To those who believe Heaven-minded people are missing out on the pleasures of life on earth, evangelist Greg Laurie has something to say.
"No one loves life more than the follower of Christ," says Laurie, adding that Christians don't need drugs or alcohol to enjoy it.
And if anyone believes Heaven-minded people are of no earthly good, Laurie suggests they ask themselves how many Christian relief organizations and hospitals there are.
"How many atheist relief organizations are out there right now? Not a lot. Probably none," adds Laurie.
Citing a quote from C.S. Lewis, Laurie says "Aim at Heaven and you'll get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither."
It's a win-win situation, adds Laurie, noting that "Only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live."
And that's exactly message that the evangelist delivered to some 17,500 people over the weekend in hopes of getting more to think about what few prepare for, especially while they're young – namely death.
"The statistics on death are quite impressive. One out of every one person will die," Laurie said on the closing night of the June 13-14 "Harvest 09 at Jones Beach." "Doesn't matter if you're famous or unknown, rich or poor, young or old.
"You can't escape death," Laurie noted.
During his first-ever evangelistic crusade New York's Long Island, Laurie asked the crowds what they lived for and encouraged them to accept God – as the evangelist has done at each evangelistic Harvest event he's held over the past two decades.
Since 1990, the Southern California evangelist and pastor has drawn more than 3.8 million people to stadiums and arenas in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Furthermore, more than 314,000 people have registered decisions of faith in Jesus Christ through Laurie's Harvest Crusades.
By the end of the June 13-14 event, 1,179 more people were added to that running total, according to Harvest publicist Laura McGowan.
Aside from Laurie's nightly messages, "Harvest 09 at Jones Beach" also featured music from top Christian recording artists including Grammy Award-nominated band P.O.D., Kutless, Delirious, and Jars of Clay.
For the outreach, some 170 local churches and 1,500 local volunteers teamed up the Harvest team in hopes of making an eternal impact on their community.
"There is a new spirit of cooperation among the local churches on Long Island to work together for a cause that is bigger than any of us," said Steve Tomlinson, pastor of Shelter Rock Church in Nassau County, according to Laurie's ministry.
For the weekend's event, some 40,000 invitations were distributed locally.