anniversary with wife Margie, Dr Zacharias posted on Facebook: “Our 48th wedding anniversary looked different than the others, but three things remain the same: our love for each other, the gift of family and friends who shower us with kindness, and the abiding faithfulness of our great God.”

Last year, Dr Zacharias said that spending time with family is one of the three things he loves most, alongside speaking and writing.

“We love you and are grateful to share these thin places with you.”

Widely regarded as one of this generation’s top philosophers, Dr Zacharias became a Christian after a suicide attempt at 17 and, ten years later, founded RZIM with a focus on evangelism undergirded by apologetics. RZIM’s tagline reads: “Helping thinkers believe and believers think.”

Less than six months ago, after 35 years of worldwide ministry with RZIM, Dr Zacharias stepped down and handed the reins of the organisation to Davis.

To family around the world

In her update, Davis said to the RZIM team, whom she calls family: “We love you and are grateful to share these thin places with you. Thank you for what each of you do to faithfully support my dad’s work and calling, and to advance the cause of evangelism around the world.

“We know that God has purposed and numbered each of our days, and only He knows how many more Ravi will experience on this earth. One day, likely sooner than later, we will be serving without our beloved founder, though I know his love and legacy will convict and inspire us to service of his Lord even greater than we have seen before.

“While we are full of so many emotions, we are also at peace, resting in the truth that God knows all and sees all and is sovereign and good. I think of the great joy my dad will have, and I am comforted.”

As he underwent chemotherapy last month, Dr Zacharias wrote in an Easter reflection: “Death is either a full stop or a comma. In the Christian worldview, it is a comma. There is for the Christian both the passing of all things and the abiding in Christ’s provision.

“The resurrection makes the difference. Jesus’s triumph over death captures my defeat and takes me into His victory.”

Pause for thought: Waiting is about preparation



About the author

Tan Huey Ying

Huey Ying is now an Assignments Editor at Salt&Light, having worked in finance, events management and aquatics industries. She usually has more questions than answers but is always happiest in the water, where she's learning what it means to "be still".