En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

  • Grab My Button!

    BWS tips button
    <a href="http://dadsdevoted.com"><img src="http://i496.photobucket.com/albums/rr323/baileytribe/blog/blckwhite_button.jpg" alt="BWS tips button" width="125" height="125" /></a><div style="border: 1px solid #DDD; margin: auto; padding: 5px 10px; background: #F8F8F8 none repeat scroll 0pt 0pt; overflow: auto; height: 100px; line-height: 1.5em;">***</div>

Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones on the Alter Call!

Posted by Scott on October 23, 2007

Dr. Lloyd-Jones on the Altar Call

We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people. 

Early in the 1970s Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was the speaker at a ministers’ conference in the USA and at a question session was asked the following question:Q During recent years, especially in England, among evangelicals of the Reformed faith, there has been a rising criticism of the invitation system as used by Billy Graham and others. Does Scripture justify the use of such public invitations or not?A. Well, it is difficult to answer this in a brief compass without being misunderstood. Let me answer it like this: The history of this invitation system is one with which you people ought to be more familiar than anyone else, because it began in America. It began in the 1820s; the real originator of it was Charles G. Finney. It led to a great controversy. Asahel Nettleton, a great Calvinist and successful evangelist, never issued an “altar call” nor asked people to come to the “anxious seat.” These new methods in the 182Os and were condemned for many reasons by all who took the Reformed position.One reason is that there is no evidence that this was done in New Testament times, because then they trusted to the power of the Spirit. Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost under the power of the Spirit, for instance, had no need to call people forward in decision because, as you remember, the people were so moved and affected by the power of the Word and Spirit that they actually interrupted the preacher, crying out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” That has been the traditional Reformed attitude towards this particular matter. The moment you begin to introduce this other element, you are bringing a psychological element. The invitation should be in the message. We believe the Spirit applies the message, so we trust in the power of the Spirit. I personally agree with what has been said in the question. I have never called people forward at the end for this reason; there is a grave danger of people coming forward before they are ready to come forward. We do believe in the work of the Spirit, that He convicts and converts, and He will do His work. There is a danger in bringing people to a “birth,” as it were, before they are ready for it.The Puritans in particular were afraid of what they would call “a temporary faith” or “a false profession.” There was a great Puritan, Thomas Shepard, who published a famous series of sermons on The Ten Virgins. The great point of that book was to deal with this problem of a false profession. The foolish virgins thought they were all right. This is a very great danger. I can sum it up by putting it like this: I feel that this pressure which is put upon people to come forward in decision ultimately is due to a lack of faith in the work and operation of the Holy Spirit. We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people. And of course He does. Some may come immediately at the close of the service to see the minister. I think there should always be an indication that the minister will be glad to see anybody who wants to put questions to him or wants further help. But that is a very different thing from putting pressure upon people to come forward. I feel it is wrong to put pressure directly on the will. The order in Scripture seems to be this – the truth is presented to the mind, which moves the heart, and that in turn moves the will.

By D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

-Scott BAILEY  2007

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones on the Alter Call!”

  1. Joel said

    Scott, I have enjoyed reading your posts tonight. The altar call issue was recently discussed on the Baptist Board. And Jim at oldtruth.com had an article on the subject a couple of weeks ago. Loyd-Jones really nails the issue. Keep up the good work!

  2. qbaileys said

    Joel, I appreciate the comments. I have wondered about this for years and have asked this question of numerous pastors and none really could explain the reasons for or against an alter call, until I ran across this by Dr. Lloyd-Jones. As you said, he did nail this square on the head. Keep on reading and commenting.

  3. To Dear Pastor,
    Greetings to you in the name that is above every
    name Jesus Christ the son of the living God.
    I pray this letter finds you living and walking in
    the power of God as a member of the body of the
    Anointed One and His anointing.I am grateful to God
    for the opportunity of communicating to you through
    this electronic medium. God has been extremely good to
    us and we give him all the praise and glory. May
    God bless you so much for the web-page it blessed my
    soul & impressed me so much how God is using His
    servants.Before I continue, I would like to take a
    moment to introduce myself to you.Okey,I am Rev.
    Mathews Owuor Ongere a Kenyan Citizen by descent aged
    48 years. I am a born gain believer filled with the
    Holy Spirit and married to one wife with 4 children.
    I am a full time Minister of the Gospel of Jesus
    Christ with Hope of Salvation Ministries.It is quite
    impressing to know what God is doing with His chosen
    servants. I can say that God is doing something
    special a round the world.We can take back lives and
    families that have been held captive by the devil.As a
    God servant he has entrusted to your care the most
    precious thing in the entire universe HIS OWN BODY,
    the church.He does not intend you to stop where you
    are.He has called you, chosen you and singled you out
    to do a job for him that no one else can do. There
    has never been another like you since time began. You
    are unique and different from every other minister
    God has commissioned.I am involved in organizing
    Crusades and Church Conferences here in
    Eldoret-Kenya.The Holy Spirit talked to my
    heart to request you if you can consider us for a
    Crusade and a church conference here in Eldoret-Kenya
    next year 2008.I thank you once again.
    Otherwise I remain looking forward to hear from
    you very soon in regard to my request.God bless you &
    May Heaven smile upon you Shalom
    Yours in Christ’s service,
    Rev. Mathews O. Ongere.
    Hope Of Salvation Ministries,
    P.O.Box 4928, Eldoret,
    Kenya 30100
    Tel:+254-733-821988.
    http://www.freewebs.com/hosmin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: