Calling on the Name of the Lord

 

During our study of the book of Genesis on Sunday morning we have encountered a phrase that is known to many, especially of the denominational world, and seems to have different meanings for different people.

 

Genesis 4:26 “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD

 

But nothing in this scripture tells us or gives us an indication of what is meant when we “CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD  Jesus in his teaching leaves absolutely no doubt in our minds about what this phrase does not mean:

 

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one 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. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity

 

Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say

 

So, lest we find ourselves in the position of being denied by the Son of God in the day of judgment, let us see if we can determine just what it means to “CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.”

 

            In the second occurrence of this phrase we find it associated with the worship of God by Abram:

 

Genesis 12:8 “And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD

 

Other scriptures give us further instruction regarding the meaning of these words:

 

To request something from God:

 

II Kings 5:11 “But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper

 

To pray:

 

Psalms 99:6 “MOSES AND AARON AMONG HIS PRIESTS, AND SAMUEL AMONG THEM THAT CALL UPON HIS NAME; THEY CALLED UPON THE LORD, AND HE ANSWERED THEM.”

 

To give God praise and thanksgiving:

 

Psalms 105:1 “O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD; CALL UPON HIS NAME: MAKE KNOWN HIS DEEDS AMONG THE PEOPLE.”

 

Isaiah 12:4 “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted

 

To carry out your vows of sacrifice and service to God:

 

Psalms 116:16-18 “O LORD, TRULY I am THY SERVANT; I am THY SERVANT, and THE SON OF THINE HANDMAID: THOU HAST LOOSED MY BONDS.  I WILL OFFER TO THEE THE SACRIFICE OF THANKSGIVING, AND WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.  I WILL PAY MY VOWS UNTO THE LORD NOW IN THE PRESNCE OF ALL HIS PEOPLE.”

 

To “CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD” is to seek and receive deliverance from sin, or salvation, but not as the denominations teach it.  The Psalmist calls for God to deliver his soul:

 

“THEN CALLED I UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD, O LORD, I BESEECH THEE, DELIVER MY SOUL.” Psalms 116:4

 

The prophet Joel tells us that deliverance and salvation will come in the city of Jerusalem:

 

Joel 2:32 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call

 

The Apostle Peter, speaking through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells us:

 

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet JoelActs 2:16

 

And then Peter proceeds to preach the first gospel sermon ever preached.  When Peter completes his discourse and those who were touched by the word of God asks “MEN and BRETHREN, WHAT SHALL WE DO?”  Peter tells them how to call on the name of the Lord, to gain the deliverance that Joel had prophesied was to begin at Jerusalem:

 

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost Acts 2:38

 

            The Apostle Paul, likewise, wrote to the Roman brethren:

 

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

 

            And how did Paul “CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD?”  After being struck blind on the Damascus road, spending three days fasting and praying to God.  Yes, Saul was calling on the name of the Lord but what he was doing was not sufficient to deliver him from his sin and provide salvation.  The preacher Ananias was sent by Jesus Christ to provide Saul with what was needed.  He tells Saul:

 

“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord Acts 22:16

 

            Yes, to CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD, means all of these things, praise, thanksgiving, prayer, service; but most of all obedience to the commandments, teaching and doctrines of his son, Jesus Christ and those that he commissioned to preach the word of God by the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit until such time as it could be recorded for all mankind to read and study.

 

Invitation