Day 25 – Ryan McMichael: Personal Testimony
My name is Ryan McMichael, and by the grace of God, I know that my sins have been forgiven and I will spend an eternity in Heaven. This is not because of anything that I have done, but because of what God’s only begotten Son accomplished by giving up His own life on the cross at Calvary. The beauty of the gospel is that it’s a message that applies to all; no matter what your circumstances are and no matter what you have done, salvation is freely available.
I was very blessed to grow up in a home where the gospel was known and embraced. My parents are both born-again Christians and always made sure that my siblings and I were at church every week because they understood the importance of hearing the gospel message.
Growing up constantly going to church and attending Sunday school every week meant that I knew the gospel message very well. I could recite many verses and knew a lot of Bible stories. Before I was saved, I could very easily have told someone how to be saved. But despite knowing all this and knowing that I was a sinner and that the punishment for my sins was eternal separation from God, I didn’t really give it much thought. I was much more interested in everything that wasn’t related to church. So up until I was about nine years old, I really cannot remember times when I was concerned about my sins. I felt that I was too young to worry about that kind of stuff.
The first time I started thinking about the fact that I was a sinner on the way to Hell was when I began to understand what the Rapture was. I learned that one day the Lord Jesus will return and take everyone who is saved with Him to heaven, and everyone who is not saved will be left behind. This was terrifying for me because I knew that my parents and all my siblings, except for my sister Kelly, were saved. I was able to calm my mind and distract myself by saying that if the Rapture happened, I would still have my sister here with me. But then my plan fell apart when Kelly got saved. Once again, I was reminded that I would be left behind because I had not accepted Christ as my Savior. Unfortunately, I was once again able to distract myself from the reality of my sin.
A while later, my family moved to North Carolina. My cousin Jonny, who lives in NC, knew I wasn’t saved and he would often bring up the Rapture and what was going to happen in the Tribulation period (the time after the Rapture). This was very uncomfortable for me at the time, but he was doing this to make me think about getting saved.
At the same time, while I was in Ruth McDonald and Naomi Draper’s Sunday school class, we just so happened to be learning about the Rapture. So all over again, I was reminded that I was not saved and that if Jesus were to come back, I would be left behind, completely alone. I could not stop thinking about these different events that were going to happen and how if I did not get saved, I would have to live through them. Also, I don’t know where this idea came from, but I thought that when a peace treaty was signed in the Middle East, Jesus would return immediately. So one night, while my parents were watching the news, something came on about the war in the Middle East and a peace treaty being signed. Immediately, I burst into tears because I was once again reminded that my sin wasn’t taken care of. My dad, knowing why I was crying, brought me up to his room and read various Scriptures with me. (Sorry to say this, Dad, but I don’t remember a single thing you said.)
My mind was consumed with the fact that I was a sinner and that I would be in Hell because of my sin. I had no idea what to do or how to be saved, but it was the only thing I cared about right then. And at that moment, it just felt like a switch was turned on. For the first time, I understood that there wasn’t anything that I could do to be saved. There wasn’t any way for me to earn salvation; it was freely offered to me because Jesus already did the work on the cross. His death on Calvary was enough to pay for my sins, and there was nothing I could add to that. Now I can rest in the truth that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that my sins can be forgiven. You can as well by accepting that what He has done for you was enough.