Salvation To The Uttermost
The Testimony Of Dr Ian Paisley
Early Conversion To Christ
Dr Ian Paisley
Well, it is with deep emotions and also with a heart filled with gratitude to my Saviour, that I can stand here tonight and look back upon the way His Hand has guided and the way His Heart has planned.
First of all, I remember my early conversion to Christ. I will never, ever forget that. And when I have been a billion or ten billion years in Heaven, I'll still be remembering the day that I first met up with the Blessed Saviour.
The Good Shepherd
On the 29th day of May, 1932, I was born into the Family of God. I will never ever forget that glorious hour. I have in my hand tonight a very treasured Bible. It's the Bible of my mother. And after she passed on, I was looking through some of her things, I discovered this Bible. I also discovered the notes of the message that she preached the day that I was saved. It's about the little lost sheep being found by the Good Shepherd of the sheep. And the text is the one that I read in my reading towards the end - of the man with a hundred sheep, but one was lost, but he went forth and found the lost sheep. And she linked it with that great text in the 10th chapter of John's Gospel,
"I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His Life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
I was six years of age and when the other boys and girls went out of the meeting house, I remained. And I went forward and I said to my mother, "I want to come to Jesus." We went down into the Church building, the second seat from the back on the right hand side, and she knelt down with me and pointed me to Christ.
"How Much Does A Child Know ?"
You say to me, "How much does a child know ?" A child knows as much as anyone else born into God's Family, because when you're born into God's Family, you become a partaker of Divine Wisdom. And I thank God for that wonderful experience - to come to Jesus Christ.
"General William Booth"
The second thing I remember about my childhood - it's a picture of the first General of the Salvation Army - General William Booth. And that picture hung up over my head. And when I got down on my knees at night and prayed, I used to look up, and I used to say, "When I become a preacher, I'll have that word on my pulpit, "Salvation to the Uttermost." And if you ever visit the Martyrs Memorial Church you will see that message hanging there, because it burned it's way into my soul. My business is to preach "Salvation to the Uttermost."
And I will never forget the inspiration I got as I thought of William Booth in the early days of the Salvation Army, the opposition he endured as he preached the Gospel.
"Give Not One Hair's Breadth Of God's Truth Away"
I travelled over to South Wales, and enlisted during the war years in the South Wales Bible College, which was a College that came into existence in the 1904 Welsh Revival. I returned home. I entered the theological hall of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland. I studied a further three years, and then I was called to the congregation that I still pastor on the Ravenhill Road. It was a challenge. I had just turned 20 years of age.
The ordination service will always stand out in my memory. Rev W.J Greer preached the ordination sermon, and he said this : He said, "Young man, let me leave with you the words of Samuel Rutherford, the great Covenanting preacher. 'Give not one hair's breadth of God's Truth away, for it is not yours to give. It is God's.'
Seek Great Things For God.
That has been my guiding star all through my ministry. I'm not in the pulpit to barter away God's Truth, I'm in the pulpit to defend God's Truth. To proclaim it ! To battle for it ! And to challenge every enemy to the Truth of the Gospel. And that day, God visited my soul with blessing, and did a Work of Grace in my heart.
There's a Word in the Bible that says, "....seekest thou great things for thyself ? seek them not....” (Jeremiah 45:5)
So I decided that my business was not to seek great things for myself, but was to seek God.
"God Did Something In Our Souls That Made Us Different. "
In 1949, I had learned through hard experience in the ministry, the need for the Anointing of God. And I spoke with John Douglas, (who is now the principal of our Whitefield College of the Bible), and I said to John (he was the first convert that God gave me in my ministry on the Ravenhill Road), I said, "John I want you to come to the Church and I want you to pray." He says, " How long are we going to pray ? " Says I, "Only God knows that ." And then there was another young brother, Robert Scott, and there was another young brother called Walsh.
So at 10 o'clock, the four of us met. We didn't know what we were meeting for. We didn't know how strange that meeting would be. We didn't know how many tears we were going to shed. We didn't know how rich the blessing of God would be. But we prayed. We went on praying. Two, three, four, five six, seven, eight, nine, right on the whole day, the next day. We started on a Friday night, Saturday passed, we dare not leave that House of God, for God was speaking to our inmost soul. And we went on, and then suddenly the Heavens opened, and God did something in our souls. God did something in our souls that made us different.
"What Altar Do You Bow At ? "
A move of God commenced. On the Sunday morning I didn't enter the pulpit, I preached at the Communion Table on the subject, "What altar do you bow at ? " "Do you bow at the altar of "normal" Christian experience ? Do you bow and worship at the altar of worldliness ? Or do you bow at the altar of complete dedication to Christ ? " And I declared that my ministry was going to change.
And God started to move. And that very Sunday night, Bob Scott's dear mother, whom Bob had long prayed for, got gloriously saved. As Bob and I stood at the front of the Church, at the Communion Table with his mother, and we shed our tears together, we knew that God had come amongst us.
"A Great Movement Of The Spirit Of God."
And from that day, things changed. A desire to preach the Gospel and reach the lost burned in our hearts, and we commenced a great series of missions right across this province, and God blessed us with many souls. These souls were not saved in the scores, they were saved in the hundreds. I remember campaigning in Rathfriland, and at the end of that Rathfriland campaign, almost 200 souls had come to Christ. I had two campaigns at Ballymena, and at both those campaigns, nearly 500 souls, ( 1,000 in total ), had come to Christ. There was a great movement of the Spirit of God.
"It Is The Lord's Doing."
And then I was invited to go to a place called Crossgar. The elders of the Church there had given me permission to use their Church Hall for the Gospel campaign. But the Presbytery of Down decided that campaign must not take place. And so they shut us out. It was the greatest thing they ever did. For when you persecute people, God vindicates those whom the world persecutes.
And so we started in the little mission hall in that town, and God met with us and blessed us, and the fire burned in our souls. And so the Free Presbyterian Church was born. And God has blessed it. We are in five continents of the world, preaching the Gospel tonight. It is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.
"Only Trust Him Now !"
Let me tell you this friend, God blesses His people, and if ever a man was blessed of God, you're looking at that man.
As the sun goes down on my life, and I am on the "Homeward Run" tonight, ( I'm going Home to the Gloryland ) , I can bear testimony to the fact that Jesus Christ is well worth trusting. I'm glad as a boy of six, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I bless Him for the way He has led me, and the path by which He has brought me. And I would say to you tonight,
"Only trust Him, Only trust Him, Only trust Him Now !
He will save you, HALLELUJAH ! He will save you now !”
"Christ Satisfies The Longing Of Every Human Soul. "
I want you to go from this meeting remembering this testimony - that Christ satisfies the longing of every human soul. He can meet your need tonight. If it's a need of cleansing, you can be cleansed tonight. If it's a need of personal Salvation, you can be personally saved tonight. If you need Him for a touch on your body, He can touch your body. He made the body and He can mend it, and His Touch has lost none of it's Power. What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Jesus !
"I Want You Over There "!
Oh dear sinner friend, come to Christ tonight and be saved. Oh dear backslider, return unto the Lord and He will have Mercy upon you, and to our God, for He will abundantly Pardon. Dear Christian friend, renew your vows ! Ask God to send upon our beloved province an old fashioned, Heaven sent revival, so that men in their thousands will turn to Christ, and light will shine again in this dark place.
"I'm going Home to Glory soon, to see the City bright.
To walk the golden streets of Heaven and bask in God's Own Light.
But some of you are out of Christ, and held by many a snare,
I cannot leave you lost and lone. I want you over there ! ”
"Don't Miss The Way To Heaven"
Join me tonight on the road to Heaven ! Spend the remaining days of your life with Heaven's Peace and Power and Blessing in your soul. And then one day we'll meet in the great Family of the Father's House. Don't miss Heaven. Don't miss the Way to Heaven. Don't miss the open door of opportunity tonight.
A Great Prayer
Pray that great prayer, from the depths of your soul as you sit in this meeting:
"Then oh my Lord prepare, my soul for that Great Day,
Oh wash me in the Precious Blood, and take my sins away. ”
May it be so, for Jesus' sake.
Dr Ian Paisley