By Gipsy Smith
John 17:20 -- "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word."
I Corinthians 1:19. -- "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
In these words, you have the mind, the desire, the purpose of Jesus Christ for those who love Him.
If you are governed by some little preconceived notion of your own, or by some tradition of the elders, you will be wrong, but if you are dominated, propelled, constrained, infused by the mind of Jesus Christ, you are right.
Now He prays for His people in this wonderful prayer, and if you are one of His people, He prays for you. He didn't say He prays for you if you are a Baptist, or if you are a Presbyterian, or if you are a Methodist, or if you are an Episcopalian, or if you are a member of a Christian church, or a Salvationist, or a member of any other denomination.
He didn't say he is praying for that kind of a person. He says he is praying for those that belong to Him -- and you can label yourself without belonging to Christ. You can write a label on yourself without being a Christian. You can be wrongly labeled.
If you label yourself, the chances are you are wrongly labeled. When God labels a rose, He makes no mistake; when He labels a carnation, He makes no mistake; when He labels a lily, you know it. When He rests in your heart, the world will know it. It will discover it.
Like a French lady in one of my services, she said that men had told her many times that her sins were forgiven, but she said, "My heart never discovered it, but the moment Jesus told me, my heart knew it." When Jesus tells a thing to a soul that soul knows it.
You never have to put a badge on a spring morning. Nobody thinks of labeling a spring morning. Spring labels herself. And you never need a badge on the sky when the sun comes up, saying, "This is the sun." The sun does not need a forerunner. When the sun comes out, the little flowers all know it, and the shadows are all chased away. When the sun comes out, the world knows it. When a child of God wears the beautiful garments of a Christian life, the world knows it.
"I pray nor for the world," Jesus said. He prayed for those that came out of the world. If you are not a child of God, He did not pray for you in that prayer. He has left you out unless you are a child of God. But He did pray for "them also which shall believe on me through their word."
When you touch this prayer, you are touching the divine springs. You are not touching the superficialities of life, but you are getting down to the divinity of things.
"I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me, that thou shouldst keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth."
You know, now, you Christians, what the purpose of God is. He wants to keep you from the suspicion of evil. Jesus is able to keep you from evil, and this revival will have been of immeasurable benefit if you continue to live in Jesus Christ. It will never be over as long as God is on his throne and as long as a lingering spark of grace flickers in anybody's heart as the result of it. For the grace of God endureth forever.
Moses may come; Elijah may come. Paul and Peter and James and John may come and pass on, but Jesus abides. He is able to keep you from the very suspicion of evil. And I want you to believe that. I want you to believe that God's arms are around you beginners in the Church of God, and they will not fail. For He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. "I will keep thee lest anything harm thee." He will love you as the apple of His eye.
I will tell you a little out of my heart. My father and his two brothers were converted almost at the same time. They were all three converted in one week. Two were converted one night and the other on the Sunday morning following and my father was the least of them and he was over six feet in height. And anybody who knew those Gipsy men and came to hear them sing and pray got lifted a little nearer to heaven
Everybody fell in love with them. And everybody wanted them to come to places to sing or to tell their conversion. And the three brothers made up their minds never to be parted. So, that if anybody wanted one to come for a service, all three had to be invited.
I remember once somebody invited them to come down from London to a provincial city, where we had camped for the week; and when they got down there the week became another week and finally the weeks stretched themselves to six weeks before they came home again. And they were the longest six weeks I have ever lived through. For in our tent, we had no mother. In the next tent, there was a mother and when our father was away there was no one left to keep us company. There was Emily, of course, the eldest, but she was only a girl. Oh l those six weeks! At last, a letter came from father which said: "We will be home tomorrow."
And you know we didn't know much about trains and schedules, so we got up and got ready to receive them at 6 o'clock that summer morning, but it was 6 o'clock that night before they came and we had waited twelve hours for them. I don't know how many times I washed my face that day.
I was waiting for nay father. I loved him. And when he came to the wagon and sat down and held the baby girl in his lap and kissed her, because she was the youngest, my turn came next, I stood there, waiting for the same love that nay father was bestowing upon her. I was hungry for the same attention. But it seemed to me that she was getting it all, and I couldn't stand it any longer. So I said, "Come out, it is my turn."
"You can't take me out of my daddy's arms," she said.
"I know," I said, "I can't do that, but there is room for me there, and I am coming in too."
And I want you timid people to know that your Father's arms are about you and it is His purpose to keep you, and Jesus prays that you will be kept close to Him.
This is one of the things He prays for in that wonderful prayer, and the other thing He prays for is that you may be united.
He wants you to get so that you are wieldable. Look at your four fingers arid a thumb. It is not much to look at if we take them separately, but you unite it and it is a weapon.
And when the Church of God is divided into sects, the Devil will play hide and seek with you, but when you get united, you will shake the foundations of Hell.
One of the most delightful things of these days is that we are unable to distinguish between denominations; we are neither Baptists, nor Methodists, nor Congregationalists, nor Presbyterians. And all of you are guessing what I am. And none of you know. You all think I belong to your own Church because I have got close to the very soul and brushed against the very foundation of your religious life. And the nearer you get to the center, the nearer we are one in Jesus Christ.
Jesus prays that we may be one. Oh! just one in Him. If you take a bundle of sticks you can separately break every one of them, but if you bind them up again into a bundle, you can try all day and never break them. The Devil loves a divided Church. The Devil can do a lot with human nature. And it is human nature to divide. When Jesus was on earth John came running up to Him and said, "Master!" "Well, John."
"We saw a man casting out devils in Thy name a while ago, and we bade him stop." "Why?" said the Lord. "He didn't sing out of our hymn book."
And John might have said he wasn't a Methodist, or a Baptist. "We stopped him," said John. "He was unauthorized. He didn't belong with us, and we stopped him."
But Jesus said, "John, forbid him not, for he that is not against us is on our side."
If you see a man doing a bit of work for Christ, if he is doing it as a Methodist, or a Baptist, or a layman, shout, "Hallelujah!" The main thing is to have the devils cast out. Have a big heart and have a bit broader mind. Don't be a sectarian or an insectarian. Don't you be so small.
You know Scientists -- and I like some Scientists. I read a scientific paper in which there was an article on Nature and the writer was learnedly describing those little mud holes in the meadows of England where the cows go to drink. A small pond is usually muddy: there is no stream running into it and no stream running out of it. And the scientist went on to say, because there was no stream running in or out of the pond, whatever of life in that mud hole in fish, or snails, or vegetable life, and of insect life, knew nothing else. The pond was the universe to whatever there was of life in it. If there were a stream running through that pond the life might have known that there was a world above it, and if a stream had run out and down from that pond, the fish and plants and insects, which lived there, would have known of a world below them, or above. As it was, they could only see the muddy, stagnant universe in which they lived. Can you see yourself?
Don't you build a mud hole and call it a palace, and don't you dig a hole and call it a universe, and don't you build a structure with four walls and a ceiling and call it the church. God's Church takes in the last man on earth that believes in Jesus. That is another thing He prays for.
And He prays for something else. He prays that we may be perfect. He prays that we may be: sanctified by the truth. That every power in us may be in harmony with the divine will. That mind, heart, body, may be kept without any reservation for His service alone. That we may be made perfect, even as the Father in Heaven is perfect. And He can make you and me perfect and He can make your heart and mine pure and good. He can make our hearts His temple. That is another thing He prays for.
And He prays this, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that may behold my glory."
You realize what that means, that some day we are going to be with Him and see Him as He is, and we are going to be like Him. A lady said to me not long ago in one of these campaigns, "Gipsy Smith, what a starry crown you will get."
"Madame, I don't care whether I get a crown or not," I said, "if He wins what he died for. My concern is to be of service to Him if it only means the bringing of one lost soul to His feet." And my time, my heart is concentrated on doing this today and every day, and not upon the crown. And I don't crave for a mansion in the skies, and although the streets may be of gold and the walls of jasper, I don't crave them. And talk about the seats of the worthy, they don't interest me somehow. But I tell you what does appeal to me. If you will give me Jesus and my mother, and my father, you can put me back in the old Gipsy tent and it will be Heaven. I don't care whether Heaven is paved with golden streets or not, if you will give me Jesus, lover of my soul. The One I have worked for and longed to see, and give me my father and my mother, that is: the Heaven I want. I pray that they may be one and perfect and some day be with me and beside me in glory.
Do you wish to make that prayer possible? Are you willing to comply with the conditions. Then make absolute surrender to Jesus Christ and live in vital contact with Him, and make your life count for Christ every day of the year, and in that way you will be helping to answer the prayer of our Lord, "That we may be sanctified, that we may be kept, that we may be made one, that we may be made perfect." And then some day we shall be with Him, to behold His glory.