Mr. Robison said Pope Francis had written recently, â€œToo many Catholics look like theyâ€™ve been to Lent with no Easter. Itâ€™s a mistake for them to look like theyâ€™ve been to a funeralâ€ as he challenged Catholics to witness and never try to control the Holy Spirit, but yield to Him.
Mr. Robison said he received a divine call from God to seek Christian unity while he was hospitalized several years ago with a serious staph infection following hip surgery. Robison recalled, â€œ[I] was so weak I could not lift a cup of water to my lipsâ€¦God got my full attentionâ€¦He spoke to me through Isaiah 58:6-12 and I saw the importance of living in freedom, touching the suffering, the hungry, poor, and downtrodden. I recognized the promise that our prayers would be answered quickly and we would become a free-flowing stream and a well-watered garden, restoring the foundations upon which we must build. During that time God instructed me to focus my attention on Jesusâ€™ prayer and encouraging others to begin fulfilling it through us in our day.â€
During that time, he said, he was impressed by a prayer of Jesus in John 17:21, pleading that all Christian believers be one. â€œWeâ€™ve tried to focus on being an answer to Jesusâ€™ prayer,â€ Robison said. â€œWe want to see Jesusâ€™ prayer for unity answered in our day.â€
Aware that the meeting with the Pope will be troublesome among staunch Protestants, Mr. Robison said he and the other visiting Evangelical Christian leaders talked about diversity and their belief that Roman Catholics and Protestants could work together without compromising their beliefs.
â€œThe world is suffering,â€ said Robison. â€œWe as Christians have too much love to share without fighting one another.â€
Mr. Robison said he and other â€œrespected Evangelical leaders and Spirit-filled Catholics began meeting together to pray for Godâ€™s will to be done and to bring true believers together in supernatural unityâ€¦.We have been commanded to love God with all of our heart and our neighbors as ourselves. The enemy has kept many Christians from loving one another as Christ loves us and have failed to recognize the importance of supernatural unity even with all of the unique diversity.â€
Mr. Robison, whose ministry digs water wells and supplies food for impoverished people in third-world nations, recounted that he was christened as a fatherless boy in an Episcopal Church. As an adult, he joined the Southern Baptist Church. In the 1980s, he became one of the first prominent Southern Baptist ministers to openly proclaim he had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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