SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Altar Calls

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 )

Joined: 2003/8/5
Posts: 75
Livermore, CA


I have to say, on this subject, I wholeheartedly agree with Bro. Ravenhill when he said something like this:

"An altar has two purposes: To sacrifice upon or to die on."

He's speaking of either you sacrifice things precious to you to bring you closer to God, or you die to yourself (and thereby live to God) on that altar.

J. Wilson

 2005/11/8 12:00Profile

Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791

 Re: Altar Calls

Something like 80 to 90% of those making a decision for Christ were falling away from the faith. That is, modern evangelism with its methods is creating something like 80 to 90 of what we commonly call backsliders for every hundred decisions for Christ. In 1991, a major denomination in the U.S. was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. That is, in one year, this major denomination of 11,500 churches was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could only find 14,000 in fellowship, which means they couldn’t account for 280,000 of their decisions, and this is normal, modern evangelical results,and something was discovered way back in the late seventies; study the book of Romans intently and, specifically, the gospel proclamation of men like Spurgeon, Wesley, Moody, Finney, Whitfield, Luther, and others that God used down through the ages, use a principle which is almost entirely neglected by modern evangelical methods. begin teaching that principle.

Wee need to preach the LAW
Our sins are the evidence that God uses against us. If our sins haven't been washed away by His atoning blood, then the evidence against us will condemn us on the Day of Judgment.
But, how does God prove that evidence? He uses the Law. What does the Law do? The Law is used to show us that we cannot uphold the law and we are incapable to do it and that we need to be changed from within in order to accomplish the Law. The Law not only shows us that we sin, it also shows us why we need to be changed most of all.
Rom 7:18-21 I know that good does not live in me that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it.
: 19 I don't do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do.
: 20 If I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me.
: 21 So I find that this law is at work: when I want to do what is good, the evil is the only choice I have.

After the Law has done its job, they end up saying, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:24

 2005/11/8 12:45Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619

 Re: Amen to the views expressed

I can't find an alter in the New Testament (except in heaven). I can't find any example of an "alter call". I can't find any teaching in the Bible concerning "alter calls". It just doesn't seem to be there.

Yet in conversation with many whom I believe are genuine believers their testimony is, "I walked the aisle in 19___. I wonder where in the scritpures is there any such a thing as "walking the aisle".

Surely a person can be saved when he "walks the aisle" if the Spirit is convicting him and he repents and believes into the Lord Jesus calling on His name. But the act of "walking" itself has no salvatory properties. It is not a biblical formula.

On the contrary, in Acts, when Paul preached in Athens on Mars Hill (Acts 17), He gave no invitation, but rather many who heard him scoffed, yet others hung around and said, "we will hear more of this".

It is also written in Acts concerning one woman (I don't recall her name, "God opened her heart to recieve the things spoken of by Paul".

In every address the so called "invitation" was merely "repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ". And of many it was written that the Spirit fell upon them even as the Apostles spoke the gospel to them.

No where did the apostles ever say, "now with every head bowed and eyes closed, if any want to be saved, raise their hands and say, 'Pastor, I am a sinner..." or some such thing.

It is our fallen religious nature which takes a technique or a method which the Lord may use and we make a tradition and a ritual out of it. It soon loses it's life and power but we cling to the shell and try to gain "results by it".

I believe and can testify that the Lord is more pleased by simple trust in His working, by our being constituted with Christ ourselves and through prayer and following the leading of the Spirit to speak and share and encourage others when the Spirit leads to call on the Name of the Lord.

When we have the Living Christ we don't need a method. We have a Person. At one time we may be led to employ this or that proceedure or method but there is no life in proceedures or methods. If we are abiding in Christ and walking in fellowship with HIm and are "connected to the head" in our spirit, the life will flow and others will recieve and be built up by it.

Surely we need to practice to exercise our spirit and to grow in our understanding and our ability to present the gospel of Christ and to minister Him into others. We need to be constituted with both Life and Truth. But reliance on this or that technique will always sever us experientially from Christ and we will not bear any fruit.

God's work in us is to constantly teach us to live in contact with Him and to act in Life and not by habit or ritual or method. We need the Living Person of Christ, not a religious practice.

I believe that the almost universal reliance upon ritual and technique is just an evidence that the "Normal Christian Life" which is one of union with the crucified and risen Christ is just not known by many. And tradition rules in Christianity and woe to any who dare to follow the Lord outside the camp.


 2005/11/12 17:24Profile

Joined: 2005/4/26
Posts: 376
Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

 Re: Altar Calls

Maybe I'm only in the three percent but here is some of what happened to me about thirty years ago. I was invited to a large assembly in Harrisburg, Pa. by some Christians. After promising I would go I tried to back out but realized I'd make myself out a liar if I did back out so I went.

During the day there were three preachers. As the day wore on, I came to the place where I realized I was a sinner and was bound for hell with nothing I could do about it. The explanation of God sending his only son to die for my condition was presented and there was an altar call. I was bound to my seat with no intention of going forward when a preacher who was seated near me came over to me and said, "Gary, responding to an altar call is an outward confession that you are accepting Jesus as your savior". He told me that by going forward I was identifying with Jesus and he then quoted Romans 10:9+10 and said I needed to confess Jesus before men with my mouth. He said that now would be a good time to start confessing Jesus by going forward. This word broke me, I ran to the altar and haven't been the same since.

When speaking I do not use altar calls yet because of my personal experience of having come to Christ with the use of an altar call, I don't criticize the use of this method.

In Christ,

Gary Eckenroth

 2005/11/12 19:54Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619

 Re: Alter Calls

When speaking I do not use altar calls yet because of my personal experience of having come to Christ with the use of an altar call, I don't criticize the use of this method.

I don't believe anyone who has any experience in Christ would try to argue that the Lord cannot use the "alter call" or save you through that means. I believe the point brought up by most, myself included is that the Alter Call is a method, and if in so doing you repent and believe into the Lord Jesus Christ then Amen. And God works through all kinds of methods.

But I believe what is being addressed here is the way we take a method or a ritual and make a doctirne out of it and even a religion out of it. Whereas in scritpure the reality is, "if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.

And scritpurally speaking, the "public confession" and indentification with Christ is not "walking the Aisle" but rather our public Baptism.

What we should say is, "Thank you Lord that you have saved me through whatever means. I don't find an "aisle' in the Bible, but I find the living Crucified and resurrected Christ and I thank you that you have enabled me to beieve into you and to be born of God and have Eternal Life in Your Name.


 2005/11/13 16:44Profile

Joined: 2005/8/29
Posts: 95

 Re: Altar Calls

Altar Calls

On this subject I agree that one should not make a doctrine out of it or put people or yourselves under a law. There is the danger that if you stumble, you wait for the mid-week service in order to go forward to the altar and get right with God.
I want to add as others have, that the Lord can lead in such a way if He so wills it. In many revivals in the past there was no need for altar calls, because the conviction was so severe! May God work in such a way in our day and age.

In Him,

 2005/11/19 16:19Profile

Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707


The Last Altar:

The last altar call and the only one that really counts is the blood shed upon this earth from the Cross by Jesus Christ, the earth is the altar, and all are called to the foot of the Cross where He died and shed His Blood for the sin of the world. Amen. That altar is now in our hearts by the Christ that is birthed in us by the Father because we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We can come to it boldly and kneel in the presence of the Jesus Christ that is in us, before God our Father. Amen.

In Christ: Phillip


 2005/11/20 0:08Profile

Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132

 Re: Altar Calls

That was a good article. I do believe there is a place for the altar within the church service though. How ever, with so much pop culture psychology being used to manipulate the congregations for a desired end(i.e. the altar response), and that to measure the success of the message that was just given, it's all gloring in the flesh. I recently spoke at a mens gathering and after wards had several come and comment how much they appreciated the message. A close friend who was in attendance and I talked afterwards about the response and I had to confess to him that the only thing I watch for anymore is changed lives that can be seen in the world. I am no more moved by that which I see around an altar but watch closely for people to be more Jesus focused or intent on seeking God for the "long Run " in life. I usually just open the altar for prayer time and personal ministry for the needs of individuals, unless I have a strong leading into a specific need that must be addressed (someone who is suicidal or or etc...). For sure there is no sure-fire formula. ;-)


 2005/11/20 1:09Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


My wife and I used to attend the meetings of a baptist church in a small city in which we lived. The Pastor was a good servant of Jesus Christ and had a genuine desire for revival among those who attended. There was also a certian sunday school teacher who had a real, deep, and genuine knowlege of Christ.

But from week to week we observed that those who responded to the ritualistic "altar call" were the same one's from week to week. We also noticed the absence of the sunday school teacher at the "altar" whom we respected as one who had a deep knowlege of Christ.

Our conclusion was that the one who genuinly had a deep relationship with Christ met with the Lord each day and knew Him every day. Those who came weekly to the "Altar call" were those who did not have dealings with the Lord every day but had to come each week to the "Altar" to "get right with God".

I had the impression (from the Lord in my spirit), that if "revival came" as the pastor wished, it would not look like he imagined. There would not be flood's of people to the "altar" but rather everyone would be growing in Christ daily and experienceing Him as their indwelling Lord and Life on a daily basis. They would have no need to "get right with God" every Sunday. But rather they would be those who were abiding in Christ and enjoying HIm every day.

The ritual of the "altar call" would fall by the wayside as the believers were brought into the the reality of Christ as their indwelling Lord and Life.


 2005/11/22 21:16Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy