It was Sunday October 14th, 2012. I was happy. My eldest daughter was being baptized that day. I was so thrilled for that, and so glad to be part of Jubilee Church that day. I was listening to my pastor, Tope Koleoso, preaching on the Pharisee and the Prostitute. Suddenly, out of the blue it hit me, “this needs to be a book” and not just that sermon, although it became the first chapter, but other things we had been teaching at Jubilee Church for years.
I wrote an outline right there and then as I was listening to the sermon, which survived almost unchanged in the chapter titles of the book Hope Reborn – How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus. The final list follows:
- The Pharisee and the Prostitute
- Died for you. Raised for you
- How Do I Become a Christian?
- Next Steps: What Do I Do Now?
- You Can Change
- Growing in Your Faith: Reading the Bible.
- Walking with Jesus: How to Pray
The original target was people who were at the brink of becoming a Christian, perhaps having responded to the gospel on a Sunday morning. For years now, we have been so blessed at Jubilee to have people responding in this way week after week. But often they don’t fully understand why they put up their hand. As Terry Virgo says, “people often get saved on a fragment of truth.” We simply wanted to help people start their Christian life on a stable foundation.
In fact for some while we had been looking for a good book to give out to people who were precisely in that position: becoming a Christian, or coming back to Jesus after a period of backsliding. All the books that we could find that were in any way similar to ours focused on one of two things that made them different to ours. Firstly apologetics, which definitely has its place for those not yet ready to become a Christian. Secondly, there were others that assumed someone was already a Chrsitian and needed help to be discipled. We wanted to write a book that didn’t assume anything and could take someone from little to no knowledge of the Bible or the gospel, to taking their first steps as a Christian.
We also realized as we wrote that in fact the book will be of great help to any Christian. We found ourselves that as we explored the foundation all over again it did us both a lot of good. I keep saying “we” because, as I co-authored Hope Reborn with my pastor, Tope Koleoso which was a real pleasure.
I would encourage all of you to get ahold of a copy of this book, read it for yourself, to help be absolutely sure you are really a Christian, better understand the gospel, and find new ways of expressing it to others. We hope and pray that many will decide to give this book to their friends, also. To that end we have arranged a good deal with two partners, in the UK, 10ofthose.com and in the USA, Christianbook.com who can both offer Hope Reborn cheaper than Amazon at the moment.
It may be coming up for 40 years after I first heard the gospel from my father as a young boy. It remains my only hope, my only foundation, and the only message that can save. I will never move beyond it, and nor should you.
This is my testimony. This is my story. If I could sing, I would sing it. Jesus really does keep the best wine till last and the longer I walk with him, the more grateful I am that he saved me all those years ago.
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