Don't good people deserve to go to heaven? "No" was the controversial answer to this question by Pastor Greg Laurie from Harvest Christian Fellowship when he spoke about death and the afterlife during the annual Harvest 2016 outreach, an event held for the first time in Georgia.
The three-day event, which ended on Sunday, brought 24,000 people together to hear the Gospel. Over 1,000 of the attendees accepted Jesus Christ into their lives, according to The Christian Post.
Laurie's message during the event mainly revolved around the purpose of people's lives. He urged his listeners to reflect on the purpose and meaning of their lives as well as what will happen when they die.
"Everyone dies, no matter who you are. But death died when Christ rose," said Laurie. "I've been up close and personal with death and if I didn't have Christ in my life, I don't know how I would have gotten through it. But I know I will see my son and others on the other side of Heaven," referring to his son Christopher, 33, who died in a road accident in July 2008 while on his way to Harvest Church.
"I hope you have that hope, as well. Heaven is not the default destination of every person, it is the destination of those who know Christ," he pointed out.
Laurie then declared that "heaven is not for good people," which stunned his listeners. But before anyone could butt in, the pastor quickly clarified, "It is for forgiven people."
"The Gospel truth is that God loves you and will forgive you if you will turn from your sin and believe in Him. You can literally change your spiritual address tonight," he said.
Laurie's message was so powerful during that event that as many as 913 people walked up from the stands to the floor of the arena to publicly declare their commitment to Jesus Christ. Around 139 people who were watching Laurie speak using live Internet broadcast also did the same thing.