“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:1-3
The first line of Christian Villers’ new book offers a thought-provoking punch: “Imagine if you had only one hour to live.”
“Will it matter how many followers you have, how much money you’ve made or what kind of clothes you’re wearing?” he asks.
Villers is only 24 years old, a part of Generation Z, already a successful businessman, and someone who is pursuing a life of significance for Jesus Christ. Now he can add author to his title, although he strays away from all the tags except follower of Jesus. To him, that’s the only one that matters.
“When we understand what He has done for us, that’s where we find life,” he said.
Villers isn’t a theologian, a new pastor or even a seminary student. He’s also not a well-known writer or blogger but his book, “DIVINEPLAN,” he believes, can have an impact on young adults and others who are conflicted by the culture in today’s world. The book is written for believers and especially the non-believers who Villers said will understand who Jesus after reading the first chapter.
“For someone who doesn’t know a thing about Jesus, they’re going to learn about him,” he said. “I want them to understand what is significant. Significance isn’t found in money and fame and trophies. That stuff dies the day we do. The book is written to encourage people to live life of eternal significance. Each chapter shows how you can do that. It brings the light of Christ into every chapter. There’s 19 chapters and I really think there’s something in those 19 chapters for every single person. Whether you’re a 17-year-old or a 70-year-old, people have trouble finding purpose and meaning in life.”
Villers calls it an inspirational Christian book full of God’s truths. His business, also called “DIVINEPLAN,” is a Christian clothing company that gives young adults throughout the world something that “looked good and had a gospel message.” But, he said, “I realized God had so much more.”
While talking to people from around the world, he often found them gravitating toward life’s problems and away from Jesus. He would send them heartfelt messages peppered with God’s truths via Instagram that seemed to be making a gospel impact. The feedback he received was eye-opening. “They were inspirational messages to help lead them to Jesus,” he said. They wrote back to him that his messages were “encouraging and inspiring them to get right with Jesus.”
The messages kept coming and he provided the answers that some were seeking, and they almost always involved Jesus. He doesn’t claim to be a prophet or even a counselor, but the messages were hitting home.
“God gave me the opportunity to talk with people from Ashland to Australia who were struggling with anxiety and anger, and told me how much these messages helped them. A lady from New York said for the last six years has struggled getting a relationship with God. After our conversation, she was inspired to make things right. That’s when I knew God was using this to point them to Jesus.”
Many of those inspirational stories are part of “DIVINEPLAN.”
Villers said writing has come naturally, even from an early age when Mrs. Evans, his first-grade teacher at Oakview Elementary, would give the class writing assignments asking what are you thankful for? “A lot of my friends were saying video games or cheese pizza but even at that young age, I always used the opportunity to glorify Jesus, hoping it was a blessing to my teacher. So, I guess this is not all coincidence.”
He said he was working out with a basketball – another passion for him and his family – when that realization came over him. He said God was telling him that he was going to write a book. There was no mistaking the message. He began the process in March 2021, a year after the pandemic brought the world – and Villers – to a standstill. Villers said it was during the pandemic, when everything was taken away, that he truly came to realize the importance of being a true follower of Jesus. While he comes from a Christian home and attends church regularly at Ironton First Baptist Church, where his uncle Eric Barnes is the pastor, and came to a belief in Jesus at the age of 9, it took the pandemic’s deadly clutches to fully understand what it meant to truly follow Jesus.
“God formed and created me and surrounded me with what I say is the greatest family on earth,” he said. “My parents, John and Leigh, my extended family, my brothers, they were all so instrumental in my life. Even the community He placed me in. My whole life, I’ve been a Christian, but until age 22, until the pandemic hit, I wouldn’t say I was truly alive. I could check every moral box. According to the world, I was a good person. But I’d lost a little perspective of walking in God’s will for my life every single step. He has transformed my life.”
Villers’ goal with the book is to help others have a transformative life in Jesus Christ as well.
“I think this book is going to be a real eye-opener to people,” he said. “It puts things into perspective. We are only here for a short amount of time. They have eternal effects. From the first page to 214, I think it’s going to really inspire people to make the most of a life led by Jesus.”
“DIVINEPLAN” is available in Kindle or paperback on Amazon. Villers and Barnes are working on a study workbook that would go with it.
Any college group, church youth group or civic group that would like for Villers to visit can message him at Christian Villers on Facebook.