by Charles Roberts
Hello. My name is Charles Roberts, and I am a born-again Christian. I became a born again Christian on February 25, 2000. This is my story.
I was first baptized into the Baptist church at age five, but it wasn’t until I had reached the age of forty-two that I genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
As a child, and throughout my adult life, I always admired people who had faith in Christ, but it was always something that remained elusive to me. I had long since stopped going to church. ‘What’s the use?’ I thought, knowing that I didn’t possess the necessary faith. What I didn’t realize was that all I had to do was genuinely believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and was resurrected from the dead, and God’s Holy Spirit would strengthen my faith. It was just that simple.
I grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas. Upon graduation from high school, I enlisted in the Air Force. After spending twelve years in the Air Force, I was discharged and set my sights on becoming a lawyer. I attended Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth and the law school at the University of Arkansas. After graduation I began practicing law in Eureka Springs. Everything went well for a while until I became ill in January of 1999. I was forced to stop practicing law for the time being, and concentrate on getting well. This was a particularly low point in my life because it seemed that everything I had worked for was lost due to a potentially permanently disabling illness.
It was during this low point that my parents sent me a bible. It took several more months of misery before I was finally driven to pick it up and begin reading it. I began with the gospels and was soon reading as much as I could every day. The Bible’s gospel message soon began to have a profound effect on me. One day I began to read a copy of the New Testament entitled ‘The Covenant of God’s Love.’ After directing me to several bible verses, it instructed me to read Romans 10:13, ‘FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.’ I then recited a simple prayer in the book, with all of the sincerity I had been lacking in times past. The prayer stated: ‘Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner, and I am sorry. I need a Savior. I know I cannot save myself. I believe by faith that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to be my Savior. I believe he arose from the grave to live as my Lord. I turn from my sin. I ask you, Lord Jesus, to forgive my sin, come into my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me.’ It was at that moment that I knew I had been saved and born again!
Now that I was saved I needed to find a church. I lived near Mission Boulevard Baptist Church and drove by there daily. I looked in the phone book, got the number to the church and called. Soon I was speaking with Brother Brian Disney, pastor of the church. He arranged to meet me the next day. We discussed a number of bible verses concerning being saved, and he said that I was indeed saved, but needed the guidance and support of a New Testament church. Brother Brian made no suggestion of which church I might choose, saying only that the ‘Holy Spirit’ would lead me to the right church. I had little doubt that Mission Boulevard Baptist Church was indeed that Church, and began attending immediately. Several weeks later I was baptized and added to the church, this time knowing fully that I had a relationship with Jesus Christ. The faith that had eluded me for years was finally mine!
As for my illness, it is still there, and will be there for the rest of my life. The difference is that now I know that God has a purpose for me on this Earth, and if it involves the practice of law, so be it. I just want to carry out God’s will for me in this life. But more importantly, I know that when my life here on Earth is complete, I will spend eternity in heaven with my Lord Jesus Christ.