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Category Archives: Preaching

The Altar Call

The invitation/altar call as it is practiced in many Baptist churches is a relatively modern invention, beginning in the revivals of Charles Finney, who was heretical in a number of areas. This is not a biblically mandated practice. It is not clever emotional and psychological appeals we need, but the work of the Holy Spirit in hearts! Calling men to trust Christ does not include physical activity. The gospel call is not “Come forward to this old-fashioned altar”, but “Cast your soul at the mercy of Christ!”

Often, the altar call produces false professions of Christ. How many people have you spoken to that claim to have come forward at a meeting sometime who do not display the fruits of righteousness? How many of those are baptized and added to the church? It is not an altar call that we need, but a plea for men to put their trust in Christ, and faith in the Holy Spirit to do that work! As God works, His Word will not return void, and men will be saved. When they are saved, it will be evident by their testimony, and their obedience will cause them to present themselves for baptism.

Spurgeon said the following regarding this system:
“Men will say, ‘I should like to go to the inquiry room.’ I dare say you would, but we are not willing to pander to popular superstition. We fear that in those rooms men are warmed into a fictitious confidence. Very few of the supposed converts of inquiry rooms turn out well.
“Go to your God at once, even where you are now. Cast yourself on Christ, at once, ere you stir an inch!”

May God give us a passion to plea for souls, and trust Him to do the work of converting them!