Matthew 7:21 and vs. Romans 10:13?

Discussion in 'Former Discussion and Debate' started by battlecommand, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. battlecommand

    battlecommand New Member

    The two verses I mentioned in the title of this thread, to me, have always been baffling. At first sight, they seem contradictory but I have learnt that the Word of God is neither contradictory nor inconsistent. There's always a very reasonable and sensible explanation for seemingly contradictory passages of scripture.

    I cannot come up or find a satisfying explanation for this one however! So I've brought it to AY, hoping to settle the matter and give myself peace of mind, once and for all.

    Matthew 7:21 -- “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    Romans 10:13 -- “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Several other verses repeat this -- Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21 are the ones I know of.)

    Thank you in advance!

    Love in Christ,
  2. DWWML

    DWWML New Member

    Hey! Hmmm...I've never thought about this, but...I think that in Matthew, God says that not all people who claim to be Christians really are Christians. We all know how easy it is to say something but it's way harder to live that certain way, or even think it, mean it. There are many people who call God their Lord but their lives show that they worship themselves instead of Him. This means that they are not truly saved because they don't fully acknowledge Him, so they will not go to Heaven.
    When it comes to Romans, I think that God means that those who call on Him will be saved, and those that do call on Him are the ones who recognize that they need to depent on God and they realize that they are not their own, but God's. I don't know, I am curious what other people think about it...
  3. gullivers_travels

    gullivers_travels Well-Known Member Mentor

    The explanation I have been given, though it doesn't seem extremely obvious in these verses, is a lot like what DWWML said. If you think about it, anyone who sees God will not be able to deny He exists. With that in mind, it comes down to how they call out to Him. Are they doing it because they are afraid of hell and dying or are they doing it because they truly see the awe and glory and splendor of God and in that moment realize and except the truth within their hearts? It is a very fine line, but considering that God knows all, I'd say He understands without a doubt what the person's motives are. And beyond that, He knows exactly what He means by these two verses. ;) I'll try to do a little research and see if I can dig up anythinge else.
  4. battlecommand

    battlecommand New Member

    I think this is a really good explanation and interpretation of the verse! Thank you!

    I guess the keywords then are "says" in Matthew and "calls" in Romans. One interpretation could be, like DWWML said, the difference between "saying that He is Lord" and "calling on Him" and depending on Him.

    Thanks, this definitely clears up the confusion. :)
  5. Zipster

    Zipster Captain Controversy Staff Member AY! Supporter

    While on a systematic level, what's been said above may suffice as an answer. However, always the challenger, and always the digger, I am compelled to ask a question.

    When Jesus was speaking the words of Matthew 7, the idea of "Christianity" was unheard of. I sincerely doubt that Jesus himself was speaking necessarily about who will be saved and who will be unsaved. I think there was something different that Jesus was alluding to.

    What I continue to see as I study the gospels is just how sharp Jesus' words were to the people who heard them. Preceding the bit about entering the Kingdom of heaven is a small section about discerning a tree by it's fruit. It's one continuous thought - discernment of fruit builds into and ties into entering the Kingdom.

    Now, what stands out to me is that Jesus uses the imagery of a "tree." This is very important, because Israel in Jesus' day was often symbolized as a tree, specifically, a fig-tree. This should bring to mind the bit of when Jesus curses the fig-tree. Just like Jesus didn't go around arbitrarily killing plants because he could, he didn't use the tree for imagery because it sounded nice. No, in both of these cases, nationalistic Israel stands in the middle, to which Jesus is primarily speaking.

    In essence, in Matthew 7, it seems that Jesus is saying that being part of national Israel isn't enough to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus seems to have been issuing a cryptic warning against Israel.

    In Romans, Paul isn't doing any of this. The context of Matthew and of Romans are entirely different. If read in a detached systematic way we are at risk of losing the context and having more serious contradictions arise.

    With the context established - Romans being written around 30 years after Jesus died - we can see that there is no contradiction, and that each passage is speaking about something different.
  6. battlecommand

    battlecommand New Member

    @Zipster, thank you so much for pointing that out! I figured it definitely had something to do with context but I re-read both chapters and couldn't figure it out, and, plus, being a pretty young believer myself, I thought I'd take it to you guys.

    Will definitely have to read into it more to fully understand the two different contexts. Thank you! :)

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