God will save (rescue) everyone who calls upon his name. That is the wonderful promise which Paul repeats from Joel 2:32. Paul emphasises that the promise is for all people, from every nation (10:12). To call upon Godís name, people must ask him for help, and they must place their trust in him. When someone does that, God accepts that person as one of his own children (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-17). That person is no longer an enemy of God, but has joined the people of God (1 Peter 2:9-10).
The subject of the Book of Joel is a terrible future attack against Israel by an enemy army. However, in this severe situation, Israelís people return to God (Joel 2:12-17) and God gladly accepts them (Joel 2:18-27). Then God acts in judgement against the enemies that attacked them (Joel 3:1-16).
Godís promise to rescue everyone who calls upon his name appears in the middle of the book, at Joel 2:32. We might think therefore that it is only for Israelís people. However, in Joel 2:28, God promises to send his Spirit upon Ďall peopleí, that is, people from every nation.
This passage from the Book of Joel was of great importance to Peter, who repeated Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2:17-21. Peter believed that such passages are about particular future events (2 Peter 3:1-13). However, he believed that many of them are also about the whole of the present age, from Christís death until his return (1 Peter 1:10-12; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:8). During this whole period, people may call upon Godís name and God will save them (2 Peter 3:9). However, it is foolish for anyone to delay. Today God is speaking to people (Hebrews 4:7); today he wants to save (rescue) them (2 Corinthians 6:2). Their opportunity to trust him will end very suddenly (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:10); then the judgement will come.
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© 2017, Keith Simons.