Many of you over the past few years have been blessed to read the numerous articles written by our sister in the Lord, Ronda Lane.
As some of you know, Ronda has been battling cancer for well over a year. What you may not have known is that she had been wheelchair-bound for many years suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and a degenerative spinal cord disease. None of these things ever affected in the least Ronda’s strong devotion to the Lord, her genuine compassion and concern for the lost, or her indomitable spirit.
Ronda loved the Lord with all her heart and was a true warrior for Christ. She was a strong and fearless contender for the faith (Jude 3).
Today, Ronda’s long, extremely painful battle with cancer finally came to an end. Earlier today, February 22, 2020, the Lord sent His angels to carry Ronda’s soul home to Glory where she so longed to be.
This morning, Ronda closed her eyes in this world, breathed her final breath, and stepped into the presence of her Savior she loved so dearly and served so faithfully. Today, Ronda’s faith became sight.
Only God Himself knows the depth of suffering Ronda endured with grace, patience, and dignity, and only He knows how many people Ronda’s life and her writings have touched—most of all mine.
If I may be permitted (and forgiven) a personal indulgence, I’d like to briefly tell just a minute bit of how this dear sister of my heart has impacted my life over the years.
Ronda and I never met in this life, but she, along with two or three other sisters in Christ whom I’ve also never met here but will meet in eternity, has been one of the closest and most trusted friends of my life.
Ronda and I had been Bible study partners through our online friendship for many years. I was blessed to study the length and breadth of the scriptures with her. Especially were we drawn to the prophetic studies of the end times, particularly now as the world is being drawn to the very threshold of the Tribulation as we await the rapture of the Church.
I cannot tell how many hours each and every day we would “tear up the keyboard” discussing Biblical prophecy and current events. Up until just a week ago when she was still able to type, we were discussing current events in light of the scriptures. Only over the last two days did she become unable to type more than a few words. And what were her final words? They were words to encourage me.
Until a couple of days ago when she became too weak to type any longer, not a day went by that we didn’t delve into the scriptures together and pray with and for each other.
Our study times have become such a precious thing to me. Our approach to Bible study was unique to us. I am a “forest” person. I can see the big picture, whilst Ronda was a “trees” person. She could connect the dots and focus on individual “trees,” which is not my forte. Together, our method of study served us both really well, like “iron sharpens iron,” as scripture says.
Ronda and I didn’t always agree on non-doctrinal issues such as who or where the coming 10 kingdom Antichrist kingdoms might be, but on the foundational doctrinal issues and on the clear, literal Word of God in context, we both stood rock-solid on “Thus saith the Lord” according to the scriptures.
Ronda was one of my biggest encouragers. In fact, it was at Ronda’s consistent urging that I finally got up the nerve to write my book, SEVEN, which Rapture Ready so graciously published here. I might never have gotten the courage to try had Ronda not encouraged, cajoled, and yes, even pushed me to begin.
I will miss Ronda’s sharp incisive mind, her gentle critiques, and her total devotion to in-depth Bible study which is evident in every article she wrote.
Ronda’s greatest desire was that the lost come to salvation. Her laser focus was in presenting THE gospel. I can think of no more fitting a tribute to her memory or any greater way to honor her legacy than to finish this tribute to her by sharing once again the only gospel that saves.
So, for the glory of God and in memory of Ronda Lane, beloved sister of my heart, let me once again present the gospel.
SALVATION ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES
(1) WHO NEEDS A SAVIOR?
EVERYONE—YOU do. WHY? Because we are ALL JUSTLY CONDEMNED SINNERS:
“The soul that sinneth it shall DIE [eternally]. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the Father, neither shall the Father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:20).
“For ALL HAVE SINNED and COME SHORT of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
“As it is written, there is NONE righteous, NO NOT ONE” (Romans 3:10).
“For the wages [penalty] of sin is [ETERNAL] DEATH [in the Lake of Fire], BUT the GIFT OF GOD is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ out Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“He that BELIEVETH on Him [Christ] is NOT CONDEMNED: but he that BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY” (John 3:18).
You must understand that you, I, ALL of mankind are justly condemned sinners and that you (we) can do NOTHING to remedy that condition by our own efforts. You cannot “BE” good enough, “DO” good enough, nor can you “turn over a new chapter and try again” or STAY good enough. NONE of that is good enough because our own self-righteous “WORKS” (our own attempts to “be” or to “act” holy; to try to live a life pleasing before God by our OWN EFFORTS) are viewed by God as being equivalent to “filthy rags” in the sight of God’s infinite holiness, righteousness and justice.
“For by GRACE [the unmerited favor of God] are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS [our own efforts] lest any man should BOAST” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“But WITHOUT FAITH [sincere belief and trust] it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him: for he that cometh to God must BELIEVE that HE [Jesus Christ] IS [God come in human flesh] and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
“And He [Christ] is the PROPITIATION for our sins [appeasing – reconciliation by blood – the turning away of wrath by an offering – satisfying the wrath of God]: and not for our sins only, but for the SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD” (1 John 2:2).
We must first come to terms with the fact that we are ALL justly condemned sinners who NEED a SINLESS and RIGHTEOUS SAVIOR who is both WILLING and ABLE to “pay the infinite penalty” [wages] of the debt of sin under which each living soul is conceived and condemned guilty. We are not sinners because we commit sins; we commit sins BECAUSE WE ARE SINNERS. Sin is intrinsic within our very nature.
(2) WHO CAN BE SAVED?
ANYONE! God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11). God DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED (1 Timothy 2:4).
WHOSOEVER (this means ANYONE) who is willing to come to Christ by faith WILL BE SAVED!
“For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED” (Romans 10:13).
“… Jesus stood and cried, ‘If ANY MAN THIRST [spiritual thirst for salvation], let him COME UNTO ME and drink. HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER [eternal salvation]'” (John 7:37-38).
“And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for the sins OF THE WHOLE WORLD” (1 John 2:2).
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE” (2 Peter 3:9).
“For I have NO PLEASURE in him that dieth (eternally) saith the Lord GOD: wherefore TURN YE YOURSELVES, and live ye (eternally)” (Ezekiel 18:32).
(3) HOW CAN ONE BE SAVED? – That which MUST BE BELIEVED FOR ONE TO BE SAVED:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you THE GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which ye also have received, and WHEREIN YE STAND; by which also YE ARE SAVED… For I delivered unto you that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED. For with the HEART man BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; and with the MOUTH CONFESSION is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
“For God SO LOVED the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son that Whosoever (that is whosoever is willing to freely choose) BELIEVETH IN HIM should NOT PERISH [eternally] but have EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 3:16).
(4) HOW DO WE COME TO CHRIST?
WE ARE DRAWN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him… ” (John 6:44).
“Jesus saith unto him, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME” (John 14:6).
(5) WHEN SHOULD I GET SAVED?
“Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
“For it is appointed unto man once to die; but after this, the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
People, we do not know how long our lives may last. Life is uncertain, but death is sure; and should you die in your sins BEFORE you come to Christ in salvation, then it will be for you ETERNALLY TOO LATE.
(6) CAN I EVER LOSE MY SALVATION ONCE I BECOME SAVED?
NO! ONCE ANYONE ACCEPTS BY FAITH, THE GOSPEL, HE/SHE IS SEALED WITHIN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD ETERNALLY!
“My Sheep hear my voice, and I KNOW THEM and they follow me. And I give unto them ETERNAL LIFE; and they shall NEVER PERISH (eternally) neither shall ANY MAN (including one’s own self) pluck them out of my hand. My FATHER which GAVE THEM TO ME IS GREATER THAN ALL, and NO MAN is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).
“ALL that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT” (John 6:37).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in Him shall NOT PERISH, (eternally) but have Everlasting (eternal) LIFE” (John 3:16).
“Verily, verily I say unto you, he that HEARETH MY WORD, and BELIEVETH ON HIM THAT SENT ME HAS (present-future tense) EVERLASTING (eternal) LIFE, and SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION; but IS PASSED FROM (eternal) DEATH unto (eternal) LIFE” (John 5:24).
“Who hath also SEALED US, and given the EARNEST OF THE SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS” (2 Corinthians 1:22).
“These things I have written UNTO YOU THAT BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
“For by GRACE are you saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT OF GOD:” (Ephesians 2:8).
“Being CONFIDENT of this very thing, that HE which hath BEGUN a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God whereby YOU ARE SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION” (Ephesians 4:30).
Please, I implore you; if you are lost, or if you are uncertain of your salvation, make your calling and election sure! Call upon Him [believe, place your faith and trust in the finished work of Christ – in His atoning death, His burial and His bodily resurrection according to the scriptures] to save you and to redeem you for His kingdom. He stands ready, willing, and able to save ALL who will come to Him by faith. Please, do it NOW – this very minute – before it is eternally too late.
I will end this tribute the way Ronda ended every single contact we ever had over the years. God called Ronda home before the rapture, but she and I both spoke often that if either or both of us should be called home before Jesus calls His Church to meet Him in the air, we both rejoiced that alive or “dead in Christ,” we know that we will see each other in the air “and so we shall ever be with Jesus.”
Till we meet in the air, Ronda, I love you.