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Are Altar Calls Biblical? | Season 2 Episode 1

Have you ever been in a meeting when the preacher called people forward to get saved?

Maybe you’ve experienced the “With every head bowed and every eye closed, just slip your hand up…” kind of call.

Or maybe you’ve heard the preacher say, “Just repeat this prayer after me.”

In this episode of Now Is the Time Podcast I tackle each method and tell you what might be good and what might be dangerous in these practices!


Welcome to season #2 of the podcast! In case you missed the explanation of a few of the changes for this season, check out the video below.

I’m waiting for your input!

What would questions would you like me to answer?

What specific topics would you like me to cover that are related to evangelism and discipleship?

Here’s your opportunity to ask me any question you want.

You can send a voice mail through SpeakPipe.

Or leave a message anytime by phone (747) 221-6478  

If for some reason I can’t answer your question on the podcast or by video, I’ll try to get back to you personally.

Here is a great little video from Ray Comfort about the Sinners prayer.

Question: What do you think about altar calls? Do you think they should be used? Why or why not?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • ConstanceReeder

    This was a really interesting podcast Caleb. I have kind of settled the “altar call” idea with my personal experience – but it wasn’t until later in my walk with Jesus that I could look back and see what really took place.

    I gave my life to Jesus at home, as I began to realize that I could not be the “good” person I so desired to be. The impending doom of failure and continuing sin hung over my head like a dark halo of sorts and I was overwhelmed and I cried out to God to save me!! After a time of repentance as God showed me the matters of my heart, I was slowly shown His Amazing Grace that allowed me to stand to my feet and begin walking with Him in His strength and in His power over sin – something I had never known before and something I have never questioned or doubted since.

    But it wasn’t until a Christian friend pointed out to me that I needed to go to church and receive Him at the altar, that I did so. The next Sunday I drove until I found a large church and I walked in the front doors and was ushered to the front pew and listened to the Gospel and came forward during the altar call. I was greeted by an altar worker who prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer” with me. For a long time after that I felt I had given my life to Jesus there at the altar, and the people who witnessed this, agreed with me. But as I said before, it wasn’t until I looked back over these events that I realized it was not at the altar – but in my own closet at home where I surrendered my life to Jesus, having repented of my sins – OH HAPPY DAY WHEN JESUS TOOK MY SINS AWAY!!!!

    I wholly believe that a person gets saved when they have a true and honest perspective of their sinful dark heart and a true and honest perspective of the Holiness and Righteousness of God, followed by repentance. This can happen anywhere, but only when the Holy Spirit of God moves. Thank you for sharing this podcast Caleb – Blessings for a wonderful Day with our Lord 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing a bit of your story Constance. Going in front of the church and publically professing your faith in Christ or praying the sinners prayer is a great thing whether it’s in that very moment a person believes or if it’s simply a public confession of what has already happened in the heart.

      Ultimately what we are seeking is those whose hearts have been changed and who truly believe!

      • ConstanceReeder


  • James Oakes

    In the Independent Baptist movement it is rare to find a church that does not have altar calls. I haven’t had one yet in the Hispanic ministry I just started, but I probably will. I agree with you for the most part. A poorly run altar call can confuse people. I was saved during a sermon, so I know that kneeling at the front is not what saves. I plan on using the invitation time to give believers an opportunity to come forward and pray, but not to pressure people to make a profession of faith before they understand. I think it’s best to let people know you will be glad to talk with them after the service if they have questions about salvation rather than try to hurry and get a profession before the close of the service.

    • I agree, hurrying to get a profession is not wise. Ultimately, we need to know our culture and people well enough to help them make an that confession of faith when there really is a true understanding of the gospel and a genuine faith in Jesus. Looking as Jesus’ ministry, I would say never “hurried” or “pressured” people into believing. Sometimes he even sent them away if he knew their faith faith was not sincere.

  • Nancy Suko

    Excellent, Caleb. I’ve been in churches where people felt so strongly about the “altar call” that there was a big protest if it was ever left out.