"What's In A Name?"
October 13, 2010
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." Acts 10:34 (KJV)
Not so long ago I came across what was supposed to be a true story. The tale began with a Chicago bank that was investigating the background of a young man from Boston, a young man who was looking for employment.
Part of that investigation had the Chicago bank contact the fellow's old place of business, an investment house on the East Coast. The ex-employer wrote back to the bank, and they did so in the most glowing of terms. The letter shared how the young man's father was a Cabot and his mother was a Lowell. Further back in the man's lineage he could count other important names -- names like the Saltonstalls and Peabodys and other blue-blooded Bostonians.
In short, the young man was being recommended.
Having read the letter, the Chicago bank wrote back. With some degree of frustration, they said, "Please understand, we are not contemplating using the young man for breeding purposes. (We merely want him) just for work."
Like that Chicago bank, the Lord is not a respecter of persons. Just because we come from a long line of Lutherans or Generic Christians doesn't mean we are part of the family of faith.
Just because our spouse goes to church every week and volunteers countless hours to the Lord's cause, doesn't mean we will have our names written in the Book of Life.
No, if we are to be saved, it will be because the Holy Spirit has worked faith within our hearts; it will be because He has called us from darkness to light, from lostness to eternal life.
Salvation is God's blood-bought gift designed and destined not to save just one person, or one nation, or even one race. Salvation through the risen Lord Jesus is God's great blessing bestowed upon any and all souls who repent and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
This is just another way of saying, "Your name may not get you a job in a Chicago bank, but the name 'Christian' is enough to get you into heaven."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I truly do give thanks my Savior has called me to repentance, forgiveness, and faith. By His life, suffering, death, and resurrection, through Holy Spirit-inspired faith, I am proud to call myself "Christian." May I always live a life that reflects positively upon that Name. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries