Some preachers believe if they can get sinners to raise their hands in a invitation that they can get them saved. “We had some many to raise their hands to be saved.” That really is no way to get people or children to come to Christ.
I have seen that most of my life. At the end of a Vacation Bible School program, we will say “Raise you had if you are interested in getting saved.” That is totally wrong to say.
“How many want to be saved.” Wrong question.
“You need to ask Jesus in to your heart.” Wrong question.
“You need to make a decision to ask Jesus in to your heart.” Wrong question
We really need to have preachers who preach the Gospel of Salvation, preach the Gospel that will lead them to salvation. Few it seems, or what I am told, few are saved. Baptist are good at getting people to raise their hands, but few are able to lead them to true salvation. We get a lot of kids to raise their hands, we get a few to the altar but few are truly converted. So much of what we see is so superficial.
As we look even at John’s preaching, he was direct. He was a gifted preacher. He was said to be the greatest of all prophets up to his time, and he preached to a great groups of people even. They came from all Judea and Jerusalem, the Pharisees and Sadducees and the religious leaders came. Tax collectors, came, the Jewish soldiers came, and they were been baptized to get ready for the Messiah, making as they do come kind of repentance, confession and yet in the end only a few were in the upper room who were really devoted to Jesus Christ. Hard preaching by John lead to so many superficial salvation.
So what could we expect today? The Billy Graham’s, etc grups with great crowds, the same results.
Can I say again it is not enough to say to someone “YOU NEED TO ACCEPT JESUS AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR” That does not fully lead a person to salvation. That is just inadequate to instruct a person who is lost in sin to the way of salvation.
What a sinner needs to do is not to accept Jesus Christ or make a decision for Christ, but to repent and speak out and ask Jesus Christ to accept him in spite of his sin. What a sinner needs to do is to ask Jesus Christ if He would make a decision to forgive him.
A sinner don’t tell God to save him. A sinner ask God if he will forgive him.
1. The altar call is simply and completely absent from the pages of the N.T.
2. The altar call is historically absent until the 19th century, and its use at that time (via Charles Finney) was directly based upon bad theology and a man-centered, manipulative methodology.
3. The altar call very easily confuses the physical act of “coming forward” with the spiritual act of “coming to Christ.” These two can happen simultaneously, but too often people believe that coming to Christ is going forward (and vice-versa).
4. The altar call can easily deceive people about the reality of their spiritual state and the biblical basis for assurance. The Bible never offers us assurance on the ground that we “went forward.”
5. The altar call partially replaces baptism as the means of public profession of faith.
6. The altar call can mislead us to think that salvation (or any official response to God’s Word) happens primarily on Sundays, only at the end of the service, and only “up front.”
7. The altar call can confuse people regarding “sacred” things and “sacred” places, as the name “altar call” suggests.
8. The altar call is not sensitive to our cautious and relational age where most people come to faith over a period of time and often with the interaction of a good friend.
9. The altar call is often seen as “the most important part of the service”, and this de-emphasizes the truly more important parts of corporate worship which God has prescribed (preaching, prayer, fellowship, singing).
10. God is glorified to powerfully bless the things He has prescribed (preaching, prayer, fellowship, singing), not the things we have invented. We should always be leery of adding to God’s prescriptions for His corporate worship.
This is part of my sermon from Luke this Sunday Evening……