Being salt and light
We are living in a time in which increasingly common sense is gone. The idea that the problem with a criminal killing people with a gun is to outlaw guns in pure nonsense. I heard it said the other day that AR15’s are unconstitutional. When the second amendment to our constitution clearly states that we have the right to bear arms, it was not because the founders of our nation thought that we might not be able to go duck hunting.
But the deeper issue here is the lack of basic morality in so much of our society. The exploitation of the flesh is now not only acceptable but even desirable. This is on full display in the media and in the market place. For one to take a stand on Biblical truth, such as marriage being mandated by God to be between a man and a woman, is now considered to be hateful. Furthermore the church by enlarge has become unable to stand for the truth because they want to be seen as loving and kind. This inability to be able to distinguish between loving people but hating the sin has created a situation in which Jesus says this: “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 underfoot. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. "(Mt. 5:13-16)
I’m now in Romans chapter seven with my Sunday messages, which you can hear by listening online. Why do you think that Paul would put this chapter between six and eight? When one contemplates the dilemma he describes in this chapter it is quite revealing of our predicament. Mankind doesn’t want to accept the reality that we are a slave to sin and completely helpless to deal with it. That is why Paul cries out, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24-25)
Jesus is the only solution to our hopeless condition, but not only does mankind in general not want this, they deny that they have a problem that they can’t fix. So we have a culture that is committed to its own agenda, which is nothing more than a death spiral. Jesus told us this: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide and many will choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Mt. 7:13-14)
I’m sure you have discovered that things that are good and lasting require great effort. The apostle Peter would tell us to make an all-out effort to become a person that is effective and productive as we live the Christian life. He also told us that the Christian life would be difficult. But it is worth it because when this life is over, and it will be one day for everyone, we will give an account for the choices we have made here. This was the apostle Paul’s attitude: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
My mother had a plaque that said this: “Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” May this become our life’s goal.