Soul winners or Soul-deceivers?
I am frequently asked why I do not, at the end of our worship services, or at the end of the tracts and articles I write, either invite sinners to be saved, or come to Christ, or accept Jesus as their Savior? Today, I received a letter asking why I do not put “the sinner’s prayer” at the end of my tracts and articles. Frequently, people who have been guided by blind religious leaders ask, “Why don’t you give an invitation (an altar call)?” “Why don’t you ever give people a chance to be saved?” One person said to me recently, “You seem to leave sinners hanging.”
The fact is I intentionally leave sinners "hanging," I hope hanging on Christ alone. The reason I never close an article, a sermon, or a worship service with an "invitation" for sinners to accept Christ as their Savior is quite simple. -- Sinners are nowhere invited to "accept" the Son of God. We are commanded to bow to him in faith. There is a huge difference. The issue is not whether you will accept the Son of God. About that you have no choice. He is the Son of God. He is your Lord, whether you “accept” him or not will not alter that fact. The issue is this – Will the Son of God accept you? The Lord of glory does not beg sinners for acceptance; but sinners in need of mercy do beg him for acceptance (Matt. 8:2-3).
The reason I do not give out a scripted "prayer" for people to repeat, read, or agree to, is that prayer must be found in the heart, not on paper. If ever God the Holy Spirit convinces a person of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, that person will not need some deceiver to tell him how to cry out for mercy.
The reason I never give an altar call is that Christ is our only Altar. To set up any altar anywhere on this earth is utter idolatry. Christ is the Altar to whom we must come, the only Altar and the only Mercy-Seat, upon which God promises to meet sinners. We cannot come to him with our feet. We come to him by faith, with our hearts.
Having people recite what is called “the sinner’s prayer” is no more useful than having them to superstitiously count rosary beads while saying “Hail Marys”. Inviting people to come to the front of the church, to an altar, or to a mourners’ bench is just as idolatrous as having them come to a confessional booth. Having a preacher or “soul-winner” pronounce a person saved at the end of a series of correctly answered questions is just as blasphemous as having a papist priest pronounce his sins absolved. Nowhere in the Word of God are such tactics used by inspired writers. They serve only to deceive the souls of men. By such hellish trickery, unsuspecting sinners are made twofold more the children of hell than they were before.
We are seeking the salvation of God's elect and the glory of God in Christ. Therefore, we endeavor to be obedient to both the precepts and the examples given in Holy Scripture. We pray, and preach the gospel, and pray, waiting for God to do his work as he will, showing his grace to whom he will.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #725
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org