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English Standard Version

MT 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

AC 2:21, RO 10:13 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

RO 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

AC 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

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  • context is different
    – Michael16
    Jun 17, 2022 at 15:06
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    λέγων (Matthew 7:21) Strong 3004 is a far weaker word than ἐπικαλέω (Romans and Acts) Strong 1941, which is, itself, far stronger than καλέω. There is no comparison between the two verbs.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 17, 2022 at 20:24
  • The short answer is, "Yes" - all who call upon the Lord will be saved. This is quite different and uses a quite different verb from Matt 7:21 for those who say "Lord, Lord".
    – Dottard
    Jun 17, 2022 at 22:07

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Addressing God as "Lord" does not, in itself, mean that the person is calling upon the name of the Lord in a saving way.

In Matthew 7:21, the surrounding verses are clear that Jesus is warning some who think they are doing good things in Jesus' name, that he will not recognise them as his, on that day of Judgment he speaks of. He will cast them aside where they will remain outside of the kingdom of heaven. When those ones stand before Christ for judgment, they will start out by addressing Christ as "Lord, Lord," only to be told the shocking truth - that they never confessed him the way Jesus accepts.

A similar point is in the O.T. in Isaiah 59:2:

"Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." (NIV, 1987 edition)

Those people were calling upon the Lord God, confident that they were his people, yet God chose not to hear them, because of their sin. Their calling would not save them. Sin that is not repented of renders any response to the call to worship futile.

This shows that "calling upon the name of the Lord" that the N.T. speaks of, which brings salvation, has a particular meaning. You have quoted two such texts, Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13. They speak of the call of faith, the call of worship, with resulting obedience to the call of God and of Christ.

Will the Lord save anyone who will not worship him? No, he will not. But worship that is not based on faith is ritual, and is not the kind of worship Jesus said must be given.

"The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24

Jesus pointed out that it was not location that had a bearing on God hearing the calls of such worshippers. It is calling on the Lord "in spirit and in truth" that saves the caller. Worshippers can say many things (Matthew 7:21) but calling upon the Lord's name in a saving way requires faith, and it is only saving faith that... saves.

Your concluding verse in Acts 2:39 nicely shows what this kind of "calling" means: God calls to those he saves; they hear his call and respond in faith by calling upon the name of Jesus to be saved. All such will be saved. "Deep calls to deep..." (Psalm 42:7). This matter of "calling" is a deep matter, indeed.

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  • Excellent. Up-voted +1. Several important and salutary points made. This is what BH should be all about.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 19, 2022 at 10:38
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In [Matthew 7:23], Jesus correctly identifies the preconditional Tsom(צוֹם):"Fast" [Isaiah 58:6-11] required by YHVH for emergency responses to prayers. | אָז תִּקְרָא֙ וַיהֹוָה יַעֲנֶה "Then you-shall-call and-YHVH [He]-shall-answer". Ya'ane יַעֲנֶה if you fulfill [Ezekiel 18:7] like [Isaiah 58:7] as a charitable affliction of the soul (Fast, צוֹם) prior to calling on the Lord in prayer requests.

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