Bob Jones University will launch its 2017 Bible Conference beginning Tuesday evening and continuing through Friday with the theme “The God of Hope.”
Classes will end Tuesday at 5 p.m. and will resume the following Monday.
Nathan Washer, executive assistant to President Steve Pettit, said he believes Bible Conference can be a significant time in students’ lives.
“Each year is a new opportunity for God to open our eyes to a truth we may have missed before,” Washer said.
“Our thoughts tend to wander away from God over the course of time, and this is a great time to lay aside and refocus on truth.”
For BJU students, Bible Conference is a time when they can put away thoughts of classes and focus on messages from God’s Word intended for them.
Natalie Odiorne, a sophomore exercise science major, is specifically looking forward to the messages of hope found in Creation.
“I’m really excited to hear Ken Ham speak, considering the science side of things and how it ultimately ties into the God of hope,” Odiorne said.
A variety of speakers will participate in the 2017 conference, including, Ken Ham, president and CEO of Answers in Genesis; Jeff Anderson, president of International Bible Conference, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Brent Belford, senior pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Jim Tillotson, president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa,and Steve Pettit, president of BJU.
The conference will focus on the fact that hope is available to everyone.
The BJU website describes the theme this way: “Hope. We all want it. We promise it. We even lose it. Through the ages people have put their hope in everything from leaders, to wealth, to relationships—only to be disappointed. BJU’s Bible Conference 2017 will explore facets of God’s unchanging character and the resulting hope we find in Him.”
That hope will be evident as Ken Ham focuses on the importance of Creation.
“We live in a very secularized age,” Ham said. “Generations of young people, even from within the church, have been indoctrinated and inoculated against the truth of God’s Word beginning in Genesis.”
“Moral relativism permeates our culture and even much of the church. More than ever, God’s people need to be awakened to a foundational problem that exists within our culture and church, and be equipped to defend the Christian faith and boldly proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the Gospel.”
All of the conference speakers have been preparing messages of hope.
“This year’s [Bible Conference] theme is particularly vital because we all need hope,” conference speaker Jeff Anderson said.
“We need a confident expectation that has nothing to do with political agenda, or economic certainty, or job security or positive thinking. We need to be reminded that the God of Hope gives us confidence as we face an uncertain future.”
Speaker Brent Belford has specific expectations for this year’s Bible Conference.
“I am looking forward to Bible Conference this year because I know that God will equip His people through the Word,” Belford said.
“God will use Bible Conference this year to give us greater clarity regarding the nature of our hope as believers. While much around us seems dark and confusing, God’s Word provides hope that can inspire any Christian to shine forth as a light.”
Another important aspect of BJU’s 2017 Bible Conference is the offering.
All money from donations and offerings will be going to help Faith Christian Academy in Yap, Micronesia, build a new school building.
This building will serve as an education facility for the ministry, a typhoon shelter and a model for surrounding islands.
The total building cost is $400,000. The 2017 Bible Conference offering goal is $150,000.
“The opportunities for the Gospel in the Micronesian Islands is tremendous,” Washer said. “As God blesses, others will see what God is doing and get behind these opportunities.”
“As God provides, this model can happen on many islands, reaching hundreds for Christ in a manner that will perpetuate itself.”
In the busyness of the semester, Bible Conference may seem like an abrupt interruption to some.
But it is the desire of everyone involved that this year’s Bible Conference will be a time where people can set aside the busy distractions of life and listen to what the God of Hope wants to say to them.