Calling on the Name of the Lord
By Rich Lyons
And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21
Have you ever found a Scripture that is difficult to understand? Acts 2:21 takes careful study to grasp. Without looking through the entire Bible, one could form a false doctrine based on this one scripture alone and fall short of God’s requirements.
What exactly does it mean to “call on the name of the Lord?” Does this conflict with Acts 2:38-39? This passage mentions more than just “calling on the name of the Lord.”
2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The Bible notes scripture after scripture in perfect harmony. One conflict in the Bible would sound a note of such dissonance, it would sour the entire orchestra of God. When these two notes (verses) sound together, we can hear the harmony of the Bible. The notes are not identical, yet together they reveal the full glory of truth in a mighty crescendo!
To hear the truth of salvation, we must harmonize these verses with the entire Word of God.
There is more to “calling on the name of the Lord” than the surface reveals. The Bible shows us how to properly “call on the name of the Lord.” It also tells us there is a wrong way to call “Lord, Lord.”
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Jesus said some will call “Lord, Lord,” yet they will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Repeating a simple “sinner’s prayer” is not the solution to salvation. Unless one does the will of the Father there is no use in calling on Jesus. To correctly call on the name of the Lord, we must find the will of the Father. Second Peter shines some light for us on the will of the Father.
II Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God wants everyone to enter the kingdom of heaven! Everyone who wants to “call on the name of the Lord” in the correct manner must first repent.
If a simple “sinner’s prayer” would keep man from perishing, it would be God’s will that all should say the “sinner’s prayer.”
Repentance is to literally turn away from sin. To walk in a different direction from the sin of the world. God requires a godly walk for those who “call on the name of the Lord.” This passage leaves us with the understanding that all will either repent or perish.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
We must obey Jesus if we are to call on His name. Without this perfect agreement with God, there is no common ground.
Jesus is the answer to salvation, but He can only be approached on His terms. He does not allow us to call on His name until we are willing to do all things He commands us to do. This includes walking a godly walk and living a godly life.
II Timothy 2:19
Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Without turning from sin, the name that can save man is out of his reach. We have learned it is vitally important for us to “call on the name of the Lord.” But before we can “call on the name of the Lord” we must repent!
Some say calling on the name of the Lord only involves a simple prayer. Here we see a prayer is only part of the solution. Departing from iniquity is also required in addition to praying for forgiveness.
I Corinthians 1:2
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
The Corinthians were sanctified before they were called to be saints. There was cleansing, then calling. This is the biblical example we must follow if we are to hear the harmony of salvation.
Peter told us in Acts 2 the promise was to, “as many as the Lord our God shall call.” The way to be called by God is to repent. We cannot call on Him until He calls on us.
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Jesus told His followers to baptize all nations. Everyone needs to be baptized. And remember, unless we do as he says we cannot “call on the name of the Lord.”
Baptism in Jesus’ name is the washing that removes sin from our lives. That is an essential step to calling on His great and mighty name.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God.
Man could not enter into the kingdom of heaven without a cleansing process. God answers with heaven’s blow torch.
Jewelers use a blow torch to refine gold or silver. As he uses the blow torch to melt the gold or sliver, slowly all the black impurities in the molten lump come to the surface where they can be removed.
When we “call on the name of the Lord” as the Bible says, God melts down the new believer and removes all the impurities. Without the Holy Ghost and Fire, a believer cannot be purified for admittance into God’s heaven.
For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. (One accord)
Name the language that has no profanity. Name the one that has never been used to tell a lie. Name a language that does not have words to describe the evil deeds of sinful men. There are none!
Our corrupt languages cannot be used to call on the name of the Lord. When a person repents of his sins, and is baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of those sins, God sends the Holy Ghost fire for purification. With it comes a new language. The language is foreign to the new believer. He does not know what the words mean, and has no idea what he is saying. Therefore, he cannot corrupt the language. He knows not how to tell a lie, curse God or describe the wickedness of man’s evil desires.The utterances are given by the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost is speaking through a person, rest assured the language is pure, for it was said of Jesus, “neither was guile found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22.
This verse also states why the “pure language” is given. It says it is given, “that they may call upon the name of the LORD.” We have learned we must “call on the name of the Lord” for our salvation. Here we see a pure language is required. We cannot “call on the name of the Lord” for
salvation in our native language!
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
When the Holy Ghost replaces filth and sin with the holiness of God, it is totally foreign to a heart that has only known the ways of sin and death. Since the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart, it also responds with something foreign. The heart is filled with holiness, which is completely foreign to the mind. The mouth then speaks from the abundance of the heart in a language that is completely foreign to the mind. The Holy Ghost causes a man to worship God in a way that is beyond his understanding, just as true godliness is beyond the
understanding of a sinful man.
2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost , and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
When the Holy Ghost was given, they “began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” We see where the Holy Ghost and fire falls from heaven and purifies the new believers. They are filled with the Holy Ghost, and begin to speak in languages which they have
never studied. The power of God cleans their hearts, and they begin to “call on the name of the Lord” in a pure language as the Bible tells us to do.
Hear the harmony? If you want to really “call on the name of the Lord” in perfect harmony with the Bible, just follow the steps given in Acts 2:38. Repent of your sins, find a Pentecostal pastor to baptize you in Jesus’ Name, “and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” and call on the name of the Lord in perfect harmony with the Bible.