Greg Laurie talks what it means to be Christian; thousands commit to Christ at virtual Harvest crusade
Pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie's annual Harvest crusade was held virtually this year because of the coronavirus, and thousands have committed to Christ for the first time.
The longtime Southern California pastor noted the many ills that have proliferated given the pandemic and the shakiness of the economy. Yet the big questions, such as "Why do I exist?" remain with everyone.
"You exist to have a relationship with God. There is nothing that this world offers that will fill a hole in your heart that was designed to be filled by God himself. There's no drug, there's no experience, there's no possession, there's no accomplishment, nothing," Laurie said during the weekend cinematic event called "A Rush of Hope."
"Being a Christian is not just following a creed, or memorizing some Bible verses, or going to church occasionally. Being a Christian is having Christ live inside of you."
Knowing Christ does not mean being an odd, religious person, he went on to say.
"It's a friendship with God. That means you are never alone in life. Jesus promises 'I will never leave you nor forsake you,'" he stressed.
"Why do I exist? I exist to come into this relationship with God. And the meaning of life is to walk with Him and discover His plan that He has for me."
Everyone will eventually stand before God, he said, and God will not ask anyone how good of a life they have lived.
"It won't be a sin question as much as it's a Son question," he said, "as in what did you do with Jesus Christ?"
"Only Jesus was uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between sinful humanity and a holy God."
Laurie tweeted Monday that Harvest had tracked over 1 million views of "A Rush of Hope" and that over 10,000 people had committed their lives to Christ.
Christian musicians and bands featured during the Harvest event included MercyMe, For King & Country and Jeremy Camp.
During Friday's portion of A Rush of Hope, segments of the movie "I Still Believe," which is based on Jeremy Camp's hit song of the same name, were featured, interspersed with Laurie offering commentary. The song is about continuing to believe in God amid the pain of unanswered questions and struggles and was born out of a struggle after his wife succumbed to cancer.
In a pre-recorded interview with the artist, the pastor noted that both he and Camp had experienced great loss. Laurie's son, Christopher, died in an automobile accident a few years after Camp's wife, Melissa, died.
Camp told Laurie that he thought for certain that his wife would be healed and when she wasn't, he sank into a deep depression.
"Even though I said I still believe, that still was there, but I still questioned: God, are you good? Do you care about me in that deep intimate way?" Camp said.
"There were times I threw my Bible across the room, time of being angry and upset ... I really thought that God let me down.
"What's amazing about the Lord is that He's so longsuffering. Because it wasn't like He was saying 'OK, get over it. I'm here. I'll take care of you. He met me where I was, and I felt like that every little step I took, if I couldn't take a big step, I would take a little baby step.
"All the promises in God's Word became even more real to me."
Thousands of people have committed their lives to Christ in light of Camp's late wife's faith, he explained.
The film "I Still Believe" featured actor K.J. Apa in the leading role as Jeremy Camp. The movie was theatrically released in mid-March and was subsequently released on video on demand later that month due to the coronavirus pandemic.