Vol. 7, No. 4
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Why is it that the Gospel invitation has fallen into disfavor these days? We hear it being criticized with fervor. Those preachers who still offer the invitation at the end of a sermon are characterized as hard cast in the mold of extending the invitation merely because of "tradition." I have always included an invitation at the end of my sermons. I have never done so because of tradition and don't intend to start in the future with that motive in mind.
"What must I do to be saved" is still the most important question that the human mind can entertain. As a Gospel preacher I am persuaded that those who hear me preach from time to time should hear the answer to that all-important query. However, the current fashion is for preachers to end their discourses with nary a word of explanation of what one must do to be saved. Those who are accustomed to the frequent hearing of the Gospel invitation will understand that there are probably those present in the assembly who are not so familiar with it and who need to respond to it.
The denominations have long been accustomed to giving the wrong answer to that question. What is the difference in giving the wrong answer to heaven's great question and in giving no answer at all?
[The last mission on which Jesus Christ sent his apostles pertained to salvation (Mark 16:15-16). The first recorded Gospel sermon concluded with "the invitation" (Acts 2:38, 40-41). If we continue "in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship," we Gospel preachers will continue to extend our Lord's invitation to be saved (Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]