The Public Invitation, Part One
By Dr. Max D. Younce
Dr. Younce, I was saved several years ago in my home by trusting Jesus Christ as my Savior and have been baptized. In church, our pastor gives the invitation that "If you want to be saved, slip out of your seat and come forward to the front of the church." He makes me feel like I am not really saved, because I have never done this. What are your thoughts on this?
This question has been asked myriads of times and one article cannot begin to answer your question with all it involves. The next several weeks, in continuation, we will address your question because of its importance, and the verses used.
First, there is no Scripture anywhere that says you must come to the front of a church to be saved. This is a tradition that has crept into many fundamental churches, which now consider it to be scriptural.
One Scripture, commonly used to support this practice is Matthew 10:32,33. "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven...But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." This says nothing about coming to the front of the church for salvation; but, is speaking of our service after we are saved. We find in verses 1-7 of this chapter that Christ is sending the Apostles out to preach, who were already saved. There was one impostor; but, that wasn’t the Lord’s fault! In Verse 16, they would encounter men described as "wolves." Verse 17 tells that they would be scourged! They would be brought before governors and kings because of their preaching (V. 18).
In Verse 22, Christ promised them that they would be saved from being killed, as long as they remained faithful until their ministry was finished. Then in Verses 32 and 33, quoted above, Christ will confess their faithfulness to the Father for rewards, or their unfaithfulness for loss of rewards in Heaven. These verses have nothing to do with salvation or the coming to the front of a church. This is service, not salvation!
Next week, Part 2.