Summary: Our response to criticism by the world is to withdraw into our Christian subculture: Christian radio, colleges, books, TV, church, etc. Jesus tells us we must be the Salt of the Earth. What does that mean?
OUT OF THE SALT SHAKER & INTO THE WORLD!
A. HUMOR: QUITTING
1. A man was shoveling snow from his driveway when two boys carrying snow shovels approached him.
2. “Shovel your snow, Mister?” one of them asked. “Only two dollars!”
3. Puzzled, the man replied, “Can’t you see that I’m doing it myself?”
4. “Sure,” said the enterprising lad; “that’s why we asked. We get most of our business from people who are half through and feel like quitting!”
5. LESSON: “It’s always too soon to quit!”
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Mt. 5:13.
C. VALUE OF SALT
1. How valuable is salt? 40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a "substance dear to the gods." Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays.
2. When painting "The last Supper," Leonard da Vinci wanted to highlight the loss of Judas’ purity in betraying Christ. How did he do it? He painted an overturned salt container in front of Judas.
3. More wars have been fought over salt than over gold!
4. Thousands of Napoleon’s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal--their bodies lacked salt.
5. The human body contains about 4oz. of salt. Without enough of it, muscles won’t contract, blood won’t circulate,
food won’t digest and the heart won’t beat a beat.
6. Without a doubt, salt is the essence of life. And Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth."
1. The world poses a threat to our spiritual well-being. Anti-Christian elements don't understand us. The media often stereotypes us as ignorant or hypocritical.
2. Our response? Often, it is to withdrawal from the world into our Christian subculture: Christian radio, colleges, books, TV, church, support groups, etc.
3. But Jesus shows us our place in the world and chose as His example to describe us: "salt."
4. Salt had many uses in Bible times, but what did the Lord mean when He said, "You are the Salt of the earth?" We’ll look at four applications of ‘salt’ to the Church.
5. The title of tonight's message is "Out of the Salt Shaker & Into the World."
PART I: SALT = CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE
I. SALT PRESERVES
A. DAYS BEFORE REFRIGERATION
1. Salt was the only way to preserve foods. Salted food didn’t rot or decay.
2. Jesus’ followers are to preserve the world from the rot of sin. We work to reverse moral deterioration. Who will, if not us?
3. Salt blocks the growth of bacteria, and keeps away corruption.
B. PRESERVES THE WORLD FROM JUDGMENT
1. Abraham helped preserve Lot (Gen. 18). "If I only find ten righteous, I will not destroy it."
2. In 2 Thess., Paul discusses what hinders the Antichrist
from being revealed and the total takeover of the world by evil: it is the Holy Spirit in the Church. The church is a preserving force in the world.
C. SALT IS A SYMBOL OF PRE-JUDGMENT
1. “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt….Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” Mk. 9:49-50.
2. The word “fire” is used as a synonym for “salt.” Normally fire is used as an emblem of judgment. Since salt is put on what goes in the fire, i.e., sacrifices, and that everyone will pass through judgment, then it stands to reason that salt too is an emblem of prejudgment.
3. If we judge ourselves now, we shall not be subject to judgment (1 Cor. 11:31). If we have salt now, we won’t have to have fire/salt later.
II. SALT IS POTENT
A. STRONG TASTE PER WEIGHT
1. As far as its chemical composition, salt is NaCl, sodium chloride; either element taken individually would kill you, but together they’re fine to digest.
2. Why so strong tasting? Because it’s potent/ pure/ concentrated. Salt is just salt. It has no additives involved. It’s strong because it's simple and concentrated
3. In considering Purity, we’re not supposed to be like other people, but like Jesus. No compromise.
B. SALTLESS SALT? MUST MAINTAIN PURITY
1. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Mt. 5:13.
2. Sodium chloride cannot lose its saltiness. So what did
Jesus mean? In His time salt used by the common people was not pure; it was a mixture of minerals taken from the marshes surrounding the Dead Sea.