Summary: Altar Call? Altars in the Bible? It's so confusing! My goal in this 3 part series is to help followers of Christ better understand the Altar in their lives.

What is the Altar?

Beautiful song

I love the lyrics:

Are you hurting and broken within?

Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?

Jesus is calling

Have you come to the end of yourself

Do you thirst for a drink from the well?

Jesus is calling

The opening lines are so powerful!

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes

Come today there’s no reason to wait

Jesus is calling

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy

From the ashes a new life is born

Jesus is calling

Notice the difference between verse 1 and verse 2 –

Verse 1 – do you fit THIS description?

Are you hurting? Overwhelmed? Are you at the end of your rope? Are you looking for something this world can’t give you?

Verse 2 – then do this!

Leave your regrets, your failures, your mistakes!


Trade your sorrows for joy,

Today, you can be made new!

I can’t help but worship when this song plays! I love to sit and play this song.

But it really is the chorus that is powerful.

I want you to notice that there is a repeated line throughout the verses: Jesus is calling!

WOW! Just consider the power of that simple statement! It is often the simplest things that we overlook, but it is often the simplest thing that is the most powerful!

Jesus is calling! He is calling you, and me, and everyone!


He says simply come!

But there is this question that we have to ask, it seems simple enough, and it is; but at the same time, it isn’t! It’s so simple, that we may forget it! Or overlook it!

What does it mean to come to the altar?

Does it mean to wait till altar call and come down drop on your knees before the pulpit and pray? Or does it mean something so POWERFUL AND PROFOUND, something VASTLY MORE?

I think to understand; we need to look into God’s PERFECT Teaching WORD!

The word we call altar first appears in the story of Noah (gen 8:20)

• Noah makes a sacrifice and God smells the aroma

• God Vows

o Vows to never again curse the ground

o Vows to never again strike down every living thing

It appears again in Abraham’s life (Gen 12:8)

• Abram leaves his fathers family behind to journey to a place God promised to show him

• God promises a blessing to Abram

• Appears to Abram

• Abram builds an ALTAR and calls on the name of YAHWAY

He would later visit this same altar again after leaving Egypt; just before he and Lot separate.

After they separate (Gen 13:18)

Abram and Lot separate and God speaks to Abram

Abram builds and altar to the Lord.

All through Scripture you will find people building altars to God. All of them, Noah’s, Abrahams, Jacob’s (found in Genesis 35) had the same purpose: to sacrifice to and to approach God!


That’s the OT! What about the NT?

Well – things change in the NT – you barley see the word altar anywhere!


Go to Jesus on the cross:

(John 19:30)

IT IS FINISHED! – the work, the labor, the NEED FOR A SACRIFICE! HE WAS the ultimate sacrifice! The one sacrifice to end them all!

So if there is no more need for a sacrifice: there is no more need for an altar!

Because the altar was a place where only certain people could go – See in Exodus God set up a specific group of people who could do sacrifices for everyone.

SO NOT everyone could go to the altar!

Now take that even further – there was a special place – the HOLY of HOLIES – only a very special person could go back there – see it was separated from everyone else by a huge curtain!

In the Temple in Jerusalem – when Jesus said IT IS FINISHED, HE MEANT IT IS FINISHED!

The VEIL that separated the HOLY of HOLIES was torn and anyone could finally it!

WHY? Because SIN was paid for – and SIN separated us from GOD – the veil represented that separation!


Notice the Chorus of the song:

O come to the altar

The Father's arms are open wide

Forgiveness was bought with

The precious blood of Jesus Christ

The FATHER is waiting for you – Jesus is CALLING for you

Forgiveness – the removal of the veil, the removal of the separation, was bought – you were bought, by the precious blood of Jesus Christ!

SUCH a powerful song!

When you sing to the Lord, especially this song, let it RING from your vocal chords with sounds of praise!

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