Wrapping up the last night of the Southern California Harvest Crusade, evangelist Greg Laurie on Sunday told over 32,000 people how to be changed for good.
"We're a culture obsessed with change," said Laurie.
"Look at these comments on television; they're going to do a makeover on your life or cosmetic surgery," he added in the style of a stand-up comedian. Why can't you call it what it really is? 'We think you're really ugly, and only a cosmetic change can make it better.' "
But changing on the inside is what Jesus meant when he met with the wealthy, influential, and deeply religious Pharisee, Nicodemus, Laurie said as he shared the scripture message from John 3.
When Jesus met him, He said to Nicodemus, "Unless one is born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
Nicodemus had no idea what He meant, said Laurie. "How can a man be born again when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
"Born again means a new beginning, becoming something that you aren't yet," said Laurie. The Bible says you need to repent and turn towards God, and He will change you.
How? asked Laurie. The answer is in John 3:16, which the audience recited in one voice: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
"That's the Gospel," he said, amidst cheers and whistles.
Believing does not mean to do so intellectually, he added, because even demons believed. I can believe Jesus is coming back again and not necessarily be a Christian.
But when you say I accept all of that, and I give my life to You that's believing.
The Harvest team and Greg Laurie came to Anaheim at the invitation of hundreds of churches.
Harvest Crusades have been held across the nation: Oregon, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, and California, and in 2000, Harvest Crusades began international crusades in Australia and New Zealand, preaching to 3.5 million people since 1990.