A Word to the Unconverted
Please notice, dear friends, that in the thirteenth verse [of Romans 10] we have the way of salvation set before us in the plainest terms: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I remember well when I lived on that verse for many months. I longed for salvation; I could not see that there was any way of hope for me; I thought that I must be left out, that I was too sinful, or too hard, or too something or other, so that others might be saved, but I should not be. But when I read this verse, I did what I ask you to do, I caught at it; it seemed like a life-line thrown to a sinking man. I clung to it, and it became a life-bouy to me: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” “Ah!” thought I, “I do call on that blessed name, I will call on that glorious name; if I perish, I will never cease to invoke that sacred name.” An invocation of the name of God, a trusting in god, and a consequent calling upon God and acknowledgment of God, this it is that saves the soul.
But I must get you to notice these words a little more in detail. There is here, first, a wide word, a very wide word: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved?” “Whosoever.” I have heard that, when a person is making his will, if he wishes to leave all he has to one person, say to his wife, if he just says so, that is the best thing he can do; but he had better not go into details, and begin making a list of what he is leaving, because he will probably leave something or other out. Now, in order to make this will of God very distinct, he does not go into any detail, but he just says, “Whosoever.” That means the black man, and the red man, and the yellow man, and the white man. It means the rich man, and the poor man, and the man who is not a man. It means everybody of every sort, and those who are of no sort at all, or of all sorts put together. “Whosoever.” That includes me, I am sure; but I am equally certain that it includes you, you in the aisles who were never here before, you who are quite unknown in London, you who are a stranger and a foreigner, whoever you may be. It is much better to have it put so, without going into detail, because otherwise somebody might be left out. I have often thought that, if I had read in Scripture that “If Charles Haddon Spurgeon shall call upon the name of the Lord, he shall be saved,” I should not have felt half as sure of salvation as I do now, because I should have concluded that there might have been somebody else of that name, and very likely there is, and I should have said, “Surely it did not mean me;” but when the Lord says “Whosoever,” I cannot get out of that circle. It is a big net that seems to entangle all men in its meshes. “Whosoever.” If I call upon the name of the Lord, if you call upon the name of the Lord, if the man who lies upstairs a-dying calls upon the name of the Lord, we shall be saved. What a wide word that “whosoever” is!
And then, next, what an easy word we have here! “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord.” Anybody can call upon the name of the Lord. Everybody understands what it is to call “Hi there!” Have you not often used such a call as that? And if you have been in distress or danger, have you never called, “Help, help, help?” Very well, he who can thus call, let him call upon God, invoke his help, clamor for this mercy, crave his pity. If he does that in a believing way, as we shall have to show you, trusting that God will hear him, he shall be saved. So there is no difficulty here that wants a doctor of divinity to explain; the truth is put mainly in monosyllabic words: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It is as plain as a pikestaff. Oh, that you might see it, and begin to call upon the name of the Lord by earnest prayer!
But here is another word, a sure word: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There is no “if” here; no “maybe” here; but a glorious “shall.” Our shalls and wills are poor, puny things; but God’s “shall” is firm as the eternal mountains. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” as surely as there is a God. The Lord has made no mistake; he will not revoke his declaration by changing his mind. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Oh, that many would call upon his name…and find immediate salvation, which will last them throughout life, and throughout eternity, for “shall be saved” reaches a very long way, even throughout the eternal ages that are yet to come.