‘I’m preaching to me as much as I’m preaching to you’
More than 109,000 people who attended the 19th annual Southern California Harvest Crusade in Anaheim heard evangelist and pastor Greg Laurie preach to himself on the subject of hurting hearts and healing.
“I come here tonight with a cure for a broken heart as well,” Laurie said, citing his faith in Jesus that helped him make sense of the sudden loss of his 33-year-old son, Christopher, in a traffic accident only weeks before.
“I’m preaching to me as much as I’m preaching to you tonight,” he said.
A resident of Huntington Beach, Laurie, 33, served as the art director at the church for the past three years. In addition to his parents, Christopher is survived by his wife, Brittany, daughter, Stella and his brother Jonathan. Christopher and his wife are expecting another daughter in November.
Greg Laurie is a popular evangelist who has written several books and is known both for his television appearances and his large “Harvest Crusade” outreach festivals. He’s also a longtime weekend columnist for WorldNetDaily.
More than 3.6 million people have attended Laurie’s stadium and arena events in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“Some people have asked me whether I am angry at God because my son is no longer here,” Laurie told the crowds, according to ASSIST news service. “But how can I be mad at a God who holds my son safely in His arms tonight? It’s hard knowing that I won’t see my son again on earth, but I have the assurance that Christopher is in heaven because he put his faith in Jesus. I haven’t lost my son because I know where he is, and someday I will join him.”
Laurie told attendees they must make the decision.
“Heaven is not the default destination when you die. You have to choose it. Jesus Christ paid your way to heaven when he died on the cross for you, but you must make your own choice to follow Him,” he said.
During the weekend, 11,084 people walked onto the field at Angel Stadium to make that profession of faith in Jesus Christ, officials from the crusade reported. The church’s website also got 37,000 hits to the live stream for the event on Friday night alone.
John Collins, the Harvest Crusade’s executive director, reported Christopher Laurie’s “fingerprints” were all over the weekend’s event.
“He was artistic director of Harvest and oversaw the design of the stage, the event program and the Harvest Crusades bumper stickers,” Collins said.