Oy vey! What a terrible way to start a motivational and edifying message. How can I possibly say that all who call on the name of the Lord won’t be saved when the prophet Joel tells us we will be saved (Joel 2:32)?
And if what Joel said isn’t enough, Shaul (Paul) said it, too in Romans 10:13!
Oh, wait a minute… actually, all Shaul was doing was quoting Joel.
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In fact, just about everything Shaul said to his Gentile congregants was not originated by him; he was teaching them what God said through the Prophets and what God commanded in the Torah.
In order to know why I am saying that all who call on God’s name will not be saved, despite what Joel said, we first need to make sure we all understand what was assumed when Joel said that.
That assumption is that the ones calling on God’s name would also be obedient to his Torah.
Joel was speaking to Jews who had turned away from Torah observance, and as such, his message was to return to obedience, and then they would be saved when they called on his name.
(God’s name, of course, not Joel’s.)
The truth is the one thing that separates people from God more than anything else is… religion.
That’s right, I said religion separates us from God. How? By violating one of the most important commandments God gave us in the Torah! In Deuteronomy 4:2, he has Moses tell the people (CJB):
In order to obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it.
Show me a religion, any religion (and that includes Judaism) which hasn’t added to or taken away from the Torah.
So, nu? What have you got for me? Nothing? No religion, anywhere, is exclusively Torah-only? Not even the Chasidic Jews, the most Orthodox of all?
No- they are more observant to the Talmud than the Torah!
What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? They certainly understand not all who call on his name will be saved because they believe there are only 144,000 who are already chosen? But, they also do so many things that are not in the Torah, and don’t do so many things that are in the Torah.
Hozabout the Born-Again Christians? Oh, wait- their religious holidays were created by Constantine and they observe Pauline doctrine (which is based on misunderstanding almost everything he taught), but they don’t celebrate the Holy Days God gave us in the Torah and they don’t observe the rules for eating and worship that God demanded of us.
And some Christians, the Replacement Theologists, believe they are now God’s Chosen people, claiming that he has rejected all the Jews because they rejected Yeshua as their Messiah. They say this, despite God’s constant forgiveness of the Jewish people throughout the Bible and his constant confirmation that the Jewish people will ALWAYS be his chosen people.
Judaism is, undoubtedly, the one religion that is closest to what God has told us to do because our religion is founded in the Torah, but (as I said earlier) within Judaism we have added much to what God told us to do, which is called Halacha (the Walk). Halacha is based on the Torah, but the rules are rabbinic interpretations of how to obey the Torah.
For example, there are the stringent kosher rules, such as different plates for meat and dairy, or rules for observing the Sabbath, such as how far you are allowed to walk on Saturday.
Christianity has, for the most part, done whatever the Pope, or Martin Luther, or the World Council of Churches, or John Knox (Presbyterian), or John Wesley (Methodism), or Richard Allen (African Methodist Episcopal Church), or any other founder of a Christian denomination (of which there are many) has told them to do, all of which have different ways of NOT doing what God said to do in the Torah.
That is why so many people who call on the name of the Lord will not be saved because they aren’t doing what God told them to do.
And Yeshua, himself, confirms what I am saying in Matthew 7:21-23 when he says (CJB):
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness! ‘”
Notice, please, that he says only those who “….do what my Father in heaven wants…” will enter the kingdom of heaven, i.e., be saved.
What Yeshua is saying, quite plainly, is that only those who call on God’s name and obey the Torah will be saved.
Sorry, Christians and Jews who obey people instead of God, but this isn’t my idea- it’s what the Messiah says, and he is just saying what his father, Adonai, already said.
There is one other thing to remember- when you call on the name, it isn’t Yeshua you should be calling to for forgiveness, it is God, the father you need to dial up. Yeshua made forgiveness possible by his sacrificial death, but he isn’t the one forgiving you- he is our Intercessor. An intercessor is not the final decision maker, he is our representative to the final decision maker.
Yeshua sits at the right hand of God, not in place of him.
There you have it! Calling on the name of the Lord is not enough- you need to also be obedient to God. Not to Constantine, not to Paul or John Wesley, or the Pope, or Menachem Schneerson (Chabad), but to G-O-D!
And the only place throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, where God tells you what he wants you to do, is in the Torah.
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That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!