What if the Body of Christ as a whole could come together in unity, put away our differences of opinion and our social and doctrinal disputes, and focus on one specific goal — to reach the lost? What if we called on the Holy Spirit to heal wounds and bring forgiveness to our hearts and souls, forgetting the past and concentrating instead on the future? What kind of spiritual revival would the world experience when they saw us standing together before them in a united front?
That is the kind of love and unity that Jesus prayed for just before he went to the cross: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. ... May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:20-23).
Jesus prayed for unity among his followers because he knew that without it we would be helpless in the midst of an angry and hostile world. It is only through a unified spirit, through standing together as one against the attacks of the Evil One, that we are able to effectively bring God’s message of love and hope to a world steeped in sin. We cannot offer peace and love to a chaotic culture if we don’t have it within our own ranks.
I long to see the day when Christians everywhere “rise up in unity” and ask every person on this planet to bow their knees before our merciful Savior. That would be a day humankind would never forget — the day Jesus’ followers came together with one heart, one mind, one Spirit, and one purpose: to release one holy fire upon the world.
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.