INVERNESS, Scotland – "What can Jesus do for me that I cannot do for myself?"
That was the question posed by evangelist Luis Palau to hundreds attending his Highland Festival in Inverness this past weekend.
Palau, who has a Scottish grandfather, told around 1,000 people that Jesus could do everything that money could not and do that which neither scholars nor scientists could fully explain.
"Only Christ can give you eternal life. Religion cannot do it. Charitable work will not do it. Good behavior will not do it. Doing communion won't do it. Reading the Bible won't do it. Saying your prayers won't do it. Only Jesus Christ will take you to Heaven if he lives in your heart," he said.
Quoting extensively from John 15, he assured them that Jesus calls those who do as He commands, "friends."
"When you feel lonely, when you feel empty, Jesus Christ can do for you what no simple human being can do for you," he said. "Jesus Christ shows you that he wants to be your friend because He gave his life for you.
"Jesus Christ says 'I want to be your friend and I proved it when I went to the cross and died for you to be able to become your friend and you can become my friend.'"
The Highland Festival, which took place at Inverness' Bught Park, marked Palau's first evangelistic outreach in Scotland in 30 years.
Palau addressed the sensitive issue of addiction during his messages at the June 17-20 festival. Just before his arrival at the Highland capital, a 22-year-old man died from a drug overdose in a McDonald's restroom in Inverness.
He urged those affected by alcohol or drugs to seek Christ in moments of weakness and to trust Him to help them overcome any temptations they were facing.
"If you are going wild or tempted to do something stupid you need Jesus Christ. He will give you supernatural power. He will give you the Holy Spirit," said Palau.
He continued, "Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. You come to Christ and He will do something in your life. He will help you to crucify the flesh that will lead you into really stupid or sinful behavior.
"Jesus Christ will give you power to overcome temptations and not make the mistakes that destroy so many people … How many wreck their lives because they have no self control."
The world evangelist who is based in Portland, Ore., warned against the dangers of sexual temptation, saying that although sex is a beautiful gift from God it should be used within God's plan of marriage.
Urging young people to first find love in God, Palau encouraged the crowd to regard themselves as the holy temples of God and appealed to young girls and women especially to do what is right in the eyes of God, rather than give in to pressure from men to have sex.
"When you are looking for real love, pure love, you delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart," he said, quoting Psalm 37.4.
"As a young person looking for love you have to say 'Jesus Christ I can't find real love without you, fill me with your love."
To experience Jesus' love more and more each day, he said believers have the responsibility to spend time with God and walk with him, serve him, obey Scripture, have fellowship with other Christians, and live a holy life.
He went on to encourage people from broken homes not to contemplate suicide or take revenge on their parents, but rather to ask Jesus to step into their situation and learn how to see God as their true Father who will never leave them.
"If your home is breaking up you need Jesus Christ like no one else," he said. "If you come from a broken home and you are angry, you have a right to be angry but you've got to get rid of it.
"You've got to come to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ will help you to forgive your father and get it over with so that you don't become poison forever."
Palau finished by urging people not to live in guilt over past sins or failures by accepting the forgiveness that only Jesus Christ can bring.
"Jesus Christ can do what no religion can do, no church can do, no minister can do. Jesus Christ is the one who forgives sins. And why is he the only one? Because he the only one who died on the cross for the sins of the world," he said.
Scores of people raised their hands at the end of each day to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and receive information about how they could start their new life as a Christian.
In addition to the evangelistic sermons, the festival featured extreme sports demonstrations, live music, and play areas for children which attracted many families and teenagers.
The Highland Festival was the culmination of two years of planning together with more than 100 churches from across the region. It drew to a close on Saturday with one of the last ever live performances from Christian band Delirious?.
Luis Palau was invited to host the festival by local church leaders looking to "jumpstart" spiritual life in the region.
The next Palau festival will take place in Kigali in Rwanda to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.