Passion 2024: Louie Giglio challenges modern cultural messages with Gospel truths

By The Christian Post |
Louie Giglio
Louie Giglio speaks at Passion 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia | Screenshot/Passion Conference
Louie Giglio tackled common modern societal beliefs — entitlement, self-determination and personal rights — and contrasted them with the transformative message of the Gospel in a message delivered to thousands of young people at Passion 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“My message tonight starts with presuppositions,” the 65-year-old leader of Passion City Church in Atlanta said. 

“It's imperative, I think, that that's where we begin because of the conversation that we're in in culture. … Some of the key presuppositions right now in the world we live in are these: Number one, I have rights. Number two, I should get to decide. Number three, I know me best. Number four, I deserve more. Number five, I deserve to be happy. But the Gospel speaks to our presuppositions. … The Gospel actually flies in the face of all the presuppositions we've just named. Because without Christ, we've got a problem. And it is a massive problem. Without Christ, we are separated from God.”

Giglio delved into the core of the Gospel message: God, in His mercy and love, made humanity alive with Christ even when they were dead in their sins. This grace, he said, changes everything, including presuppositions about life. 

The pastor urged the audience to realize that in Christ, they don't have rights or the best judgment for themselves; instead, they have been given grace despite deserving wrath.

“Can you make it to a holy, holy, holy God? Religion tells you that you can, if you try hard enough, and you work hard enough, and you go through the motions hard enough. But a dead person can't do anything. So, God steps into the equation, because you weren't just dead, although that's a problem. You were, as Paul wrote, an object of God's wrath … you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live.

“What we want you to know in 2024 is that the game plan for you going forward isn't trying to do your best to get to a holy God,” Giglio continued. “It is not for you to go through some religious system to get to a holy God, because you can't do that. It's not for you to feel the weight of getting from where you are to where God is. No, but God, when we were dead, made us alive. How? By bridging the gap through His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Giglio and his wife, Shelley, started the Passion movement in 1995 with the purpose of "calling students and leaders from campuses across the nation and cities around the world to live for what matters most ... the name and renown of Jesus." The annual event is geared toward young adults ages 18-25.

In his message, Giglio also addressed guilt, shame and anxiety about the future,  struggles increasingly common among young people. He explained how the cross of Christ offers a perspective that can dwarf these concerns. He encouraged the audience to trust in God's plan and timing, emphasizing that the cross signifies a new identity and purpose for believers.

“Your heavenly Father does not want you feeling any pressure right now about your life,” he stressed. “And if you're feeling pressure, it is not because of your heavenly Father. Your heavenly Father wants you to get ahold of the magnitude of the cross, and to understand in this moment, that God's got it all under control. And all you have to do is be obedient today to what God is leading you to do.”

Giglio concluded by inviting the thousands of Passion attendees to embrace the cross, not just as a symbol of forgiveness but as a commitment to a Christ-centered life. He emphasized that in Christ, a believer’s life's focus shifts from themselves to God, and their love affair with the world is overshadowed by the cross. 

“The cross has set me free from the allure of this world, and it has so radically changed me that this world wants nothing to do with me anymore,” he declared. 

“They don't want me, and I don't want it. I just want Jesus, and I want to preach His Word. I want to proclaim His story. I want to run my race. I want to keep the faith. I want to finish this course and fight the good fight. I want to pour into His disciples who want to earnestly follow Jesus. I want to proclaim a Gospel that says, ‘Religion is finished and grace has come.’ And I want to implore you to grow up into the fullness of the man or the woman that God has made you in Jesus Christ.

I want to implore you to say ‘no’ to this world and to say ‘yes’ to Jesus, I want to implore you to join me and to commit on this day, ‘I will never boast in one thing on planet Earth except the cross of Jesus Christ.’”

The Passion 2024 conference was held from Jan. 3-5 at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium with speakers including Giglio, "Duck Dynasty" star and author Sadie Robertson Huff and Pastors Jonathan Pokluda and Levi Lusko. Musical guests included KB, Brandon Lake, Kari Jobe and Phil Wickham. 

Following Passion 2024, Giglio took to Twitter to issue a prayer for tens of thousands of young people who attended the event: “Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His Name. Thank You God for these days. 

"Join me in praying for the students returning to their cities, campuses, and countries today, that they would live for God and His glory," he wrote.

Originally published by The Christian Post