Quotes by Jim Ehrhard
We must be patient to allow the Holy Spirit to work conviction in the heart. That may happen in a few moments, a few hours, days, or even years. To be biblically evangelistic, we must be certain that what we do leads men to faith, not just to decisions.
To be biblically evangelistic, we must be certain that what we do leads men to faith, not just to decisions.
In one of his sermons, Spurgeon reminded his congregation about the doctrine of God’s electing some from the foundation of the world. But he noted that our task is to preach the gospel to every creature, not to find the elect. Spurgeon reportedly said that if God had painted a yellow strip down the back of each of the elect, he would run up and down the streets of London, lifting up shirttails, and preaching the gospel to the elect. But Spurgeon reminds us that God has not done so. Instead He has commanded us to “preach the gospel to every creature.” We must urgently appeal to everyone to come to Christ.
The dangers [of the invitations system]:
1. Promoting a method not promoted in Scripture.
2. Eliciting an emotional response based upon the personality of the speaker or the persuasion of the appeal.
3. Confusing the “coming forward” with salvation.
4. Counting great numbers who only discredit their profession by their lives.
5. Giving assurance to those who are unconverted.
Do we see any example in which [Jesus] (or the apostles, for that matter) appealed for people to “come forward” either as a testimony to their decision or as an act of accepting Him?… Many passages show that Jesus and the apostles called men to repentance and faith. But no passage indicates that either used any form of “invitation system” in bringing men to faith or in confirming their faith.
For years, we have heard about the values of the invitation system. It is even widely intimated (often plainly stated) that one who fails to give public invitations could not be concerned for the souls of men. Yet could it be that the very opposite is true – that the very extension of such an appeal might be the means for deluding many into a false state of assurance ultimately resulting in their damnation?
Proclaim the truth…call men to repent and believe and…leave the results in the hands of the Spirit who alone can bring people to faith.
We must learn to trust the power of God’s Word to convince, convert, and change lives (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23)…without the help of our man-made systems… We must be so convinced, or we will be tempted to add things to the preaching of the Word to secure greater commitments… Here is the real question: How powerful is the Word of God? Can it change men from sinners into saints without the use of an altar call? Will it convict and convert (as God promises), or will we need to add something that helps men “settle it”? You will never be able to do without the invitation system until you are thoroughly convinced of the power of God’s Word.
Our appeal must be to come to Christ, not to follow any prescribed method that might cause some to equate their “coming” with coming to Him.
The dangers of the invitation system are serious. The souls of men are at stake. To be biblically evangelistic, we must be certain that what we do leads men to faith, not just to decisions.
The invitation system…encourages people to make a response that “settles things” and, through subsequent counseling, to never doubt that decision. Anyone who is involved in personal evangelism can share countless examples of persons who, though presently living in gross sin, will nonetheless tell the evangelist that they are fine because they “made a decision for Christ” a certain number of years ago. They have never had any change in their life; they have no interest in the church, the Bible, or even God. But they have made their “decision.” Can we not see how dangerous such a system is to the souls of men?