6,000 New Believers Profess Their Faith in Christ On 10th Anniversary of 9-11

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   9/27/2011

Nearly 6,000 decisions were made for Jesus Christ at a large outreach service in Los Angeles on 9/11.

The services were held by Harvest Crusades, a ministry which has produced large-scale outreach events internationally for more than 20 years. Their events are "Biblically-sound and culturally relevant," according to their website, with gospel presentations given by pastor Greg Laurie.

Nearly 50,000 people had attended the event at Dodger Stadium, and the number responding to the altar call led a fire marshal to close off the outfield grass where respondents were heading, according to Christian Post. Counselors then met with people where they were standing.

At the event, Laurie recalled the terrorist attacks ten years ago. Instead of asking why God allows tragedy, he said, "Maybe the question should be, 'Who do you go to when tragedy happens?' I know the answer to that one: You go to Jesus Christ."

Laurie also said, "Whatever you are facing, you have something better in Christ... You don't go to heaven to find Christ, you go to Christ to find heaven. Only one road leads to heaven and that's Jesus Christ."

According to the Christian Post, this event held the largest number of commitments made to Jesus Christ through Harvest Crusades.

So, what precedes a commitment to Jesus Christ (submitting to Jesus as Lord)? It's God who calls sinners to repentance through the work and conviction of the Holy Spirit. And although God does not delight in tragedy, He does use tragic events for His glory, oftentimes pointing to our need of Him.

It appears God has worked through the 9/11 tragedy to draw people to Him. A few days after the direct attack, churches were flooded with newcomers seeking comfort, answers and truth. Now, ten years later, people are still responding.

Often it's in the midst of tragedy when one recognizes his or her need for a Savior, but this does not have to be the case.

Though not as common, blessings can also bring one to the cross. The account in Luke of the 10 lepers who were healed illustrates how uncommon this was- only one leper came back to Jesus' feet, "praising God in a loud voice," to acknowledge and thank Jesus. This blessing of healing created a sincere gratitude for Jesus Christ in this leper.

Dismally, blessings do not seem to be as effective in drawing one to the cross. Tragedy does. Being confronted with death is powerful. Simply attending a funeral leads one to reflect on life, whether or not the achievements being pursued are real and lasting. No wonder the writer of Ecclesiastes states that it's better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting: "...for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart."

When we recognize the frailty of our lives and the destructiveness of a sinful world through death or tragedy, we have to look somewhere beyond our existence for hope: Jesus Christ.

However, being drawn to Jesus' work on the cross does not in itself save us from our sin. Acknowledging that God exists does not save us from our sin. Desiring to please God does not save us from our sin. Pursuing heaven does not save us from our sin.

Salvation Is Only In Christ

What saves from sin? Understanding the wretchedness of my sinful state, and that on my own I have no hope. Yet Jesus Christ-- because he died sinless and rose again-- He alone can redeem me from my sinful state and create in me something new.

This is a matter which must plunge deeply into the heart and mind. Romans 10:10 says, "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

Imagine standing at the very cross Jesus was crucified on. This holy, just man died, and when the earth shook during the hour of His death, even the soldiers at the crucifixion acknowledged that it was God they had put on the cross. This man did not die for his own sin. The cross was high, the beams likely caked with blood. The ugliness of it illustrated our own wretchedness. He died for our revolting sin.

This decision requires humbleness. It requires acknowledging that on our own we are wretched. Our sinfulness is ugly, destructive, and alone we are hopeless. Through Jesus' death and resurrection only is salvation from this state.

If we don't understand our wretchedness without a Savior, we cannot admit our need for a Savior.

Being faced with the results of sin and the frailty of life during the 9/11 attacks may have pushed many to the cross. Once acknowledging our need for a savior, Jesus calls us to carry our cross and be His disciple (Luke 14:27).

If a commitment to Jesus is made, our lives must then reflect our dependence on Him. After professing our sinfulness and Jesus' salvation, we must live like we are His servant and He is our Lord.

Those who made commitments at that 9/11 service were drawn to God. Maybe it was a reminder of the frailty of their lives, the destructive power of a sinful world, and the acknowledgement that someone is in control and knows what's going on which pointed to their humble need to be redeemed.

It's that redemption that we must recognize we need: not just comfort and a promise of heaven. Forgiveness of sins is the best gift God offers.

The fact that he'll take us home someday to be in heaven magnifies His greatness. All the other blessings he bestows upon us are like a flood of gravy on some already good potatoes, which leave me standing in awe daily.


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