One question that I often hear as we travel concerns the altar calls and the response from the people in our services. I often hear pastors ask the question, “How did you do what you did today at the altar?” and they usually follow with, “You made it look so easy.” I’m finding that many pastors today are reluctant to minister on the subject of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit because they are fearful that people won’t respond to the altar call and those that do might not receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
Let me briefly share why this type of message is so easy to preach and why the majority of people who respond to the altar call are gloriously baptized.
1. Our heavenly Father anxiously awaits the opportunity to give this gift to all of His children. (Joel 2:28; Luke 11:13) In other words, heaven is revved and ready to go!
2. God made this so simple when He said that He would give this gift to those who ask. (Luke 11:13) Can it get any simpler?
3. As the person giving the altar call, I have the privilege of saying aloud what is in the Father’s heart. That’s not complicated!
4. Just as I’m not the Savior at the salvation altar call or the Healer at a healing altar call, I am not the Baptizer in this type of altar call. I refuse to take Jesus’ place. This takes all of the pressure off of me.
5. I cannot and will not make anything happen. I’ve prepared the way through the preaching/teaching. I’ve built people’s expectancy (faith) from the Word before we together ask the Father for this gift. I’ve given a clear example of what the Bible says will happen once they receive this gift. Now, it’s time to ask and receive. (Note: I absolutely refuse to force or manipulate by ploys or human techniques, i.e. telling the asker the “words” to say. Foolish actions like these changes a heavenly gift into being a man-made sideshow.)
6. What if someone leaves the altar without a physical evidence? Here is my return question … since when did we have the privilege of monitoring God’s timetable? I can give many examples of those who asked in faith at the altar and yet seemingly didn’t see anything at that given moment only to later receive their physical evidence while driving home or laying in their bed. As the minister, I feel absolutely no pressure and neither should the asker. Ask in faith, yield in faith, and keep the switch of faith turned on! After all, God’s reputation is on the line. God NEVER lies. He has promised to give the gift to those that ask (Luke 11:13) and they are included in this promise (Acts 2:38-39).
Let’s just laugh off the what ifs. Let’s push this fear aside and boldly dare to believe that our Father is waiting for you to provide an opportunity for heaven to manifest on the earth!