All Who Call
Along with this outpouring is prophesied a time of great calamity as figured in the sun being darkened and the moon turning into blood and columns of smoke (burning of cities)
The prophecy in Joel seems to be of two separate events. One is the outpouring of God’s spirit as at Pentecost, the other of some future day of judgment.
Certainly, one might say that accompanying the time of God’s outpouring were times of great calamities in the Roman Empire; wars, violence in high places, famines as even recorded in Acts and finally the dreadful siege and destruction of Jerusalem.
Could Joel’s prophecy as quoted by Peter have been fulfilled at that time? Try this on for size.
First, the outpouring of God’s spirit was at Pentecost. We seem to agree on that part.
Second, the signs of calamity may refer the calamities, including a great increase of earthquakes, occurring in the Roman Empire at that time.
Thirdly, “the great and glorious” (or as Joel says, “great and dreadful”- the word means conspicuous, memorable or notable) refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and all of Israel.
Fourthly, those who call on the Lord will be saved. Could it refer to the fact that all who called on the name of the Lord were saved from the destruction that took place in Jerusalem and Israel?
Regardless, the “all who call” phrase has a much broader meaning than just those Christians who were spared at that time.
A. Means Jew and Gentile alike
1. Romans 10:12-13 ... no difference between Jew and Gentile... "Everyone ...
2. Christians in general were referred to as those who “call on the name of the Lord”
... arrest all who call on your name."
1 Cor. 1:2 ... those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus...
2 Tim. 2:22 ... those who call on the Lord ...
B. What does it mean to “call”
1. Literally just say the words, “Hey, Lord, save me”.
2. It means more. It means to appeal to, to invoke, to seek from. It would mean the same if we said that everyone who looks to the Lord will be saved.
3. Same word in reference to Caesar.
Acts 25:11 ... appeal unto Caesar.
epikaleomai, ep-ee-kal-eh'-om-ahee, Greek 1941; middle from Greek 1909 (epi) and Greek 2564 (kaleo); to entitle; by implication to invoke (for aid, worship, testimony, decision, etc.) :- appeal (unto), call (on, upon), surname.
C. Baptism is included
1. Acts 22:16 ... be baptized ... calling on his name.'
A. Salvation is available to all.
1. Acts 2:21 ... whosoever...
B. “Calling” turns into –
1. “fearing God”
2. “believing” (3 times)
4. “taking the water of life”
5. Calling on the name of the Lord means more that an initial verbal statement. It is on ongoing condition of faith and trust. It includes faith that continues to look to the Lord. It is a continuing lifestyle.
6. It includes continuing obedience.
Romans 16:26 (the gospel)... obey him--
A. Same as calling on the Lord
1. Hebraism “The name of the Lord is the same as the Lord Himself” –Albert Barnes
B. The Lord God or the Lord Jesus
1. In Joel it is Jehovah
2. In Corinthians it is the Lord Jesus
Jesus is the man God appointed to be our Redeemer
3. In the same way we may ask, “Who performed the miracles, Jesus or God?”
Acts 2:22 ... which God did among you through him, ...
4. Miracles were a demonstration that God “accredited” Jesus.
5. John 5:36 ... very work that the Father has given me to finish, ... testifies that the Father has sent me.
6. To “call upon Jesus” is to recognize the person God Himself has told us to recognize for salvation.
Conclusion: So long as any commodity is readily available with plenty to go around it remains cheap. But let it be known that a severe drought in Columbia has ruined the entire coffee crop and watch the price go up. To the dull and hard of hearing “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord,” means that salvation is cheap. Like Governor Felix they will consider it at a more convenient time (after all, he has plenty of time). Or like King Agrippa their just “almost persuaded to be a Christian”. (After all, almost isn’t so bad) The application is as relevant to Christians as others. I believe there may be many who are called Christians who are “almost Christians”. As the bible points, “calling on the name of the Lord” is an ongoing proposition. It means that we continue to look to him for salvation. It means we believe in him and to believe in him is to serve him.