Greg Laurie at SoCal Harvest: 3 common questions people ask when they're close to death
Pastor Greg Laurie centered his message on the words of Jesus in John 14 and the three common questions people ask when they're near death for the third night of the 30th annual SoCal Harvest.
The three most common questions that people who know they're near the end of their life ask, Laurie said Sunday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, are: 1. What's going to happen to me after I die? 2. Is there really a God? 3. Am I going to Heaven?
"Heaven is a real place," Laurie said, and "deep down inside" everyone feels "the tug of heaven."
"What is Heaven like?" Laurie said, in one word, "Amazing ... beyond your wildest dreams."
Unlike popular conceptions of Heaven as boring, where people are just floating on clouds, "Heaven is a real place for real people to do real things."
Jesus spoke about Heaven in John 14, the evangelist pointed out.
Jesus said, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going" (2-4).
Then Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" (5)
To which Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him" (6-7).
After you die, Laurie said, your "soul will enter the afterlife," and whether you enter Heaven is up to you.
First, you must "confess you're a sinner," he said, and "understand, Jesus died on the cross for you."
"Jesus was God with a face ... He died in your place." And God is faithful and will forgive you.
Second, Laurie said, "you must repent of your sin," which is like an "about-face," where you stop moving away from God and start moving toward God.
Then you must invite Christ into your heart, which is like "a word picture" that means "old things pass away" and "everything becomes fresh in you."
The pastor then asked those in the audience who were not already believers to "do it publicly" and "do it now ... tonight is the night. ... What if you never had another opportunity? How sad it would be if you entered into eternity without knowing Jesus."
He asked those who wanted to make that decision to come forward and a large crowd formed near the stage.
During his Saturday night message, Laurie said America is in need of spiritual revival, and Harvest is preparing for revival by launching a series of crusades in Southern California, Boise, Idaho, and Los Angeles over the next 20 months. Harvest has a goal to reach over one million people and see 100,000 professions of faith through the crusades.
This year marked 30 straight years of the Harvest event in Southern California, which is described by Laurie as the longest-running, large-scale evangelism event in American history. Over 100,000 attended the event this past weekend and 8,670 people made professions of faith.
Lecrae, for KING & COUNTRY, Jeremy Camp, Phil Wickham, Newsboys and Chris Tomlin were among the music groups featured this year.