It's never too late to turn back to the Word of God, according to renowned preacher Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Senior pastor of megachurch The Potter's House in Dallas, Jakes took thousands of Christians "back to the Bible" during a three-day conference over the weekend, urging believers to realize that now is the time to re-commit to Jesus Christ.
"It is because of the state of this world - natural disasters, personal failures, a sagging economy, injustices, and more - that we need to get back to the Bible," said Jakes, who was dubbed one of the country's 25 most influential evangelicals by Time magazine in 2005. "We need to go back to relying on the real, proven Word of God to draw strength from it, and to use it as our guide for day-to-day living."
Attendants from across the country and overseas engaged in intense teaching and preaching from such speakers as Jakes; Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, Calif.; and Dr. Cynthia James, a pastor and Christian psychologist.
The speakers, throughout the May 16-18 event, conveyed a message that "now is the time for believers to hang on to God because that is the only way to survival," according to Ann Fields, media relations specialist at The Potter's House.
The messages were delivered at a time when many Christians are abandoning their faith. David Sanford, author of If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do About Them, says believers have lost faith in the Bible, the Church and Christian beliefs. And now millions of Americans are exiting the church.
Jakes has called believers to return to the Bible.
"For thousands of years, the Bible has proven itself relevant. It is rich in instruction in how to live the peaceful, productive, and righteous life that God designed for us. Yet, at times, even Christians have swayed from its teachings. Even we have been distracted by the headlines of this world," he said. "But it's never too late to turn back to the only thing that doesn't change, to the only thing that is dependable and fixed, and that is the Word of God."
Jakes launched the Back to the Bible conference in 1983 in Montgomery, W.Va., with some 80 people. The annual event began before the highly popular MegaFest, "Woman Thou Are Loosed" and "ManPower" conferences were introduced. Back to the Bible is considered the flagship event that has helped to define Jakes and his ministry.