We held a tent revival at our church over ten years ago. It was one of those times when I saw the HOLY Spirit move like never before or since in my lifetime. The evangelist was Ronnie Owens, and at the end of the service, he offered this challenge:
Find someone you know who is here tonight, someone whose salvation you are not sure of and say, "I'm going to heaven. Are you going with me?"
I knew who the LORD wanted to me to speak to. It was Uncle Ronnie. I never remember him being at church before, but he and Aunt Gloria were there for that night of our revival. I grew up really close to my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Uncle Ronnie was the husband of my mama's baby sister. I had spent many days on his farm, and his family had spent many days at our house. We had visited at my grandparents house every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other major and some minor holidays. I didn't know, though, about his relationship with the LORD.
It took some courage. Why is that? Why is it hard for us to ask the people we love the most that simple question? But, I walked up to him, took him by the hand, and asked it anyway. And, I have never been sorry that I did.
After that question, I learned that Uncle Ronnie had made a profession of faith, but he was not living his life serving the LORD. And, the following week the evangelist moved from our church to a church near Uncle Ronnie's home. Brother Ronnie Owens let me know that Uncle Ronnie did not miss a single service that week.
Uncle Ronnie began to fervently serve the LORD. He became a deacon in his church and became the church treasurer. He was faithful at visitation of the unsaved and faithful to visit the sick and elderly. He continued to follow Brother Ronnie Owens's ministry. He even traveled to Bristol, VA, to help Brother Ronnie put up his tent.
He served at Camp Jubilee, where he helped to maintain the facilities. At Camp Jubilee, many children and youth come to know the LORD. At their Fall Camp meetings, adults from all over the country, particularly the east coast, are revived and encouraged. Uncle Ronnie loved that place.
One year, I was preparing to take a large group of children to camp at Camp Jubilee, at least a 10 hour drive from our home. I needed another male chaperone, and we were unable to find another man in our church who could get away from work. Uncle Ronnie stepped up to the plate, and spent the week helping me because he loved Jesus.
When I was an assistant principal, I had planned to serve snow cones to students with perfect attendance. I need help. Uncle Ronnie came to my school, where I was his only connection, and spent the day serving snow cones to children he had never met.
Uncle Ronnie developed ALS over a year ago, and his health has continually deteriorated. He went home to be with Jesus last night. But, you know what I know,
"I'm going to heaven, and I know he is going to be there."
Can you ask that question?