When I was a youth director in Kentucky, I had the opportunity to take my group of kids to a camp meeting. In the beginning of this nation’s history, the spread of Christianity owes itself to revivals that took place at these camp meetings. This camp “Ruggles” was one of these historical places that still existed and still had these revivals to celebrate what God had done in the past but also to continue spreading the gospel. I will never forget our experience there that day. We were by far some of the only young people in the crowd when an evangelist got up to speak. By the end of his flamboyant sermon it was time for an altar call. The evangelist stood and called fire from heaven as he beckoned the unsaved to come forward. Now, what you have to understand is that everyone in the crowd were 50 and up (or older) and had been walking with Jesus for some time, except for my kids….and all eyes were on them. After what felt like hours of calling people forward to accept Jesus, one of my youth, Esau, leaned over and asked me “if I go forward… will he shut up?”
This funny story is not meant to make fun of the altar call—I am pretty sure I probably came forward and prayed the sinner’s prayer 20 times when I was younger. However what comes after the altar call and conversion experience? For some, this is the apex and culmination of the Christian journey. Unfortunately, the church is guilty of rushing people to the altar and then abandoning new Christians when they need the Church the most. Are you aware that there is a second half to the gospel where God gives you freedom, power, joy, hope, peace, love? My prayer this week and hope for you as well is that we would be so bold to ask for more of God’s Spirit in our life so that we may continue growing in love.
“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit, And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely in the love God has for us.” -1 John 4:13-16