Pastor Ron E. Thompson: Biblical Lessons from My High School Reunion

Pastor Ron E. Thompson

Some years ago my wife, Thelma, and I had the opportunity to attend our first high school class reunion.  Nearly five hundred graduates from the classes of the nineteen fifties gathered for a barbecue picnic on a farm near my hometown. What an experience to be with people whom we had not seen for more than forty years! During those fleeting hours, God reminded me of some important spiritual truths.


We were surprised to learn of a number of classmates who had died at relatively young ages.  God asks us “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14,16 NLT).  He goes on to say that when we selfishly make our own plans and leave out God, we are boasting, and “all such boasting is evil.”  Life will be over for all of us sooner than we realize – how important it is that we live out our days for God!


It was obvious that we had all aged, some of us more than others.  A few of the “beauty queens” were there, but time had taken its toll on them also. Some classmates had succumbed to lifestyles that had drained the innocence of youth from their faces. As I reflected about the importance of one’s inner beauty Proverbs 31:30 NLT came to mind: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” As we chatted, laughed, and embraced fellow classmates, I felt a fresh surge of appreciation for my precious wife standing next to me who looked as radiant as ever that day.


Only a handful of us had entered the Christian ministry, and I was honored when asked to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the meal.  I expressed gratitude for those teachers who had made a positive imprint on our lives. I closed by asking God to make it possible for all of us to be together in eternity, through our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The answer seemed to appear in the words of Colossians 1:27 NLT: “This is the secretChrist lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.”

During the afternoon we were greatly encouraged when some fellow students told us that they had received the Lord Jesus Christ. But the outward demeanor of some others, however, seemed to indicate a life of spiritual emptiness. I suddenly realized anew that our task of evangelism is never done as long as we know of someone who has not yet encountered the Savior. I hope that no one for whom I am accountable will be missing from that great heavenly reunion when we gather with Christ in eternity.

(Editor: Pastor Thompson’s article was originally published in Decision Magazine August, 1996.) 

Pastor Ron E Thompson

Ron E. Thompson is a retired pastor/evangelist having had a ministry spanning over sixty years. He served as pastor of churches in Indiana, Virginia, Arizona, and South Carolina. As Director of Brethren Evangelistic Ministries, he held numerous evangelistic and revival crusades in twenty-two states. He led a team that conducted evangelism seminars throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Ron is author of two books: Hurricane Evangelism and Sermons in Song. He is also a musician, having studied piano under noted composer-conductor, Hubert Tillery. Music has served him well as an avocation in his life and ministry. He currently is a pianist at the Fountain of Life Bible Church in Johnson City, TN. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bridgewater College and his Master of Divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary. He did graduate studies at Wheaton College and the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. He attended the North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in1994. Ron’s home is in Limestone, Tennessee. He is the father of two daughters: Evangeline Hales, a musician at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA and violinist with the Lynchburg Symphony; Dr. Melody Archer, Retired Administrator and Principal of Tri-Cities Christian Schools, Blountville, TN.

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