On the third day of Taipei Franklin Graham Festival, over 50,000 participants showed up at Liberty Plaza on Nov. 1. Chinese Christian celebrities performed and gave testimonies of faith. Influential evangelist Franklin Graham shared God’s love through a sermon on the Parable of Prodigal Son.
Beginning with up-tempo songs and modern dances, the youth night featured extreme bicycling, aiming to attract the youths. Upon completing his stunts on his bicycle, including 360 degree spins and back-flips, the U.S. extreme sports performer shared that although he has won countless awards in his profession, he suffered a serious injury to his knee, which made him realize that he is imperfect and that he is a sinner. He said that God sent his only son Jesus to be our savior. At the accident, he realized that the Lord was with him then.
Other Chinese Christian celebrities who performed included Queen Wei Ru Yun, SIEN, David Tao, Vanness Wu, and Joshua Band.
In his testimony, Wu said that behind the fame and fortune of being a celebrity there are many temptations and it is easy to lose oneself. Whenever he faces difficulties or in distress his friends and pastor would help him reignite his faith and once again place his trust in God's hands.
David Tao, a Los Angeles grown Chinese pop-singer, said that although he loves doing his work in the music industry and has much possessions, he still has this serious lacking inside of his heart.
Through his pastor's sermons, Tao said he was able to find his life's focus and the meaning of life. Just as the Lord described in the Parables of the Talents, where the owner gave some 5,000 talents, others 2,000, and still others 1,000, Tao said that instead of hiding these God-given talents, we should use them to glorify God and be good stewards. For him, music is his talent, and his song "Butterfly" illustrates this message.
Explicating the story of the prodigal son, Graham said that we are just like the prodigal son who left God and was filling ourselves with the pleasures of this world, but could not be satisfied. We tried to fill ourselves up with drugs, sex, and money, but we ended up losing ourselves and became dirty.
If we are willing to repent and go before God, confessing our sins and asking for God's forgiveness, then the merciful God will embrace us, cleanse us, and remove the dirty rags and give us the robes of righteousness.
The evangelist said that God's heart towards the sinners is like the father's heart to the prodigal son upon his son's return. When the son returned asking for forgiveness, his father kissed him, placed the best robe on him, forgiving him and cried together.
Graham said that only Jesus can fill the lackings in our hearts. Because of his death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection, we can go to God only through Jesus Christ.
He is here tonight. Jesus loves you and won’t leave you. If you accept him with faith, then your sins will be forgiven, and tonight you shall have a new life.
[Editor's note: reporter Ian Hwang from Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.]