By the glory of His blessed countenance, by the touch of His tender hand, by the tenderness of the eye which is the mirror of His heart, I beseech you, make your eternal tryst with God your Saviour now.
Turn from this world of emptiness and turn to Christ the universe of fullness. Seek Him who is the way, the truth and the life. Never give your mind rest nor your heart peace nor your conscience sleep until you are sure that you can say, ‘I am His and He is mine.’ Never rest until you can sing, ‘ten thousand charms around Him shine, but best of all, I know He’s mine.’
I have a cause to plead for my master this day. Never again will I have the opportunity to address you as I address you now. Such an opportunity comes but once in a lifetime.
O sinner, I meet you this day on life’s highway. You are travelling the wrong way on the wrong road. I would accost you. I would call you to halt and listen to this message from my master. I want you to know that I am in deadly earnest. I am Christ’s ambassador. I must clear myself of your soul’s blood.
If you heed me not, then I must patiently exhort you. Why must you refuse my Master, whose love to you was to the wounds of the cross.
From exhortation I will turn to entreaty. I will beseech you not to harden your heart. ‘He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.’
From entreaty I would turn to adjuration. I adjure you by the thorns which pierced Christ’s brow, by the whip which ploughed His back, by the nails which pierced His hands and feet, by the spear which stabbed His side, to neglect not so great salvation.
Why, O why will you die?
From adjuration I turn to tears. I weep for you, that you are so foolish to sell your soul for some quickly passing pleasure, some soul-destroying lust, some destructive habit.
Life is too short to gamble with the whereabouts of your soul.
And if my weeping will not move you, I will take me to my room and there I will continue to weep for you.
Today the greatest spiritual hero of my youth is at rest with His Maker. His was an example of courage and conviction. Like Eleazar, his faithfulness in the fight caused the sword of the gospel to cleave to his hand. He may have wielded it with greater power than any man in Europe. He faced down popes, prime ministers, and protestors with fire in his belly and a word on his tongue.
It was largely from him that I learned something about fervency in prayer and passion in preaching.
I learned that convictions like steel need not dampen evangelical zeal. I learned that grace and grit not only can coexist in a man but that they must do so. I learned that warring hands must be tempered with weeping eyes. I learned something of the strange ways of Providence by watching his life. Like Joseph, he went from a prison cell to the Queen’s Privy Council. He rose from the lowest seat in prison to the highest seat in parliament. He was not a perfect man but he loved and served a perfect Master. It seems that because his ways pleased the Lord even his enemies were made to be at peace with him.
One day, should I live to be an old man, I would like to hold my posterity on my knee and say, “Let me tell you about Paisley; the man who shook Ireland for Christ…the man who shook me. That big man laid his hand upon me one evening and prayed that Spirit of God would rest upon my ministry. All the while, I was praying for a double-portion of his power to rest upon me. Children, he was a mighty man of God. The world rarely sees such a soldier of the cross in these times. Truly, there were giants on the earth in those days.”
Oh, that someone would reach up catch his falling mantle. May we take it up and smite our swelling Jordans, watch God roll back the proud waves, and then go forth conquering and to conquer.
R.I.P. Ian R.K. Paisley
You fought the good fight. You kept the faith. Now you have finished your course. You did it with joy. Soli Deo Gloria
Take a few minutes to listen to this classic sermon.