A Website for Basic Christian Doctrine

What is wrong with the Invitation System?

By Jeremy Cagle

In an earlier Frequently Asked Question on this website, the subject of conversion was discussed.1  “Conversion” means “a change or a transformation.”2  It is to change your thinking and your lifestyle from one thing to another.  It is to have your dead soul resurrected.3  It is to have a heart of flesh replace your heart of stone.4  It is to be born again.5  In religious terms, conversion refers to the act of becoming a Christian.

And, in this earlier article, the point was made that Biblical Conversion is a work of God, a new creation, and a life-long commitment to Jesus Christ.  And Biblical Conversion is not a work of man, the same old creation, or a momentary commitment.  And, while the earlier article did not mention this, it is worth saying here that if you believe conversion is a work of God, you are going to evangelize accordingly.  You are going to follow God’s methods and leave the results to God.  If you believe that conversion is a work of man, you are going to evangelize according to that principle as well.  You are going to create your own methods and take the results into your own hands.

And this truth is best demonstrated in the method of evangelism known today as the “Invitation System.”

I. TERMS / DEFINITIONS

1. Invitation System

Before explaining why the Invitation System is a work of man, it would be helpful to explain what the Invitation System is.  The Invitation System is “the evangelistic approach that invites sinners to physically do something in response to or to attain their salvation.”6  It is the approach that invites the lost to walk forward and “receive Jesus into your heart.”  It is the method that asks the spiritually concerned to pray at the close of a service to become a Christian or to stay behind for counseling in order to get right with God.  It invites the sinner to make a physical response to an inner spiritual experience.

It is helpful to mention that evangelistic sermons should have an invitation in them.7  No one is against that; every Evangelical Christian should be all for it.  Preachers are to invite sinners to come to Jesus and to turn from their sins in faith and repentance.  But the “Invitation System” means more than just inviting sinners to come to Christ.  It means inviting sinners to come down front to the preacher or it means inviting them to stay behind at the close of the service or it means inviting them to do something physical to “seal the deal” on their conversion.  That is where it is in error.

2. Altar Call

An Altar Call is “a call to come to the front of the church /stage in response to or in order to attain salvation.”8  In the 1960’s, one popular evangelist gave encouragements to his audience to do this when he said:

I am going to ask you to come forward. Up there – down there – I want you to come. You come right now – quickly. If you are with friends or relatives, they will wait for you. Don’t let distance keep you from Christ. It’s a long way, but Christ went all the way to the Cross because He loved you. Certainly you can come these few steps and give your life to Him . . .9

To those who were hesitating, the evangelist went on to add:

God is speaking to you. Get up and come right now . . . a little voice says, “You ought to come to Christ.” Come now quickly! You may never have another moment. You have to come by faith. You need Christ, you get up and come . . .10

An Altar Call calls people to the front of the church or auditorium to help them improve their standing before God.  It calls them to the “altar.”

The problem with this approach is that there is no altar in the Christian religion.  Evangelists cannot call their people to an altar because churches do not have altars.  Neither do auditoriums.  Altars were done away with when Jesus Christ was offered as a once-for-all sacrifice on the cross.  In regards to our salvation, Jesus did away with all of the Old Testament sacrifices and altars.  Hebrews 10:11-13 says,

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right  hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.

The Old Testament sacrificial system was fulfilled with Jesus’ death.  There is no “holy of holies” anymore.11  There is no altar to make sacrifices upon.  It is impossible for a New Testament evangelist to call someone to an altar because there is no altar to call them to.

3. Decisional Regeneration

Decision Regeneration is “the belief that a man is converted because he makes a decision.”12 While the Bibles teaches that a man is born again when he believes the Gospel,13 it also teaches that man is dead in sin14 and must be made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit.15  Decisional Regeneration leaves the Holy Spirit out of the equation or it minimizes His role and teaches that a man is born again when he decides to be born again.  As the thinking goes, once a decision has been made for Christ, the sinner is converted no matter what he decides to do with the rest of his life and no matter what fruit he shows afterward.16

One author compared Decisional Regeneration to Baptismal Regeneration, where the sinner is converted by the ordinance of baptism.

“Decisional Regeneration” differs from Baptismal Regeneration only in the fact that it attaches the certainty of the new birth to a different act. This doctrine, just as Baptismal Regeneration, sees the new birth as the result of a mechanical process that can be performed by man.17

As we are going to see in just a moment, most of what the Invitation System calls “conversions” are nothing more than Decisional Regeneration.  The sinner decides something and now he is saved regardless of what he does with the rest of his life and regardless of how Biblical his decision was.  He decides to walk down to the stage or he decides to repeat a prayer and or he decides to fill out a card and now his name is included with all of the other new converts in the revival.  Baptismal Regeneration saves by the act of baptism.  Decisional Regeneration saves by the act of making a decision.

II. HISTORY

It has been said that “Those who don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it.”  It is best to know history to ensure that we do not fail where those in the past have failed.  So what is the history of the Invitation System?

The whole idea of an Invitation System is a relatively new thing in church history.18  For the first 1700 years of the church, no one did anything like it.  But in the late 1700 – early 1800’s in America, right around the time of the Revolutionary War, the North American continent experienced something of a revival.  Historians call it the Second Great Awakening.  The First Great Awakening happened in the early-to-mid 1700’s.  The Second Great Awakening happened about 50 years after that.19

During this “awakening,” the colleges in the Northeast saw students come to a deep remorse over their sins and become a vibrant part of the churches in their area.  Not only that, but new colleges were formed in New England as a result of these two great movements of God.  Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, Brown, and Dartmouth all started during this time period.

Pastors in this part of the country did nothing different from what they had been doing for years but their people began to respond in new ways that they had never seen before.  Thousands of new Christians joined the churches in the New England during the years of the First and Second Great Awakening.

During the Second Great Awakening in the West (the “West” referring to the area surrounding Kentucky and Tennessee), the movement played itself out in a very different way.  Camp meetings began to spring up on the frontier.  Because the people were so spread out, church services with an ordained member of the clergy were sparse.  In order to hold such a service, frontiersmen in the West came together once or twice a year to hold “camp meetings.”  The early settlers would travel to a central location and camp out for several days to enjoy a time of worship and fellowship with an official leader of their denomination.

When the religious excitement of the Second Great Awakening began to sweep out over these camp meetings, ministers started to circulate the idea that they could help their people get right with God by asking them to physically respond to their preaching.  Because the clergy had so far to travel and because they had several camp meetings to visit in a given year, some of them tried to bring their people to a moment of decision and help them to get converted.  As the thinking went, if the salvation of sinners could be done quickly and succinctly, the clergy would not have to keep coming back and checking on their people.  They could give them a quick fix and move on.

While some of these camp meetings went to extremes, like the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky,20 others did not.  But most of them began to promote the idea that a sinner could do something to save his soul from eternal damnation . . . something physical.

The man who picked this idea up and systematized it was Charles Grandison Finney.  Charles G. Finney lived from 1792 to 1875 and wholeheartedly believed that men could convert themselves.  On the first page of his book, Lectures on the Revivals of Religion, he wrote that “Religion is the work of man.”21  He also said that,

When God commands us to do a thing it is the highest possible evidence that we can do it. He has no right to command unless we have power to obey . . . God is tyrannical if He commands that which is impracticable.22

In 1831 in Boston, Massachusetts, he echoed this idea by preaching a sermon entitled, “Make Yourselves a New Heart” in which he told his listeners how to convert themselves.23  He also wrote about this doctrine in an article published in his Sermons on Various Subjects entitled “Sinners Bound to Change Their Own Hearts.”24

In other words, Charles Finney, the first major theologian behind the Invitation System, made it clear to his people that he believed that the ability to become a Christian rested entirely with the sinner.  In fact, Finney hated the doctrines of total depravity25 and unconditional election26 which taught that man was unable to do anything to contribute to his own salvation.  He believed that salvation rested entirely in the hands of the sinner or there could be no free offer of it.27   He even went so far as to say,

I will show you what is intended in the command of the text. It is that man should change the governing purpose of his life. A man resolves to be a lawyer; then he directs all his plans and efforts to that object, and that, for the time is his governing purpose. He directs all his efforts to that object and so has changed his heart . . . It is apparent that the change now described, effected by the simply volition of the sinner’s mind through the influence of motives, is a sufficient change, all that the Bible requires. It is all that is necessary to make a sinner  Christian.28

He also described his evangelistic efforts in the following way,

“Now I must know your minds, and I want that you who have made up your minds to become Christians, and will give your pledge to make your peace with God immediately, should rise up; but that, on the contrary, those of you who are resolved that you will not become Christians, and wish me so to understand, and wish Christ so to understand, should sit still.” After making this plain, so that I knew that they understood it, I then said: “You who are now willing to pledge to me and to Christ, that you will immediately make your peace with God, please rise up.”29

I mention all of that to point out that Finney embraced an evangelistic method that agreed with his theology.  The Invitation System was built around the belief that conversion is not something that God does to you; it is something that you do to yourself.  It is not a work of God in your soul, as He gives you a heart of flesh30 and the gift of faith,31 it is a work of man, as he decides to make himself right with God.  Charles Finney’s whole approach to ministry was to help man to convert himself.

Shortly after Finney’s time, the next major evangelist to use the methods of the Invitation System was Dwight Lyman Moody.  D. L. Moody lived from 1837 to 1899 and had an amazing life.  He was a 17-year old illiterate shoe salesman when he became a Christian but, at his death, millions had listened to him preach.32

While Moody tried to tone down the emotionalism behind the Invitation System, he still used it in his crusades and he still held to the same theology as Charles Finney although he was not as eloquent or outspoken about it. Concerning the conversion of the sinner, Moody said, “Regeneration is coming to Christ as a poor, lost, ruined sinner, and taking life from Him.” At another time, he said, “You believe and then you are converted . . . God would not call men to believe, unless they had the power to do so.”33

In other words, man converts himself.  The new birth is us “taking life” from Jesus Christ.  It is not us “receiving life” from Jesus. It is us taking it.  We believe and then we are made alive.

After D. L. Moody’s time, Billy Sunday used the methods of the Invitation System.34  After him, Billy Graham used them and is still using them today.35  And this form of evangelism has become so popular that many churches in our country cannot have a service without closing with an invitation to walk down the aisle.  Some people feel that evangelism is not done unless there is an appeal for a physical response after the service.  And we see all kinds of examples of that today, which leads us to the results of the Invitation System.

III. RESULTS

At this point, many people read all of this information and say, “Well, what about the large numbers who have been saved through the Invitation System?”  “What about all of those people who have come to Christ because of it?”  Charles Finney used this argument against the people who disagreed with him and so did D. L. Moody and Billy Sunday and Billy Graham.  The argument is, “You can complain about Altar Calls all you want to, but just look at how many people are coming to Jesus through them!”  “Look at all of those lost souls walking down the aisle!”  “How could you question this system when all of these people are getting saved?”

Here are a few response to that question.

1. We do not know that those people are getting saved

As one author put it, “No man can now come to Jesus with his feet.”36  No man is saved because he walked somewhere or stayed behind or repeated a prayer.  Someone can get saved through counsel or prayer but, just because they prayed or received counsel, does not mean that they are now converted.  At the end of the day, all we can tell from the methods of the Invitation System is that people are coming to the front of a stage or staying behind at the end of a service.  It takes time to tell what is really going on in their hearts.37

They could be walking down an aisle to please their parents.  They could be walking down an aisle because their friends are walking down an aisle.  They could be staying behind to receive counsel because they feel bad about something other than offending a holy God.  We have no idea why they are responding to a physical invitation and, to say that they are doing it because they are now converted, is to go against everything that Biblical Conversion is and to promote everything that Biblical Conversion is not.  It is to promote a momentary, fleeting commitment to Christ and to ignore a lifelong one.  It is to encourage the same old creation instead of the new one.  It is to make salvation a work of man instead of a work of God.

Jesus Himself said that,

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven will enter (Matt 7:21).

Proponents of the Invitation System should take that verse to heart.

2. People can get saved through the Invitation System but they can also get saved in Roman Catholic Churches

Iaian Murray sums this argument up well when he writes,

We are not for a moment asserting that no one is converted where the invitation system is employed, only that the system has, in reality, no connection with rebirth. Some are converted in spite of it, and not because of it.38

Sinners can hear the message of the Gospel while they belong to a cult and become a new creation but that does not mean that the cult is doing something right.  Sinners can also come to Christ when they are drunk but that does not mean that the Bible condones drunkenness.  There is a well-known Reformed pastor who claims that he came to Christ while he was high on marijuana but that does not mean that we should support that method of evangelism.

The Lord can use anything to save anybody but that does not mean that we should make anything the standard for evangelism.  People can get saved in cults and Roman Catholic Churches and while they are drunk but we would say that, in all of those cases, they were saved in spite of their circumstances, not because of them.  It is the same way with the Invitation System.  People are being saved through it but that does not make it right.

In fact, at the end of the day, the Invitation System has nothing at all to do with Biblical Conversion.  The command to make a physical response to a spiritual rebirth is never given in Scripture.  If anyone does come to Christ through an Altar Call, it does not make the Altar Call right any more than someone coming to Christ while attending a Roman Catholic Church makes the Roman Catholic Church right.  We would say that, in both cases, these people saved in spite of their circumstances, not because of them.

3. It is the results that need to be questioned

To say that, “You can complain about Altar Calls all you want to, but just look at how many people are coming to Jesus through them!” is to point to results.  It is to say that the product that we are producing is right.  People are getting saved and that is all that matters.  Who cares how it happens?

But that is the very thing that this is being questioned.  Are people really getting saved?  Are conversions really happening when lost souls walk down front at massive crusades?  As was previously mentioned, no one is doubting that salvations do happen with this method, so let me phrase the question this way: Are the numbers accurate?  Evangelists boast of getting thousands of decisions for Christ, but when the crusade is over and real life happens again, have thousands of decisions been made for Christ?  Did that many people really come to Jesus in faith and repentance?

After all, you cannot determine someone’s conversion just because they did something physical.  To argue that you can is to argue in favor of legalism.39  Whether someone has an immediate physical response to the Gospel or not has nothing to do with their spiritual life.  That is simply not enough information to determine a person’s conversion.

So to point to the results of the Invitation System and say that the Invitation System is right is to ignore the real question.  The question is: are the results real?  Are as many people coming to Christ as the evangelists claim?  Which brings us to our next point.

IV. FALL-OUT

There is a tremendous backlash in the church today as a result of the Invitation System.  It has been a long time since Charles Finney and D. L. Moody practiced it but we can see the impact of their methods in our churches today.  Consider the following statistics.

In November of 1970, a number of churches in Fort Worth, Texas secured 30,000 decisions.  Six moths later, the follow-up committee only found 30 who still held to any form of the Christian faith.40

In September of 1977, Eternity Magazine gave the results of an evangelistic crusade in which the Invitation System was employed.  4,106 decisions were claimed to have been made for Jesus Christ.  Shortly afterwards, several churches who sponsored the event followed up with those claims and found that only 125 of them had joined a local church.  The rest could not be accounted for.  To do the math, out of 4,106 decisions for Christ, 3,981 of them were not bearing any Biblical fruit that the churches could find.41  That means that only three percent of the new converts were actually living like new converts.42

In 1991 a major Christian denomination in the United States, reported that they had obtained 294,784 decisions for Jesus Christ that year.  In March of 1993, the denomination’s magazine, American Horizon reported that after two years of intense follow-up, the denomination could only account for 1,400 of those decisions.  They could not find the others in a church in their own denomination or in a church in any denomination.  Only five percent of their new converts were living like new converts two years of their conversion.43

In 1995, another leading denomination in the U.S. reported that they had secured 384,057 decisions but retained only 22,983 in their respective churches.  They could not account for 361,074 conversions.44

And we could point to other problems that have come to light in recent years with this method.  One of America’s most popular proponents of the Invitation System sends his “new believers” to Roman Catholic and Liberal Churches.  He has Catholic Priests on his stage and Liberal Protestant Pastors as well.  So, when people respond to his Altar Calls, he lets the Catholics and the Liberal Protestants counsel them afterwards.45

And the question is: what are these statistics telling us?  What is the point of all of this information?

They are telling us that there does not need to be more follow-up.  As can be seen above, several of these organizations employed large amounts of resources to ensure that their new converts were contacted afterwards.  The problem is not follow-up.  The problem is fall-out.  The problem is that people are leaving the church because they feel deceived.  They are being told that they are new creations when there is nothing new about them.  They are being told that they are converts to Christianity when they have not been converted to anything.

They are told that they have the resources to withstand Satan46 and to show the fruits of the Spirit47 and to follow hard after Christ48 when, in reality, they have none of those because they are not truly saved.  And the deception makes them angry so they leave the church because of it or they never join it at all.

The problem is this: when you try to replace a work of God with a work of man, you will always fail.  History has proven that time and time again.

Man cannot create a new creation.  Man cannot raise a dead sinner from the grave.  Man cannot give himself a heart of flesh.  Man cannot use his own tools to bring someone to Christ.49  Only God can do that.  Only His methods work.  Preaching the Gospel and pleading with sinners are the means that God has appointed to bring about conversion.50  Any addition or alteration from that is an attempt to manufacture conversions with the methods of men, not God.

When an evangelist says that someone came to Christ because they got out of their chair and walked forward, there will be a fall-out.  When the message is presented, intentionally or unintentionally, that salvation is attained by physical acts, there will be disastrous results.  People will think they are converted when they are not.  When repentance and faith are ignored but salvation is mentioned, problems are sure to come.

Listen to what R. L. Dabney wrote about this over 100 years ago:

Some of these individuals feel that a cruel trick has been played upon their inexperience by the ministers and friends of Christianity in thus thrusting them, in the hour of their confusion, into false positions, whose duties they do not and cannot perform, and into sacred professions which they have been compelled shamefully to repudiate. Their self respect is therefore galled to the quick, and pride is indignant at the humiliating exposure. No wonder that they look on religion and its advocates henceforward with suspicion and anger.

Often their feelings do not stop here. They are conscious that they were thoroughly in earnest in their religious anxieties and resolves at the time, and that they felt strange and profound experiences. Yet bitter and mortifying experience has taught them that their new birth was a delusion. How natural to conclude that those of all others are delusions also. They say: “The only difference between myself and these earnest Christians is, that they have not yet detected the cheat as I have. They are now not a whit more convinced of their sincerity and of the reality of their exercises that I once was of mine. Yet I know there was no change in my soil; I do not believe that there is in theirs.”

Such is the fatal process of though through which thousands have passed; until the country is sprinkled all over with infidels, who have been made such by their own experience of spurious religious excitements. They may keep their hostility to themselves in the main; because Christianity now “walks in her silver slippers;” but they are not the less steeled against all saving impressions of the truth.51

Conversion is the work of God in the heart of the sinner.  Christians invite and encourage and exhort sinners to turn from their sins.  In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “If sinners would go to Hell, let them leap over our bodies to get there.”

You must go into the fire if you are to pull others out of it; and you will have to dive into the floods if you are to draw others out of the water. You cannot work a fire-escape without feeling the scorch of the conflagration, nor man a lifeboat without being covered by the waves.52

As followers of Jesus Christ, we must do all that we can to save the lost but that does not mean that we have the liberty to take evangelism into our own hands and use our own methods to save them.

When we try to see an immediate physical response to spiritual things, there will always be a fall-out.  The excitement may last for a night or two but it will produce no lasting change.  The only One Who can change sinners is the sovereign God of the universe.  We must present the truth the way He commanded us to and we must leave the results in His hands.  He will save whom He wants to the way He wants to when He wants to.  And He will receive all the glory.

  1. See “What is Conversion?” []
  2. Webster’s New World Dictionary, ed. by Michael Agnes (New York: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2003) 146.  Technically, to convert is “to change; to transform.” []
  3. Jn 5:24-27. []
  4. Jer 31:33-34; Ez 36:24-27. []
  5. Jn 3:4-8. []
  6. This definition is my own taken from the research that is mentioned below. []
  7. A classic example of this is Peter’s sermon to the crowd at Pentecost, where he says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38-39). []
  8. This definition is my own taken from the research that is mentioned below. []
  9. Billy Graham quoted in Curtis Mitchell, Those Who Came Forward (The World’s Word, Ltd., 1966) 32. []
  10. Ibid., 33. []
  11.  The “holy of holies” is a reference to the Ark of the Covenant, where the Lord met with Moses and gave him the Old Testament Law (Ex 25:10-22). []
  12. This definition is my own taken from the research that is mentioned below. []
  13. Rom 10:9-10. []
  14. Rom 3:9-18, 23; 8:6-8. []
  15. 1 Cor 2:14; 2 Cor 3:6. []
  16. Jesus says in Luke 6:44 says, “For each tree is known by its own fruit.  For men do no gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.”  In order to tell that someone is truly following Him, Jesus says to examine someone’s fruit.  Decisional Regeneration ignores this principle and often teaches against it, encouraging people to never doubt their salvation once they have decided for Christ.  This also ignores Paul’s words in Second Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” []
  17. James E. Adams, Decisional Regeneration (Pensacola, Fl.: Chapel Library, n.d.) 2. []
  18. The history of the Invitation is taken from the following sources: Mark A. Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992) 90-113; 166-190.  Bruce Shelly, Church History in Plain Language, Third Edition (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 2008) 342-347; 385-389; 413.  Iaian Murray, Revival & Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism: 1750-1858 (Carlisle, Penn.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2002 ed.). []
  19. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. by J. D. Douglas (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978) 428-429. []
  20. Noll, 167.  The camp meetings at Cane Ridge were notorious for the people’s outlandish behavior in response to the preaching of the evangelists.  The people experienced “jerks, dancing, laughing, running, and ‘the barking exercise'” where they barked the Devil up a tree. []
  21. Lectures on Revivals of Religion (New York and London, 1910) 1.  When Finney refers to “religion” here, he is not contrasting it with a “relationship” as many do today.  He is talking about salvation, as you can see from the quotations cited below. []
  22. Ibid., 116-117, 232. []
  23. Murray, 244. []
  24. Sermons on Various Subjects (New York, 1835). []
  25. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994) 1255.  Total Depravity is “Man’s total lack of spiritual good and inability to do good before God” (often referred to as Total Inability). []
  26. Ibid., 1240.  Unconditional Election is “An act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure.” []
  27. Murray, 256. []
  28. Quoted in Biblical Repertory and Theological Review (1832) 295. []
  29. The Memoirs of Charles G. Finney: The Complete Text (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing house, 1989) 288. []
  30. Jer 31:33-34; Ez 36:24-27. []
  31. Eph 2:8-9. []
  32. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, 674-675. []
  33. Quoted in Revival & Revivalism, 399. []
  34. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, 940. []
  35. Ibid., 427. []
  36. Iaian H. Murray, The Invitation System (Carlisle, Penn.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2002 ed.) 7. []
  37. Jesus said that we are to observe fruit to see what is really going on in someone’s heart (Lk 6:43-45). []
  38. The Invitation System, 24. []
  39. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki, & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1999) 72.  “Religious legalism focuses on obedience to laws or moral codes based on the (misguided) assumption that such obedience is a means of gaining divine favor.” []
  40. This report is cited in Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron’s The Way of the Master (Alachua, Fl.: Bridge-Logos, 2006) 97. []
  41. “Biblical fruit” meaning church attendance.  A substantial part of the Christian life is joining a local church (Heb 10:25). []
  42. This report is cited in Ray Comfort’s Hell’s Best Kept Secret (New Kennsington, Penn.: Whitaker House) 11. []
  43. The Way of the Master, 98 []
  44. Ibid., 97.  The following quotation from Ray Comfort is quite telling regarding these numbers: “Statistics such as these are very hard to find.  What organizing committee is going to shout from the housetops that after a mass of pre-crusade prayer, hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditure, preaching by a big-name evangelist, and truckloads of follow-up, the wonderful results that initially seemed apparent have all but disappeared?” []
  45. www.biblebb.com/files/tonyqa/tc00-105.htm; www.religioustolerance.org/chr_caev.htm; www.baptistpillar.com/bd0227.htm as of 12/14/10. []
  46. Rom 16:20; 1 Pet 5:7-9. []
  47. Gal 5:19-26. []
  48. Lk 9:23-25. []
  49. For more information about this, please see our FAQ, “What is Conversion?” []
  50. Rom 10:13-15. []
  51. Discussions: Evangelical and Theological, Vol. 2 (London, 1967) 13. []
  52. The Soul Winner (Pasadena, Tex.: Pilgrim Publications, 1978) 200. []