f The Wittenberg Door: Whoever Calls

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Whoever Calls

From Great Commission Publications . . .

There is a mysterious longing in the heart of God that is captured in the words, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13; see Joel 2:32). Without prejudice to any, without restricting his benevolence to only a few, God does not want anyone to perish, “but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

The mystery for us is contained in the distinction between what God has decreed and what he has revealed in Scripture. We know from Scripture that God has decreed, irrevocably and forever, which ones will receive his electing love and thus be saved (Rom. 9:18). But Scripture also makes plain that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but rather that they turn from their wickedness and live (Ezek. 33:11). If there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, there is no equal joy over one who des not. God longs intensely for individual men and women to repent and believe the gospel, even if they never do. We cannot fathom this mystery; we must embrace it.

The Mystery of the Gospel

Here is the mystery of the free offer of the gospel. Without distinction and with no strings attached. It is universal. Literally anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Jew or Gentile, white or black, European or Asian, the subject is the same. No special privilege is granted to any. It is uniform in its method. The one thing required of everyone is to call upon the Lord’s name. Acknowledge that he alone saves and ask him to save you. It is unerring in its results. Whoever calls will be saved, period. There is no mincing of words here, no hidden clauses.

The offer is indiscriminate. God’s benevolent love extends to all, and he deeply longs for all to repent. Think of that next time you see your neighbor grilling hamburgers in his back yard, or bump into her in the grocery store, or wave as you drive by his house. God longs for that person to hear the gospel; he longs for that person to repent.

But what if he’s not elect? First, we don’t know who the elect are, and it’s none of our business to figure it out (Deut. 29:29). Second, even if someone isn’t elect, God longs for him anyway. Jesus wept over a non-elect Jerusalem; he longed for her, though she refused him. There is the heart of God, if you need proof. Is it your hear too?

--The Catechizer



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