Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 16, 1970

"Every One That. . . Shall Be Saved"

Robert H. Farish

It will help the student to understand the "whosoever" passages if he will remember that "whosoever" equals "ever)) one that" "Whosoever" does not mean everyone — it means "everyone that," "any person whatever that," "whatsoever person that." If we leave off the "that," we fail to convey truth; the "everyone" without the qualifying "that" is error. It is not "everyone shall be saved;" it is "everyone that shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21)

What is it to call on the name of the Lord? We must accept everything that God includes, and reject everything which is not authorized by God. Human wisdom would likely judge that whosoever is rich, mighty, noble or wise, shall be saved. These things however are not in the Lord's whosoever. A study of the "whosoever" passages reveals that the term used, to describe the one who will receive the blessing, is comprehensive. Those who are concerned to do the will of God will avoid the blunder of regarding the comprehensive as a distributive or specific.

To learn who shall be saved one needs only study the sermon in Acts the second chapter. In this sermon, the great truth is announced that "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21). Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem is the Holy Spirit's development of the text from Joel 2:28-32.

The remarks made by inspiration on that occasion are directly connected with the declaration "whosoever. . ." A careful study of this sermon will yield large profitable returns.

The Lord

The Lord, upon whose name men are to call to be saved, if first identified. "Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, ye by the hands of lawless men did crucify and slay, whom God raised up..." (Acts 2:22-24). The last statement in the text quoted by Peter announced that "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

The very first comment on the text introduces Jesus. The declaration is made that God approved Jesus by mighty works and wonders and signs and after men had killed him, God raised him from the dead. This is the first evidence that is introduced by the speaker. This is the personal testimony of the apostles who had been accredited by the miraculous speaking in tongues with which they were not acquainted.

David, one accepted by the audience as a prophet of God, is next introduced as a witness to prove that Jesus is Lord. "David saith, concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand that I should not be moved; therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, neither wilt thou give thy Holy one to see corruption. . . ." (Acts 2:25-27). The idea that David was speaking of himself as the one "whom God raised up" could not be defended in view of the fact that "the patriarch David" had died, been buried and the tomb still remained. (Acts 2:29) The apostle calls attention to the facts that David was a prophet and that God had promised David that "of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne" (Acts 2:30). David the prophet foresaw that God would fulfill this promise and it was this which he had in view — he "spake of the resurrection of Christ." He was speaking of the resurrection of Christ in Psalms 16:8-10. The apostle then declares "For David ascended not into the heaven: but he saith himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet" (Acts 2:34, 45). These quotations from David's writings are used by the apostle as evidence in proof of the conclusion, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified" (Acts 2:36). Jesus is the Lord, hence, everyone that calls on the name of Jesus Christ the Lord shall be saved. But what is it to call on the name of Jesus?

Calling On The Name

When the people heard Peter's declaration that God had made Jesus Christ and Lord they were "pricked in their hearts and said unto Peter. . . . What shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). They have already been told that "everyone that shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Why didn't they do it, that is, why did they not call on the name of the Lord as soon as they learned the identity of the Lord? It seems obvious that their question was probing for the distributives or details of calling on the name of the Lord. The answer to "What shall we do?" reveals the "what" of calling on the name of the Lord. Peter had announced that "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." This is action to be taken by human beings. The question, "What shall we do?" has definite reference to the salvation of the text from Joel 2:32. To refresh your memory, we quote it again. "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." The answer to the question, "What shall we do" is "Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). This is what it is to call on the name of the Lord.

These considerations make it clear that in the case of alien sinners who have come to know assuredly that Jesus is Lord, the expression "calling on the name of the Lord" is equivalent to "repent ye and be baptized." One calls on the name of the Lord when he does those things which are "in the name of Jesus Christ."

It has been thought by some that "calling on the name of the Lord" is an expression equivalent to prayer. While it is true that prayer in the name of Christ is for the Christian "calling en the name of the Lord," yet it is incorrect to limit "calling on the name of the Lord" to prayer — even acceptable prayer. Saul of Tarsus did not understand that "calling on the name of the Lord" was equivalent to prayer. He was praying (Acts 9:11) yet Ananias was sent by the Lord to Saul to give Saul the answer to his question, "what shall I do, Lord?" Ananias instructed Saul to "arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name." (Acts 22:16) "Calling on the name of the Lord" in Saul's case involved "arising and being baptized" just as in the case of those at the beginning.

To call on the name of the Lord is to obey the Lord. Those who respect the authority of the Lord will obey the Lord.

— Box 301, Cedar Park, Texas 78613