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SALVATION and THE PUBLIC INVITATION

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I agree, he does raise some good issues and bring up good points.

Some do indeed get too caught up in traditional approaches that can sometimes be a hindrance themselves.

I've been in many services over the years where an "invitation" is drawn out far to long. Once the invitation is given it's up to the Holy Ghost to convict, which may or may not lead to someone turning to Christ at that time. Continuing to give the invitation and continuing to sing the same "invitation song" over and over again for 10, 20 or more minutes seems to be trying to force someone to make a profession. In many such services I've been in like this eventually a member of the church will go forward "to rededicate" themselves with the hope of bringing the service to an end.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Yes, I've been in services where it has gone on to long unnecessarily. I, and I think most people can understand there will be occasions where its necessary.

But, I do not really like for a time to be put on the preaching services, and I do understand some will draw out preaching services to long. And it seem most of the time when that happens, the preacher is through and he is the only one that does not know it.

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  • 11 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

He does make some good points. About the only thing I don't agree with is an "end time" for the service, but I also understand where he coming from. He said that if there is an expectation there, then the church leadership should be sensitive to that, so I guess precedent would be the key.
HOWEVER, if they are having revival services or something, the Pastor should remind the people that the services might be longer than normal to prepare them for that.

As far as the invitation goes, here is my take on it. I myself have been the victim of the endless invitation. Too many of these guys are not allowing the HOly Spirit to do his job - they use emotional manipulation and other psychological devices to get a "decision." I know this - when the Holy Spirit deals with me, I had better respond - IMMEDIATELY. Nobody has to twist my arm into doing anything. So that is how we do it here. When I am done preaching, if there are visitors present, I will give a brief explanation of salvation, and ask if anyone wants to be saved. The ones who really want it don't have to be talked into "coming forward." They know they are lost, and they respond immediately.
Our people respond the same way - I don't drag it out. I tell them if God is dealing with them, they need to respond. I don't make any requirements about "coming forward." I have several handicapped people who are doing good just to get to service - they can respond to the Lord right where they are. I generally have a "season of prayer" before we actually stand to sing an invitation. The musicians will come and play softly, giving people time to search their hearts and make application from the message. After a few minutes, we will stand and sing - and when we sing through the song - we are done. I very rarely go beyond that. Sometimes I have because of one reason or another, but as a general rule, we don't. When we do - it is only for a few minutes more - but certainly not even 5 minutes...we are talking maybe 1 or 2 minutes.

Anyway, that is how we do it here, and I have found it to be very helpful to our folks. No pressure from me - just the Holy Spirit working in their hearts.

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He does make some good points. About the only thing I don't agree with is an "end time" for the service, but I also understand where he coming from. He said that if there is an expectation there, then the church leadership should be sensitive to that, so I guess precedent would be the key.
HOWEVER, if they are having revival services or something, the Pastor should remind the people that the services might be longer than normal to prepare them for that.

As far as the invitation goes, here is my take on it. I myself have been the victim of the endless invitation. Too many of these guys are not allowing the HOly Spirit to do his job - they use emotional manipulation and other psychological devices to get a "decision." I know this - when the Holy Spirit deals with me, I had better respond - IMMEDIATELY. Nobody has to twist my arm into doing anything. So that is how we do it here. When I am done preaching, if there are visitors present, I will give a brief explanation of salvation, and ask if anyone wants to be saved. The ones who really want it don't have to be talked into "coming forward." They know they are lost, and they respond immediately.
Our people respond the same way - I don't drag it out. I tell them if God is dealing with them, they need to respond. I don't make any requirements about "coming forward." I have several handicapped people who are doing good just to get to service - they can respond to the Lord right where they are. I generally have a "season of prayer" before we actually stand to sing an invitation. The musicians will come and play softly, giving people time to search their hearts and make application from the message. After a few minutes, we will stand and sing - and when we sing through the song - we are done. I very rarely go beyond that. Sometimes I have because of one reason or another, but as a general rule, we don't. When we do - it is only for a few minutes more - but certainly not even 5 minutes...we are talking maybe 1 or 2 minutes.

Anyway, that is how we do it here, and I have found it to be very helpful to our folks. No pressure from me - just the Holy Spirit working in their hearts.


Amen!!

How's things back down in Amarillo Bro Steve?
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

He does make some good points. About the only thing I don't agree with is an "end time" for the service, but I also understand where he coming from. He said that if there is an expectation there, then the church leadership should be sensitive to that, so I guess precedent would be the key.
HOWEVER, if they are having revival services or something, the Pastor should remind the people that the services might be longer than normal to prepare them for that.

As far as the invitation goes, here is my take on it. I myself have been the victim of the endless invitation. Too many of these guys are not allowing the HOly Spirit to do his job - they use emotional manipulation and other psychological devices to get a "decision." I know this - when the Holy Spirit deals with me, I had better respond - IMMEDIATELY. Nobody has to twist my arm into doing anything. So that is how we do it here. When I am done preaching, if there are visitors present, I will give a brief explanation of salvation, and ask if anyone wants to be saved. The ones who really want it don't have to be talked into "coming forward." They know they are lost, and they respond immediately.
Our people respond the same way - I don't drag it out. I tell them if God is dealing with them, they need to respond. I don't make any requirements about "coming forward." I have several handicapped people who are doing good just to get to service - they can respond to the Lord right where they are. I generally have a "season of prayer" before we actually stand to sing an invitation. The musicians will come and play softly, giving people time to search their hearts and make application from the message. After a few minutes, we will stand and sing - and when we sing through the song - we are done. I very rarely go beyond that. Sometimes I have because of one reason or another, but as a general rule, we don't. When we do - it is only for a few minutes more - but certainly not even 5 minutes...we are talking maybe 1 or 2 minutes.

Anyway, that is how we do it here, and I have found it to be very helpful to our folks. No pressure from me - just the Holy Spirit working in their hearts.

Amen! That's how it should be. We present the Gospel, the Holy Ghost does the work, people either respond or they don't.
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Amen!!

How's things back down in Amarillo Bro Steve?

Doing well...having a campfire tonight, and roasting hot-dogs.
Had another young man join the church yesterday - that makes 5 adults this year already!

Hope all is well with you, brother!
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Doing well...having a campfire tonight, and roasting hot-dogs.
Had another young man join the church yesterday - that makes 5 adults this year already!

Hope all is well with you, brother!


AMEN!!
Been working from home since I saw you all, God is good!
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I try to be careful on judging others who do the invitation different than I. But some do seem to carry it to far, to me it seems that perhaps some pastors, evangelist, are trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit, if having heard the Word does not do that, them you might get a false profession.

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SALVATION and THE PUBLIC INVITATION What's your thoughts on this? I feel the man does make some good points.


Jerry, thanks for the link. Especially since it led to "the rest of the story" that I spent some time reading this morning. http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/BTP/Dr_Max_Younce/Invitation/toc.htm Planning to revisit when I have more time and will probably print out the pdf.

It isn't a coincidence that I read this, this morning.

Briefly.... Yesterday, I had a conversation with a man seeking answers and expressing doubts. Our conversation was interrupted, and I'm sure it will be resumed later. During this pause, how to respond to him is embedded in what I read this morning.

Thank you.
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I try to be careful on judging others who do the invitation different than I. But some do seem to carry it to far, to me it seems that perhaps some pastors, evangelist, are trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit, if having heard the Word does not do that, them you might get a false profession.

That's the main problem. Men try to do the convicting themselves and all too often appeal to emotion and pressure tactics in order to get a "decision". It's man's job to proclaim the Gospel, the Holy Ghost then uses that to convict the hearer, at that point the hearer either acknowledges that conviction and is born again or they reject it.

I've found it interesting that prior to about the late 1800s, the Gospel was preached calling men to repentance unto salvation in Christ as we see in Scripture, but then changed to simply calling on men to "accept Jesus into their heart", something not even in Scripture.

As several biblical pastors of the time this change was taking place pointed out, those who became Christians from the preaching of repentance unto salvation in Christ showed the fruit and works of salvation, while so many of those who simply "made a decision to accept Jesus into their heart" failed to show any such fruit and work, most eventually falling away from the church or being not more than church attenders.
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That's the main problem. Men try to do the convicting themselves and all too often appeal to emotion and pressure tactics in order to get a "decision". It's man's job to proclaim the Gospel, the Holy Ghost then uses that to convict the hearer, at that point the hearer either acknowledges that conviction and is born again or they reject it.

I've found it interesting that prior to about the late 1800s, the Gospel was preached calling men to repentance unto salvation in Christ as we see in Scripture, but then changed to simply calling on men to "accept Jesus into their heart", something not even in Scripture.

As several biblical pastors of the time this change was taking place pointed out, those who became Christians from the preaching of repentance unto salvation in Christ showed the fruit and works of salvation, while so many of those who simply "made a decision to accept Jesus into their heart" failed to show any such fruit and work, most eventually falling away from the church or being not more than church attenders.


Yes, it might be, yet them again it might not be that good of an idea to 2nd guess the man that God called.

Example, attending a revival service one night I got the impression that the pastor was closing the invitation from the word he stated, them all of a sudden his mood seem to change, & he was saying let us have one more verse of invitation before we close this service. I feel sure some in the church house that evening were brow beating this pastor badly at that moment thinking its time to end this, get it over, pastor get a grip on yourself. I'm glad I did not have that mentality to 2nd guess God's called man that evening, for during that last verse a young man came forward & was saved. If the last invitation had not been given, them perhaps that young mans heart would have been harden to the point that he may never have been saved, never answered another invitation.
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Yes, it might be, yet them again it might not be that good of an idea to 2nd guess the man that God called.

Example, attending a revival service one night I got the impression that the pastor was closing the invitation from the word he stated, them all of a sudden his mood seem to change, & he was saying let us have one more verse of invitation before we close this service. I feel sure some in the church house that evening were brow beating this pastor badly at that moment thinking its time to end this, get it over, pastor get a grip on yourself. I'm glad I did not have that mentality to 2nd guess God's called man that evening, for during that last verse a young man came forward & was saved. If the last invitation had not been given, them perhaps that young mans heart would have been harden to the point that he may never have been saved, never answered another invitation.

I don't know of that specific situation, but one doesn't have to answer an invitation to be saved. Had that young man come to Christ before answering the invitation? We don't know.

That's not the point really, if the Holy Ghost moves a pastor to issue an invitation, to preach longer, to cut a sermon short, to preach something totally different than planned, then of course that pastor should do so.

Myself, I wasn't speaking to such matters. I was only referring to those who, mostly of habit, have a set manner of giving an invitiation, and then singing "come to Jesus" over and over again, even if it takes 10 to 20 minutes, until someone finally gets up and comes forward. Often it's a church member coming forward to "rededicate" themselves, which most often simply means they were ready for the service to end, as it's usually the same one or two who continually come forward like that.
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No they don't, yet if they don't, & if the Holy Spirit is convicting them at the end of the preaching service & during the invitation, & they resist it, their heart does harden just a bit, & who knows, that might be the last time, for they may well die before there's another opportunity for them to be saved. They may walk of of that church, get into a car, be in a wreck going home being killed.

Like I said, I don't 2nd guess God's call under such circumstances, I think its a dangerous thing to do, very dangerous.

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No they don't, yet if they don't, & if the Holy Spirit is convicting them at the end of the preaching service & during the invitation, & they resist it, their heart does harden just a bit, & who knows, that might be the last time, for they may well die before there's another opportunity for them to be saved. They may walk of of that church, get into a car, be in a wreck going home being killed.

Like I said, I don't 2nd guess God's call under such circumstances, I think its a dangerous thing to do, very dangerous.

I agree. The only thing I don't agree with is those who continually do the "invitiation", not matter how long it takes, until someone steps forward, typically a church member tired of listening to "come to Jesus" for 20 minutes.

A pastor should always be open to the moving of the Spirit and follow accordingly.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I have heard a pastor say that he will never give invitations anymore because the people who go forward, for the most part, go back to their pew, the same way they went forward, with no changes. I myself, will give an invitation, but I do not like to draw it out for to long just to get a response from folks.

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There has been many saved, because an invitation was given,

There has been many that come forward at the invitation asking for prayers, & received those prayers, that might not have without an invitation.

I don't remember the date, but probably during a revival service in about 95 or 96, I went forward during the invitation asking my pastor & church family to pray for me. During that time God was calling me to preach His Word. I felt many prayers were said on my behalf, for it did calm me down, lift me up, & I got the feeling for what God was asking me to do. In 96 I went forward, accepting God's call. Without those 2 invitation, who knows what may have taken place.

Of course, drawing the invitation out, does no one any good, just as when a sermon is finished, its time to stop preaching, & hand it over to God's Holy Spirit, & not draw it out.

I have seen preachers, pastors, & evangelist rightly finish their sermon, & keep on preaching, actually repeating their self. I don't time my sermons, they may last anywhere from 20 minutes to about 40 to 45 minutes. I've given sermons that I thought would be short, that were longer, & of course some I thought would be longer, were short. The preacher, pastor, or evangelist surely needs to know when his sermon ought to end.

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