I have lived by “We sorrow not like the rest of the world that has no hope…” since 2:38 EDT today. That was when I had the joy and honor of being with my dad when he drew his last breath and at least two of God’s angels ushered him into God’s presence. (Click here, and in second paragraph below for a little background of God saving a man who was lost yet served four churches as pastor. That would be my dad!)
My personal experience in being with my dad for the last two weeks of his life is this… God’s grace is sufficient for our every need. Yes, I have cried and wept… but the overwhelming emotion I have experienced today has been rejoicing, celebration, and gladness! Not contrived mind you, but it has welled up within me in an uncontrollable manner (Which I did not expect!). I have found that Jesus’ words are true, “My joy I leave with you…”
As I wrote earlier, my dad served four churches as pastor while not being saved. How is it possible to preach the Gospel… lead people to salvation… know Scripture well… and still be lost? Because Jesus said it would happen in Matthew 7:21-23…
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessnes.’
That described my dad until a few weeks ago. In God’s love and grace He decided to reach down and bring my dad into the kingdom after living a life of rebellion for many years and then trying to atone for it by doing works of righteousness. Only near the end did God reveal Himself to my dad in such a way as to break him and bring him to salvation. Thus my dad was hopefully saved just a few weeks prior to his life ending.
Monday… God willing… I will have the honor of proclaiming God’s glory and grace at Dad’s funeral. The only thing that bothers me is that he got to see Jesus face to face before I did. Thus 2 Corinthians 5:1-10…
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
His grace is sufficient. My prayers will be with you and yours.
I don’t know what to say except I am so sorry for your loss and so glad that you have the joy & peace of knowing he is with Jesus.
I am so sorry but so thankful that he experienced the wonderful salvation experience before his death.
May God comfort you during this time.
In His Love,
My continued prayer for you and your family.
“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces…” Isa 25:8
Thank God for the hope we have in Christ. May God’s peace and grace surround you and your family. You continue to be in our prayers.
Ron, so sorry to learn of your father’s death. However, we all know he is in a better place. May God be with you and your family during this trying time and know that my prayers and thoughts are with you always.
Thanks for living out the hope of the resurrection! You and your family are in our prayers.
I am so sorry for your loss but it is heaven’s gain.
You are in my prayers always.
Ron, we are thinking about you and the family and how wonderful you will be preaching Ron, Sr.’s funeral.
He is indeed at peace now with the Lord and this should make us rejoice.
He so loved you, Pam and especially your children.
You were not only a good son, but a fantastic son and he knew this. Peace,
Ron and Family, Even though we did not know your dad, we know the loss you must feel at this time as well as the victory in knowing of his salvation. We hope you have the peace and comfort which you helped us obtain in our loss of Aunt Mutt & Uncle Mack. Our prayers are still with you all.
Your dad was one of my favorite Sunday school teachers I ever had. An amazing teacher to a bunch of rowdy boys – not an easy task at our age.
He was a great man who touched many lives. I’m sure he was quite proud of you and the important work you carry on.
Our prayers are with you and your family.
Ron and Family, our love and prayers go out to all of you. Your faith and the knowledge that your Dad is with Jesus will sustain you. And I know that it is an honor for you to be able to speak at the funeral. Our thoughts are with you, especially then.
I am so sorry for your loss but I am thankful that you know he accepted Jesus as his Savior and this will fill you with a joy and peace only God can give.
Ron & Pam & family – our heartfelt sympathies go out to you along with our prayers. We remember meeting your Dad once at FBC Oxford and recall how kind he was. Ron, you were blessed to have him for a father…rejoice now knowing that Jesus has him for a child.
I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your dad but like so many others that have written here and followed your writings and messages over the years, I praise God that he found his Savior before his death on earth. Keep your faith and know with blessed assurance that your dad is with Jesus. We will keep you, Pam and your family in our loving prayers.
May you find comfort in knowing others are praying for you and your family during this difficult time.
Love and Prayers,
John & Kristin Coon
we are truly sad within our hearts that the world has lost a great spiritual lamb of god leader. i am truly sadden to hear saying that he was not saved,we feel just the opposite. pastor ron was always with us no matter what and my heart has truly been broken. ron we know that you are with jesus.
John and Linda, thank you for your response! I hope you didn’t miss the point that dad did accept Christ a few weeks prior to his death. His own words and testimony however were that he was not saved until that time. Thus, till then, my dad was in the Matthew 7:21-23 category where Jesus said (Paraphrased), Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven… Many will say to me on that day, “Lord did we not prophesy (Preach) in Your name? Did we not cast out demons in Your name? And in Your name do many wonderful works?” Then I will say to them, “Depart from me, I never knew you…”
Brother Ron, we were saddened to hear about the passing of your father. What a blessing the Lord gave to be with him as he accepted Christ, that you and your family can share his testimony.