Saturday, June 21, 2008
My name is Ryan Powell, and this is my testimony. I did not grow up in church, nor did I have any concept of the depravity of man. While in high school, a man who became my mentor wondered why I was cleaning out my locker. I told him that I was through with school and that I was dropping out. This began a three-hour conversation in which he outlined the gospel. He invited me to a play called “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames.” At the conclusion of this play, I quickly made my way to the altar to give a profession of faith. Shortly afterward, I was baptized. Within a few months, “like a dog that returns to its own vomit” (Prov.26:11), I quickly dove back into the sinful lifestyle that I had begun to miss. I look back on that time and I see that I was like a seed that fell on rocky ground. Mark 4:16 states, “When they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness, and they have no root in themselves, and so endure for only a time. Afterwards, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.” My faith was all external. I purchased the t-shirt, had the bumper sticker, but when temptations and persecution came, I quickly abandoned my faith. Internally, I was still rotten to the core. After about four more years of a selfish, sinful, unrewarding lifestyle, I woke up one morning disgusted with my current state. I knew what I needed to do thanks to the brief stint of church attendance in high school. Later that night, I went to my room and submitted my will to Christ and repented from a worthless life. My life since that day has sparked a series of many seasons, but I am not shaken. Now when trials and persecutions come, I am anchored in Christ. I am the seed that falls on fertile soil with strong roots. I am like, “a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.” (Mathew 7:48) I now have the hope of eternal life, and a fire inside that compels me to warn others of the consequences of a life without Christ.