Will everyone who calls on the name of the Lord be saved?

I want to take a look at another argument used by an atheist who claims that the Bible is full of contradictions and therefore should not be considered a trustworthy Book. The claim falls along the same lines as the previous claims, being that the atheist superficially reads bits and pieces of the Bible and believes that he has discovered a contradiction. He usually does not bother to examine the texts in detail to see of he has reached the correct conclusion or not. (usually because his “contradiction” is something that he has heard someone else say instead of actually studying from the Bible). Anyway, here is the evidence the atheist uses.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved?

Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven …”

Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

First of all, saying “Lord, Lord” and calling on the name of the Lord are two totally different things. To call on the name of the Lord is literally to take on the Lord’s name (His character). This expression has the idea of a wife taking on her husband’s name. It means much more than just calling out her husband’s name. In Biblical times, the name was associated with the person’s character. When we talk about the name of the Lord what we really mean is His character. Therefore, those who “call upon the name of the Lord” as the text in Acts says, literally they take on the character of the Lord. They become like Him. They call His name upon themselves.

The passage in Matthew 7 comes from Jesus Christ’s famous “Sermon on the Mount” and in this section He is speaking of those who call Jesus “Lord” (they say that He is their Lord) yet they do not do what He says. They do not obey Him. These people have never “called on the name of the Lord” (taken on His character) because they do not live like He did. Therefore, when they give Him lip service as Lord and do not obey Him, He will cast them out because they never knew Him and He never knew them.

There is no contradiction here, just a terrible lack of intellectual integrity on the part of the atheist. He is reaching for straws because he has no legitimate argument against God.

My question to you is, “have you ever called on the name (character) of the Lord so that you may be saved? Do you call Jesus Lord yet choose to disobey Him? Are you ready to set your pride aside and truly accept Him as Lord so that He can also be your Savior? What stops you from following and obeying God?

20 comments on “Will everyone who calls on the name of the Lord be saved?

  1. We are those who are adopted into the family of God’s holy people. Those outside the family will curse us because they do not know our Father. To them, religion is a matter of do’s and don’ts, words, and laws. They do not understand the Life offered by Jesus. And they will rail with all their might against the Love we have come to know.

    I too have often spoken to the, so called, athiests in this world. The give themselves a name to excuse their rebellion. But God will judge and do what is right in their case. Their necks are stiff, and their hearts are as cold as a stone in the ice of winter. God is able to raise up a family for Himself from such stock. After all, He has raised up this fool from the slime of rebellion.

    It is a hard thing for us, who know Him through Jesus, to speak to such people. And I have learned to carefully guard my pearls of joy which I have gathered on The Way. Yet we are given to speak the word of warning to them as is fitting for their plugged ears. It is not for us to see the growth of the seeds we plant. It is, however, given to us to speak that Word. And in this “giving” I find a great peaceful satisfaction, regardless the apparent response.

    May God grant understanding to those He has determined to rescue from certain death. And may He bless our minds as we hold out the words of life to this stubborn generation. I thank God for the faith within you. May He grant you a healthy bounty which you will be able to bring to His Holy Throne on that Day. Hold strong, my brother. We are not far from receiving the reward destined for those The Lord of Life has redeemed. Not one word of His will fall to the ground, but will accomplish that for which He has desired. Speak with the force of a gale wind. For the Spirit of God is compelled to move through this world seeking to draw all men to the Father through Jesus. We work a work of Love this world does not recognize.

    By His Grace.

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  5. What a convoluted load. The bible is full of inconsistencies. Of course, since it was written by a lot of people over a long time. Anyone who takes it as literal or as a true historical document is deluding him or herself. Every study has shown that free-thinkers, atheists and agnostics have a higher IQ level, because they are willing to question dogma.

  6. This is BANG ON correct!!! The phrase is first found in Gen 4:26 when the ‘Seed of the Woman’ began (Heb:bored through, wound) to call upon (Qara) the name (Shem:Character) of the LORD. I interpret this as: the seed of the woman, via Seth, recognizing their weakness of mortal flesh, naming their son thus Enosh: weak,sick,
    whilst being persecuted by the seed of the serpent(i.e lamech’s(cain’s) line) whilst they were proclaiming (through their conduct and outward speech) the character of the LORD. We must strive to follow likewise!

  7. @ Kat…..You fight soooo hard to try and convince the rest of us that we all simply exist…that we just randomly came about. Let’s say for a millisecond that you are right! Where do we go from here? What is the answer for the person who finds out that one of their loved ones has cancer? Who do they pray to or get comfort from? How about the person hooked on drugs, alcohol or in a failing marriage? Which secular psychiatrist are you going to refer them to? They have no answers. If there is no loving creator, what is the purpose of life to you….have a great time, make the most of it and then die?? Oh boy, that sounds so convincing and alluring. We have a world dying of aids because they deny God and His moral laws and do what they want. We have the number one death of teenagers as suicide, as we took God out of their lives and pumped moral relevatism into their heads in the school system. So as you continue to spew your rebellion against the living God of the Universe, remember that YOU are part of the reason that this country is spiraling downward, as it gets more and more depraved, and why not??? Take the bible out of this civilization and you got a bunch of people running around in every direction with their head (that “head” would be God) cut off with no direction. If you think a “Godless” nation would be a good thing, consider Stalin or Hitler, how “good” was that for Russia and Germany? Without God, you are no different than an animal…you are born, you eat, play, reproduce and then die. If that is all you can offer society, maybe you should keep your pathetic opinions to yourselves. When you finally find God through his Son Jesus Christ, you can perhaps come back and try to reach out to some of your “have no direction or purpose” atheist friends. In no way is evolution an “empirical” science, so you too have to have faith in your failing religion of evolution…and it is crumbling and yes, more and more secular scientists are turning to a living relationship with God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that He will draw your hearts to Him who loves you, gives you purpose, and created all things around you.

  8. Brian,

    If you need to believe in a magical God in order for your life to have purpose and meaning, then you must lead a pretty lonely life.

  9. I must be a statistical outlier. I teach mathematics, including trig. analytical trig. analytical geom. algebra, statistics, financial math along with a variety of other courses and topic including probability. I also teach both applied and theoretical physics. These courses include a wide range of physical laws including the laws of thermodynamics, heat as well as the ideal gas laws, entropy. I’ve completed work in differential equations, partial differential equations, equations of mathematical physics. I’ve listed my academic resume here, not to impress, but to demonstrate that belief in God does not necessarily imply that you can’t think rationally and solve problems. In fact, I would suggest that my IQ is most likely within a few points of everyone else that teaches or has been taught these concepts. I would suggest that to base comments on the idea that because someone believes in God has a lower IQ is, quite frankly, absurd.

  10. J,

    According to several studies done over the past 50 years, you are an outlier:



    But I think the more important question to ask is how does IQ vs religion equate to a person’s well being and how they are influenced to lead happy, productive lives.

    One of my first posts on Erik’s site was the relationship of religion vs quality of life in the U.S.

    It’s interesting to note that states with the highest population of members of the Southern Baptist Convention (Baptist Evangelicals or “Born-Again Christians)” are in the Southern states of Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia:

    And the states with the lowest IQs based on high school SAT and ACT score are those same states:


    Now if you look at the life expectancy of Americans state by state, you see that those exact same Southern states have the lowest life expectancy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_states_by_life_expectancy.svg

    Not only that, those exact same states have the highest rates of obesity and heart disease:

    Those states have the highest rates of poverty in the country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_states_by_poverty_rate.svg

    Those states are the only states in the Union with no minimum wage laws:

    Those states also have the highest divorce rates in the country:

    Why would the exact same U.S. states with the most God-fearing, Bible quoting, religious people also be the states with the sickest, poorest, lowest IQ, and most divorced people in the country?

    I think that’s where the problem of IQ vs religion plays a real impact on people’s everyday lives.

    It not just an academic question.

  11. Actually, now that I’ve actually bothered to consider this conclusion any further, the church I attend has at minimum, off the top of my head, 5 engineers with advanced degrees, a dentist and multiple other university level instructors who teach mathematics and others who teach the biological sciences. In light of this evidence alone, not even including a nation wide survey of similar, the conclusion of any study reporting lower IQ with belief in God is obviously flawed — absurd. The conclusions MUST not be based on logic. I do mean the rules of LOGIC.

    At the university level, I see first hand where the problems reside. It’s certainly not with a belief in God, that’s just ignorant (meaning lack of accurate information not a personal attack). The root of the problems reside in a failing K-12 educational system. Students are passed along and somehow reach a university or college (I’ve taught in both) at the level my classes without the basic foundational skills necessary to be successful in this type of course work. Has absolutely nothing to do with a belief in God, a belief in the Loch Ness monster or a belief in Sasquatch for that matter. That’s the bottom line. It’s no more complicated than that.

    In further consideration, you can’t really blame God for a failing K-12 system. He was kicked out of the K-12 system in the mid 70’s. As a society, it is rational to take responsibility for the result of our own physical actions and it is not rational to draw conclusions based on a non-repeatable survey.

    As far as income level and quality of life goes, both my colleagues and I are doing just fine. None of us are divorced. The rational next step is to find a different variable to correlate in lieu of belief (in anything) because the observable evidence does not support the conclusions offered this far.

  12. I think your anecdotal evidence of you, 5 engineers, and a dentist does not compare to national surveys of millions of people showing a clear correlation between religiosity and poverty, ill health, divorce, etc.

    Whether our K-12 educational system is failing or not, the data shows clear regional differences in IQ. Maybe everyone’s IQ would be 10 points higher in a perfect system, but the regional differences would still exist.

    I think the larger question is a simple one and more to your point of what causes the differences: if it’s not religion that is the common driving factor, then what is it?

    • The observable evidence still stands. I disagree that it’s anecdotal evidence. I maintain that because I can physically see and count (measure) the data on a recurring and repeatable basis that it’s more reliable than the survey work that will change every time the survey is made.
      I don’t know why IQ varies with region. I’m not convinced that it actually does. I’m not sure I even care. I assert that the processes driving IQ and occurring in the brain are chemical and electrical in nature. I suggest that these processes are affected more by other chemical or electrical processes rather than a non-chemical or non-electrical process. The efficiency and effectiveness of these processes are what drives IQ. Factors that do not impact these process will not affected IQ. I’m suggesting that belief does not change the governing electro-chemical process in the brain, hence IQ, that’s all. Water quality, Air quality, Temperature, Humidity, Air pressure, changes in gravitation are all real physical entities that can be measured and all of these affect electro-chemical processes, but a “belief” doesn’t change and cannot change chemical reactions or the electromotive forces involved. “Belief” doesn’t change the physics that’s absurd.

      Consider Detroit. Is there a higher poverty level in Detroit because they believe in God and they all have lower IQ’s or because the businesses are leaving? Did the businesses leave because a belief in God scared them off and they all have lower IQ’s or because of a swing in the free market? Consider some of the 3rd world country’s. Is there more sickness because they believe in Idol’s or because the water is dirty? Is the water dirty because they believe in God or because there are no water filters? Do people get divorced because they believe in God and can’t think rationally or simply because they don’t like each other anymore?

    • Well Gary just like the rest of us, someday you will die. If we, that have our hope in Christ is wrong, then you have nothing to fear. However…If we are correct and you are wrong…you have no choice but go die lost and be cast into hell forever.

      • That was harsh and uncalled for..

        Genuine Christians are commanded to trust and obey God to be the only Lawgiver and Judge, and only expected to take the task of Judgment on our own hands for our own, faithful families / communities..

        It is not Biblical, not allowed to judge non-Christians, especially for the matter of dealing with rebels and unbelievers.

        Paul wrote, inspired by the Holy Spirit in Bible Scriptures, God judge them.

        Indeed, our God is ALIVE and prompt to judge, and the due penalty for refusing to confess, repent and being saved, is already effective for these persons, since they ARE rebels and unbelievers for a clear reason..

        Their own wrong, immoral choices carry heavy consequences that will sooner or later catch them up, unless they turn to God and repent NOW, placing their faith in Christ, the blood of the lamb, Jesus the promised Messiah and enough to wash away all sins, to shelter believers and followers that belong to the Lord from God’s due WRATH..

        God saves.. Amen.

      • Tim,

        What do you think God is? An accountant? He wakes up in the morning, gets on his throne, sips his coffee, (black, no sugar, just cream, decaf I hope!) and after reading the New York Times, opens a huge leather bound ledger, and starts checking off 8 billion names every day… “Let’s see…Tim liked me today, he gets a green check, Gary questioned my existence today, he gets a red check.” After that, he checks his dead files… to keep track of the 8 trillion souls in either Heaven or Hell. Just for fun He sends virus laden Emails to Satan or Emails telling Satan he’s just won 5 million dollars. He then repeats all that the next day and so on…

        Actually, I would think that’s a big job, so He must have assistants. He’s probably organized Himself like GM or IBM. He has a Senior VP of The LIVING, and a Senior VP of The DEAD. The LIVING Senior VP has Directors under him for each Continent, Director of North America, etc. Then further organized by states. The manager of Mississippi has his hands full, so many believers, so many problems.

        After a few hundred years of managing such a boring organization, He says screw it, brings in his gay designer for some fabulous raiment and hops on a plane for Las Vegas to chill with Celine Dion and check out the latest Cirque Du Soleil.

        I’m curious, how do people view God/Jesus’ daily life. What does He/They do for entertainment? Does He eat fabulous meals. How is His cholesterol? Does He need to diet from so much rich food or does He exercise everyday on His treadmill or have a lifetime membership to pump iron at Gold’s Gym? What are His favorite TV shows? Does He get HBO?

        Or is He just ready to shoot Himself because He leads such a boring existence and He’s just sick and tired or people worshipping Him day after day, year after year, century after century, millennia after millennia.

        I’m curious….

  13. Ephesians 2 : 8 – 9….really says it all. “For by GRACE are ye saved through faith (believing in Christ alone): and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of (mans WORKS), lest any man BOAST.”

    If humanity is using “works salvation” to get to heaven, it is worthless; you can’t get there on your own merit! Meaning: how you act. Jesus died on the cross for everyone, not a select few. Romans 10 : 9 – 10, “Confess to God that Christ’s Death, Burial and Resurrection (The True Gospel) Paid my (and yours) sin debt; and makes Salvation possible for me (you).

    Jesus paid for our past, present and future sins, not just the ones from the past. We all sin, and will until we die or get Raptured….Then when we get our new glorious bodies, the Lord will take this old man (sin nature) and remove it forever….until then we are sinners saved by the blood of Jesus Christ (Yeshua). So basically it’s about if you BELIEVE on Christ (alone) for your Salvation, or you do not. If you are going by a “Works – Lordship – Salvation” You are not saved, or born again….You are no different from the Atheist or Agnostic!


    Then – John 3 : 16 means nothing to you….”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Ummm, that’s pretty simple!

    Here’s a good one….Romans 3 : 20 – 24….”Therefore by the deeds of the “law”, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for the “law” is the knowledge of sin.
    But now the righteousness of God without the “law” is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.
    Even the righteousness of God which is by “faith” of “Jesus Christ” unto ALL and upon ALL them that “believe”: for there is no difference.
    For ALL have “sinned”, and come short of the glory of God.
    Being justified “freely” by His “GRACE” through the redemption that is in “CHRIST JESUS.”

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