Vol.III No.IV Pg.3
May 1966

Calling On The Lord

Robert F. Turner

As a young man (sigh!) in central Kentucky, I attended many "brush-arbor" meetings where shouting and rolling in the aisle were common. When someone shouted "Jesus, Jesus!!" or, "Oh, Jesus, save me!" this was said to be "calling on the name of the Lord".

Well, it does sound like it -- but it isn't. There's a lot more to calling on the name of the Lord than vocal exercise. ROM.10:13 says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". In the very next verse we read, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed -- ". In following verses the necessity for messengers from God, our "hearing" (learning, heeding) and even obedience (vs.16) are all shown to be a part of this "calling".

Calling on the Lord means depending upon Him; trusting Him to the extent that we do His bidding and leave the results to Him. One may even define "calling upon the Lord" as hearing and obeying His "calling". Notice the prophecy which Peter quotes, i.e., "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved;" has its fulfillment among those "as many as the Lord o" ROod shall call" (ACT.2:21, 37-41). In order to "call on the Lord" they had to believe the truth concerning Christ, repent of their sins, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

In 1CO.1:2 those "called to be saints" were such as "call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord". We call upon the Lord when we respond to His call. Such "called out" people make up the church of God. In ACT.9:14 we see that Saul of Tarsus had authority to persecute all who called on the Lord's name. This meant the "saints" (ACT.26:10). Later, when Saul had become a Christian, he spoke with sorrow of his having "persecuted the church of God" (1CO.15:9). It doesn't take a Philadelphia lawyer to put these passages together and see that "calling on the name of the Lord" involved becoming a follower of Christ, a member of His church. This accords perfectly with all we have seen in previous passages concerning our subject.

And finally, in the very conversion of Saul of Tarsus, there is further light shed on the matter. When Ananias told Saul what he "must do" (ACT.9:6) he said, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (ACT.22:16). Saul "called on the Lord" by putting complete trust in Him -- doing exactly what he was told to do to be saved.

Little wonder then that Jesus said, "Not everyone 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" (MAT.7:21). Have you called on Him?