Why Respond?

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Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

The Scriptures are full of God’s invitation. Most of the time, when you see the word “come” in the Scriptures, it is God’s invitation to people to respond. The response to what God’s people do at His invitation truly dictates what God will do with that individual. I know that we live in days when people downplay the importance of an invitation, but God does respond according to the believer’s response to His invitation. God says in James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you….” If the believer is willing to respond to the Holy Ghost at a church invitation, God is willing to respond by drawing closer to them. You cannot separate the believer’s response to the Holy Spirit at the church invitation and God’s closeness to the believer.

The verse above is the last invitation that God gave in the Scriptures. There were three invitations in this verse, and each invitation shows several purposes for the invitation. Let me share these purposes for an invitation and why you should respond to it.

First, the invitation is for those who want to be close to God. Why would God ask the believer to come if He didn't want them closer to Him? The fact that a believer responds in the invitation shows their heart’s desire of how close they truly want to be to God. If you don’t respond when the Holy Spirit says to come, you are showing that you don't want to listen to what God has to say, and you don't care about how close you are to God.

Second, the invitation is for those who want to be filled with the Spirit. Notice that the Spirit said to come. I have yet to see a person whom the Holy Spirit uses mightily who won't respond to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to come at an altar call. If you truly desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you would be wise to listen to Him when He convicts you to come at an altar call.

Third, the invitation is for those who want to obey what they’ve heard. The verse above says, “And let him that heareth say, Come.” One purpose for responding at an altar call is to ask God to help you to obey Him better in the area of the sermon that was preached. It may not be that you are not doing what it preached, but you are showing God your heart by responding to the call to come when you hear His Word preached.

Fourth, the invitation is for those who are thirsty for God to do more. The verse above continues to say, “And let him that is athirst come.” How thirsty are you for God to do something in your life. The altar is a great place to show God your desire for Him to do something greater in your life. Throughout the Scriptures, many have gone to the altar to ask God to do more in their lives. If you truly want God to do something greater in your life, you would be wise to regularly respond to the altar call and ask God to do more through you.

Fifth, the invitation is for those who need to get saved. The verse above finishes by saying, “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Yes, the invitation is for the sinner to come and get saved; however, the sinner is likely not going to come if God’s people quench their call to come. When God’s people respond at the altar call, it helps the lost to respond to the Holy Spirit’s call for them to get saved.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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