An Altar Miscall

The common refrain of the altar call goes something like this, “Do you want to make Jesus your Lord and personal Saviour? If you do then say this prayer after me, ‘Lord Jesus…’” Now if you are Christian I have no problem with how you became a Christian, after all, I do not make believers out of people. From the view point of a preacher it is a very interesting statement to make. The reason why I refer to this common formula in this way is because of what it suggests. It somewhat implies that you can make Jesus your Lord and Saviour. The New Testament on the other hand presents a very different picture.

For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. (Romans 14:9 NAU)

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (1 Timothy 4:10 NAU)

The problem is you can’t make Jesus your Lord and Saviour? From the above scriptures he is already the Lord and Saviour of all men. What authority do we have in ourselves to make him our Lord? Or if we are in need, how can we determine our helper? If you are not in a position to help yourself you are by default powerless. The one who can rescue you is the one who has the power to save you. We therefore cannot choose our Saviour but we can receive his help. The problems of mankind have only one solution.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NAU)

God is who he is whether a person acknowledges it or not. With this same authority the Father has made Jesus Christ Lord. The Scriptures tell us one day everyone will confess his Lordship (Philippians 2:9-11.) The difference with believers is that we have confessed him now, so his power to save us is at work now. God has stretched out his mighty hand to save. The issue is whether by faith you will take hold for…

…He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25 NAU)

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