Good evening everyone. A happy St Patrick's Day to you all, I hope you had a good day - some of you maybe didn't get it off, but some of us did, and it's good to see you here tonight making the effort. It would be very easy to stay at home on a night like this, but thank you for coming and joining with us. It's been good to be here with you, and most importantly in the Lord's presence - and the Lord has been moving and working, and we have sensed Him with us night by night, and I believe tonight is going to be the same.
I want you to turn with me in your Bibles to just one text this evening, 2 Corinthians chapter 8 and verse 9 - just listen if you don't have a Bible with you, we will get the verse, those of us who are looking it up in the Bible. Second Corinthians chapter 8, and we're only going to read verse 9. I want to speak to you about 'Saint Patrick - The Apostle Of Ireland'. Let's pray before we read the Scripture together. I've invited you each night to pray, and ask the Lord to speak to you - and I believe the message I have tonight is not just going to be evangelistic, though it will be, but it will be applicable to everybody here, those of us who are Christians; and indeed, there is a prophetic aspect to it in relation to the island of Ireland. So I want you all to come with open hearts and ask the Lord to speak to you tonight, will you do that? Just say: 'Lord, please will You reveal Yourself'. Maybe you're not a Christian, and you don't class yourself as religious or spiritual in anyway, but you're here anyway - well, why not pray and say: 'Lord, have You got anything that You want to say to me tonight?'. I believe the Lord is going to speak to you. So let's pray together.
Father, we do thank You for the foundation that is laid, which is Jesus Christ the Lord. We thank You that He Himself said: 'I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it'. We thank You, Father, that in the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, You are building Your church in Ireland. We thank You that right across the world You are pouring out Your Spirit in these last days upon all flesh. Lord, we would cry to You tonight that on this day, in this place, that You will open the windows of heaven, and that You will pour out such a blessing that we would not have room to receive it. Lord, we believe that You're doing something tonight, we can sense it in the very air - and we pray, our Father, that You will seal this message, by Your own imprimatur of blessing, and that there will be signs following the preaching of the word tonight - that there will be salvations in this place, that there will be restorations, there will be healing, there will be deliverance, there will be filling of the Holy Spirit, that there will be mighty signs and wonders to confirm the authenticity of Your Holy Word. So Lord, we wait upon You tonight, we pray that You will open blind eyes, that You will unplug deaf ears, that You will soften hardened hearts, and that everybody will be in a disposition to receive what the Spirit has to say tonight. Lord, come to us, we welcome You, we invite You, we want You to know that we desire You here with us this evening. Come and meet with us, O our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - come in the mighty name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Just the one verse then, 2 Corinthians 8 verse 9: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich". The slide on the screen, and I have a few PowerPoint slides - I haven't been doing that, and I won't be doing it for the rest of the Mission probably, but it's applicable tonight - who is Saint Patrick? Or perhaps more correctly: who is the real Saint Patrick? For hundreds of years people all over the world have been celebrating St Patrick's Day as they have done today. Of course there are many traditions associated with St Patrick's - you've had your own parade in Monaghan today - and of course there are the shamrocks, the shillelaghs, the leprechauns with pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. I don't know whether you had ham and cabbage for your tea or not! I don't think that's a tradition we have here, but the Americans seem to have that - and of course there is the green Guinness, and they even dye some of the rivers green. Probably a lot of that stuff is the Americanisation of St Patrick's Day celebrations - but the fact remains that maybe over 1500 years since this man's life, there is very little factually that is known about him, even during this holiday that honours his life.
Of course, much of Saint Patrick's story is a mystery, often shrouded by centuries of myth and legend. People will say: 'Well, wasn't he the fellow that chased all the snakes out of Ireland?'. Well, I'm not too sure about that, unless they were spiritual snakes! Then others will say: 'Well, wasn't he the greatest Irishman that ever lived?' - the fact remains: no, he came from Wales most likely! South Wales, he wasn't Irish at all, he was a Briton believe it or not! Born around 360 A.D., he was a Celt. I couldn't resist this one, I saw this on the Internet today - this is Saint Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland!
But what is the truth of this man Saint Patrick? What is the real history behind him? Well, very bluntly let me just say - and this is the best place to say it, on a week like this - Saint Patrick is the man whom God used to bring Christianity to Ireland by evangelism. Do you know what evangelism is? It's what we're doing this week, it's preaching the good news of the Gospel, heralding forth the life and the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ - that He was born of the Virgin, He was sinless, He grew, the incarnate God, to be a sacrifice for sinners; and He was crucified according to the Scriptures, was buried, and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures, and has now ascended unto heaven - and He is coming again very soon. This is the Gospel of the Christian faith, and it was Saint Patrick who brought it here and transformed this whole nation for the glory of Jesus Christ. I think what better, authentic, way to celebrate St Patrick's Day than to preach the message that he came to this island to preach, to give people a real reason to celebrate! There are folk here in our town tonight, and they're sitting at the pub, and they're toasting Saint Patrick - and they don't really know what the real reason is to celebrate why he ever came here. I wonder do you know?
This much we do know about this man: it was at about 16 years of age he was kidnapped by Irish marauder pirates, and he was sold as a slave into the service of a local King in the North. It was on a rainy day on a hillside in County Antrim, Slemish, where he was tending his sheep, that he had an encounter with God. That encounter with God could be summed up just like this: Patrick realised he was a sinner, and then, from that, he realised he needed a Saviour. He trusted in Jesus Christ as his Saviour, and in his writings - his own words - in his confessions he says this: 'I am greatly God's debtor, because He granted me so much grace'. He realised that because of the grace of Jesus, how much he owed God. Now there's not a lot of truth about Patrick that has been told today in our nation, and indeed across the world, and it has to be said that there hasn't been an awful lot of truth that has been preached over the years concerning the Gospel and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. But this primitive Christian that we celebrate today, Patrick, he got it right! He realised he was a sinner first, and then that Jesus Christ was his only hope as a Saviour.
Those are the two things I want to talk to you about first of all tonight. Do you realise that you're a sinner? That's what the Bible teaches very clearly, Romans 3 and verse 23, there is no difference between any of us for all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory, or God's holy standard. There are a lot of people in Ireland, and they don't think of themselves as sinners. You talk to folk on a casual basis, and they will say: 'Well, I don't do anybody any harm. I mightn't be perfect, but I've never murdered, I've never abused anybody, I've never really stolen anything of significance, I've never broken the law and I try to do my best. I try to be neighbourly and charitable, and as kind-hearted as I possibly can'. They have totally misconstrued what a sinner is. A sinner is not about how good or bad you are necessarily, it's about how holy God is, and that all of us fall short of that glory. So you could be the best person that ever lived, but unless you're perfect like the holy God of heaven and Jesus Christ His Son, you're a sinner.
Sometimes I think we're a bit easy on ourselves over sin. Do you realise you're a sinner tonight? Let me ask you a few questions. Are you good enough to get into heaven? Are you good enough right now? If you were to die, if God was to call your name and say 'It's time for you to enter into eternity', would you be good enough to enter heaven? Well, let's find out: have you ever told a lie? I don't believe there's any man or woman alive that has never told a lie. Have you ever stolen? Have you ever looked at another person with lust? Do you know what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:28? He said that even to look with lust is equivalent to adultery. You may not have committed the act, but if you've done it in your mind, you've done it in your heart. Have you ever had hatred toward another person? Jesus again in the Sermon on the Mount said that, to God, hatred is exactly the same as murder, it is murder in the heart. What about taking God's name in vain? Have you ever said 'Oh my God', or used Jesus Christ's holy name as a swear word? That's called blasphemy, it's sin.
Now those sins that I have just mentioned, they summarise only five out of the Ten Commandments in the book of Exodus that were given to Moses. Yet if you have said affirmative to all those questions, do you know what that means? You would be a lying, thieving, blaspheming, murdering adulterer! And that's the way you'll have to stand before God one day when it's judgement time. That's not good news, is it? In Revelation chapter 21 verse 8, the last book in the Bible, it says: 'the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death' - bad news, isn't it?
So maybe you came here tonight, and you were not aware that you were a sinner - or at least the extent of how big a sinner you were. But God's word, when it shines light on our dark hearts, brings us that revelation that we are sinners, and God is holy, and we fall far short of His glorious standard of perfection and purity. Now, maybe you read the sign on this Mission, that it's about a mission of hope for a troubled world - and you're thinking: 'You're not giving me much hope here tonight!'. But, you see, this is why the good news is such good news. You see, you don't understand how good the good news is, until you first compute how bad the bad news is - it's like that diamond gem that is in the jeweller's window, it is the black velvet behind it that offsets it. It is the bad news that we are sinners, and that we are condemned because of our sin and we're on our way to judgement and hell, that means when Jesus comes with His grace, it's such wonderful news!
This is what Patrick discovered up on the top of that mountain tending his sheep - that though he was a great sinner, God's grace was so much greater than his sin. That's why he exclaimed himself to be 'God's debtor' - how much he owed God. Do you realise your God's debtor tonight? Do you realise that the price of your sin has been paid for at the cross of Jesus Christ? That's the good news of Christianity, that's why we call 'Good Friday' which we will be celebrating soon 'Good Friday'. How could it possibly be good? Jesus, the spotless, sinless, Son of God, God's only begotten Son, is being slain and put to death - what's good about that? It's good because He was dying for you, He was bearing the penalty for your sins, He was taking your place so that you could go free. Isn't that wonderful?
You see this is what the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches in Ireland, where they have made the fatal mistake. I'm not picking on either one, a lot of them are all the same. It doesn't matter what denomination you pick, there will be people within them - good, well-intentioned, sincere people - and they are trying to climb a ten rung ladder to get to God. Whether it's the Ten Commandments or not, or their own set of laws and rules and regulations that they have devised, or someone else has enforced upon them, they are trying to earn God's favour - but it can't be done! That's not why the Ten Commandments were given in the first place. The Ten Commandments were given as a magnifying glass to show us our sin, to show us how big sinners we are, and that we need a Saviour.
We are debtors to God because this is the way the cross works: Jesus, the sinless Son of God, has our sin placed upon Him. He takes our sin as if all our sins were His sins, as if He had committed them Himself personally. He dies like the adulterer, He dies like the idolater, He dies like the thief, He dies like the murderer - and God punishes Him as if He was that. Why? So that His pure, holy righteousness should be given over to us - as He takes our sin, He gives us His righteousness. That's why Patrick realised he was a debtor to God. You see, the Christian message is a message of grace. Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9 says: 'For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast'. Now there's nothing wrong with good works, we could do with a whole lot more of them - but good works will not get you into heaven, because God's gift of salvation is by grace. Grace simply means 'a free gift of favour from God, unearned and unmerited'. Why? You can't pay the price that your sin demands, because Jesus has already paid it at the cross when He cried as He was dying: 'It is finished!'. The word that he used was 'Tetelestai' - and do you know what that word actually means? They used it in commerce in that day and age, when a bill was paid and your debts were all settled, the businessman would right across the debt 'Tetelestai' - paid in full.
That's why we're all debtors to God. You see, you cannot pay your way to God. I don't know what your newspapers are like around here. Sometimes we get free newspapers, and there are coupons and leaflets in them - you know what a coupon is, anybody collect the coupons? You know what a coupon does - you know, you maybe get a coupon for a pound of sugar or something like that, or butter, and you take it to a certain shop. But if you were in dire straits and you didn't have enough money to buy the groceries, you could take that coupon and it would make up the difference for what you didn't have - isn't that right? You are granted the equivalent goods as if you had the money to pay for it. That's exactly the way God's grace is, do you understand? You don't have what it takes to pay the penalty for your sin, because you are a sinner! It's like a drowning man trying to save himself, you can't do it! It's like trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, you cannot do it! You need a Saviour, you need a Rescuer - and faith is like the coupon, you can't work for it, you can't earn it, but if you have faith in the Saviour who died for you He will give you God's righteousness because of faith. He will pay God's holiness into your account, not by works that you have done, but by having faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone - isn't that wonderful?
What a discovery Patrick made up on that mountain in County Antrim, that he was a debtor to God because of His grace. Sir James Simpson was the discoverer of chloroform - you know what that was, an old version of the anaesthetic that is used today. James Simpson made many scientific discoveries during his career, and near the end of his life he was being questioned by a number of science and medical students. He was asked: 'What has been the greatest discovery that you have ever made?'. This was his answer: 'My greatest discovery was when I realised that I was a sinner, but Jesus Christ was my Saviour'. Is that a discovery that you have ever made? That's what changed Patrick's life, and that is what has changed the island of Ireland - because if Patrick hadn't made this discovery, he wouldn't have had any good news to preach! But God met him, and he had an encounter with God.
I want to ask you tonight - I'm not asking you are you religious, I'm not asking do you go to mass or do you go to church, or how much you pay in, or how many good works you do, I'm not asking any of those things. I'm asking: do you know that you're a sinner? Do you know that you don't have what it takes to earn God's favour? Do you know that Jesus has paid it all at the cross, and all you need to do is come to the foot of the cross and receive that gift by grace? It's a free gift!
Well, of course, that's not where Patrick's story ends. Years later Patrick had finally managed to escape slavery - he spent six years here in Ireland as a slave - but he made his way home. This is really only the start of why we're celebrating today, because when he got home he had a dream. There was an individual who appeared to him in the dream, and called him back - at God's behest - to the land of his slavery here in Ireland. This speaker on God's behalf in his vision in the night said to him that he was being called to preach the message of light and truth to the people of Ireland who were lost in darkness. Now Patrick would not be the first person that came to Ireland to preach the Gospel, there were several attempts to reach the Irish but were unsuccessful - such a hardhearted people with such pagan beliefs and occult superstition! Yet Patrick's love was so all-consuming and great for the Irish people that he was willing to risk his life. Of course he had lived there for six years, he knew the language, he understood the culture and the customs, and he could communicate to the people in a way that he felt they would understand.
But what are we seeing in Saint Patrick, the apostle to the Irish, the Irish missionary? Do you know what we're seeing? We're seeing the heart of Jesus Christ, the Saviour. We read it tonight at the very beginning of this message, 2 Corinthians 8:9, 'You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ', this was the grace that Patrick was a debtor to, what was it? That Jesus Christ, though He was rich in heaven with God for all eternity - He created everything, He had all the worship of all the hosts of heaven, the angelic hosts - though He was so eternally rich, for our sakes He became poor - born of a virgin in a manger, becoming a man, to go to the cross to bleed and die for our sins - why? That we, through His poverty, might be made rich.
The most famous verse in the Bible probably is John 3:16, you often see it in the football stadiums: 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life'. You see, God loves you so much, and this whole world, that He sent Jesus Christ into this world as the first ever missionary. Someone once said: 'God had only one Son, and He made Him a missionary'. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, was doing nothing but following the example of the great Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. I want to ask you: have you ever considered Him, Jesus, who came from heaven for you? All that Patrick was doing was following in His footsteps. Do you know the love of God in Christ for you? Romans 5 verse 8 says: 'God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us'. There's a lot of religious people, even in Ireland, and they don't realise that God is a God of love. They see God as an angry God - now, He is angry toward sin. They only see Him as a holy God - and He is a holy God. They see Him as a God of justice, who will judge sin - and He is a God of justice, and one day He will judge sin. But He's a God of grace, and He's a God of love - and everything that He does is motivated by that! Do you know that? God's love is toward you! God is for you, not against you!
'He left the splendour of Heaven
Knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha,
There to lay down His life for me'.
Isn't it wonderful? Here's Patrick following in the footsteps of Jesus, coming to the Irish people locked in the grip of Druid priests, witchcraft, and the darkness of superstitious religion and paganism. Here is this one man coming at threat of death, and he comes with the Holy Spirit empowerment to fearlessly challenge spiritual strongholds in his day that bound the people of Ireland. Now, we know historically in our island there has been much false religion over the years - a lot of hypocrisy and superficiality. But, you know, there is a revival today in paganism in Ireland. There is a revival in moral wickedness, decadence, and degradation.
A sculptor who builds pagan temples at what is called 'The Burning Man Festival' in the Nevada desert in the United States - some of you may know about that - they are hedonistic, pagan festivals that have been described as 'the glorious taste of hell on earth'; he, this week, has built a temple. Do you know where it is? A pagan temple - it's in the Waterside of Derry, that's what you're seeing in that slide picture just now. From last Saturday, that's the 14th, for a full week until this Saturday night the 21st, people are being invited up to this pagan temple. They are being encouraged to leave cards, mementos, or other personal offerings - I'm quoting directly - bringing an offering to this temple. The idea is that there will be some kind of catharsis, where you will be able to burn all your troubles away. He has even invited folk who have been scarred in some way during our own Troubles here in Ireland, or those who have perpetrated great atrocities, to come and just see it all go up in smoke. On Saturday evening the 21st, it's going to be set alight. Now this is nothing but pure, undiluted paganism. I personally believe it's an offering to demons, it's akin to the ancient high places that there were in Canaan in the Old Testament, and in Ireland before the days of Patrick. Potentially what we're seeing going to happen this Saturday night is a gateway to demonic activity and influence that will come upon our people. We as Christians need to be interceding against this type of thing, and engaging in spiritual warfare. But what I want you to notice tonight is that in your day and age there is a revival of paganism, neo-paganism that Patrick would recognise as what he saw when he first came to this land. It would easily be recognisable to him.
Our island is in a desperate state. Young Irish men spend four times more on alcohol than any of their European neighbours - that was in the Irish Independent in 2004. In the Belfast Telegraph in 2012, I'm quoting, it says: 'Children as young as 10 are more familiar with leading alcohol brands than those for popular snacks. 79% surveyed recognised the logo for Smirnoff vodka, but only 41% recognised that Mr Kipling cakes were food'! Do you know that the Irish are more addicted to antidepressants than anyone else in Europe? Do you know that prescription drugs like Valium and Diazepam kill more people in Dublin each year than heroin and crack cocaine - according to the Irish Examiner.
Then when we look at immorality - we've been known as the land of saints and scholars. The BBC did a documentary in June 2011 depicting that in 2010, the previous year, men in the North spent £500,000 a week on prostitutes. There were 88 brothels in the North - and do you know what that shows? That there is more demand for prostitution in Northern Ireland per capita than any other place in Europe. I was given those figures by the PSNI. BBC Northern Ireland did an investigation that discovered that hundreds of Ulster children, some as young as 13, are being lured into prostitution across the province, and even family members are involved in grooming children for paedophile rings. We all know too well the institutional clerical abuse that there has been in Ireland. We know the inroads that are being made in the laws to legalise and solemnise gay marriage, the pushes that there are to modernise abortion law. Do you know what these are? They are all signs that our nation is turning its back on God. God's gracious influence in our nation and family of nations is being withdrawn, and we are going to reap a whirlwind for what we are sowing. God is not mocked, do not be deceived; for whatsoever a man - or a nation - sows, he will reap. The way of transgression is hard.
Does your heart not break for our land, Christian? Once known as the land of saints and scholars - do you know why? Because God's hand, in spite of this resurgence of pagan occult spiritism, this land is a land that God's hand has been upon. Unusually, God has used people from this Celtic nation. Patrick was the apostle to Ireland, and it is said that he baptised over 120,000 converts during his ministry, he established round about 300 churches. Now you have to remember that Ireland was a land, probably, of a maximum population at that time of 500,000 people - over a fifth of the population turning to Christ! After Patrick there were early Celtic saints that blazed a trail for Christ. I'm not exaggerating to say that they went from these shores, and much of Western Europe was Christianised because of Irish missionaries and monasteries - that were not just about sitting keeping quiet all day, but that were colonies of heaven who went out spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom. Can I say to you that this was long before Roman Catholicism, and long before Protestantism - this was original, primitive Christianity!
God's hand has been upon our island, and there always has been a great missionary commission upon it. We have known several spiritual awakenings in our history, 'revivals' we might call them - but do you know something? We need another one, and we need the greatest that there has ever been! There are some of us - I'm one of them, and others are here tonight - we believe God is on the move in Ireland, and God has ignited a flame. Listen: it's going to take revival, it's going to take an awakening to turn the tide, nothing else is going to do! All the human strategies, all the ingenuity, and all your doctrine knowledge is not going to work! We need a supernatural breath of God!
Now I know there is much folklore concerning the miracles that often followed Patrick, like chasing the snakes out of Ireland - I'm not sure he didn't, spiritual snakes. Often when spiritual snakes go other things can change in nature. But we shouldn't discredit all the miraculous stories that followed this great saint, there were manifestations of divine power that attended his ministry - and, let's face it, what else could have convinced those who were already in the sway of occultic powers and Druid priests? They needed to see the power of God displayed - and, listen, it was an apostolic power, and that's what we need to see in Ireland again. I believe we are starting to see it, but I want to ask you tonight - Christian - first and foremost: will you be in the new thing that God wants to do in Ireland? Will you be a part of it? Are you ready? Or are you, with the rest of our people, are you completely overwhelmed with the same swamp of depravity, impurity, and degradation? Are you going with the flow like everybody else? What is the difference between you and your neighbour, apart from that you go to church and you say a certain confession? What is the difference?
You here tonight who are not born again, who don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, I want to ask you: do you not want this? Do you not want to be saved out of the judgement and the condemnation that's coming on the world? Do you not want life to the full? The thief, the devil, is the one who comes to steal, to kill and destroy. Jesus says: 'I give you life, and life abundantly'. Maybe you have been completely disillusioned by religion, whether it's this colour or that colour, institutionalised, state or whatever - I don't know, and I don't care what the label is of it - all that we are interested in tonight is Jesus Christ, His Gospel, His passion, His resurrection, and His grace. Do you know anything about that tonight? That will change your life!
I believe God is doing something in Ireland, and there is a burning in my bosom tonight, there is fire in my bones, there is a stirring in my spirit on this St Patrick's Day because of what I believe God is doing, and wanting to break forth upon our island. Will you be a part of it? Some of you will have heard of Duncan Campbell. Duncan Campbell was a Faith Mission preacher who was mightily used, and God took him from the Faith Mission Convention in Bangor up north, right over to the Isle of Lewis, the islands in the Hebrides. They were waiting on him there - and there wasn't email, or SMS texts or anything like that, it was the Holy Spirit spoke to Duncan Campbell. He didn't even preach his message, he got down from the pulpit and went, and those elders of the church who had been praying for him to come - no communications other than in the Spirit - and he went. There was a mighty revival, one of the most modern revivals that the British Isles has ever known, round about the 1940s. But while that revival was still going on in the Hebrides, Duncan Campbell came to the Faith Mission Bible College in Edinburgh to address the students. He told the story of a midwife whom he had come to know, who had a vision of Ireland. The vision was that all Ireland was in darkness, but then a light began to break out and fill the whole land. Then in 1964, when Duncan Campbell was preaching at a conference in Northern Ireland, he prophesied and he said these words: 'Ireland will have riots and then revival' - that was 1964. In the light of that, he came aside to seek the face of God, during which he received a vision of the coming revival to Ireland. He then went on to describe, I'm quoting him, 'God would visit the island through small bands of praying people in the country districts'. That evening, after preaching the last message at the convention, he just said: 'God took over'. The people were gripped with awe and no one could move for the next half an hour, during this divine stillness and a quietness. At least four people reported that they heard indescribable sounds from heaven, and people began to weep and pray for Ireland.
This St Patrick's night I want to ask you: have you got a heart for Ireland? If you have a heart for God, you'll have a heart for Ireland. Ireland needs a Saviour, this Isle so green and so fair - I wonder do you have the Saviour as yours? What God could do with your life, if you were to be saved and converted tonight, what He could do in this land through you! This is what is going to have to happen: God is going to have to save people in their droves, and transform communities, transform districts and townlands - I believe that's His heart to do that. Why not start with you tonight? What if you should be a Patrick, or a Patricia for that matter? What if God has just been waiting for this moment, for this time, to save your life so that you could be an instrument to bring many of your kinsmen, your countrymen, to Jesus Christ?
What about you, Christian? What about you where you're at? What are you living for? God is doing something! We are not any longer, I believe, in the day of small things, there is a move on! Will we be a part of that move? Let us pray.
Now, as we bow our heads, the meeting is almost over. I would just ask that there is stillness and quietness. I first of all want to address Christians tonight. I want to ask you - professing, believing Christians - I want to ask: who is up for what God wants to do in Ireland? Who here tonight will say: 'Right, OK, I mightn't be what I should be, who of us is? I mightn't be where I ought to be, or what I could be, but I am prepared to align myself tonight with what God is doing, and get right with Him, and get behind what He wants to do in this island, whatever that means for me'? Look at what it meant for Patrick: coming back to an island where he had been abused and a slave, and he came back for love of the people who had enslaved him. There was many a spiritual battle went on in that man's ministry, and I'm not saying it's going to be easy - it's not - but who here tonight, Christians now, professing believers, would raise their hand while heads are bowed and eyes are closed, all the eyes that you're interested in tonight are God's, and you want to say: 'Lord, I'm up for it, I'm ready - in the day of Your power - to be willing to do whatever You want me to do. I don't want to miss what You're doing, I want to contribute to it, I want to be a part of it'. Would you just raise your hand just now where you're sitting? God bless you. Thank You, Lord.
Lord, I pray that though these people are few in the big picture, these could be Gideon's 300 - because, Lord, no flesh is going to glory in what You're going to do, You're going to get all the glory. So I pray that You will now meet these people who have transacted before you tonight, before this prophetic word. We realise that we are standing on other men's and women's shoulders, we realise that we are building on the prayers and foundations of decades and centuries of the faithful - not least Patrick. But Lord, we want to invoke what that man did when he came here, and we want to be a part of it. We want to be modern day apostolic missionaries to our own people, and we want to know that power. I pray that You will just endue those people now who have witnessed this before You, their desire to be a part of what You're doing in Ireland; Lord, would You give them all that they need, would You deliver them of every bondage of the enemy, would You do a work of grace in their heart, would You fill them with the Holy Spirit and baptise them with power from on high, would You give them all the tools and all the gifts and all the fruit that they need to go out and blaze a trail for Christ and His kingdom in our day and generation? Lord, would You do that now? Would You meet with these people, would You change their lives and transform their characters, would You turn their homes upside down for Jesus - put some of them out of their work Lord, and get them into the harvest field, if that's Your will! You've said that the harvest field is white, and we are to pray for labourers - Lord, send labourers into the harvest field! Lord, bless these people, I pray.
Now, I'm going to ask: is there any backslider? I asked last night when we preached on death, 'What Is Your Life?', if there were backsliders not ready to die or not ready for Jesus to return - but I'm going to add to that now tonight: you're not ready for God's new thing. Imagine if God came in awakening and revival, and you were nowhere with God, and you missed it, and you were a spectator just watching from the outside - wouldn't that be tragic? Wouldn't that be tragic for you in later years, if God spares you, to read the history of a move of God in Ireland, and you have to say: 'Well, I was lukewarm, I was cold, I was backslidden, I was in the world'? Would that not break your heart for the rest of your days? Is there any backslider tonight who will say: 'I'm going to confess my sin and come back to the foot of the cross, and get right with God'? Would you raise your hand just where you're sitting? Now you mightn't be out in the world, but you know you're cold and you're apathetic, and you're backslidden in heart - is there anyone? Just raise your hand now, and I'll acknowledge it and I'll pray with you - is there anyone? Just slip your hand up and I'll see it, and you can put it down again. You've professed Jesus, but you've grown cold and walked away, and you want to come home - is there anyone? Quickly, I'm not going to go on forever. God bless you. God bless you. There's one, is there anyone else will follow that one? That's a break now, is there anyone else will follow that one - I don't care, you could be a deacon or an elder, sure you could be a pastor and a minister in a church and you're backslidden! None of that matters, God sees our hearts - is there anyone here, anyone else before I finish and move on? You're a backslider, or you're just cold and have lost the fire. Maybe you were filled with the Spirit once, but you're not tonight. You're maybe wrestling with something that happened away back - what about tonight, where are you tonight? Is there anyone else, quickly?
Now, finally, is there any dear person here tonight, and you have never been converted. I'm not talking about being converted to this religion or that religion, I'm talking about being converted from your sin to Jesus. You've never come to Jesus. You maybe have been religious, and 'Christian' in that broad sense of the word, a churchgoer, but you don't have a personal knowledge of Jesus as your Saviour - you've never been born again, and you've never realised how much of a sinner you are, and how great of a Saviour Jesus is, and you've never taken it by grace. Maybe you've been working to try and earn it, and you realise tonight it's a free gift - just like Patrick took. Is there anyone here tonight who will say: 'I will admit I'm a sinner, and I want to be saved right now'? Just where you're sitting, while heads are bowed and eyes are closed, would you raise your hand - young or old - to say: 'I want Christ tonight'? We will lead you in a prayer and we will help you. Is there anyone? Quickly now, slip your hand up, I will see it, and you can slip it down, and we will pray with you and for you. Is there anyone? Just lift your hand and we will see it and we will pray for you.
Now I'm going to pray just now a prayer, and even if you haven't acknowledged your need, you can pray this prayer - alright? - from your heart. As long as you mean the prayer - as I said before, it's not a mantra or magic words. If you're a backslider and you haven't acknowledged it, or you have, pray this prayer too. You're not getting saved all over again necessarily, but you can augment this prayer to suit you. But listen: even if you're not saved tonight, pray this prayer where you are, say it after me from your heart: 'O God, I come to You in the name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I acknowledge that I am a sinner, and I repent of my sin. I turn from it and turn to You'. If you're a backslider tonight, you tell the Lord the things that have taken you away from Him, and you renounce them and come to the foot of the cross. 'I ask You, Lord, to save me' - if you're a backslider, ask Him to cleanse you and forgive you - 'and I ask You to forgive me of my sins. I ask You to make me Your child, because Jesus died for me. I believe Jesus died for me, and that is enough. I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord, I renounce Satan and all his works, and I ask You to come in now, Lord, and fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit'. Now, you pray this, this is vital: 'Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit, that I may live a life that is pleasing to You. Thank You that You have heard me according to Your Word, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen'.
Let me just say tonight, before I close the meeting in prayer: if you have prayed that prayer, either of salvation to be a Christian, or restoration to come back to the Lord, will you tell us? Confession is important, it is important to acknowledge what God has done in your heart. Why not tell me at the door? Just say: 'David, I prayed that'. I've got some literature to help you on your way, especially if you're a new Christian, please ask for one at the door. If you want to talk more, and you've got questions, or you'd like some prayer, we're here for you and I'd ask you just stay behind. We can go into a private room and we can talk over things and pray. But listen: there's something for everybody here to do tonight. You Christians, will you go away and pray against what's going on in Derry? Would you do that? Ask God to speak to people, to convict them about what's going on? Would you ask God to pour out His Spirit upon our land again? Would you say: 'Lord, I'll be a part of it, I'll be a part of it'?
Father, we thank You that the Lord Jesus said 'I work, and My Father works until now'. We thank You that You are working a work in our day, that if we knew it we would not believe it, though we were told it. We thank You, Lord, that behind-the-scenes there are things that would just blow our mind, and You are the God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even imagine. Lord, we are looking to You tonight, and we are calling upon You to show us great and mighty things that we know not of - 'Call upon Me, and I will answer', You have said. Lord, we ask tonight that You would continue to strive with those in the meeting who do not know You personally as their Saviour. We pray for those who do not know the Lordship of Jesus truly in their life. We pray for those who are backslidden, Lord, that You will not leave them alone nor give them rest until they surrender their all. We pray for everyone in this company, that none of us will be, Lord, looking from the outside in at what You're doing in this day and generation. So I say, Lord, tonight, on behalf of us all: let it come, O Lord we pray Thee, let the showers of blessing fall, we are awaiting and expecting, O revive the hearts of all! Lord, for the sake of this people, O High King of Heaven, revive Your church. Send the Holy Spirit for the sake of the children, let Your Kingdom come to this nation - in Jesus' mighty name, Amen.
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This sermon was delivered at Monaghan Elim Church in Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording, titled "Saint Patrick - The Apostle Of Ireland" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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