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Do Your Salvation Calls Have Lasting Impact?

As this weekend approaches in the United States, churches will begin holding all sorts of special events from Hallelujah Nights to Fall Festivals to Redemption Houses, etc…  Many churches will also be celebrating the numerous people who respond to the salvation altar call.  Too often, however, in a few weeks ahead, some will also wonder what happened to those who were saved.  ‘Why did they not remain faithful?’  Could it partly be related to how they are challenged to receive Christ as Savior?

It is necessary that we be challenged to consider how people are motivated to salvation.  Many will hear the gospel in the framework of the horrors of hell and respond out of fear of going to hell.  Though fear is a powerful motivator, it is never a long-lasting motivator.  As one global church leader wrote, “It’s time to realize that getting born again is not something we do just to miss hell. Our purpose is to please God. To lay down our lives in order to fulfill His desires. Our top priority is to give ourselves to Him and to live in communion with Him. To spend enough time with Him that we can hear His voice and respond in obedience.”

Over the past two weeks, I have been sharing with my church the difference between the world’s motivators and God’s motivators.  Guilt and fear are motivators used by the world-system.  Neither is long-lastingIn contrast, God uses ‘Accountability’ and ‘Hope’.  Accountability is a healthy respect for God, knowing there will be a time of judgment or reward for how we live our lives.  Accountability is similar to the “healthy fear” of not touching a hot stove; this is a lasting motivation that brings lasting change, compared to the “worldly fear” we sometimes mistakenly use in salvation altar calls. Hope refers to the lifetime of living in the fulfillment of God’s promises; it includes a relationship of loyalty to God. Helping people understand the hope that exists in Christ is also a motivator that brings lasting change.

As you and I begin to understand the difference between ‘Accountability’ and ‘Fear,’ we can lead people to a place of eternal decision which will have a long-lasting impact on their lives and result in a commitment to being a part of the body of Christ that enables us to then disciple them.

-Pastor Gary R. Linn

Are You Making the Most of This Season?

Do something extra special for your kids and/or your church this coming week!  Here is an overview of some ‘Easy-to-Do’ and ‘Quick-to-Prep’ fall-fest lessons that will have an AWESOME IMPACT!  –  http://childrensministry.org/estore/fall-festival/

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