By Revd Dr Duro Ayanrinola
In Evangelical churches, a sermon is considered incomplete without extending invitation or altar call to the audience. Why? It is because preaching is neither an entertainment nor talking to vibrate people’s hear. Rather, it is God speaking to His people; to encourage, to rebuke, to correct and to instruct them. Therefore, it is necessary to allow people to respond to what God says to them. Renowned preacher, Billy Graham usually sings “Just As I Am” while giving an invitation. Through the act, thousands and millions of people have given their lives to Jesus Christ.
Recently, I have been pondering on what it means when preachers say “Give your life to Jesus” and its implications. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus passionately invited people to come to Him; “all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The invitation is simple and clear. Jesus’ invitation is to give rest to people who need victory over life’s struggles; people who are sick and confused and those seeking direction in life.
Extending invitation after a sermon should be seen as a way of continuing Jesus’ ministry of calling people “crushed” under the heavy burdens of life to Jesus, the One who can give them rest. Simply, it means Jesus will help. He will repair broken lives and dreams. Jesus is not a waster. He adds values to any soul that comes to him. He rebuilds, reshapes and remoulds. Therefore, if you give your life to Jesus, you can be assured, Jesus won’t throw it to a trash can as useless. For your information, Jesus specializes in making old things new, small things big and worst things better.
You may want to ask me, how do I know? A young boy gave all his small lunch meant to feed him alone to Jesus. The boy could not believe what happened that day. But he was glad seeing Jesus multiplying what was meant for him to feed 5000 people. What a blessing! Paul gave his broken life to Jesus, He mended it and Paul became transformed and blessed many people. Don’t be afraid to respond to the invitation to give your life to Jesus.