The Australian evangelist John G. Ridley was a purpose-driven communicator and a painter of word-pictures whose pen was mighty, because of the sword of the spirit. He was not one to shy away from confronting his hearers with the truth of their eternal life and challenging their hearts to trust his everlasting Lord. He sowed faithfulness to the message of salvation here on earth and reaped fruitfulness in the ministry and service for time and eternity.
And speaking of eternity, God used his preaching to influence Arthur Stace (Mr. Eternity) to go out and write the word Eternity on the streets of Sydney and beyond.
Here is a little of what happened. It was a Sunday night November 14th at the Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle, Darlinghurst, Sydney, where John was preaching his now famous message “The Echoes of Eternity”.
The veteran evangelist stood with the power of scripture in his hand and the love of Christ in his heart and stressed the word Eternity. He pointed out how the Echoes of Eternity are heard not only in Creation and the Christian but also in The Cross .
Then suddenly, laying his prepared notes aside and seemingly in an impromptu fashion, the highly disciplined soldier-like preacher, raised his loud voice and cried: “Eternity, Eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. You’ve got to meet it, where will you spend Eternity.”
Arthur Stace converted to Christ at the St Barnabas Church, Broadway in Sydney a few years before, was one of many in the large congregation that God-ordained night. “Eternity went ringing through my brain” was Stace’s statement” and suddenly I began crying and felt a powerful call from the Lord to write Eternity. I had a piece of chalk in my pocket and outside the church, I bent down right there and wrote it…. The funny thing is that before I wrote it, I could hardly write my own name. I had no schooling, and I couldn’t have spelt for a hundred quid. But it came out smoothly, in a beautiful copperplate script. I couldn’t understand it, and I still can’t.”
Arthur knew this was God’s task for him and rain or shine he faithfully went out six nights a week to write Eternity on the streets of Sydney until the very night God took Arthur home. God powerfully used Arthur’s faithfulness to impact the lives of many for Jesus Christ.