Did you read about the woman who dropped her income tax return in the wrong box? She was visiting in a hospital at the time. She thought it was a mail box, but it turned out to be a suggestion box, and by the time the suggestion box was opened, her income tax return was many months overdue. The Internal Revenue Service, though very sympathetic, had to rule she was delinquent in paying her taxes and must pay the penalty. The woman was sincere, but she was sincerely wrong. She wanted to do the right thing, but didn’t.
A lot of people make a similar mistake about religion. They put their faith in the wrong place. They may be very sincere, but unless they do the right thing, they may pay a fearful penalty.
Don’t accept the opinion of men on this important subject. If you are wondering, “How can I be saved?” go to the highest possible authority-the Bible-and get the answer that God has written in its sacred pages.
Open your Bible to the 10th chapter of Romans, verse 13, and you will find these wonderful words: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Does that sound too simple? Do you wish to look further in order to be sure there’s no mistake? All right, turn to the Book of Joel, chapter two, verse 32, and you will find these words: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” Almost the identical words!
In order to be quite sure, turn to the second chapter of Acts and read what Peter said, verse 21: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Surely the fact that this statement appears three times in the Bible means it’s very important.
There are four things about this inspired statement that you should notice. First of all, salvation is necessary. You need to be saved. That fact is clearly taught throughout the Bible. It says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Man in his natural condition is alienated from God. He is a sinner by nature and by practice. He may be a refined sinner-very cultured, decent, and respectable-yet he is a sinner. He must receive forgiveness and cleansing and a new nature in order to be fit for heaven. This is true of every person in the world, even good people. It was to a very religious man that Jesus said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
In the second place, you should notice that it’s our Lord Jesus Christ who saves men. He bore our sins in His own body on the cross, the Bible says (1 Peter 2:24). “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). No man can save his own soul. Neither can one man save another’s soul. As the poet put it:
“There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin; He only could unlock the gate Of heau’n, and let us in;”
The third thing to notice in the text is the simplicity of salvation. Even a child can understand it. All you need to do is “call on the name of the Lord.” Do you remember reading about that night when Jesus was walking on the water, and Peter started doing the same, but suddenly he began to sink? Peter didn’t have time to make a long prayer. He just had time to cry out; “Lord, save me,” but that was enough. The Bible says that “Jesus stretched forth his hand and took hold of him.” He will do the same for you.
Of course, there must be faith in your heart. You must believe these things that you have been reading; namely, that you need to be saved, and that only Christ can save you. Furthermore, you must believe that He will save you. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). You must take action. You must call upon Him.
There is a swinging footbridge over a creek not far from Springfield, Missouri. In dry weather there’s no water in the creek, and some people prefer to go down to the creek bed to get across, rather than traverse the unsteady bridge. Others, particularly the young, think it’s fun to use the lilting structure which sways first one way and then another with every step they take.
But when the creek is full, the only safe way to cross is to take the bridge, nervous though some may be about using it. Whether they have much faith in the bridge, or only a little faith, it will take them across if they will walk on it, for it’s quite strong.
That’s the way it is with salvation. Christ is ‘the Bridge, but you must step out in faith and put your dependence in Him in order to reach heaven.
You may say, “But I don’t have enough faith.” Why? Don’t you think He can save you?
You don’t need a great amount of faith-just enough to call on Him in prayer and to believe that when you ask Him for salvation He gives it to you as He says He will.
Finally you need to notice that wonderful word whosoever. That means everyone; old or young, rich or poor, educated or uneducated-everyone. It means you. No matter where you are, or what you have done, or how weak you feel, you can be saved by calling upon the name of the Lord. He knows all about you. He loves you and desires to save you. He can transform your life if you will let, Him do it. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ this moment and you will be saved instantly. You will have the joy of salvation in this life, and an eternal home in heaven.
Remember what the Bible says: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”