YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST
Sermon Delivered Sunday, 11:30 a. m., March 2, 1947
DR. NORRIS: May I call your attention this morning to some very solemn words in First Corinthians. My text is found in First Corinthians 6:19.
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.”
That is a question which has its own answer.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.
“Nor thieves, nor covetous,” – the sin of covetousness is always in the category of the worst of sins – “nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
They are very strong words. The Word of God is clear and unmistakable.
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.”
That is impossible, unthinkable.
“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
“But he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
May I talk to you this morning from my heart to your heart on these words:
“Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.”
The Tabernacle in the wilderness when it was erected was filled with the power and presence of God. The Temple at the dedication of Solomon, likewise, was filled with the same divine presence and power. And on the day of Pentecost when the disciples were gathered together,
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.”
“And they were all filled.”
The house was all filled, and individually, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.
Now I am not going to lose any time, now or at any other occasion, to split hairs on the difference of the meaning of words concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
You will find in the first chapter and the fifth verse of Acts, “….for ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” That took place on the day of Pentecost, the next chapter. But there is not a word said in the second chapter where the word baptized occurs, but it does say, “they were all filled.”
Then we read in the fourth chapter and the eighth verse of Acts, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them,”
And then Luke 24:49 says, “And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye,” we have cut out the word “tarry” and we have written “hurry.” We don’t take time to sit down and listen to what God says. The way you would think of some of these conventions and ecclesiastical gatherings you would think that they were in a hurry to help the Lord save the world; or first of all, save the Lord. He doesn’t need anybody to save Him. He speaks and it is done!
“I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued,” clothed, filled, baptized with power, not from below, but from on high.
I want to submit to you these propositions for your meditation.
First the unspeakable truth that the Holy Spirit does come into the life, the soul and body of the believer.
Second, that the believer is not his own, but bought with a price.
Third, What is the effect of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the soul, in the body of the believer?
Fourth, How there can be no prayer, no power, no soulwinning if sin dwells in the life of the believer.
Now the first, the unspeakable, glorious truth that the Holy Spirit does come into the life or soul and body of the believer. The same divine Spirit which in creation’s morning, when darkness covered the face of the deep, and there was disorder and chaos and death on every hand, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep and out of that brooding, that vital impact of the Spirit of God with matter, there came light out of darkness and order out of disorder and life out of death. Even so, the soul that is in disorder, in sin and in rebellion against God hath he quickened and raised up together with Christ, and made him a child of God.
I wish that I knew how to illustrate this truth that I am now going to announce. The Holy Spirit is more than an influence in our lives. Now we hear messages and read books and sermons on “the influence of the Holy Spirit.”
My sainted mother still has great influence on my life. I go back over again and again in the wee small hours, when a little lad I heard her speak and that influence abides until this hour. I received a letter from my own niece yonder in China yesterday. Her mother went home some three weeks ago. and she said, “I write you with tears, and yet with satisfaction, knowing that she is beyond sorrows and sins and sufferings of this world.” The influence of that girl missionary’s mother will go with her through life.
A dear friend that I love has great influence over me. I talked to him a long ways from here this morning over long-distance phone. We have great influence over each other. But that is not what the Holy Spirit is to us. It is more than an influence. It is a Person in a person. It is God in us, and once we could get that thought, and let it grip us, we would never be the same. Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in vou. Not around you, not about you, not like the sunlight of this beautiful day flooding the earth, covering the city and field and forest, man, beast, rivers and mountains, but in you. The Person speaking, leading, guiding, teaching, witnessing in vou. You need to face then the solemn, overwhelming fact, the most tremendous truth in the life of the believer.
We either have or we have not the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. If we are not filled with Him, let’s go to the tap root of it, and find out what is the cause. Paul gives an X-ray picture of the soul in the greatest chapter in the Bible on the Holy Spirit which is the eighth chapter of Romans:
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
“For to be carnally minded,” fleshly minded, worldly minded, “is death.”
He is not talking about the death after this life. He is talking about the believer who is spiritually dead. He is talking about the fig tree with nothing but leaves, He is talking about clouds without water. He is talking about the born-agains who have lost their first love.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” He is talking about the believer here.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you,” that is, tabernacle within you; that is, He will make you His home, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
“And if Christ be in you,” not a visitor, not a guest, not sitting at the table with you, not having some influence, but in you, His person in you!
“The body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead,” according to the mighty power which He wrought in Christ, He raised Him from the dead, if that mighty power dwell in you, that Person in you, that is what Paul meant when he said, “That I may know him in the power of his resurrection.
“He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies.”
I don’t think that there he means the resurrection. I think there he means the overcoming life: putting to death this body. That is why he said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in. me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” But the Spirit is life because of righteousness dwelling in you. Mark you, then, this expression, “Shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” There you will find five times that expression, that preposition “in.” “But in the Spirit.” “Dwell in you.” “If Christ be in you.” “Dwell in you.” I hesitate even to quote it, it is so overwhelming.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:” He is not talking about going to hell here. The question of the eternal salvation of man is not involved here. He is talking about that believer, that Church member, that soul winner that once won souls, that most prominent member of the church shall die. “And he knew not that the Spirit of God had left him” is the most tragic statement, I think, in the Old Testament concerning the first king of Israel. “But if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body – the word “mortify” there means to put to death; it means to nail it to the cross; it means to bring it into subjection; it means that every thought shall be brought into captivity to Him; it means that these bodies which are the temple of the Holy Ghost shall be presented to Him, and make a place fit for Him to dwell.
As the tabernacle was all finished, and the Holy of Holies was arranged, and afterwards the temple, the most perfect building of all times, was complete, then the Shekinah glory filled that place.
So, he is knocking today, and saying, “I want in.” But He will not dwell in a house that is not made ready for Him.
I read this morning, and so did you, how that all preparation was being made for the President of the United States to come to Waco; how that every house on the six mile trip from the airfield to the University shall be searched; how that no man shall approach him without proper credentials, for he represents this country, and his life is sacred; the Secret Service men are there now searching, looking, checking.
Oh, if a city shall make such preparations for a man, even though he be the President of the United States, how much more should the believer make preparation for the Guest of the Spirit of God. He says, “I would like to come and visit you. You have sorrow; I would like to come into your hone. I am the Comforter. You have burdens; I am the burden-bearer. You want to pray. I am the great Intercessor that intercedes for you, as Christ intercedes at the right hand of God.” He will not come uninvited.
Do you think for one minute that President Truman would go to Waco next Thursday unless he had been invited by President Pat Neff?
And you know, it is just pitiful how some of these Baptist preachers are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, objecting to President Neff conferring the degree on him. Just pitiful. I think they had better be getting rid of their camel of Louie Newton endorsing Joe Stalin of Moscow. That is what they had better do. But President Truman will not come uninvited. Though he has all authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Navy, and the Chief Executive of this nation, he would not come to that city unless he had been invited.
And great preparations are made.
Holy Spirit Can Not Use Envious Souls
Oh, then, do you know why God loved David so? Do you know why He couldn’t use Saul? Saul was proud, stubborn, unyielding, full of envy, hate. and yet David with all of his tragic experiences, it says, he was a man after God’s own heart. Why? David said:
“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”
Why, even I was conceived in sin; there is no good thing in me.
“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”
“Purge me.” and that word purge means a very strong word in the hand of God, let God do the purging. “And I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
“Make me to hear joy and gladness;” I have had sorrow, I have had convictions. “that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”
“Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out,” – Isaiah says, “Blot it out as a thick cloud.” You see the dark clouds yonder, but after awhile the sun rises, and soon the cloud is all faded. It can not resist the rays of yonder glorious sun. Thus he says, “Blot out.” He doesn’t mean like, take a blotter on your desk. and when you have written something, blot it out. Oh, no. It doesn’t mean that I will erase it. Oh, no. It means that it shall be annihilated. It means it shall be forever taken away. That is what it means when it says, “Blot out my sins,” that they can no longer come against me.
Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creation, and behold, all things are become new. And then he goes to the tap root of it all, Jesus says that out of the heart are the issues of life, and he says, “It is desperately wicked.” Oh, then, I shall go to the fountain. How shall I expect to drink Sweet waters of a bitter fountain?
Oh, he says, there is death. And then it was cleansed. The waters of Marah are bitter, the tree, the cross when put in that water it becomes sweet. The bitterness of life is changed to sweetness; sorrows changed to gladness; burdens of life made light.
As I took the hand of that fine lad, of the fine Shelton family awhile ago, he saw last week the best friend that God can give a man, his mother, the sweetest name, the sweetest name in all languages, and incidentally it is pronounced almost the same whether in the Hebrew or in the Greek or in the Latin or in English; it is the first name that falls from the lisping stammering lips, “Mother.” I hope that the day will never come in his life when he will not remember her that gave him life, and honor her memory.
David says, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me, and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
And then here is the heart of his prayer, “Create in me a clean heart” – not only a clean heart, but, “… the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, oh God, thou wilt not despise.”
Some of these days I am going to preach you a sermon on the two Psalms, the 51st and the 32nd. The 5lst comes before the 32nd and the 32nd comes afterward. There is no forgiveness in the 51st Psal. There is no pardon in it. I used to preach it, but it is not there. It is the heart cry of the great soul crying out for the Holy Spirit, for pardon.
Holy Ghost, with light divine,
Shine upon this heart of mine;
Chase the shades of night away,
Turn my darkness into day.
Holy Ghost, with pow’r divine;
Cleanse this guilty heart of mire;
Long hath sin with out control,
Held dominion o’er my soul.
Holy Ghost, with joy divine,
Cheer this saddened heart of mine;
Bid my many woes depart,
Heal my wounded, bleeding heart.
Holy Spirit, all divine,
Dwell within this heart of mine;
Cast down every idol-throne,
Reign supreme–and reign alone.
The Believer Not His Own
That brings me then to our second proposition, that the believer is not his own, but is bought with a price. I will not take time to dwell on it, but I do pray that some day I may have the gift of speech, I may have the burden of soul, I may have my soul set on fire that I can in some measure tell you what that price was.
Oh, we can not fathom its depths; we cannot scale its heights; we can not measure its breadths; we have no measure of its lengths, but I believe in that cry which David prophesied a thousand years before the cross when he said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” It is God asking God! It is not man, it was God in man, but here are two persons. The world is shut out; the Son of God face to face with God, and the first time in all eternity was He forsaken of God.
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God,” but here for the first and the only and the last time that fellowship, that holy communion of the Son with the Father was broken; forsaken of man and nothing. Then he said, “I am become a worm.” I am just a worm so that he would be trodden under foot. I was a king, but now I am a worm. I was heir of all things, and now I am just a worm crawling on the ground to be stepped on. I am despised; I am laughed at; I am scoffed at; I am scorned; I am spit upon; I was King of kings and Lord of lords; the creator of heaven and earth. But I am just a worm. Before whom angels and archangels cast their crowns. They sang glory and honor and majesty to Him who sitteth upon the throne, but now I am just a worm. Who cares?
I am forsaken of all men. Friends have forsaken me. Dippest thou in the dish with me? Oh, Simon, thou who deniest me, oh, Judas who planted the kiss on me, I was betrayed in the house of my friends, but, “My God, why? Why?” I can sum up all the wealth of the world. I could get the twenty-nine billions of gold and pile it up as high as Pike’s Peak, but that was not the price. I could get all the silver of the silver mines of the world, and pile that silver higher than the dome of the Capitol at Washington, but that was not the price. I could take all the animals that were ever slain from the first lamb slain by Abel to the last sacrifice before the Temple was destroyed, but that was not the price.
I could take all the men that you can call great, all the philosophers and sages and statesmen. all together, and let them die, but that is not the price, but the Son of God who made yonder stars and sun with His own hands, He said, “I will give the price. Greater love hath no man than this that he will lay down his life for his friends.”
He was offered by God the Father; He was offered by the Gentile world; a Gentile judge pronounced the sentence of death on Him; He was offered by His own people, Israel; He was offered by the eternal Spirit of God, and yet He said, “I lay down my life.”
“Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising the shame…” Why, because He shall see the travail of His soul. He was numbered with the transgressors; He poured out His soul unto death. I will not dwell on that price. I reserve it for another time.
“How rich the depths of love divine!
Of bliss, a boundless store!
Dear Saviour, let me call thee mine;
I cannot wish for more.
“On thee alone my hope relies;
Beneath thy cross I fall,
My Lord, my life, my sacrifice,
My Saviour, and my all.”
Effect of the Indwelling Spirit
The next proposition that I want you to meditate on is what is the effect of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the body of the believer? What is the effect?
A tree is judged by its fruit. I see a crabapple tree; I know its nature; I see an apple tree loaded down, large, luscious apples covered with the dew of the morning; I know the nature of that tree.
Yes, Paul gives us the contrast of the Spirit dwelling in us, and the flesh. He mentions the names of those dark, foul sins that we should not even speak of. Here they are, the catalog of them. Every sin is named, but in contrast to that,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,” you have worry and fretfulness and anxiety. Why? Because you have grieved the Spirit of God. And there can be no joy in His absence. We want peace that flows like a river. Why haven’t we got it? Because we have quenched the Spirit of God. We want that gentleness and goodness and faith and meekness and self-control, against which there is no law. Why haven’t we it? Because we have grieved the Spirit of God.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Let our words, let our meditations, let our gestures, let our very thoughts be in the Spirit, and then we shall know what it is.
Oh, when you find yourself given up to fault-finding and back-biting and jealousy; you know, it may be that one time you had great power in winning souls, and you got jealous of somebody that won more than you did. Look out! it may be, Brother Ham (sitting there on platform), that there is another evangelist, and he doesn’t like Mordecai Ham. Why? Because he hears people speak of the tens of thousands that Ham has won while he has won only hundreds. Look out! The Spirit of God will leave you.
We had a thing that just comes in the course of human events. A fellow around here no great while ago, I baptized him; he won a lot of souls. And he got proud, and he would boast about it. If it was two, it would soon be ten; if it were ten it would be twenty; if it were twenty, it would be forty, but nobody heard anything about it. And he got mad. He got mad at everybody. And so we had to attend to him in our regular way. Let him be unto us as a heathen and a publican.
What Sins Grieve Holy Spirit
Listen. It is not the gambler and it is not the outbreaking sins; “but grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.”
The word drunkenness doesn’t occur there. Isn’t that an awful sin? The word ‘adultery’ doesn’t occur there though that is a terrible, terrible sin. The word ‘gambling’ doesn’t occur there, though that is a dishonest, terrible sin. But these are sins that there is no law in the State of Texas against. They are sins of the Amen corner, the Awomen corner. They are sins in the class, they are sins in the choir, they are sins in the pulpit.
Why No Power
Then last, how there can be no prayer, and no power, no soul-winning if sin dwells in us instead of the Holy Spirit. I am not talking about energy of the flesh. Let me say this to you. I have been doing a lot of thinking of late. I have been reading and studying afresh, all the great revivals of history, and I want to make you an astounding statement this morning. I have not yet found one single great revival where there was any prayer for that revival. That shocks you. I want to emphasize that. There was never a great revival in history from Pentecost until now where they prayed for the revival.
You say, “What did they pray for?”
Let me show you. Before Pentecost, you read in vain, where they were praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit. No, no. They were there and praying and having a surrendered life for those ten days getting ready for His coming.
Why, Jesus said, “I am going to send you the Holy Spirit.” Then, it would be nonsense to pray for something that is certain to happen. But we are praying, not for more of Him, but that He might have more of us.
I will trace it all the way through. That great theologian and preacher, Athanasius, who shook the world and gave us the Nicean creed – he had a little group of men. They were not praying for a great revival in the dark days of apostasy of the Roman Empire, but they were praying that they might shine as a light amidst the crooked and perverse generation. John Chrysostom at Constantinople was called the “golden-mouthed prophet.” He had a group of men who were in touch with God, and the world felt their power.
Saint Augustine that God had redeemed from the depths of hell-read Augustine’s Meditations -he tells it all. He is not praying for a great awakening, but he did pray that Augustine might be wholly, absolutely surrendered and crucified with Christ, and that is why after these sixteen hundred years I am talking about him.
Saint Bernard, who had more power than the Roman Catholic Pope himself, and a very saintly man, alone yonder in the woods on the banks of the Rhine River, with a group of young men prayed that God would take them and cleanse them.
Saint Francis of Assissi, one of the most saintly men of all time, gathered a little handful together and they so prayed and so separated themselves until they started a great spiritual awakening.
Savonarola. Come with me yonder in Florence, and you will see the little room. My wife and I were in it. Just a small place. The same wood desk still exists after four hundred years. Savonarola would take a little hand full of men and pray and so crucify themselves until the world felt the power of their message.
John Wesley, while a student at Oxford University, he never prayed for a great revival, but he and his brother Charles, and a few other young men would meet together yonder in a little room, in that day of darkness and licentiousness and drunkenness even among the priests of the Church of England. That little handful would meet and pray and the students of Oxford would mock them and scoff at them and ridicule them, and call them “That praying band.” But they would pray, and the first thing other students began to join with them, and they prayed and so surrendered themselves and sought the holy life until John Wesley stood on the slab of his father’s grave and shook the world with a message calling the world to repentance.
Time would fail me. An hundred and fifty years ago, a little handful of men with Adoniram Judson would pray, not for a great awakening, but that God would use them. And they would meet often behind that haystack in Boston, Mass., and the world’s modern missionary movement was born.
Yonder across the sea a shoe cobbler, William Carey, as he sat at his bench working on shoes and driving the pegs into the soles, he and Andrew Fuller and a group of young men would meet. Just plain men. And pray until all England felt the power of their prayers. And so, Andrew Fuller said, “I will hold the ropes while you go yonder, far off, to India.”
Oh, I preached in the little church in Ballymena yonder in North Ireland. I went there a-purpose. Why? Because in 1857 there was a group of people led by an old, old white-haired mother, and they didn’t pray for a revival. Oh, no. They prayed for a cleansing and for a purging, for a filling of the power of the Holy Spirit until their neighbors took knowledge of it. And they began to come in.
They said, “We would like to come into this prayer meeting.”
And others and others until soon the great city of Belfast was swept with it, and it leaped across the Irish Sea and swept through England and Scotland, and leaped across the Atlantic and swept America. More than a million souls were saved. Many of the dear boys who went down in the Civil War were ready to meet God because of that little handful in Ballymena yonder in North Ireland.
I read the other day afresh again the great Welsh revival led by Evans Roberts. And they were not praying for a revival. Oh, no. But here is what they did. There were a few of them that were down there in the depths of the mines, and it was said that way out yonder in the tunnels of those mines you would hear those Welsh miners pray and sing. And then they would gather together before they would pull off their mining clothes or wash the soot from their faces, they would kneel and pray, and God’s Spirit would come on them, and fill them until the mines of Wales were filled with their songs and their prayers, and more than 250,000 souls were saved as a result of these men.
Oh. I believe in the promise in these terrible days that are upon us. I believe that we are going to see that again. I believe it. I have a growing conviction. I close my message.
This is nothing sudden with me. I have been going through with it for a long time, particularly for the last two years. I told you of the prayer of the old preacher when he baptized me. “Take him, break him, make him.” I am willing for the taking” and the “making,” but I have never been willing for the “breaking.” I come this morning and stand before my whole congregation, this huge auditorium filled, and to the radio listeners, with my heart open to you. If I could roll back all these years, oh, I would pray more, I would study my Bible more, I would win more souls; and I want to take you into the fullest confidence. God spoke this message. It is very definite. I am certain about it. This is the first time that I have given expression to it.
What I have been through! My life is no secret; you know it. I have been through a great many tragedies and sorrows, and you know what has occurred to me, and I have done a lot of thinking about it. In the nighttime I hear it; in the daytime I hear it; when I am on a train or a plane I hear it. And I have been thinking deeply on this question!
What, oh God speaking to my soul, “What if you just once, once, fully, wholly, absolutely say Yes.’ Yes, I will.'” God says, “I would like to show the world what I can do with a man that every mean thing on earth that ever could have been said or published or circulated for thirty years – I would like to show the world what I can do with that man, if you will let me. If you will let me! If you will let me! If you will let me.”
“Which dwelleth in you.”
What would it mean? I want to close by saying that you will have the revival in this dark age whenever a group of people who are absolutely, with all elf out, covetousness out, all sin of every kind out, and nailed to the cross with Him, then God says, “I am ready, now, to use you.”
I have tried to get from under my several responsibilities. Orne church is enough for any man and two is too many. The building of a great Seminary takes more time, blood and tears than administering one that is already built.
I am not tired but I don’t want to get tired. I have been through two serious operations the last year and the Lord healed both completely.
I have thought much of the experience of Hezekiah when he was told to put his house in order
“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
“Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord,
“And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight, And Hezekiah wept sore.
“Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying,
“Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus said the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto they days fifteen years.” (Isa. 38:1-5).
So, old stubborn me, I have had to take a new growth and the Lord has definitely assured me of many, many and more useful years, and I am ready to organize a Century Club. I am going day by day with John Henry Newman
“Lead, kindly Light, amid th’ encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see…
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
“I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst led me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!”
I hope I am ready this morning. I have been two years in coming to this. I have been longer than that. I am ready to say this morning, I don’t care anything about my little success. Two preachers came the other morning and said, “You should be a happy man, pastor of the two greatest churches in the world.” That doesn’t appeal to me me any more.
Preaching to the largest crowds of any preacher on earth – but that doesn’t appeal to me any more. I am not concerned about that. I am not interested in that.
I want this great audience to join with me in prayer, then after the prayer we will quietly file out. We will sing, “Holy Ghost with Light Divine,” which will be our benediction.