For all the talk of God’s sovereignty, election and spiritual bondage, the Bible unequivocally clamps down on our reaction to the gospel…
There’s no missing it: We are responsible for exercising our faith.
We are, in the end, held accountable to “call upon the Lord.”
Here’s Peter and Paul’s take on it:
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
But what does “call upon the Lord” mean? More importantly, is it the same thing Jesus described in Matthew 7:21 when people came to him saying “Lord, Lord”?
No, it’s not. It’s way more complex than that.
When Peter was asked what one had to do to be saved, he commanded, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”
Paul said that this calling upon the Lord can’t happen until a sinner hears the gospel. A sinner cannot “call” until after he has heard the Word of God–and believed it.
So then, every non-believer who wants to obtain salvation does not get it by simply praying to God or saying, “Lord, Lord,” but by submitting to God’s authority.
Ultimately, a genuine Christian, among other things, obeys God’s commands, reject this evil world, longs for Jesus’ return, loves other Christians and discerns between truth and error.
Only when a person submits to the will of God can he accurately be described as “calling on the Lord.” And only then can he enjoy great confidence in his eternal salvation.
There’s no short-circuiting that process. At all.