Speaking at the Passion conference he founded more than two decades ago, Pastor Louie Giglio spoke to tens of thousands of Christian youth about the working of the Holy Spirit and the unfinished work of the Church, which he said will help answer the most fundamental question about their lives.
In his message, Pastor Giglio encouraged the audience at Philips Arena in metro Atlanta to ask two questions: "What's my purpose or calling, and can I get past my past?"
It's a great thing to wake up every morning and know you're living on a purpose, he told them, adding that it's also important to get past your shame, guilt, disappointments, breakups in the family, and so on.
Giglio said Acts chapter 2 in the New Testament focuses on the finished work of Christ and the unfinished work of the Church, and can help them answer the two questions.
The pastor dealt with the second question first.
He read Acts 2:22-24, "Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."
He also read verse 36, "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah."
Jesus took on the shame, the guilt and all the condemnation for our sin, the pastor said, and quoted Jesus as saying on the cross, "It is finished."
We need to agree with God, and not with ourselves, or our feelings, about our guilt and shame, he explained.
A true believer does not think he is better than others, Giglio cautioned. When you look at God's holiness and then look at yourself, you know where you stand, he explained. "But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through Christ Jesus."
The second question, about a believer's purpose in life, is answered by the unfinished work of the Church, the pastor stated.
The Church exists for a reason, a mission, the central mission for which the Holy Spirit came to the earth, which is "that every single person on planet earth will hear about the finished work of Christ," Giglio told the youth. "When the Holy Spirit arrives, people's lives are transformed, and they are transformed to proclaim the Gospel in power."
He read Matthew 28:18-20, "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"
Giglio told the audience that there are thousands of unreached people groups in the world. Reaching them with the finished work of Christ is what matters to God the most, he said.
Passion 2018 was held at Philips Arena and the Infinite Energy Center in Atlanta and at The Anthem in Washington, D.C., from Monday to Wednesday last week. More than 32,000 students and their leaders were in the three arenas and an additional 12,000 people joined online.