The notion of calling on the name of the Lord is seen many times throughout the Bible. Psalm 105:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.” On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:21), Peter quoted Joel 2:32 when he said, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But while there is promise for all in the gift of salvation…the responsibility still remains with us to make the initial move towards God. It’s called free will…for we have to choose to either do God’s will or our own. Jesus talked about this in John 7:17 as He was teaching in the Temple courts, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will…” The promise of salvation is there for anyone to take advantage of, but it requires a decision…a choice to seek God and call upon His name.
Christianity isn’t a one and done experience. For in this verse we see Jesus didn’t address just the crowd but His disciples also…men that had been following Him for years…men that had witnessed first hand miracles, teaching, and preaching on a daily basis. Men that should have had this concept down pat…but obviously didn’t. Our journey as a Believer is ongoing and lifelong. It’s a daily conscious decision of our Will to give up our self and in obedience conform to the example we have before us…Jesus Christ. It’s a long and winding road of faith and life we need to daily direct our feet to follow.
When God created us, He didn’t build robots. Instead, He gave us a free will to make decisions and act on them…whether wise or foolish. But it’s also our free will that gets us into trouble most times. We bristle at being told what to do, and obeying the rules, in our mind, is optional. Yes, our free will can become problematic! So in this passage, the Lord is quite concise and deliberate in His laying out of our options. We are given the choice…the decision is ours. Will we obey and receive a blessing, or will we rebel and experience a curse?