More than 41,000 people came to "2014 SoCal Harvest" Saturday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, to listen to a message of hope by evangelist Greg Laurie, who led over 4,000 people to receive Jesus in their lives.
"I know that there is emptiness deep inside you … you were born with it," Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, told the crowd at the three-night event which began Friday.
In his message titled, "Jesus and You," Pastor Laurie went on to say that if they have not accepted Jesus into their lives, they are lonely as well as feel guilt.
"I know you are [also] afraid to die," he added.
Noting that there were tens of thousands of people listening to him at the stadium, online and on television Saturday night, Laurie said, "Right now, Jesus sees you; He doesn't see a crowd. And He cares about you, and He loves you."
Laurie referred to the story of the woman at the well in the Gospel of John, Chapter 4, who was a "social outcast" but had an appointment with God. She went from husband to husband, hoping to find her prince, but she simply gave up.
Jesus wasn't talking about the physical well and water, Laurie said, explaining it was a metaphor.
"If you drink from the well so-called materialism, you'll be excited for a while … but you'll never be satisfied," Laurie said. Drugs and other such substances do not satisfy either, and even relationships or fame do not satisfy, he stated.
People want to love and be loved, according to surveys, Laurie said.
He reminded the people that Jesus exposed the woman's sin only to offer the solution. Jesus forgives all sins that we confess, he added.
Laurie also spoke about Nicodemus in John Chapter 3, who was a "moral," rich, famous man, as opposed to the woman at the well. He, too, wasn't satisfied, he said. He gave the example of American actor and comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide Monday, to say that riches and fame do not satisfy.
Later, Laurie read out John 3:16, which says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
"That's it; that's the Gospel," he said, and urged the people to come forward if they want to receive Jesus into their lives.
"… 4,169 came forward at the invitation to follow Christ!" Laurie wrote on his personal blog Sunday about the previous night. "Add last night's stats and that means so far, we have had 69,000 people in attendance and best of all ... 6,464 people have made a profession of faith to follow Jesus Christ."
In his messages, Laurie is focusing on hope found in having a relationship with Jesus Christ for the 25th consecutive year of large scale events this year.
Laurie told The Christian Post in an exclusive interview a week before the event that he would like Christians to recognize its significance.
"This is something really amazing that God has done," Laurie said. "I don't know of another ongoing evangelistic event like this anywhere in the world that's happened for 25 years – a large scale overt evangelistic event. I would say don't take this for granted."
Founded by Laurie and Pastor Chuck Smith, the Harvest Crusades began as a one-time evangelistic outreach at the Pacific Amphitheater in Orange County before moving the following year to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, where it has become the longest running annual outreach in U.S. history, according to Harvest Ministries.
Twenty-five years later, the impact of the Harvest Crusades has launched from the outfield of Angel Stadium to reach more than 6.5 million people around the world.