Approximately 82,000 people gathered at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for Harvest America 2016, an evangelical outreach event, on Sunday evening. Pastor Greg Laurie, host and senior pastor of the Harvest Christian Fellowship megachurch in California, said thousands responded to his invitation to pray to accept Jesus into their lives. The event also featured musical guests Chris Tomlin, Lecrae, Switchfoot and MercyMe.
According to The Dallas Morning News, this was "the largest evangelical outreach in North Texas since Billy Graham drew 255,000 people to Texas Stadium."
"I know a few things about you," Laurie told the crowd in his message titled, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," which also was live streamed to thousands of other U.S. host locations.
"You're empty, you're lonely, you feel guilty and you fear death."
Rev. Franklin Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, tweeted before the event, "Near Arlington, TX tomorrow? Take your friends & anyone who needs a relationship with Jesus Christ to #HarvestAmerica with @GregLaurie."
Saying that everyone's born empty, Laurie told participants the Bible says "no matter what you get, you're going to be empty from the inside. It's no wonder that the most Google-searched terms during the nights are 'porn, lonely and suicide,'" he added.
He reminded them that everyone feels guilt because the Bible says "we've all sinned," reports Christian Post.
He shared the story of a Samaritan woman, found in John 4:3-10, and talked about Nicodemus, who is mentioned in John 3:1-7. His overall point came from the message of Jesus: "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'"
"Just because you've got a cowboy hat, doesn't mean you're a Texan," Laurie told the crowd. "Going to a church doesn't make you a Christian either. Nor does reading the Bible, because there has to be a moment when you put your faith in Jesus."
Laurie said religious beliefs are not enough, as religion is an attempt of humans to reach God, but Christianity is God's initiative to reach humans.
The pastor also explained what the Gospel is. "We're all sinners and separated from God, and can never reach God on our own. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son to this Earth on a rescue operation. Jesus walked in our shoes, and He lived our life, and then He died our death. On the third day, He rose again from the dead. If we turn from our sin and ask Christ to come into our life, we can know we'll go to Heaven."