‘Set Free’: 70,000-Plus Hear Good News During Thailand Festival on Sunday
Elephants. Pad Thai. Ornate temples. Exotic spa resorts. These are just a few things that come to mind when one thinks of Thailand. Although most may seem happy in the nation known as “Land of the Smiles,” underneath their rich fabrics and deep traditions, there’s more than what meets the eye.
On Sunday, the final night of the two-day Amazing Love Festival in Bangkok, Franklin Graham shared how every human has a soul.
The 23,000-plus souls in the one-level room fixated their attention on Franklin as he explained no one can have peace with God until their sins have been forgiven.
“There are many of you here tonight who are in danger of losing your soul,” Franklin said, aware that 95 percent of the country does not claim Jesus as Lord.
Speaking from Luke 19, he shared about Jesus’ invitation to all people, including Zacchaeus, a corrupt public official who overcame obstacles to see Christ.
“Jesus is the only one in history to take all our sins. No [other] person or religion has ever done that,” Franklin said. “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.”
Surrounded by a culture that harnesses respect for authority and thinks of Buddhism as a way of life, many in the audience took Franklin’s words to heart: “Jesus Christ came to take all the spirits. He has the power of all the darkness.”
Overhead, giant screens gave everyone in the seemingly endless line of rows the opportunity to have a closeup view of what God was doing. They didn’t have to climb a tree like Zacchaeus did to see Jesus pass by; instead, they could witness the presence of His Holy Spirit right there.
This Holy Spirit is able to overcome any other spirit in the world. The Bible says God alone has the ability to rescue people from their wrongdoings—something other religions don’t offer.
“Come quickly to Jesus tonight,” Franklin said as the floor flooded with masses of people responding to the Gospel. “Be set free.”
And thousands were freed indeed, enlightened not by their own self-awakening, but by the saving grace of Christ.
Moving with anticipation, those responding to the Gospel message gathered in front of the stage to meet with prayer volunteers, who also offered them materials to help them grow in their faith.
Circled up, two middle-aged women and a prayer volunteer stood near the center of the crowd.
Rut came to the Festival after her neighbor Manewa invited her. She really just wanted to hear the music and expected to receive a blessing from Franklin’s sermon, too.
But with a soft smile on her face, she gained more than she ever hoped.
Leaving her family ties to Buddhism, she decided to follow Christ, becoming the first Christian in her family. She was drawn to come forward after hearing that when people are in trouble, God can help.
Rut decided to rely on Him for protection and guidance instead of looking to herself or spirits. Through her newfound relationship with Jesus, she’s fully protected by a greater Spirit living inside her than any she’ll face on this earth—the Spirit of God—and promised eternal life in heaven.