2 Thessalonians 2:14-15: “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
One of our main concerns at ‘Protestant Revival’ is what appears to be the emergence of what has become known as ‘cultural Protestantism’ in Northern Ireland.
These are people loyal to the British Crown, steadfastly opposed to the incremental progression of Irish republicanism and resolutely unionist in their outlook.
However, sadly all too many are not mindful of the true meaning of Protestantism and while they remember, rightly, the Glorious Revolution, the Battle of the Boyne and King William III, they have forgotten that these events were acts of God to protect those loyal to Him, the King of Kings.
The Twelfth is a day of celebration of tradition, a colourful exhibition of pageantry and appreciation of our Protestant heritage.
But an absolutely indispensable aspect of our Protestant heritage is the precious doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
As Protestants, we ought to be utterly opposed to the corrupt system of salvation by works blasphemously espoused by the Roman Catholic Church.
This is what prompted our forefathers to take their stand for Christ and it was that message which was gloriously blessed by God in the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago and in numerous revivals in the centuries since.
Not least in Ulster can we remember with fondness the stories of revival God has chosen to bless our land with.
In 1859, there was a revival started which saw an estimated 100,000 souls swept in to the Kingdom of God.
Again in the 1920s, God blessed the newly formed Northern Ireland with revival under the preaching of WP Nicholson and many others.
And in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, God saw fit, even through the darkest days of the IRA’s murder campaign, to bring thousands to Christ through the preaching of Rev Ian Paisley and others.
This is a land gloriously blessed by God but we have allowed the wretchedness and wickedness of this world to gain a great deal of traction in Ulster.
We are calling on all true Protestants, those bought by the blood of Christ, to reaffirm this message loud and clear.
And if you are a ‘cultural Protestant’, please remember that what we celebrate today is our civil and religious liberty and the glorious good news of the gospel, which can be summed up so beautifully in one verse of God’s inspired, inerrant Word.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
We all find ourselves in the same position as Pontius Pilate did when faced with Jesus Christ.
Matthew 27:22: “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”
What will you do with Jesus? Will you reject Him and spend all eternity in the pit of hell? Or will you make the step our forefathers gave their lives for and confess your sins and put your faith and trust in Him for salvation?
Joshua 24:14-15: “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
If you are as yet unsaved, make this truly the most glorious Twelfth of July and put your faith and trust in Christ.