The Altar Call

What is an altar call?
The altar call was invented by a Presbyterian evangelist named Charles G. Finney who lived from 1792-1875. Finney referred to the altar call as coming to the anxious seat or to the inquiry room and began using it in his evangelistic services in about 1820. It is popularly called the invitation which is used right after a sermon being preached. It involves walking down the aisle to the front of a church auditorium and accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior or to come for baptism and join the church or just to pray. Although in most cases there is no physical *altar present because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and there cannot be anything greater to sacrifice than that. Therefore there is no need for an altar.

Why do most Churches have altar calls?
Probably the most important reason for having an altar call or invitation is to help the person with their prayer. Most people that are not saved really are confused on what to say and need help and maybe a better understanding is more than just praying a prayer: it means a genuine surrender of your heart and life to Jesus Christ. Nothing less will do! In Matthew 10:32 in states: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."

Foot notes
*The definition of an altar in the Hebrew Bible is "a place of slaughter or sacrifice" in the Hebrew Bible were typically made of earth (Exodus 20:24) or unwrought stone (20:25).

The Old Testament

The New Testament