For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” –Romans 10:4-13 NLT
It is rare to hear about something that is for everyone. Everyone is actually invited and included. It is simple. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Let that sink in for a minute. The person you and I may have stereotypically passed judgment on is invited and included. People who see life differently, look different, and have different cultures, customs, traditions, and backgrounds are invited and included. Everyone.
The Apostle Paul is writing something that was so hard for the people of God’s law to accept. After all, they had been set apart by God for centuries. Yes, an outsider could become part of the community, but it was a process of coming into full participation of the law, customs, and rituals. Now, Paul is restating what Jesus said and did.
Everyone is invited into a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Paul writes it this way: “For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.” Let me state it one more time. This is for everyone.
We are living in a time that is not for everyone. Mr. Putin is proclaiming “liberation” in Eastern Ukraine while tens of thousands have been killed and millions of people displaced. This clearly is not for everyone. In fact, if you get in the way, you are dead. The rhetoric and actions in the United States of America are anything but united towards people who are different from each other. Increasingly, people are divided and canceling each other out. The Church is struggling with how to relate to all of this. Some have “bought into” the spirit of division, citing scripture and tradition. Others have left conviction and belief in the name of getting along.
Let’s come back to the words of the Apostle Paul. God provides a way to a restored relationship through His Son, Jesus Christ, for everyone. Yes, a response of faith and sharing is needed. Any relationship of value is always reciprocal. Let’s approach today with these words: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Let’s not be part of “writing people off” and dismissing others. God is inviting everyone. So should we.
Dear Father God, thank You for including everyone in Your will and purpose. Thank You for including me. Help me to see everyone with the invitation that You extend to them. Thank You, that in a time of division and destruction, Your invitation continues to be for everyone.
In Jesus’s name, Amen
-Ed McDowell, CEO Warm Beach Camp Ministries