"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."
Today, I would like to explore this oft-quoted phrase from the Bible ... "You are the salt of the earth". How many times have we heard Christians referred to as "the salt and the light"? Let's consider the first part of that description.
What is the significance of referring to Christ-followers as salt? What are the functions of salt? I believe that two functions of salt pertain to our Christian walk ... First, as disciples of Christ, we make His Gospel message flavorful to the unsaved; we make it more appealing and palatable, or tasty, by testifying to the grace and mercy of God in our own lives. Secondly, like salt, Christians prevent the complete spoiling of the earth. The power of the Holy Spirit within us holds in check the forces of corruption and lawlessness until God’s appointed time. Our presence makes the difference between God dealing with mankind in grace and mercy, rather in the wrath and judgment the human race deserves. Both functions are pretty big responsibilities.
If we are to be the flavor in the earth, that must come from the testifying of the Body of Christ; from our efforts to stand for the Character and Essence of God. Salt brings out the flavor in our food and heightens the vitality and spirit of a food. So should we, as members of the Body of Christ be constantly re-vitalizing the Church to speak into the corrupt world. In doing so, we stand as the barrier to the accomplishment of Satan’s supreme ambition, which is to gain dominion over the whole earth. This explains why Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “the falling away comes first, and the man of sin [Antichrist] is revealed.” The word translated “falling away” is literally apostasy, that is, a departure from the faith.
As long as the Body of Christ, or the Church, is willing to stand firm and uncompromisingly for God, then we are as "salt of the earth"; able to prevent corruption and hold back that final manifestation of the Antichrist. And, boy, does satan know this! That is why he has continuously attacked the character of the Church; undermining its foundation of faith and righteousness. He knows that once he has achieved this, the barrier to his purposes is removed, and the way is open for him to gain both spiritual and political control over the whole earth. From where I sit, he has done a pretty good job of accomplishing his goal.
Who cannot say that the Church has compromised on God's statues and precepts? Look at our culture and the state of men's souls and the answer is clear. The Church is falling away from its duties and responsibilities to be the salt of the earth -- we no longer are considered "flavorful" or "tasteful" to our culture, and we certainly have not prevented corruption and lawlessness within the Body of Christ. So what are the effects of this situation?
Jesus tells us Himself: We become “salt that has lost its savor.” He warns us of the fate that awaits such savorless salt: “It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” To be "good for nothing" is not what I want to hear from my Savior! Yet, I cannot deny that the Church has done a poor job of holding back corruption within itself or our nation. And let us not ignore what is to be done with salt that has lost its ability to add flavor ... it is thrown out, or rejected by God! And then what happens? It is trampled underfoot by men!
We must remember that God's Character never changes. Just as he used men such as King Nebuchadnezzar as instruments of His judgment upon an unbelieving nation of Judah, so can He use men in the 21st Century to wield His judgment upon an apostate Church or country. I contend that we may very well be setting ourselves up to be handed over to forces who will be instruments of God's righteous judgment.
In 1976, noted Bible teacher Derek Prince wrote this about the importance of being the salt of the earth: Paul clearly presents us two alternatives [to this situation] in Romans 12:21 ... "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." There are only two choices: either to overcome or to be overcome. There is no middle ground, no third option for us. We may use the good that God has put at our disposal to overcome the evil that confronts us. But if we fail to do this, then that very evil will in turn overcome us. This message applies with special urgency to those of us who live in lands where we still enjoy liberty to proclaim and to practice our Christian faith. In many lands today, Christians have lost this liberty. At the same time, multiplied millions of people in those lands have been systematically indoctrinated to hate and to despise Christianity and all that it stands for. To such people who have been indoctrinated, there could be no greater satisfaction than to trample under their feet those Christians who are not already under their yoke."
He wrote that in 1976 ... 40 years ago! Can you see just how much our salt has lost its taste? The Church, as a whole, is losing its saltiness, and may very well suffer the judgment of God, who may use those indoctrinated millions for His purpose. But, as I've said so many times before, I believe that God is preserving a remnant in the Body of Christ that is still full of flavor and able to share a taste of God with the world, and has the power to prevent corruption of His Word, while keeping the forces of Antichrist reined in.
Tune in tomorrow for an inspiring story of one young Christian who meets that description. She is living out her life as the salt of the earth, and bring the Light of Jesus to the world!