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Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famine and disease, armies coming against Israel and other signs discussed in the Bible were the subjects of Greg Laurie’s California Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen. But the end of your own personal world might be near, and my objective is simply to prepare people to meet God through a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Laurie told The Orange County Register.
The 17th annual crusade, which this year drew about 100,000 people to the stadium and another 30,000 via internet broadcasts and podcasts, came amidst high levels of terror alerts, war in the Mideast and worry over the future.
Laurie, a weekly columnist for WorldNetDaily, spoke on topics including “What’s Your Question?” “What is the Meaning of Life?” and “Is the End of the World Near?”
He said current world events serve as a “sign of the times” that the return of Christ is near.
By the end of the three-night event, 9,233 people walked onto the field of Angel Stadium to make public their newfound relationship with Jesus, crusade organizers said.
The event also featured music from Christian artists newsboys, David Crowder Band, Joy Williams, Todd Agnew, Crystal Lewis, MercyMe, Kutless and Hawk Nelson.
A special focus was provided one night for youth, when 45,000 mostly young people packed Angel Stadium for “Amplify,” a high-decibel event featuring those bands.
The stadium balconies literally rocked and swayed as the crowd jumped, danced, and sang along to the music before Laurie spoke, organizers said.
“We are all searching for meaning and purpose in life,” said Laurie. “Maybe some of you were let down by your parents or come from a broken home. The world doesn’t have the solution. The answer is not within, the problem is within. God offers you a new life tonight, not just beyond the grave but now – a life worth living.”
The crusade also featured the use of internet broadcasts, banner ads for blogs and websites and podcasts for iTunes, which included behind-the-scenes glimpses such as musician interviews and comments from volunteers.
“Thank you so much for this (webcast),” said one woman watching the internet broadcast in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. “It was quite the emotional night last night. I cried big tears with the online counselor, felt a huge weight lifted, and then tears turned to laughter.”
“It’s fantastic to think how many people all over the world can now hear the gospel message of hope in Christ through local Harvest Crusade events,” said Laurie. “It’s literally as easy as downloading a podcast onto your MP3 player.”
The event this time was organized by volunteers from more than 1,000 region churches. Laurie’s crusades have reached more than 3.3 million people in stadiums around the world since 1990.
Laurie, the founder of Harvest Crusades, also serves as pastor of one of the 15 largest churches in the U.S.; Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif.
His next event is planned in San Jose, Calif., Oct. 13-15.
Check out Laurie’s books at ShopNetDaily: