In Romans 10:13 we read “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” First let me quote another part of the Bible that says the same thing. Acts 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved As stand alone sentences, this means: cause – call; effect – saved.
But then what to make of:
Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
In the saving kind of call, we are calling on what we recognize to be a saviour. To do this implies some knowledge of Christ’s atoning work for sinners. The caller acknowledges that he is one of these. In this context, anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Here is Lewis Johnson:
“When Paul says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” He’s talking about calling upon him in virtue of the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s rather interesting to me that in the Old Testament it is said, I think of Abraham as I remember, that he called upon the name of the Lord three times, and every time that it is said that Abraham called upon the name of the Lord, it is in the vicinity or right by the side of an altar of sacrifice. For when we call on the Lord, we call on him who has offered an atoning sacrifice. And we plead that atoning sacrifice for our salvation. That’s what Paul means when he says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Christ has paid the debt for sinners, and I may call upon God for salvation by virtue of what Jesus Christ has done. ” (Salvation and Confession, p. 16 ).
The calling in Matt 7:21 is about sounds emanating from a desperate or fearful voice box , not from a repentant heart.
So, as with so many words in the Bible such as “all,” “whosoever” and “world” let context, not pretext be your guide. If you don’t you’ll end up in the margin – outisde the text. Which, if you’re a relativist, is ok, because there is no main text.
Romans 10:13 says nothing about how one comes to believe (Calvinism – God’s grace is both necessary and sufficient to save [monergism]; Arminianism – God’s grace is necessary but not sufficient to save [synergism]).
If you’re an Arminian it would be nice if you knew something about the distinction between a voluntary act (doing what your heart desires) and a free will act (where one can neutralise one’s heart and choose between loving Christ and hating him), keeping in mind that the human heart is desperately/incurably sick/wicked/deceitful/crooked, who (besides God) can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).
Flee will! Now you’re ready to call – if you know what I mean.