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Over 3,000 Decisions to Follow Jesus Made at Harvest America


What drives Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son is a misunderstanding of the father’s heart. The youngest son believes his dad is holding him back from the good life. The oldest son believes it’s following all the rules that makes his dad love him.

Jesus’ listeners would be asking the same question: What sort of dad is this that would let his youngest son be so shockingly disrespectful? And what sort of punishment will this dad mete out when his debaucherous son brings his shame back to his father’s household? This is what Jesus is driving his audience to—a new understanding of who this father, and their Father in heaven, really is.

It’s the same message Greg Laurie pointed over 40,000 attendees toward this past Sunday at his annual Harvest Crusade.

“People have a lot of weird ideas about God, particularly that Jesus is watching, ready to say ‘sic ’em’ like one would to a dog,” Laurie said. “If you decide to come back to God, He wants to throw his arms around you and say welcome home son, welcome home daughter, I’ve missed you—just like the father of prodigal son. The father ran to the son, and that’s what he will do if you come to Him. He accepted the son as he was, in tattered rags. You might think that you need to clean up your life before you come to God, but He says come as you are and he will forgive you, he will accept you, he will change you. You’re not too old or young.”

Laurie shared his painful upbringing—he never knew his dad, and had an alcoholic mother who was married seven times—and how like so many people he projected the messages he received from his biological parents on to God. But after accepting Christ, Laurie realized the path he was on, ‘specifically his drug addiction,’ was destroying his life.

“Although sin is fun at the beginning, it promises freedom but it brings slavery,” Laurie said. “It promises success but it brings failure. It promises life but it brings death. It tries to fill a void only God can. [Instead of this] You just admit you need God. You need to come to God and He’ll clean your life up.”

In response to the message, 2,904 attendees of the event indicated a decision to give their lives to Jesus, with 494 making commitments online. Shortly after the event, Laurie tweeted out a time lapse video of the response saying, “The response to the invitation to accept Christ tonight at #harvestamerica was nothing short of mind-blowing.”

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Josh Pease is a writer & speaker living in Colorado with his wife and two kids. His e-book, The God Who Wasn't There , is available for purchase on Amazon.