THE ALTAR OR LETTING GOD “ALTER” YOU.
By Ken Blue
A police officer, who was a member of our church, told the following story. He said, when he pulled someone over, or was called to a domestic disturbance, many times it was necessary to arrest someone or write a ticket. The guilty would weep, and plead, and promise not to do it again. However, before the week was over he was arresting them again. He assured me that these people were serious, and meant it when making their promises; they simply lacked the character and commitment to follow their promise.
Some Christians are like that. They make promises to God at the “altar,” which they forget before the next invitation. They mean it when they say it, but the commitment is not life changing. If we spent more time in private prayer, we might not feel compelled to go to the “altar” quite so often.
There are many ways to get people to the altar, if that is your objective. Usually this can be done through a series of questions. 1. How many of you feel your need to read more Scripture? 2. How many of you need to pray more? 3. How many feel your need to love the Lord more? 4. How many of you need to witness more? 5. How many feel your need to love your husband or wife more? 6. How many of you want the power of God in your life? 7. How many of you want God to use you? I know I do.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]If we spent more time in private prayer, we might not feel compelled to go to the “altar” quite so often.[/pullquote]
As you can see, the questions are unlimited, and every believer will answer yes. The problem is, none of us will ever arrive at a place where there isn’t a need to say yes to these questions. Thus we keep running to the altar at every invitation.
Why not settle these questions in your private prayer time as you read the Bible, and develop from the inside out? If you are serious, you ought to get it settled. If you aren’t, no amount of trips to the “altar” will; and you’ll be getting another notice before the week is over.
This does not mean that churches should not give people an opportunity to respond to the sermon. It means your questions should not be a form of manipulation to see how many you can get to respond to you. People grow from the inside out. It is not the “altar” you need. You need to let God “alter” you.
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Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.