|Joel 2:31-32 |
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before [in the presence of] the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.2
32 And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved3, for deliverance shall be in Mount Zion and Jerusalem, as the LORD has said; and among the remnant shall be those whom the LORD calls.
3 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But Jesus said: Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Mat 7:21-23. So, a casual calling on the name of the Lord does absolutely no good. From the Word of the Lord within: "Call on the Lord with a pure heart. Pray only as you are told." Until you can hear what the Lord desires you to pray, sit and wait in humble silence, hopeful of eventually becoming righteous: able to pray, praise, worship, speak, and act perfectly according to the will of God, which brings pleasure, honor, and glory to God.
Flee youthful lusts; but aim at and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in the company of others who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim 2:22. Note! the pure heart; without a pure heart you are like those described by Jesus as hypocrites: You hypocrites, Isaiah did correctly prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me.' Isa 29:13, Mat 15:7-8. Saved means to be delivered from all sins and be in a sinless state. He [Jesus] became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him. Heb 5:9. Think about it: the Jews killed the prophets thinking they were doing God a favor; they called on the name of the Lord regularly, but they killed his prophets. And the Pharisees killed Jesus; they called on the name of the Lord every day, many times. Jesus even told us that religious people would kill his true disciples: Yes, the time is coming when whoever kills you will think that he is doing a service to God. John 16:2; and so the Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists killed 869 Quakers in the 17th Century, including hanging three men and a woman in Boston. The Roman Catholic priests and orders murdered 9,000,000 souls in the inquisitions of the Middle Ages. All of these murderers of those with a different religious opinion regularly went to worship services, prayed, were baptized, took "communion," fasted, and read their Bibles — obviously calling on the name of the Lord many times a day. NO! They were not saved, which is to be delivered from all sins and be in a sinless state.
This verse only applies to the remnant who have persisted to the end of carrying their inward cross of self-denial to purity, resulting in the appearance of the Lord in their hearts for final judgment and Jesus bringing salvation. Everyone passes through the fire on that great and terrible day of the Lord. The sun will have been darkened by the bright light of His coming, but then you are immersed in fire; at the last second, before you are totally consumed by the fire, in fear and hope you call on the name of the Lord, and he snatches you from the fire.
When we are so fortunate to have the Lord appear for final judgment while we are still alive on the earth, we will be full of hope and joy. We will greet His appearance with awe, but with a joyous hope. This is the baptism of death with fire. As we are surrounded by the fire of His presence, we will call out in hope — we will shout, "Save me Lord Jesus;" with confidence and joy. Remain confident that this will be all in His control for your supreme benefit. Know you are going to die in the process and rejoice at the culmination of all your efforts to arrive at this moment.
All others will be taken completely by surprise at his fearful appearance after their death. He is so pure and holy, they will instantly know they are hopelessly evil. He will cause them to panic and lose all reason — just wild, uncontrollable fear. See Howgill's description in footnote 2 above of what happens to those still sinning when they die.
Those whom he has been changing to purity by grace through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial will previously have had the love of God perfected in them, and they are to approach judgment with confidence and boldness — not falling on their face weeping and begging for forgiveness — nor does He want them to draw back in fear. They are to stand in confident, joyful expectation — even as they behold His fearful, awful presence. And as they are surrounded by fire, instead of running, they call out to Him to save them; and so He does save the remnant whom he has been purifying and cleansing, preparing them for his appearance. From the Word of the Lord within: "I will devour those who do not follow, and snatch the righteous from the fire."