Article - Calling on the name of the Lord (part 1)

When perfect angels committed their first sin, “God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell…” (that is, Tartarus, the dark place of punishment for sinful angels waiting for Judgment Day, 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). However, when we as humans (who begin sinlessly perfect) commit our first sin, we are immediately separated from God spiritually; but are usually spared physically/initially (Genesis 3:2-19; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1; James 1:13-15). God allows us as human sinners to live in our physical bodies. God does not want any of us to perish eternally, but desires that all men be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:3-4). Therefore, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21) and ultimately will escape the eternal consequences of hell (that is, Gehenna, the post-resurrection, post-Judgment Day place of eternal punishment for all the wicked, including humans, the devil and his angels, Matthew 10:28; 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14-15; 21:8).

But what does the scripture mean when it states that all human sinners are to “call upon the name of the Lord” in order to be saved from sin? The first thought that comes to most is that the expression “calling on the name of the Lord” means to appeal to or address God through prayer. While this is one of the meanings in certain passages of God’s word, it is never the meaning in reference to an alien sinner seeking the way to enter into the cleansing blood of Jesus (Psalm 99:6; Zechariah 13:9; compare Acts 7:59). The Bible makes it clear that God’s ears are not open to the unrighteous (Proverbs 15:29; 28:9; Psalm 66:18; 1 Peter 3:12; John 9:31). Never is an alien sinner authorized or commanded to pray a “Sinner’s Prayer” in order to be saved. The only verbalization under the New Testament that an alien sinner seeking salvation is required to make is the affirmation that he or she believes Jesus is the Son of God and therefore Lord/Master (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Timothy 6:12; Hebrew 3:1-2).

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articleJoey Ferrell