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I had it taped

December 2007 | by Charles Tomlin

I had it taped 

Charles Tomlin was brought up in a Christian home in Cheltenham with three brothers and two sisters. He came to know Christ as his Saviour by listening to tape-recorded sermons.

My parents made sure that we all attended Sunday school and heard sermons but I could never understand why my parents made us go to church. As I got to the age of 12 or 13 I began to realise that my parents were different to others and this caused problems. I wasn’t allowed out to parties on Sundays or with my friends.

In my later teens I began to get into the things that many young people do. Two things that interested me specially were music and electronics. When the church had a new sound system installed I was more than happy to help use it on Sundays. It was quite amazing how many tapes I recorded and these sometimes got muddled up with my personal tape collection.

At the age of eighteen I left Cheltenham to pursue Higher Education in Southampton. There I spent two and a half years without attending church or having any religious involvement.

Forgotten tapes

But earlier this year, as my college life drew to a close, I discovered some tapes in my collection that appeared to be sermons I had recorded four years previously. I decided to listen to one in my bedroom.

It was a sermon on the Bible book of Esther. What I heard so amazed me that I searched through my tape collection to find any other sermons that might be there. I think I found three or four. As I listened, two things stuck in my mind. To be accepted by God I needed to repent from sin and find someone who could make atonement for my sin (something I couldn’t do for myself).

When I visited my parents next I told them that I had listened to some sermons and before I returned to Southampton someone had put a Bible and a stack of tapes in my bedroom to take with me. Once back in Southampton I listened to those tapes and my parents sent a book.

Changed life

As I read and listened, my eyes were opened and I understood that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had sacrificed himself on the cross to make atonement for my sin. I felt like Peter and John in Acts 4:20 – I had to speak to those I lived with and to friends about the amazing things that I had seen and heard.

My life changed direction. I could no longer live the ungodly lifestyle of the world but only for the one who died for me and rose again.

God’s providence did not finish there. My brother was engaged to be married, and his fiancé’s sister (a member of Spring Road Evangelical Church) phoned and invited me to a Sunday service. The message I heard was the same gospel of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ that I had read of in the Bible and heard on those tapes – so I continued to attend.

Since then the Lord has been gracious and my understanding of Scripture and my dependence on him have grown. A portion of Scripture that helps me greatly from day to day is Ephesians 6:13-18 which tells us of the Christian’s spiritual armour. I hope that the future will allow me to walk closer with Christ and involve myself with other Christians in spreading the precious truth that, by the grace of God, I now believe.

Whenever I look back on my conversion I think of Jesus’ words – ‘Seek and you shall find’. I searched and found something I will never regret and someone who will bring me everlasting joy, the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
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Evangelistic