“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27) “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.” (2 Tim. 2:12)
These two verses do not imply that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” (Romans 10:13) is the completion, so to speak, of the acknowledgement of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior of one’s soul, there seems to be more to it than simply calling upon Him, a changed life seems to be in order here.
A cross carried shows proof of salvation, actions performed, words spoken, most certainly no one can be a disciple unless they are saved. And so, by all accounts calling upon the name of the Lord would be a “first step,” so to speak.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20) also infers a changed life, a life transformed by the renewing of one’s mind by submission to the Word of God, love for Jesus Christ, and adhering and applying to what the Holy Spirit shows us. Much more than just calling on His name.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) Also seems to not negate that first calling upon Him, but reinforces the fact of salvation by grace, for that studying of the Word of God would not just be for the sake of adhering to that particular verse, but would be for the joy, the privilege of being able to search the Scriptures as often as possible, to find the knowledge of God. (Prov. 2:5)
I fear that far too many who profess to be Christians have repeated the words, filled a place in the pew, gotten themselves baptized, and then moved on with their life as the centralized focus of that life. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) says much more is required than this, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again,” (John 3:7) says that the life we were born into is now a thing of the past, counted as dung, (Phil. 3:8) sought after no more, cast behind us as we move forward on a new path, leaving the old behind forever.
I fear that many who have believed that all that was necessary was “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” (Romans 10:13) will hear “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41) for these and other verses that have been offered here imply not only a transformed life, but a crucified one that carries a cross, is suffering for the name of Jesus Christ and the glory of God, has devoted oneself to the point of crucifixion with Him, and now no longer lives for themselves.
That cross, that discipleship, those sufferings with no thought to oneself are proof of salvation, and they are the assurance of it from the Lord. You must be crucified, you must die to self here in this life, or you will not see the kingdom of God, you must be born-again, or you will face the second death, (Rev. 20:14) you must carry your cross continuously, or you are not a disciple of Jesus Christ, and if you do not suffer with Him, you will not be glorified.
The verses are clear, but many refuse to see them as such. The completely transformed life in their eyes is not a requirement, but a suggestion, and so they refuse to hate the world, (1 John 2:15) but attempt to find a place within it still, they do not hate their own lives, (John 12:25) but do all that is possible to live as long and as comfortably as they can, fearing that which no longer holds a sting upon us. (1 Cor. 15:55) They will not be crucified, for that would mean the death of self and all the pleasures of it that they have come to love.
The verses are true, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14) And “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matt. 15:8) I wish it wasn’t so.