Why I Give a Public Invitation

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,292
    Likes Received:
    782
    by Evangelist Junior Hill

    For more than 50 years it has been my distinct joy to extend a public invitation at the close of most of the sermons wherever I have preached. I do that because I have an intense and burning conviction that it is spiritually correct and biblically commanded. I am honored to stand with a great multitude of other preachers across the ages, who have faithfully and unapologetically called those to whom they have preached to repentance and open confession of Jesus Christ as Lord. Billy Graham himself, arguably the best known preacher of this generation, so often said at the close of his own crusade sermons, “I am going to ask you to publically confess Jesus tonight because those whom Jesus called – He always called publicly.” And a careful reading of the Bible does seem to indicate that to be true.

    While there are some who may honestly and sincerely ask, “Where is a public invitation to the preaching of the gospel ever seen in the Bible?”, a far more appropriate and accurate question might legitimately be, “Where in the Bible is a public invitation to the preaching of the gospel not seen?”

    To suggest that those hot-hearted preachers of the early New Testament church never even bothered to call those to whom they preached to repentance and public confession of Jesus as Lord is both ludicrous and short sighted. Are we to actually believe that those excited firebrands who gladly laid their very lives on the line for the joy of proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord left their hearers with a lot of information — but no invitation? Did they spend all their time telling those who heard them preach that Jesus could save them, but never got around to telling them that Jesus would save them if they were willing to repent and believe?

    That kind of erroneous assumption not only demeans and insults the wisdom and compassion of those bold men who preached, but it clearly disregards the explicit biblical record that says otherwise.

    http://sbctoday.com/2013/06/27/why-i-give-a-public-invitation/
     
  2. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,459
    Likes Received:
    136
    Amen

    We are like minded in more than just our love for Jesus. I would never think of closing any service without offering the gift of salvation and an opportunity to pray along with those in need of that gift.

    Thanks for sharing this, REV, and if anyone disagrees, that is their right, but it is also their loss; as it is an exciting thing to help birth a new-born soul for Jesus! :jesus:
     
  3. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    I have never given an invitation, per se, but when I have closed the meeting, as the other ORB preachers do, I publish an open door to the church to receive members by experience and baptism. IOW, we are asking those who believe God has saved to come and give us their hand, and to tell the church what the Lord has done for them.

    The invitation I make is during my sermon, when God blesses me to preach. I tell them about Jesus and what He did for sinful man. Also, I tell them that they can be saved via the grace of God through faith in Him.
     
  4. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    26
    If the gospel is preached, the invitation is in the message. No need for anyone to go further than their calling and do the Holly Spirits work using pressurized evangelism like Billy Graham.
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,159
    Likes Received:
    368
    My husband doesn't do the "If you want to be saved, say this prayer after me" or "Raise your hand" but he will say something like "If you have not received Christ and you want to find out more about becoming a child of God, please come and speak to me after the service." Then he will wait to speak to people. Also, when he does communion, he explains what communion is and that it is for believers in Jesus Christ. He then will say something like "If you have not put your faith and trust in Him, please do not partake. But if you are interested in making today the day of your salvation, please take the cup and bread but do not yet partake. After the service, come to me and we will talk and then you can take your very first communion as a child of God!"

    After the service, he will individually speak to the people after the service and be sure that they understand what is going on - or for him to be sure of their heart in the matter. It seems to have worked very well because often there are questions and it's a great opportunity to counsel them. :)
     
  6. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,086
    Likes Received:
    218
    I had heard that Moody chose not to give an invitation one night - the night of the great Chicago fire - of course many people died. After that, Moody always gave an invitation.

    Not sure if that is true - can someone give the 411?
     
  7. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    I don't give an invitation. Being a former Finnyist, I've seen too many false converts created because some well meaning preacher, with the piano playing Softly and Tenderly in the background, got somebody's emotions all worked up to "accept Jesus".

    I wouldn't separate with a brother in Christ over this, the way the Finnyists here would separate with us, but I don't think it's wise.
     
  8. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    I give a public, come forward invitation in the messages that seem to call for it. So I don't give one on every Sunday morning. But, like others, I call people to a decision every time the Word is preached or taught, to do some specific actions whether they come forward or not such as a committment to spend more time reading the Word. Or to seek forgiveness from someone we have wronged. Or to talk to a person about Christ that week.

    But when the message is clearly about salvation, I do ask people to speak to someone either during the invitation or afterwards. I even - gasp - :eek: ask people to pray a type of the sinner's prayer. Horror of horrors!
     
  9. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    5,075
    Likes Received:
    4
    SPOT ON!!
    Great article.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,086
    Likes Received:
    218
    JDF - and that is a valid concern. Thus it is imperative that when a person comes forward than a mature Christian takes them aside (to another room) and council them. It is hard to talk to someone when Just As I Am is on the 14th verse.....
    and just signing a card does not get you one inch closer to Heaven.
     
  11. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my opinion, if you aren't giving an invitation, you are not preaching the complete Gospel, which is one more reason I despise Calvinism.
     
  12. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,086
    Likes Received:
    218
    I hope this isn't off OP too much.

    But I remember at our church in Germany, we would often have just the same few folks on Sun night and Wed night. Always an invitation - esp for salvation -
    I asked the pastor one day - Why - each person in attendance was a member and born again - so why have an (message &) invitation for salvation if all in attendance are saved?
     
  13. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    During an invitation many Christians will come to the alter for reasons other than salvation.
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    Do you think Jeff (Old Union Baptist) would do it?
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    Fill me in.....what are you alluding to?
     
  16. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought it was common knowledge, but here goes. At the close of our services, anyone who desires can come forward for salvation (although usually everyone present is a Christian) or Christians can come forward to pray either alone, with their family or friends if they feel so led.
     
  17. TadQueasy

    TadQueasy
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    0
    The issue of Public Invitations is not as black and white as some want to make it appear. Some talk as if they are either all good or all bad. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

    I have seem some really good public invitations that were honoring to God and done with reverence and respect. I have also witnessed some that were horrible. For example, I once watched a pastor preach a message to a group of youth. At the end he gave a public invitation that consisted of him commanded all the kids to walk up to the front of the room and then asked for everyone who wanted to keep from going to hell to raise their hands. Of course everyone raised their hand. He congratulated them all on their salvation.

    Thankfully God has and will continue to save people in spite of our good or bad invitations.
     
  18. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    The Gospel is found in scripture. The altar call is not.

    Please feel free to show us where Jesus or any evangelist in the Bible held an altar call.

    It is not we who are leaving something out of the Gospel, but you who are adding to it.
     
    #18 JohnDeereFan, Jul 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2013
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    But you said that there are other reasons people come up...what reasons?
     
  20. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    I don't think they're bad, in and of themselves, I just they're really unwise and a breeding ground for false converts.

    The general idea of an altar call is to call sinners to repent and receive Christ and His vicarious, atoning work on the cross, which I am 100% for.

    The problem is, what happens when someone gets worked up into an emotional state and is persuaded to "accept Jesus into his heart" because of the preacher's words or the soft, emotionally manipulative music in the background, but before the Holy Spirit has worked in his heart?

    That is say, don't you run the risk of persuading someone into giving you the answer you're looking for based on emotionalism, rather than a person coming face to face with their sin and the Holy Spirit leading them to true repentance?

    If God is sovereign, then a person will be saved as God wills, altar call or not.

    It is far better to let God work in His time, rather than try to force the issue with an altar call.
     

Share This Page

Loading...