One might ask as I am often ask when I mention that I don't give an altar call. "But what about Romans 10:9, 10?" There we read, "…that if you confess with your month the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
For some reason some believe if one is going to be saved, that person needs to go forward in a church service. And they use Romans 10 to address this issue.
So does God require a person to be saved in church, at an "altar call," in order to be saved?
Simple answer: NO.
The "saved" Paul speaks of here is not salvation from damnation, but salvation from the damages of sin in present-day living. How does one escape these damaging consequences?
Paul's answer is, "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness." The words "believes unto righteousness" are a translation of the Greek word for "justified" – the same word used in Romans 5:1. There we read, "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God." Paul continues in Romans 9:10, "And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
So what does "confession is made", that is the point here. Do we need to made a confession in an altar call to be saved?
The point could be made.. One becomes a Christian by trusting Christ call in his heart. But to experience victory over sin, one must be willing to confess Him publicly. Which doesn't mean at an altar call, but to confess Christ before friends, and family.
Confession is important not for justification, because salvation is by Christ alone, but instead for living the Christian life. Need help making such a confession? Paul exhorts them to "Call upon the name of the Lord" (Romans 10:13), a phrase that has the idea of worshipping God and invoking His assistance (cf. Acts 9:13-14, 1 Timothy 2:22). These statement do not refer to getting saved. But calling upon the Lord after one has already received the gift of salvation from our Lord.
It is therefore not surprising that Paul continues in Romans 10:14-15 by saying, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!'" Note the clear distinction made between a public profession of Christ and believing in His name.
In Scripture, a public confession of Christ is never made a requirement of salvation.