"Let's not sacrifice the Gospel for coolness ... what this generation needs is not more cool stuff, they need Jesus Christ," Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor Greg Laurie said of today’s young people.
Laurie sat down with PureFlix’s Billy Hallowell last week for an episode of the streaming service’s Pure Talk interview series to discuss his book Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today and the need for another Jesus Revolution in America.
Laurie warned that the culture of today is similar to the toxic culture of the 60s and the 70s that was filled with riots, racism, heavy drug use and war.
“America was in flames. Upheaval, turmoil, riots in the streets, young men coming home from Vietnam in body bags, our leaders being assassinated before our very eyes… there was such chaos in the culture,” Laurie said.
But somewhere between the issuing of a 1966 Time magazine cover that begged the question “Is God Dead?” and the 1971 Time magazine cover sporting the phrase “The Jesus Revolution,” Laurie said, there was a “spiritual awakening.”
In Laurie’s book, he talks about how the Jesus Revolution saved his life overnight.
He said, “I was a 17-year-old kid. I was using drugs every single day. I was going in the wrong direction in my life,” until one day he fell upon a bible study outside of his high school and decided to listen in. “I sat down close enough to eavesdrop on what was being said," he told Hallowell.
Laurie remembered hearing someone make a statement of truth that changed the course of his life right there. One of the bible study attendees said, “Jesus said, 'You're for me, or against me.’”
Laurie asked himself if his lifestyle was against Jesus and came to the realization that it was. Laurie gave his life to Christ that day.
Now, having led thousands to Jesus, Laurie believes that today’s young people need to have the same realization. He told Hallowell, “Let's not sacrifice the Gospel for coolness ... what this generation needs is not more cool stuff, they need Jesus Christ.” He continued, “They need to know what the Bible says and they need it in a way that they can understand it."
Laurie noted that a lot of today’s culture is a product of movements that began in the 1960s and 70s when he was growing up. He said, “A lot of the things we're experiencing today were all starting then, the sexual revolution ... birth control ... free love ... and look at what's happened with the breakdown and redefinition of the family," Laurie pointed to the breakdown of the family as the origin of most social ills.
But, Laurie continued, "Our country was born in revival and we need another spiritual revival in America," he said. "God can do it again, and we pray that He will."
Photo courtesy: Gift Habeshaw/Unsplash
Video courtesy: PureFlix