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Salvation Stories 3: Bennett McDonald: Personal Testimony

Salvation Stories Day 3 – Bennett McDonald: Personal Testimony

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, ESV)

My name is Bennett McDonald. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home where the gospel was taught and Jesus Christ was loved and praised daily. I was shown from infancy all the way into adulthood how a man and woman are supposed to love each other and raise their children. I was given anything I ever needed and wanted as a kid. I always had a roof over my head and plenty of food to eat, and had the newest toys and latest video games. I basically “had it all”—or so I thought.

Life to me was so materialistic that the gospel I heard weekly simply went in one ear and out the other. I was always so busy with school and sports that I never made time to get into the Word of God. I knew many Bible verses by memory and most of the Bible stories typically taught in Sunday School. I knew about heaven and hell and that Jesus died on a cross for me, but I never applied those concepts to my own life. I just thought I would simply figure it all out before I died or before the Rapture, a future event when Jesus will come to take those who are saved to heaven.

There were numerous occasions when I felt the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart as He sought to open my eyes to the truths I was hearing at church every week. I remember listening to multiple teaching meetings on the book of Revelation, and also the Left Behind movie series, both dealing with future events. These always made it clear to me that I did not have all this figured out. For many years I knew I needed to do something about it, and that it was important that I take care of it right away. 

Beginning around age 14 until 16, I told people I was saved, trying to get them off my back and thinking this would help comfort me. Obviously, it did not. I focused on worldly things that further distracted me from coming to Christ. I remember having many conversations with my father about the importance of believing in Christ and His death on the cross and knowing that I have a home in heaven. We would read verses together and I would go up to my room and try to believe hard enough to feel a spark, but never did. My girlfriend at the time also helped me grow confident in asking questions and diving into the Word. 

One night after I dropped my girlfriend off, I sat in the cul-de-sac of my neighborhood in my topless Jeep and just stared at the stars. I remember asking God what I was missing. I realized I was a helpless sinner in need of a Savior. A few Bible verses started going through my head and Ephesians 2:8 stood out (see above). That August evening of 2014, at 10:45pm, I realized that it was by grace and through the blood of Jesus that I could be saved and have a home in Heaven, simply by resting on Jesus’ work on the cross. It was not by my own doing but by His blood alone that I could enter the door of Heaven, having been forgiven. 

I now reside with my wife, Delanie, in Stanley, NC. We are both believers who are members of Denver Baptist Church in Denver, NC. It’s our joy to serve the Lord as a couple!

I thank God every day for surrounding me with family and friends that He continually provided at the right time to help me get to where I needed to be in order to come to Christ. Praise be to God!

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