BY ANUGRAH KUMAR
More than 45,000 people came for the second night of the Southern California Harvest Crusade 2015.
In his second nightly message at the Southern California Harvest Crusade on Saturday, Pastor Greg Laurie warned a crowd of tens of thousands in Anaheim’s Angel Stadium that it’s possible to reach “a point of no return” if they consciously reject God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
The day after the evangelist and pastor spoke about the lack of happiness in people’s lives without God, Laurie said in Saturday’s message, titled “The Point of No Return,” that there are four other characteristics that are universally found in those who are yet to start a relationship with God.
“Everyone is empty inside… because we are born with a sort of a hole in our hearts,” Pastor Laurie said, referring to Pascal’s famous quote, that there’s a God-shaped vacuum in every life that only God can fill.
Everyone is also lonely, added Laurie, who serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. Porn, lonely and suicide are three words that people search the most on the Internet late in the nights, he said.
Everyone feels a sense of guilt, the pastor went on to say. “This just shows your conscience is working, which is a good thing.” We’re guilty of breaking God’s commandments, he explained.
There’s also universal fear of death, Laurie added.
We have emptiness, loneliness, sense of guilt and fear of death “because we need God in our lives,” he stated.
On Friday night, 2,300 people received Christ after Laurie urged them to repent and accept Jesus into their lives. At least 530,000 people have accepted Christ in Harvest Crusades, according to Pastor Laurie.
“There’s a big wall that separates us from God right now. And that wall is called sin,” Laurie said, continuing his message Saturday night.
This wall is too big for us to cross over, but the good news is that God so loved us that He sent Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago, he explained. Jesus lived a perfect life, died a perfect death and He rose from the dead, he said. “The same Jesus is with us right now, with you right now. And He says, ‘I stand at the door and knock, and if you hear My voice and open the door, I’ll come in.'”
God can forgive our sin, Pastor Laurie told the crowd. We’ve all sinned, and the Bible says that God forgives our sin and “throws them into the depths of the ocean … if you ask Him to forgive you.” Jesus even prayed for the forgiveness of those who nailed Him on the cross, Laurie said.
However, “there’s one sin that’s unforgivable,” the megachurch pastor warned. “There’s one thing that you could do that would determine that you’ve gone too far in the wrong direction. There is a point of no return. There’s an unforgivable sin.”
He quoted Matthew 12:31, 32, “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
Explaining the backdrop of Jesus’ statement about the unpardonable sin, which came after some alleged that Jesus was healing sicknesses with the power of Satan, Laurie said that sometimes religion can keep us from God. “I have no interest in becoming religious… I have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”
Going to a church doesn’t make you a Christian, and nor does being an American, Laurie told the audience. “Jesus said, ‘You must be born again.'”
Most people reject Christ because they do not know or understand the Gospel. But there are some who reject Christ because they do not want to change their lives; they want to live the way they want to live, he explained.
What does blasphemy against the Holy Spirit mean?
The Holy Spirit is God, who is a Triune Being: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Laurie said. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, and begs us to repent. But “it is possible for us to resist the Holy Spirit.” God has given us free will, and we can say “yes” or “no” to Him, he added.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means “to reject the work He ‘the Holy Spirit] has come to do… The unforgivable sin is rejecting Jesus Christ,” Laurie stressed.
Every time you say “no” to the Gospel after hearing it, your heart gets a little more hardened, the pastor said, adding that it’s better to be a drug addict than having a heart that is hardened against God. “It’s not so much that God wouldn’t want to forgive you, but you wouldn’t want to be forgiven.”
When we hear the Gospel, we have just two option, to accept Him or reject Him, he underlined.
To accept Jesus, you need to admit your sins, as all have sinned and are separated from God; you need to acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for your sins; your must turn or repent from your sin; and then you must receive Jesus Christ into your life, Laurie explained.
It’s a relationship with God, where Jesus comes into your life and lives with you, and that gives you the guarantee that you will go to heaven when you die, he added.
In the end, Pastor Laurie encouraged people to publicly accept Jesus by getting up from their seats to come to the field around the stage, from where he was speaking. Just like the previous night, thousands came forward.
Founded by Laurie and Pastor Chuck Smith, the Harvest Crusades began as a one-time evangelistic outreach at the Pacific Amphitheater in Orange County in 1990 before later moving to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, where it has become the longest running annual outreach in U.S. history, according to Harvest Ministries.