With an overflow crowd of more than 20,000 in attendance at the Dallas Harvest at American Airlines Center last evening, and thousands more tuning in via simulcast and online from every state and 80 nations, evangelist Greg Laurie shared how one can overcome worry and find peace amid the stresses of life.
"Why should our hearts not be troubled or afraid?" Laurie asked, referencing Bible verse John 14:1. "I'm going to tell you why: We should believe what God says in His Word."
He added two other points—that we should believe that heaven is a real place for real people to do real things, and that Jesus Christ is coming back again.
Altogether, more than 1,100 individuals in Dallas and likely thousands more in remote venues made a faith commitment at Laurie's encouragement to turn their lives over to God.
"I've told others to trust in God when times are hard. If He came through for me, He'll come through for you," Laurie said, referring to the loss of his eldest son in an automobile accident several years ago.
Laurie made it clear that heaven is a destination for believers in Christ only.
"I believe all roads lead to God," he said, referring to the inevitable time of judgment everyone will one day face. "I don't care if you're a believer, an agnostic, an atheist—whatever. I believe whatever road you're on you will get to God and you will stand before God one day. All roads lead to God. But only one road leads to heaven, and that's the road through Jesus Christ."
Laurie described heaven as infinitely better than all of our best moments on earth, stating that we are created for more than this life, which is why people are constantly searching for fulfillment. He listed examples, such as Lana Del Rey, Michael Phelps and other celebrities whose success has not fulfilled them.
"That's why nothing in this world will satisfy," Laurie said. "Only God can fill the void deep inside your soul."
Before the day even started, 43 decisions for Christ had already been registered when a group of teens hit the streets of Dallas Saturday to share their faith and invite people to Dallas Harvest. More than 40 students from Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., joined forces with another 50 young people from three area churches: Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano; Calvary Chapel, Texarkana; and Calvary Chapel, Temple, Texas.
As participants in Harvest America took to Twitter, #HarvestAmerica began trending, moving from No. 1 in Dallas to No. 1 in the U.S. by the end of the night, with Laurie himself trending as well before the conclusion of his message.
One of the largest remote venues participating in Harvest America joined from the Prescott Valley, Arizona, area where dozens of local churches worked together to secure Tim's Toyota Center. More than 2,700 attended, with nearly 100 of those making a decision for Christ.
Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano offered a prayer for the event, that God would be praised and hearts across the nation would be touched with the power and hope of the gospel message. Graham's congregation was one of more than 175 churches that joined together to invite Harvest to hold its first meeting in Texas after 25 years of evangelistic outreach in California, other parts of the country and around the world. The possibility of a three-day Crusade at GlobeLife Park in Arlington, home of The Texas Rangers, in November 2015 was referenced from the stage.
Laurie has been hosting Harvest Crusades for more than 25 years now, beginning in Southern California in 1990, expanding throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Harvest has only previously been in Dallas once, at Prestonwood Baptist Church in 2004.
Of the cumulative audience of more than 5 million individuals to whom Laurie has preached through Harvest Crusades, over 434,000 have made a faith commitment. In addition, Harvest Crusades have seen 1.4 million additional individuals tune in online since the live webcasts began in 1997.
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