Invitations in the Bible were most always public announcements that required a public response. With very few exceptions, God called followers publicly, and He still calls today in a public manner. The prophets of the Old Testament preached publicly and gave public appeals to their listeners that required public responses. Prophets such as Moses, Joshua, Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Amos, Malachi, and others gave public invitations for people to follow God.

The first evangelistic appeal recorded in the Bible is in Genesis 3:9, where God publicly called out to Adam and Eve after they had sinned. He said, “Where are you?”  Mankind sinned and separated from God. Because of disobedience, Adam and Eve had broken their relationship with God Almighty.

As mentioned earlier, the Old Testament has a record of the prophets calling people to repentance and right relationship with God. Noah, while he built the ark, extended an invitation to those who mocked him and his sons. We can estimate that for at least 70 years Noah extended an invitation to repent. The invitation lasted up to the moment “God shut the door” of the ark (Gen. 7:16). God kept giving the people opportunities to repent right up until the time He shut the door of the ark.

In Joshua 24:15 the leader of the nation of Israel, Joshua, offered an invitation to the nation to choose who they would serve. Then he took a stand and informed the people that he and his family would serve the Lord. This appeal was one of many offered to the nation of Israel.

On Mount Carmel, the prophet Elijah appealed to the people to consider: “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1Kings 18:21). Elijah challenged the Israelites, who were worshipping both God Almighty and Baal, were to stop dividing their hearts between the two.

This short excerpt is from the book, “Breaking the Evangelism Code” chapter twelve entitled “Giving An Evangelistic Invitation: Inviting Someone To Trust In Jesus As Lord And Savior.  (available on amazon.com)

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