Mysticism and Calling on the Name of the Lord

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 NKJV

A while back I was having a group Bible study about the Sabbath. During the study I was surprised when an Adventist friend told the group and me, “It does not matter if we keep the Sabbath anymore. Romans 10:13 says if we call upon the name of the Lord we will be saved. We don’t have to worry about obedience anymore. All we have to do is call upon the name of the Lord and we will be saved.”  

I shared with my friend and the group that being saved means being saved from disobedience. 

Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience… Romans 1:5 NKJV

And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Hebrews 5:9 NKJV

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV

After all, in order for Jesus to be called our Savior He has to actually save us from something. He saves us from disobedience. 

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:1-2 NKJV

I also shared with my friend that there is no mystical magic in just saying the name of the Lord. Calling Jesus Lord does no good unless you genuinely make Jesus the Lord of your life. Jesus talks about a group of people who called Him Lord, but never actually obeyed Him. Therefore He was not really their Lord. Saying, “Lord, Lord” is not a magic word or some mystical chant. Jesus describes the group who seemed to be using the name Lord as though it was some form of mysticism. I think the New Living Translation makes it clear. 

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Matthew 7:21-27 NLT

Calling on the name of the Lord does no good unless we surrender our hearts in loving obedience to Jesus and actually make Him Lord of our lives. After talking about those who use the name Lord in vain, Jesus describes a group of people like the ones Paul later wrote about, when Paul wrote,

“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22 NKJV.

Here is how Jesus describes those who really  call on His name out of a pure, genuine heart.

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 NLT 

Those who call on the name of the Lord as if the name “Lord” was mystical will be lost. Those who call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart, and genuinely Make Him Lord will be saved from disobedience. They will make Jesus the Lord of their life and enjoy the fruits of obedience. They will enjoy full salvation. 

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

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