The altar call is such a visual, why don’t we have altar calls at CVC?
To begin with, I do believe that God uses altar calls to save. But, the reason I don’t offer altar calls here is that I personally believe that Satan has used the altar call, too, in many people’s lives.
Let me explain. At Billy Graham crusades, thousands will come forward in response to the altar call. But, studies have been conducted of the thousands who responded to the altar calls and most are not walking with Christ because for them it was just an amazing emotional experience.
There’s such a danger in a person saying, “I said a prayer after church service or at a crusade and now I have fire insurance.”
The worse position a person can be in is if they think they are a Christian and they are not.
As a method of evangelism, I tell people to seek the Lord while He may be found.
Also, I don’t see anywhere in the book of Acts where Peter or Paul says, come now, say a prayer with me and you will all be saved. The sinner’s prayer is a construct. It’s an invention of the 19th century that Christians have put out there. There’s no sinner’s prayer in the Bible.
I preached at a church once where the pastor offered three altar calls each service. Afterwards, I asked a church member about it and was told the pastor does this regularly and the same people go up each week. These people do not understand that prayer can’t save them.
Only a living faith in Jesus Christ can.
I can see how maybe for those who don’t know what to do, who want to believe but are intimidated to talk to a pastor, it is helpful. If God is going to save someone through the hearing of the Word, God will change their hearts.
It’s not wrong to give people an opportunity, Scripture says whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. I say in almost every sermon I ever preach: Come to the cross. Believe on the Lord. But then I trust the Holy Spirit. I leave it in the Holy Spirit’s hand to work on people’s heart.
If the person comes to me afterwards, I’ll explain to them what it means to believe in Christ.
But, I’m not the judge. The Lord is the judge of our hearts.