Let us call upon the Lord. Sunday August 7, 2011.
for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Romans 10:13
Beloved friends in The Lord, we live in a world where we rarely get something for nothing. It is often said “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Usually if someone offers us something, there is something behind it. For example loyalty cards. We have them from banks, supermarkets, airlines, retail stores etc. When you purchase something you receive points that can eventually be redeemed for a certain product. The whole thing is that they are designed to maintain your custom, your loyalty to a particular brand or company. The reward that you receive, is of little cost to the company, because they receive a lot more from you, then you get in return.
Living in this kind of consumer world, it is easy to understand why some people find it hard to accept the Gospel. It is hard for people to comprehend that God would give us something so big at no cost to us, without our merit. God offers to us forgiveness of sin and eternal life for free. We do not deserve it and certainly have not and cannot earn it, It is a gift of love.
God’s only motivation in sacrificing Jesus on the cross, His only motivation in shedding His innocent blood, so that we may be recipients of eternal life was love. Total and pure love.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John.3:16
God so loved us that He has given us the greatest of all gifts, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The cost on His part was tremendous, but He paid it because He loves us so much.
Last Sunday we looked at the truth that God is faithful. We saw that we can trust Him fully because He never backs down from His Word, and He has never broken a promise. He is faithful and His Word is unchangeable. Today we expand on that truth with the promise in today’s Scripture text: WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
This is a promise that God repeats over and over in His Word. Let us pause and reflect on the word “Whoever”. This tells us that salvation is available for all people. It is of no importance who you are, how you look, where you were born, what is your occupation, how young or old you are. “Whoever will call upon the name of The Lord will be saved.”
The road to salvation is the same for all people, irrespective of nationality. There are not many roads, but one road. There are not many names, but only one name. There are not many truths, but one Truth – Jesus Christ.
He Himself said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. “ John 14:6
Jesus could not have made it any clearer, but even so many people do not understand this vital truth. Many people believe that there are many ways to God, many names, many religions, that lead to God. The truth is that is a lie. There is only one way, one name, and that is the same for all people – Jesus Christ.
This is beautifully portrayed in the book of Revelation chapter five:
“1 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they *sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
We read how John is shown the truth that there is only one who is worthy, only one whose sacrifice was able to pay the awful price of sin, and that is the Lamb of God, The Lion of Judah – Jesus Christ. Nowhere, either in heaven, on the earth , or under the earth was found anyone else worthy to pay the sacrifice. Jesus was worthy, and by shedding His Holy and innocent blood, with His perfect obedience, with His self sacrificing love, He has purchased for God people from every tribe and tongue and nation.
Only the blood of Jesus can pay our sin penalty, only His blood can wash us clean, and so give us access to a Holy God. He freely gives His blood for us, and to appropriate His sacrifice all we must do is call upon Him. That is all.
I will reiterate what I said at the beginning;- He freely gives, without our merit. All we have to do is receive. If we have a desire to receive His forgiveness, He will give it to us if we call upon His name in faith.
There are two very powerful examples in the New Testament – The condemned criminal on Good Friday and the Philippian Jailer.
First of all the criminal. We read in the Gospel accounts, that on Good Friday, there were two other men who were crucified that day, along with Jesus. They were criminals deserving of their punishment. At first both of them reviled Jesus, but then later on, one of them had a change of heart. He admitted that he was being justly punished and then in his agony he turned to Jesus and simply said: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” To that Jesus replied: ““Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)
My friends that is Grace in its purest form! This man was a criminal. He had not done good deeds. He was not deserving of heaven. All he did was look to Jesus and call upon His name. He received love, grace and salvation!
The second example is the Phillipian jailer. Having received strict instructions he imprisoned Paul and Silas in the maximum security division of his jail. Paul and Silas spent their time praising and worshipping God. Around midnight as they worshipped, a powerful earthquake shook the prison, their chains fell off and the door swung open. The prison guard awakened by the noise, seeing the open door assumed that the prisoners had fled. He drew his sword to commit suicide, because he thought this would be the best option. He knew that the authorities would execute him anyway, for failing to guard the prisoners. He was going to take the easier road. After all, who would believe him that the prisoners were aided by supernatural occurrences?
Paul, sensing what was about to happen called out to the jailer and said – “Do not harm yourself, we are all here.”
The jailer, calling for a light, fell down at Paul and Silas feet and asked the most important question of all: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31)
That simple. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. The jailer did, and that very night he and his whole household were baptised.
These two examples show us the simplicity of salvation. Call upon, believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. That’s it. Trust in Him.
To quote a great old hymn: “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.”
Have you called upon the name of The Lord and been saved?
If you have, praise Him and bear fruit for His Kingdom.
If you haven’t as yet, do it now and be sure of His promise: “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37b)
Pastor Colvin S. MacPherson
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sydney. www.sydneylatvianchurch.org.au
All Bible quotations taken from New American Standard Bible.