Summary: Far to many times I have heard someone share that they know someone who says they are a Christian, but their life is impure. It literally destroys the witness of Christ when believers do not live out their faith. So, are you the real deal?
Dr. Evan Kane was the chief surgeon of Kane Summit Hospital in New York City.
He had practiced his specialty for 37 years.
Over the course of time he came to question the wisdom of using general anesthesia for every surgery.
He believed people would recover quicker if they only had local anesthesia.
Yet, no matter how convinced Dr. Kane was about his theory, he had one problem.
No one wanted to go under his knife while they were awake. Everyone he talked to had the same fear.
They did not want to feel the pain of the scalpel while they were awake during the surgery.
After much searching, Kane finally found a willing subject.
It helped that it was a relatively common procedure.
According to Dr. Kane's own records, ...... during his practice he had performed around 4,000 appendectomies, (P) so the procedure was almost second nature to him.
The patient was prepped and brought into the operating room. The local anesthesia was carefully administered.
As he had always done, he cut into the right side of the abdomen and entered the body cavity.
He tied off the blood vessels, found the appendix, excised it, and finished by sewing the incision back up.
To his own credit, he proved himself right.
Throughout the surgery the patient felt very little discomfort.
In fact, the patient was up and about the next afternoon, which was remarkable since this was back in 1921.
Back then when people had appendectomies they stayed in the hospital from 6 to 8 days.
It was a milestone in the world of medicine.
However what made it particularly noteworthy was that the patient and the doctor were the same person. Dr. Kane operated on himself. (Pause)
Believe it or not, that is what I am going to ask of you today.
What I want you to do is something like "spiritual exploratory surgery."
I want you to root around a bit in your soul, take a hard and honest look at your spiritual health, and to see if your faith walk is as healthy as it should be.
Our Gospel reading this morning from Matthew is near the beginning of Jesus most famous sermon, .....The Sermon on the Mount.
In this message, ......Jesus called his followers to the highest standards of conduct. (Pause)
He challenged us ......to "turn the other cheek."
He commanded us.... to love our enemy,.... to forgive those who do us wrong, .......and to be sure we act with the purest motives.
He said there were two roads, a wide road that leads to destruction and a narrow one that leads to life.
And here in today's Gospel verses he calls those who follow Him to choose to be a godly influence on the world in which they live.
Those are tough commands.
Jesus clearly expects the world to be transformed by our presence.
Hear Jesus words to us: "You are the salt of the earth.
But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."
Now at first blush this is a little difficult to understand. There is no such thing as "un-salty salt."
If you pour the granules out of your saltshaker and it's not salty, somebody played a trick on you because pure salt does not go bad.
Sodium Chloride, table salt like Morton's that you buy at the store is pure.
But the Morton Salt Co. did not exist back in the first century.
When they mined salt from the quarry or pit it was never completely pure.
Occasionally the salt they gathered was so impure that it was not very salty at all
When that happened they would cast it out the door to harden the pathway that led to their home.
What Jesus is saying in these verses is that if we as His followers are going to change the world we have to be pure salt, ....... we have to be the real deal.
Our lives cannot be a mixture of impurities. We have to be un-compromised, pure, and authentic.
That is the word I want you to remember. When Jesus says:"You are the salt of the earth." Jesus is saying "Be Authentic."
One thing that has limited the influence Christians have on the world; is that many who claim to follow the Christ are not authentic.
Beloved, an inconsistent lifestyle repels people from the church.
I can not tell you how many times I heard someone share they know someone who says they are a Christian, but their life is impure.
It literally destroys the witness of Christ ...... when believers do not live out their faith.
We may be the only Bible that many will ever see.