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lyndon
Member



Joined: 2003/12/8
Posts: 65
Manitoba, Canada

 Re: giving an altar call

Stever

For what reason would you give an altar call? So that people can come forward and feel better about themselves because they go through a three step process with some counceler? Mabye some questions you should be asking are What is the New Birth?, How does a person enter into a relationship with God?.

I'm sure you know the stats as well as I do for people who take an altar call. A full 90% are repeat visitors to the altar, now why is that? What is happening? What is wrong that so many people struggle with assurance, sin, ect...

I know in my own experience I went through a three step process that didn't change a thing in my heart, and I'm still struggling today to put things into their proper perspective. Brothers and Sisters such as Mike, Greg, Ron, Robert, Chanin, and many others who frequent this site and share their hearts with those of us who stay in the background watching and listening, have been instrumental in my seeing the true gospel.

Anyway I would like to say that only God can change/renew a heart, and God will not do that work simple because we repeat a few words after somebody else. To do this and to teach others so is very dangerous.

I do not mean to sound harsh but this cup-a-soup style of instant christianity needs to be rebuked.

Lyndon

 2005/6/8 11:44Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
If you will go back and review the statements that Ron B. made in regards to "heart", etc. etc. and his specific reference to Tozer and Cymbala you might come to the same conclusion that I did- that he is more focused on scholarship and being "right" that on winning souls for Christ.



Oh my, this kind of characterization can not come to any good. If we are considering ones past statements, then let's consider all of them. Let's remember the very best of them. Otherwise this place will turn into a stage where only the best performers dare enter the spotlight...

Dear brother Stever, you are mistaken about Ron. There are many posts that validate this, but why bother even doubting and needing to read these posts? Spend a little time with Ron in these forums and you will know that he does indeed tend to the sheep.

We say we love more then our brothers? Then feed Jesus' sheep. That is the measure of our love.

I know you do these things Stever...yet it stings the heart to think that we so easily doubt each other.

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/6/8 11:51Profile









 Re:

Dear Compton:
I guess it might be a good idea to go back to my initial premice. Before being Spirit filled, I never witnessed Christ crucified to anyone, ever. After being Spirit filled I have found that the Holy Spirit compels me to do so. He has put the love in my heart for the lost, He is the one that has put the joy that I have in my heart for doing this.

That is my original premise. I don't do this because I am trying to "work" my way to heaven. I do this because since I have been Spirit filled the Holy Spirit has gifted me with this love and passion for the lost.

I am not trying to tell anyone that they have to do this, that they "have to, by the power of their own bootstraps, force themselves to witness to anyone". If God does not lead us, we should not "go out in faith" if we have not received the word from God first. I am merely relating my own personal experience of what has happened to me since 6/4/1999.

If I have offended anyone here, I apologize this instant. Since these threads go back quite far, maybe my initial premise got lost. That premise was the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit once we are saved, and the Over-flow of the Holy Spirit, that we receive at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This does create division because many people (and I used to be one of them) think that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was something that only happened to the early Church. I can attest to you, as God is my witness, that all who want a closer walk with HIM can do so by receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

God bless,

Stever

 2005/6/8 12:19
Nasher
Member



Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I have known many Pastors who are great teachers and students of God's word, but at the same time have never had an altar call in their entire life.



Stever, can you show me where there has been an "alter call" in the bible?

Quote:
If you will go back and review the statements that Ron B. made in regards to "heart", etc. etc. and his specific reference to Tozer and Cymbala you might come to the same conclusion that I did- that he is more focused on scholarship and being "right" that on winning souls for Christ.



Stever, the forum you are in at the moment is called "scriptures and doctrine", this is where we (Christians) can discuss different parts of the bible. This is not an area for "winning souls for Christ", it is an area for "scripture and doctrine".


I know Ron personally and know his heart for the lost, ask him why he is used to standing very still when he is preaching/teaching.


_________________
Mark Nash

 2005/6/8 12:36Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
After being Spirit filled I have found that the Holy Spirit compels me to do so. He has put the love in my heart for the lost, He is the one that has put the joy that I have in my heart for doing this...This does create division because many people (and I used to be one of them) think that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was something that only happened to the early Church.



I hear your heart Stever. There is an immediacy and sincerity to your words. May the Spirit-born love you have for the lost be found in me.

How this issue of baptism is so troublesome. The mechanics of spiritual things often takes center stage over the life of the Spirit. This is not to say that there is no controversy or to belittle searching the scriptures for understanding...only that I am weary of graphing out these things instead of working them out.

For my little part in the body, I am coming to a conclusion that my filling is in keeping with my emptying. For instance, I believe your love is a result not just of your filling, or even baptism, but of your pouring out. It is like a house that needs a second window opened before the breeze can be felt inside, flowing through. The important thing is that you are sharing Stevers...I believe this is why the Lord's love is abundantly poured into you.

If this reality can be fitted within a template of a second baptism, so be it. If ever we debate the finer points of the gospel we can still affirm the reality of Christ in us. With that I pray that the love you and I share for Jesus be shared with each other as we discuss these things!

Bless you bro,

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/6/8 12:51Profile









 Re:

Lyndon said:
For what reason would you give an altar call? So that people can come forward and feel better about themselves because they go through a three step process with some counceler? Mabye some questions you should be asking are What is the New Birth?, How does a person enter into a relationship with God?.

---------------
Stever's response:

All I can say to you Lyndon is that I was pulled out of the midst to the New Age into a walk with Christ that STARTED at a Billy Graham rally in the Los Angeles Coliseum many years ago. The Holy Spirit is the one that convicted my self-righteous heart of my sin, not Mr. Graham. But the words that Billy Graham used made me think about my sin, and as such he (Billy Graham) was used by God as an instrument to draw me to HIMSELF.

We all know of people that come up to the altar, week after week. I was one of those people. But the Holy Spirit, through the power of God's Word taught me that not only my past sins were paid for on Calvary, but all sin was paid for. Once I realized that (probably 15 years later) I never made another altar call. Now, when I sin by thought or deed, I repent, ask God for forgiveness, and continue my walk with HIM.

God is the one that knows our hearts. He is the one that is the judge. All that I know is that when the Holy Spirit leads me to witness to a person, I am compelled to do so. If that person accepts Christ, the Holy Spirit will actually dwell within his own heart and over a period of time, he will be transformed from the old man into the new man. Just like I was, just like you were.

Your quote above also troubles me. What about George Whitefield and the Great Awakening that took place in the America starting in 1734 by Jonathan Edwards, and continued by George Whitefield in 1739?. This is one of the reasons that America is still a Christian nation today.

Some of the Results of this "Great Awakening" were:

(1) One of the major results of the Great Awakening was to unify 4/5ths of Americans in a common understanding of the Christian faith and life. Americans--North and South--shared a common evangelical view of life.
(2) Dissent and dissenters enjoyed greater respect than ever before. Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians--all non-established groups--took root and grew. Despite the fact that these denominational lines remained, they shared a common evangelical voice. Typical was the sentiment of John Wesley: "Dost thou love and fear God? It is enough! I give thee the right had of fellowship. This catholicity of spirit became common.
(3) Great emphasis came to be placed on education. George Whitefield founded the school that would latter become the University of Pennsylvania, and UNC was originally a Presbyterian effort. Indeed, the first generation of faculty members there were all Presbyterian ministers. The focus on education was rooted in a concern for souls, but it also reflected the fact that if the ground is level at the foot of the cross, education should be available for all as well.
(4) A greater sense of responsibility for Indians and Slaves emerged from the revival. George Whitefield, for instance, was among the first to preach to Blacks. The evangelical experience was common to both whites and blacks, making both aware that the ground level at foot of cross. This led most evangelicals to denounce slavery as sinful, and at the first General Conference of Methodism, slave holding was viewed as grounds for immediate expulsion from the society.
(5) The Awakening reinterpreted the meaning of the covenant between God and his creature. In Puritan theology the focus was on what God has done for us. In the aftermath of the Awakening, the new emphasis was on what man can do in response to God's great gift. The responsibility for salvation is not God's but man's.
(5) A complete dissolving of the theocracy occurred. The establishment in Virginia and North Carolina began to fall apart. Ministers could no longer control the direction of religious life. It had been democratized and made accessible by people.
(6) There was a break down in theological consensus. The New Lights (the revivalists) versus the Old Lights (traditional orthodox). Those who wanted to adapt the faith to changing times and circumstances versus those who wanted to hang on the old order.
(7) The Awakening responded--like the English Puritans of the 16 and 17th centuries--to needs of the people for reassurance and direction, to give them release from anxiety.
(8) It served to revived a sense of religious mission. Everyone believed there was some greater purpose behind the revivals, that God's Kingdom must be near.
------------------

God calls each of us beleivers to be "salt" and "light". We are only soujourners here, and we should be about God's business and not be timid in sharing the "good news" (The Gospel) with anyone. Someday soon it will be against the law to do so.


God bless,

Stever

 2005/6/8 13:07









 Re:

Nasher said:
"Stever, can you show me where there has been an "alter call" in the bible?"

Stever's response:
An altar call is the "close" in witnessing to the lost. The Christian body of today is not involved in witnessing to their lost brothers & sisters.We are all CHRISTians. Knowing this many Pastors ask the Congregation to bring their lost friends, neighbors, brothers & sisters to Church. Without the Altar call at the end of the service the witness is not complete. At the altar call the non-believer who has been moved by the Holy Spirit will come forward and start his journey that day, instead of perhaps getting involved with other things and waiting many years to answer God's call on his heart.

God's word says that we now see through a glass darkly, but then at the rapture we shall see HIM face to face and be like HIM. We have been told by Christ himself that we will do the things that He did, and that one day we will all be with HIM, and we will be like HIM and HE will be our God and we will be HIS people.

1 Cor 13 tells us:

9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Since the body of Christ is not witnessing to the lost, then the Pastor should take the lead. Following are some Bible Verses that address this issue (I think):

Romans 10:13-17
13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


1 Corinthians Chapter 9

13. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14. Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
16. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17. For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
18. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.


Matthew 4:23


23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 9:35
35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Matthew 11:4-5
4. Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Matthew 24:14
14. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Matthew 26:12-13
12. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
13. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Mark Chapter 1
14. Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mark 8:34-36
34. And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Mark 16:15-18
15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Luke 4:18
18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Luke 9:6
6. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Luke 20:1
1. And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,

Acts Chapter 8
25. And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

Acts Chapter 8 (continued)
26. And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28. Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
29. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31. And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

38. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
40. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Acts 14:6-7
6. They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7. And there they preached the gospel.

Acts 14:21-23
21. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22. Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Acts 15:7-9
7. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9. And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Acts 16:10
10. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

Acts, Chapter 20
24. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
25. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Romans 1


14. I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans Chapter 15
19. Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
20. Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:
21. But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
22. For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.


God bless,


Stever





 2005/6/8 14:17
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
If I am mistaken about my views, then I surely apologize.


I accept your apology, but what is really needed on your behalf is repentance and forgiveness from God. This is between you and Him..


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/6/8 14:38Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
What about George Whitefield and the Great Awakening that took place in the America starting in 1734 by Jonathan Edwards, and continued by George Whitefield in 1739?.


You know, I hope, that neither of these men ever had 'altar calls'. They were much more apostolic where the 'appeal' always comes from the congregation... what must we do to be saved?


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/6/8 14:41Profile









 Re:

Ron B. said:

"You know, I hope, that neither of these men ever had 'altar calls'. They were much more apostolic where the 'appeal' always comes from the congregation... what must we do to be saved?"

Stever's response:

Finally, you have answered a direct question in an indirect way. My question to you of 14 posts ago was:

"My question for you, Pastor Ron B. is: At the end of each service, do you have an altar call? Do you invite those that would like to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to come forward?

I would really like to know."



Now, I can see that your answer is no.


God bless,

Stever

 2005/6/8 15:10





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