Appeals and Altar Calls

Urging Souls to Decide—It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convince the soul of its need of Christ. Many are convicted of sin, and feel their need of a sin-pardoning Saviour; but they are merely dissatisfied with their pursuits and aims, and if there is not a decided application of the truth to their hearts, if words are not spoken at the right moment, calling for decision from the weight of evidence already presented, the convicted ones pass on without identifying themselves with Christ, the golden opportunity passes, and they have not yielded, and they go farther and farther away from the truth, farther away from Jesus and never take their stand on the Lord's side. Ev 283.1

Now the minister is not merely to present the Word of God in such a manner as to convince of sin in a general way, but he is to lift up Christ before his hearers. Christ's claims upon them are to be made plain. The people should be urged to decide just now to be on the Lord's side.—Letter 29, 1890. Ev 283.2

Securing Audience Response—Elder _____ has had wonderful success in this series of meetings. His method has been to make scripture explain scripture; and the Holy Spirit has convinced many hearts of the truth. The people can but accept a plain Thus saith the Lord.... He has lectured only in the evening, when men are released from their work and can come out to hear. After a few weeks of labor he presented the Sabbath, again making the Bible prove every statement. Ev 283.3

The first meeting on Sabbath was held in the large tent. After Elder _____ had finished speaking, there was a social meeting, and then he asked all who were convinced of the truth and were determined to take their stand to obey the Word of God, to rise to their feet. Fifty responded; their names were taken and a meeting appointed in which they should bear their testimony. Many had excellent words to speak.... Ev 283.4

After several weeks had passed, another call was made for those who had decided to obey the truth. Between twenty-five and thirty responded. Several ministers were present at this meeting and bore excellent testimonies.—Letter 372, 1906. Ev 284.1

Audience Response to Truth in 1844 Movement—This is the manner in which it was proclaimed in 1842, 1843, and 1844.... No unnecessary words were uttered by the speaker, but the Scripture was clearly presented. Frequently a call would be made for those who believed the truths that were proved by the Word, to rise to their feet, and large numbers would respond. Prayers were offered in behalf of those who wished special help.—Manuscript 105, 1906. Ev 284.2

Recognizing Fresh Displays of Conviction—To my ministering brethren I would say: Every fresh display of the conviction of the grace of God upon the souls of unbelievers, is divine. Everything that you can do to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth, is a means of allowing the light to shine, the light of the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ. Direct the mind to Him who guides and controls all things. Christ will be the manna and the spiritual dew to these newly converted souls. In Him is no darkness at all. As men of spiritual understanding conduct Bible studies with them, telling them how to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit, that they may be fully and firmly established in the truth, the power of God will be revealed.—Manuscript 105, 1906. Ev 284.3

Frequent Public Calls—Throw off all appearance of apathy, and lead the people to think that there is life or death in these solemn questions, according as they shall receive or reject them. As you present testing truth, ask often, who is now willing, as they have heard the words of God, pointing out their duty, to consecrate their hearts and minds, with all their affections, to Christ Jesus.—Letter 8, 1895. Ev 284.4

Personally Speak to Inquirers—After the meetings are through, there should be a personal investigation with each one on the ground. Each one should be asked how he is going to take these things, if he is going to make a personal application of them. And then you should watch and see if there is an interest in this one or that. Five words spoken to them privately will do more than the whole discourse has done.—Manuscript 19b, 1890. Ev 285.1

Holy Spirit Makes Appeals Effective—If you will seek the Lord, putting away all evil speaking and all selfishness, and continuing instant in prayer, the Lord will draw nigh to you. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that gives efficacy to your efforts and your appeals. Humble yourselves before God, that in His strength you may rise to a higher standard.—Manuscript 20, 1905. Ev 285.2

Love of Jesus Moves Hearts—God and His beloved Son must be presented before the people in the wealth of the love they have evidenced for man. In order to break down the barriers of prejudice and impenitence the love of Christ must have a part in every discourse. Make men to know how much Jesus loves them, and what evidences He has given them of His love. What love can equal that which God has manifested for man by the death of Christ on the cross. When the heart is filled with the love of Jesus, this can be presented to the people and it will affect hearts.—Letter 48, 1886. Ev 285.3