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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 21

Verse 21. Whosoever shall call. In the midst of these wonders and dangers, whosoever should call on the Lord should be delivered, (Joel.) The name of the Lord is the same as the Lord himself. It is a Hebraism, signifying to call on the Lord, Ps 79:6; Zec 13:9.

Shall be saved. In Hebrew, shall be delivered, i.e. from impending calamities. When they threaten, and God is coming forth to judge them, it shall be that those who are characterized as those who call on the Lord shall be delivered. This is equally true at all times. It is remarkable that no Christians perished in the siege of Jerusalem. Though more than a million of Jews perished, yet the followers of Christ who were there, having been warned by him, when they saw the signs of the Romans approaching, with- drew to AElia, and were preserved. So it shall be in the day of judgment. All whose character it has been that they called on God, will then be saved. While the wicked shall then call on the rocks and the mountains to shelter them from the Lord, those who have invoked his favour and mercy shall then find deliverance. The use which Peter makes of this passage is this: Calamities were about to come; the day of judgment was approaching; they were passing through the last days of the earth's history; and therefore it became them to call on the name of the Lord, and to obtain deliverance from the dangers which impended over the guilty. There can be little doubt that Peter intended to apply this to the Messiah, and that by the name of the Lord he meant the Lord Jesus. See 1 Co 1:2. Paul makes the same use of the passage, expressly applying it to the Lord Jesus Christ, Ro 10:13,14. In Joel, the word translated Lord is JEHOVAH, the incommunicable and peculiar name of God; and the use of the passage before us, in the New Testament, shows how the apostles regarded the Lord Jesus Christ; and proves that they had no hesitation in applying to him names and attributes which could belong to no one but God.

This verse teaches us,

(1.) that in prospect of the judgments of God which are to come, we should make preparation. We shall be called to pass through the closing scene of this earth; the time when the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, and when the great day of the Lord shah come.

(2.) It is easy to be saved. All that God requires of us is to call upon him, to pray to him, to ask him, and he will answer and save. If men will not do so easy a thing as to call on God, and ask him for salvation, it is obviously proper that they should be cast off. The terms of salvation could not be made plainer or easier. The offer is wide, free, universal, and there is no obstacle but what exists in the heart of the sinner. And from this part of Peter's vindication of the scene on the day of Pentecost, we may learn also,

(1.) that revivals of religion are to be expected as a part of the history of the Christian church. He speaks of God's pouring out his Spirit, etc., as what was to take place in the last days, i.e. in the indefinite and large tract of time which was to come under the administration of the Messiah. His remarks are by no means limited to the day of Pentecost. They are as applicable to future periods as to that time; and we are to expect it as a part of Christian history, that the Holy Spirit will be sent down to awaken and convert men.

(2.) This will also vindicate revivals from all the charges which have ever been brought against them. All the objections of irregularity, extravagance, wildfire, enthusiasm, disorder, etc., which have been alleged against revivals in modern times, might have been brought with equal propriety against the scene on the day of Pentecost. Yet an apostle showed that that was in accordance with the predictions of the Old Testament, and was an undoubted work of the Holy Spirit. If that work could be vindicated, then modern revivals may be. If that was really liable to no objections on these accounts, then modern works of grace should not be objected to for the same things. And if that excited deep interest in the apostles; if they felt deep concern to vindicate it from the charge brought against it, then Christians and Christian ministers now should feel similar solicitude to defend revivals, and not be found among their revilers, their calumniators, or their foes. There will be enemies enough of the work of the Holy Spirit without the aid of professed Christians; and that man possesses no enviable feelings or character who is found with the enemies of God and his Christ, in opposing the mighty work of the Holy Spirit on the human heart.

{b} "shall call on the name" 1 Co 1:2; Heb 4:16

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