Friday, July 14, 2006

Rick Warren Draws Record Numbers at Korean World Cup Stadium

The Sangamdong World Cup Stadium saw a record attendance number of 100,000 people Thursday night when Pastor Rick Warren told the massive crowd of Christians to spread their blessings to the world. Otherwise, the megachurch pastor said, a third revival will not come to the country.

In the midst of Warren’s Purpose Driven Conference at Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea, believers packed into the stadium in the western-most area of Seoul to hear Warren speak of another revival like the 1907 Pyongyang Revival that many say established the base of Korean Christianity. Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life topped the Christian best-selling list in South Korea.

Speaking to believers in a country that sends out more missionaries than any other nation besides the United States, Warren told the huge crowd that Korea is a nation that has received material blessings from God. Those blessings must be shared for another revival to come, he added.

Warren said that the reason for God blessing Korea was to bless the whole world through the country. If Korea, however, does not give out that blessing, God will take it away.

Stressing the importance of giving, Warren testified of his life after the success of his worldwide best-seller The Purpose Driven Live. He said he realized that the blessing was given to him to give to others. And he has shared the blessings to others ever since.

For the past four years, Warren has been invited to give lectures and lead conferences at no cost, and any money he did receive from speaking at churches and other venues in the 25 years he has been preaching has been fully directed to the church. While maintaining a simple lifestyle, Warren has given 90 percent of his income as offering. With the profits raised from his book, he has also set up a non-profit corporation for AIDS elimination and the raising of spiritual leaders.

For a revival to happen in Korea, the people need to experience the love of God and repent, Warren asserted. God’s love will change the lives of believers and repentance will cleanse the sins of the believers, he said, and when revival comes, God will use Korea greatly.

The stadium gathering was followed by the concluding day of the Purpose Driven Church Conference at Yoido, where 20,000 ministers and Christians have been trained. Warren is continuing his 13-nation tour with a gathering in Pusan and will head to North Korea on July 17. Monday’s meeting will be in preparation for the first outdoor Christian event in North Korea – the 100th anniversary of the Pyongyang Revival – since 1945, according to Warren’s spokesman, A. Larry Ross.