TAIPEI- Rev Stephen Tong has closed the annual Christmas Gospel Rally 2005 in Taiwan, following the week-long tour throughout Asia.
On Wednesday evening, hundreds of people gathered at the landmark in Taipei downtown - the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall - for Rev Stephen Tong’s last preaching this Christmas in Asia. A review of the year 2005 was presented as a short video, showing how the grace of God has touched thousands of souls across the world through Tong’s crusades in 21 cities over the year.
In the run up to Christmas, Tong began his sermon by explaining the real meaning of the special season. He said Christmas marks the time when God reveals the truth himself through the birth of his son Jesus Christ. Through the Gospel rally, he aims to preach this Gospel to all nations and all people.
In bringing up the theme "Between God and Man," Tong declared that man has never been separated from religion throughout all civilizations. Particularly, he pointed out that the belief in God does exist in the Chinese culture.
"The existence of God is not a matter of "believe" or "not believe". From the historical viewpoint, the concept of God is originated from the Western civilization, but it is a wrong concept that many people have," explained Tong. "While many believe that there is no such thing as ‘the existence of God’ in Chinese culture, but actually in the traditional Chinese society, people had faith in the heaven, which is actually the one God."
Tong continued by saying that the existence of God is undeniable by those who doubt- the literature writers, philosopher and atheist- because God has already put the seed of faith in the heart of man since he created the heaven and the earth in the beginning.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," Tong said. He further explained that God is the creator of the world; he is love, truth, light, nature and foundation. Therefore, the fact that God exists is absolute, regardless of whether people believe it or not.
Concerning the relationship between God and man, he said, "Jesus- word became flesh- came to the world to be the mediator between God and man, which means to connect the heart of man to the infinite one."
"But how man can set up the vertical relationship with God?" he continued. "God is the word, the birth of Jesus Christ has made our relationship with God possible. Just as proclaimed in I John 1:1, the word of life is what we have heard, what we have seen."
In conclusion, Tong said, "He is the word and he is also a man; he is originally the creator and he has made himself as being created; he came from the infinite and entered the finite world. He is origin of all things and the seed. All the answer between God and man is in Christ Jesus."
The event in Taiwan yesterday has also held alongside with an orchestral performance on some Gospel music. The hearts of the audience were deeply moved.
On Dec. 11-15, a series of Christmas Gospel Rally was staged in Singapore and a number of major cities in East and West Malaysia, including Penang, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.
[Editor’s Note: Kevin Lu reported from Taipei for this article and Eunice Or from San Francisco.]