Author’s note: Included below are both the blog and the video I have made on this subject.
Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor the dunghill, but men throw it out. – Luke 14:34-35
Jesus said that salt is good. This we know to be true. Every one of us should have an appreciation for salt, because without it our food wouldn’t be near as good (plus, we’d be dead, but that’s another story).
Of course, natural salts are found in the foods that we eat, but that little salt shaker on our tables adds so much to so many foods that world of food would be turned upside down if it were to be taken away.
We take for granted the pleasure that comes from salt. Almost everyday I make eggs for breakfast. I love fried eggs on a piece of rye toast. However, whenever I tell people that, I always leave out the fact that I put salt on my eggs. The truth is that I like eggs with salt. If it weren’t for the salt, I would not like eggs. The same is true with chicken, hamburgers, grits, corn, etc.
Christians are the salt of the earth. We make the earth good. God is pleased when He looks down on the earth and sees His people living in righteousness. And because of this, even the world will receive good because of the people of God. Just sharing the same space with the people of God brings a blessing. America is the great example of this. For hundreds of years America has been the most Christian country in the world. It has also been the greatest country in the world–a blessing to whoever lives in her, and to the whole world. She has her faults, but there can be little doubt that the world would be a much darker place if it wasn’t for America.
Christians are created for good works (Eph 2:10). We were brought to life with the purpose of perpetuating good across the face of the earth. This is our purpose, and this is what was preached to us from day one:
This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. –Titus 3:8
And it doesn’t necessarily take many Christians to bring about this good. Just like a little salt goes a long way, so Christians, spread out across the world, can do much good with just a few there. As a matter of fact, too much salt is not good. Nobody likes too much salt. God doesn’t want a bunch of Christians jammed together in one spot. He wants them spread out all over the world, preaching the gospel, doing good in every place.
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature… – Mark 16:15
The first church was slow to obey the command to go into all the world. They were all heaped together in Jerusalem. It took a great persecution to finally spread them out.
At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered… those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word – Acts 8:1,4
That persecution was a great blessing in disguise, for it caused the gospel to go forth to many that had not heard it. Great blessing came to Samaria, for example, because of it (Acts 8:8).
God will often bless a nation because of just a few of His faithful. He will also stay His judgement for the same reason.
If you remember the story, the Angel of the Lord came down to observe Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham. There had arisen a great outcry against those cities because of their severe depravity. But before the Lord went to those cities, he spoke with Abraham about them–about His plans to bring destruction upon them because of their sin. Abraham prayed that God would spare the righteous in the city, but look at the Lord’s response:
So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes” – Genesis 18:26
Wow! Thousands of wicked spared just for the sake of a few righteous. And we know that the Lord went on to say that He would spare the whole place for only ten righteous! He failed to find even ten righteous, but He still went above and beyond to rescue the one righteous man that did happen to be there, practically dragging him and his family out of the city. What a merciful God we serve!
The people of God can be a great blessing to the world. If we let our light shine, we can truly make the world an enjoyable place, both to God and man.
But there is a problem. It seems as though Christians are everywhere, yet the world is not so great a place. Why is this? Jesus addresses this:
Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither good for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. – Luke 14:34-35
What if you were to sprinkle some salt on your next meal, but you found that the salt in your shaker lacked that salty flavor? What would you do?
Well, salt can be used for other things besides making food good. It can be thrown on the ground to prevent weeds from growing. It can also be sprinkled on manure, which helps to better the manure. But wait, salt without it’s saline properties won’t do those things either! Un-salty salt is good for nothing. The only place for it is the garbage can.
This is the illustration Jesus gives regarding those that call themselves Christians but lack good works. If we lack the very thing that makes us who we are, then we are truly good for nothing. Jesus quite literally informs us that ‘Christians’ who have no good works are not even good for crap. Ouch.
Salt is made to be salty. Is salt-less salt really salt? Christians are created for the purpose of good works. Are Christians without good works Christians indeed? If we aren’t living for the purpose for which we were created, then what are we doing?
We all must examine ourselves. Doing good for the sake of the Kingdom of God is the purpose for which we live. Of course, that looks different for different people, but the principal is still there for everyone. If we find that we are fruitless, it could be that we are dead, like a branch lying on the ground next to the vine, drying up, waiting to be cast into the fire (John 15:6).
Fortunately, there is a way for us to regain our saltiness again. Jesus won’t cast us out right away. He is very merciful. His heart yearns to help those who are broken over their sin.
He would admonish us now as He did the church in Ephesus:
I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works – Jesus (Revelation 2:4-5)
Good works are fundamentally attached to our salvation experience. Those who are truly born again instantly begin the good works that come naturally. But those that allow themselves to get choked by the hardships of this life, by the cares of this world, and by the desire for other things, will be pushed away from such things. The only cure is to repent, and to go back and do them again.
You may not feel it like you did at the beginning, but that’s ok; Jesus didn’t say to feel. He said to do. When we ‘do,’ the ‘feel’ will come later.
Have you lost your saltiness? If so, it’s time to repent. It’s time to go back to the works you did at the beginning. When you have these, you have salt in yourself, you are the very thing that makes the earth good. God is pleased, people are blessed, and a reward awaits you in heaven. But if you harden your heart, don’t be deceived: un-salty salt is not salt at all.
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