I will never forget nearly twenty years ago when I gave my heart to the Lord in a small church in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. One of the things that will always stick out to me and be forever in my heart is the meeting place I had with God on the night of June 2, 2000. I remember falling to the altar a broken man and weeping before the lord as my heart was being transformed that very night! It was the night I was born again! One of the things that I will never forget was the “Altar Call”. The evangelist just preached a fiery message on Hell, and explained that if anyone in the building did not have a personal relationship with Jesus and was “Born Again” that they would be separated from the presence of the Lord and that Hell would be their eternal home with no hope!
I was so moved with conviction from the presence of the Lord that I knew I had to get right with the Lord and was just waiting anxiouly for the preacher to give me an invitation to have a meeting place with God! I sat at the edge of my seat in tears and my heart racing! Finally! He gave the invitation! “If you don’t know Jesus and want to make your salvation assured” Come! and seek him with all your heart!” My wife, which at that time was my girlfriend went with me and together we gave our hearts to the Lord! We were laid on the altar broken before him and was transformed right there on that altar!
Sadly, Today I have noticed many Churches in this hour have done away with not only the “Altar” but even giving “Altar Calls”. Many Churches in this modern Church Age now consider “Altars” and “Altar Calls” as merely outdated or old-fashioned! As a result, they have even exchanged the Altar for a platform, having exchanged a meeting place with God for a platform to entertain the people. I will never forget when I was blessed to attend a Billy Graham crusade in Louisville, Kentucky many years ago, and will never forget when at the end of his message he gave an invitation for those that desired to give their hearts to the Lord. One by one I literally saw thousands of people get up from their seats across the stadium, tears in their eyes and some even weeping, walking and many running to the altar that was made for many to have a meeting place with God! I will never forget as a new Christian watching the meetings from the Brownsville Revival and watching as Steve Hill would give powerful altar calls and seeing hundreds run to the altar and be radically saved, delivered and transformed by the Glory of God! I thought, “What would have happened if these men would have never given that invitation”? What would have happened if the minister never gave an altar call when I was at Church that day on that Friday night?
I know I am considered by many an “Old-Fashioned” Pentecostal preacher by today’s standards, but as long as the Lord has me here preaching the Word of God, I will always present a meeting place for the people with God! I will always give an “Altar Call”! I believe the Lord is desiring many in this hour to “rebuild the altar” and not “tear down the altar”. The Word of the Lord tells us that
Mannaseh rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. – 2 Kings 21.
In other words, Manasseh exchanged the sacred place of meeting, reserved for the Lord as a place to become connected with everything else but God! We got Churches with beautiful sanctuaries that offer everything from, self-help, programs, motivational series, and the list goes on but there is no sacred place of radical transformation! Saints, when was the last time you went into the House of God and there was such freedom, that no altar call needed to be given because people were being drawn by the Holy Spirit and laid out in the presence of the Lord! Many on their knees, many on their face, many weeping and many rejoicing? Oh, where are the Elijah’s in this hour that is calling the people to repair the altar of the Lord that has been broken down? – 1 Kings 18.