“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-10, 13
Any person can call on God and if God so chooses to answer an unsaved person, it will be to send them the gospel so they can believe on the Lord first to be saved and after the person is a believer he can call upon the Lord in Jesus name for healing, deliverance etc.
“And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” Acts 10:30-33
Calling on God didn’t save Cornelius with the sense of ETERNAL salvation.
However God did send him the gospel message and AFTER Cornelius BELIEVED on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, he was saved. Cornelius didn’t ASK God to save him from eternal damnation, as soon as he believed he was immediately born again and then could call on the Lord and be confident in being heard for any petition.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever BELIEVETH in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” Acts 10:43-47
Cornelius heard, believed and was instantly saved from eternal damnation right then, so there was no need to call upon the Lord for forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.
If you go through the New Testament you will see that the word for “saved” and it’s meaning can be determined by it’s context. Saved can mean physical healing, deliverance from demonic powers, healing of mind and body, being made whole and physical protection from the perils of persecution like Paul was delivered. In order to understand what kind of salvation is being referred to in Romans 10:13, we have to see the context. The context is referring to a believer calling on the Lord for deliverance, protection, etc. It can NOT mean eternal life in that verse because Scripture doesn’t contradict itself. And we know that ONLY believing on the Lord Jesus Christ brings forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.
I used to think that Romans 10:9-13 referred to eternal salvation but now I realize that there is another kind of salvation being referred to because Scripture teaches there is only one way to be saved which is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, period.