They came by the thousands to hear the Good News and Franklin Graham did not disappoint. More than 13,000 heard the Gospel in Montevideo tonight—and 879 made decisions for Christ.
Young and old they came. Some in their teens; some, like Palmira Pimienta, in their 80s. Palmira not only came to the Festival, she is serving as a counselor.
In fact, this event meant so much to her, she taught a woman named Mary to read so that Mary could serve alongside her.
Palmira met Mary in one of the pre-Festival counseling seminars held in November. Mary likes to work with people who have problems – kids who are on drugs, prostitutes, and people in need – and she really wanted to work at the Festival of Hope.
But she couldn’t do it because she couldn’t read or write.
So Palmira decided to tutor Mary because she loves teaching and helped Mary reach literacy. “She shows a lot of interest in learning and she is almost ready to read the Bible,” Palmira explained.
“I feel I have taken the light of the Lord to a person and am very happy about it,” she added.
We spoke to Palmira just before the event began. She said this about the first night of the Festival:
“Yesterday’s event really impressed me. I had no idea what this would be like and I was a little bit afraid. But then I learned that the job we had to do was kind of simple and easy to do.”
“One is demanding with oneself and always thinking that you are not ready to do the job. But then we realize we can really do it. We went home very happy and very satisfied with the outcome of the whole event.”
“If yesterday more than 800 people accepted Jesus Christ, I hope today there will be thousands!”
This could be the most important night of your life. Tonight you can find the meaning and purpose for your life. God has a plan for you life. Many go through life without knowing that plan.
Our problem is sin. All have sinned and that separates us from God. It becomes a barrier – it prevents our prayers from reaching God. We have been separated because of sin.
Tonight you can be forgiven. Tonight you can know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
Last night I spoke about your soul. Your soul will live for eternity. One day your body will die. I am 57 and my father is beginning to fall apart. I can’t keep up with my grandchildren like I used to!
But your soul lives forever – it will never die. Those who die and don’t know Christ, they will be separated from God forever.
Tonight, I want to tell you about a man who came close to dying and losing his soul.
Franklin then preached from Luke 19:1-5.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector who cheated his own country men. He sinned against his own people.
But Zacchaeus wanted to meet Jesus when He was passing through. I think maybe Zacchaeus felt guilty. Maybe tonight you feel guilty. You wonder if there is any way you can be forgiven.
Yes, tonight you can be forgiven.
Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus but he was small in stature. Thousands followed Jesus and he could not see above the crowd.
Maybe you feel small tonight, maybe you feel God is far away in heaven. He is not far away. He loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for your sins.
God sent his son Jesus Christ to take our sins – He went to the cross – He died and shed his blood on a Roman cross – when He died He took your sins to the grave.
But on the third day God raised His son to life. He is not dead. He is not hanging on a cross. He is here tonight. Tonight you can be forgiven.
Zacchaeus was short. The crowd blocked his way. Your sins block your way unless you accept Jesus Christ by faith.
Tonight you can be cleansed of all your sins.
Telling a lie is a sin, stealing is a sin, adultery is a sin, murder is a sin – but tonight God will forgive you.
You can confess your sins, and tell God you want to repent of your sins. And God will forgive you but you have to come through Jesus Christ.
God is offering salvation through his son Jesus Christ but you have to accept it by faith.
Zacchaeus was smart – he climbed up a tree in order to Jesus. And Jesus stopped. He saw Zacchaeus and called him by name. The call was urgent – “come down out of that tree.”
Tonight Jesus is calling you by name. It is urgent. He is passing through here. You may never have an opportunity like you do tonight. Zacchaeus responded immediately.
Just like the thousands in Uruguay, you too can accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Follow the Steps to Peace and make sure your soul will be with God for eternity.
Pray right where you are! God will hear. And then let us know how we can pray for you.