Micah Wilder, an overzealous Mormon missionary, was transformed from a religious man to a person of grace.
He grew up in the state of Indiana with a strong and faithful Mormon home where he was taught that it was through works and religious acts that can make himself right with God.
Paul writes in Romans 10:2 (KJV) “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”
It described him as he did not believe that God gave his love to him freely even if he was saved by grace he believed that he had to earn his way and prove himself to God that he was worthy enough to be saved. He explained that he was like Saul before he became Paul that he was a zealous man.
When he was a teenager, his family moved from Indiana to the heart of Mormonism which is in Utah. His mom was a professor at Brigham Young University, a private Mormon school in Utah. At age 19, he went to a customary mission trip. They were taught that there was no salvation outside the Mormon church and that the only way to be saved was through the religious acts and ordinances of that religion. They were not taught about the sufficiency of the blood of Christ to save them. Micah went to Orlando, Florida which was the center of the evangelical Bible-based community.
It was his goal to convert everyone at Orlando and be the best missionary ever. In his overzealousness,he wanted to convert a Baptist minister and his whole congregation to the Mormon church of which he was unsuccessful. However, this did open an opportunity about an amazing way that God will deal with his life. He sat with the Baptist minister and shared with him the Mormon Gospel. It opened up an opportunity for this Baptist minister to share the true gospel with him for the first time in his life. After presenting him that there were acts, ordinances that have to be followed in order to be made right with God, the pastor’s response was that the only way to be made right with God is through Jesus Christ and the blood that he shed on the cross of Calvary. Titus 3.5 (KJV) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Wilder confessed that this was the love of God that he did not know and it was the love of God that he always wanted.
The minister further explained that that is the good news that Jesus paid the price and he made a way on how people can be made right with God. Epehsians 2:8-9 (KJV) says that “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Salvation was a free gift and he paid it on the cross and all I should do is lay down on the cross my religiosity.
However, he rejected the gospel because he was a religious man and he was a Saul. I Corinthians 1.18 say that “ For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
At that time, it was foolishness for him and he ended up arguing with the Baptist minister and he contended his faith, which is a faith of works.
When he left his office, he was angry and frustrated. The minister encouraged him with this, “Elder Wilder, I challenge you to go home and read the Bible as a child and I promise you God will open your eyes to the true Gospel of Christ.”
That small seed started to change my life. He started to read the Bible as a child and he started to pour over the New Testament. He realized how his religion cannot save him. He unveiled to him his grace that he had never before seen.
As a Mormon missionary, he read the New Testament for 18 months. He changed his heart not because of a single verse but because It was in 18 months over pouring.
He came to understand the power and cleansing and amazing power of the blood of Christ and that Christ cleansed sins. It was not because of who MIcah was or what Micah has done for God but because of who Christ was and what He did for Micah. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice.
Three weeks before his two-year missionary work, he became a Born-again Christian. He didn’t plan to walk away from his religion but God pursued my heart relentlessly until he just had to give up because he was so broken of his sin. He further realized that Jesus can only heal his sin.
He found himself in a difficult predicament; he was a Born-again christian and a Mormon missionary. Since it does not work that way, he pondered on what he was supposed to do.
He was given an opportunity when Mormon missionaries gave their testimony at the end of their mission trip. Despite his fear, he claimed the promise that he can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
“The only thing that I had to know in my two-year mission trip was JesusChrist was all that I needed. That his blood and grace is sufficient for my eternal life. And I knew that for the first time in my life I was saved not because of my work but because of the free gift of grace that he is offering me.”
When Micahshared that, there was an awkward hsh in the audience. Two days after that he received a phone call from his Mormon leaders and that they wanted to have a chat with him.
His mom was a professor at BYU, his father was a high priest in Mormonism, and two older brothers were missionaries, his girlfriend was studying at BYU. God called him out of that into a relationship with him.
But Jesus said what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? He said, “Even if Mormonism has the whole world to offer me, I know that I do not have security of my salvation through my religion. I can only have that through faith in Jesus christ. Before he went on with this meeting, he pleaded with God to give him strength and help him read the Bible”
In Matthew 19.29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”
Even if he lost everything in the whole world for the sake of gaining Christ, it was worth the cost because he was gaining something that his religion cannot offer but a relationship with Jesus my God.
“Jesus quenched my thirst. I have found that I am not thirsty anymore because he is all that I need,” he further explained. .
When he met with his leaders, he told them that he did not need the Mormon church or any religion or organization or man or prophet . I Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.
“He bought me through his blood. They told him that he was filled with the spirit of the devil and I was deceived by Satan. They threatened him with excommunication and called him the AntiChrist, the worst insult that he gave him was that he sounded like a Baptist. I do not know what that means,” he shared.
At that point he was kicked out of his Mormon mission, He headed to go back and face his family.
Her girlfriend also came to know the grace of Jesus Chrustl She is now his wife.
He went home and shared with them to read the Bible as a child. He praised God for the small seed that was planted but it is only God who in his perfect time grew that. His parents, brothers, and sister all came into a relationship with Jesus Christ.