If the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
One purpose of salt is to create thirst, but the main use of salt in Jesus’s day was to preserve food. The salt could not prevent decay, but it delayed the decay. Jesus said in the same way, the reason Christians are here on earth is to restrain the evil that is destroying our world. Paul alluded to this in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7. He said right now, the Holy Spirit is restraining evil in this world. How? Through individual Christians. And when all Christians are removed from the earth at the rapture, it will take only seven years for the world to completely unravel during a period called the great tribulation. We cannot prevent the ultimate destruction of the world, but we can push back against it.
Imagine a giant dam is keeping millions of gallons of water from deluging a village. The dam starts springing leaks everywhere, and a hundred men from the village go up to the dam and push back against it. They know eventually the dam is going to crumble, but they are buying a little more time for the people in the village to flee to safety. That is a picture of what Christians are doing right now: we are pushing back against the flood of iniquity that is about to descend upon our world so that we have a little more time to point people to the way of salvation.
In 2 Peter 3:9, the apostle wrote, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” The only reason God has not drawn the curtain on human history is to give His people longer to share the gospel. If we are fulfilling our Christ-given purpose to be salt, it means we are pushing back against evil in order to save people from the coming judgment of God by introducing them to faith in Jesus Christ.
When it comes to pushing back against evil, some Christians isolate themselves from the culture. They are salt, but they stay in the shaker so they will not be contaminated by the world. Then there are other Christians who identify with the culture, becoming more like the world and adopting its value system. Jesus talked about these Christians in Matthew 5:13: “If the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything.” Once salt had lost its distinctiveness, its preserving influence, it was thrown away. Jesus was saying, “Do not identify with the culture, but do not isolate yourselves from the culture either. Instead, influence the culture. Get out of the shaker.”
God needs His people out in the world to be the preserving influence He has called us to be.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Faith” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org