How can you and I as believers in Christ remain true to our individual calling by God to be His Salt and Light in the darkness of the culture we live in? To begin we need to define both Salt and Light. Salt is a preservative. As long as salt remains pure and does not get mixed with another substance it will keep its properties and continue to be effective.
Like salt, Believers who remain in the Word and stand alone for Christ in society will have an effective witness. Once we try to be like the surrounding culture our witness becomes ineffective and our credibility is gone. Then to make matters worse through our stumbling we let the Lord be mocked.
Salt also provides flavor. The Gospel represents a meal that when flavored with truth, and given to a true “Seeker of God” will satisfy their appetite forever. Salt also makes us thirsty and so we drink water to refresh ourselves. But water is only a temporary solution for our thirst as we begin to thirst over and over again but never get satisfied. The Gospel however is the Living Water that satisfies our body, mind and soul eternally and will satisfy our everlasting thirst.
Light is meant to illuminate. Just as darkness flees from the light, so to the Gospel, the light of Truth; causes the lies that live in the shadows that plague mankind’s soul to disappear. Light illuminates the path before you, so you can see the destination of your journey clearly. The Gospel represents a journey that everyone needs to take in order to gain the Salvation offered by God. The Word of God is a “Lamp unto thy feet”. It keeps you from stumbling on the pathway home.
God if you recall never prepared Hell as a destination for mankind. Hell is the place prepared for “the devil and his (fallen) angels” in which fallen humanity will also reside. It is mankind’s destination by choice. It is not Gods choice for mankind.
“The lost will enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded and are therefore self- enslaved. God will abandon sinners to their own choice and the consequences of their choices.”
CS Lewis…Problem of Pain
Therefore, you and I are to be salt and light in a Godless society. We are to open our mouths whenever the Holy Spirit gives us an opportunity to witness to a forever dying soul. We are never to compromise our life, our walk or our talk. All three must be unified for us to effectively witness to non-believers.
The Apostle Paul in the Book of Acts spoke about “becoming like one of them” in order to witness to the pagan world around him. He did not mean to blend into the society, to be like one of them, to do what they do; so he could have an opportunity to witness to them. If Paul acted like them he would not have stood out from among them. “Becoming like one of them”, means to understand what they believe and why they believe it so you can witness to them intelligently and show them the errors of their belief system, the flaws contained within their worldview.
Rather than engage people in meaningless witnessing on topics of their choosing, which lead people away from the Truth into arguments, and animosity. Paul chose to control his witnessing by preaching Christ Crucified and His Resurrection from the dead. The ultimate objective of your witnessing is to take people to the Savior’s Cross and to His Resurrection from the dead.
People must understand their need to be saved. Your job is to explain both why they are in need of a Savior and what it is that they are being saved from. This way they will understand the truth of their situation before a Holy God who is coming this time in wrath and with judgment. Without repentance there can be no Salvation. When Paul spoke to someone with biblical knowledge, he spoke to them using the Bible to show them the God of the Bible. When they had no knowledge of the Scriptures Paul spoke to them about Creation and the God of Creation revealed in the Scriptures. These are the two areas of common ground we have with people to explain who God is.
I realize we are all afraid to take on “Spiritual encounters with darkness”…which is the essence of witnessing. However we need to realize as believers we have the resident Holy Spirit, the Comforter within us so we can step out in faith knowing we are not alone in our witness.
Even Moses feared to do this. But God reminded Moses that it was God who made his mouth and it would be God who would put the words into his mouth. Because Moses doubted, God gave the honor of speaking HIS words to his brother Aaron, who then spoke for Moses to Pharaoh. Moses lost part of the Joy that belongs to each of us in our journey because he chose not to listen and obey God.
God is strong when I am weak. This insures that He Gets the GLORY…not me. My ears have heard responses from my lips in witnessing confrontations that came from the Holy Spirit, not from me. How awesome it is to see God use our weakness while watching HIS strength in action.
All of us can look back on our journey to faith in Christ and see the multiple seeds that were planted by people into our lives. You and I are not responsible for any one persons Salvation. We are not responsible for that person’s choice to either accept or deny the Gospel. In the end the responsibility rests with the Holy Spirit and with the choice each person must ultimately make.
You and I are responsible to obey God and do His will during our lives. Being obedient is how we prove to God that we really love Him. One of the saddest stories in the Bible is about Samson. God was with Samson from the womb. He was a believer that was used greatly by God until he became like the culture around him. The process was slow, like a frog being cooked alive in a pot till it dies.
God did not turn away from Samson; it was Samson who turned away from God to live a perverted life. You know the story, Delilah cut his hair. Samson got up to fight but his strength was no longer with him. The saddest part is that Samson did not know that the Holy Spirit had departed from him. He no longer was salt and light in his culture. God left Samson to the consequences of his own choices for the rest of his life. In a sense he was given over to satan for a time. Yet God in His mercy to Samson allowed him to end his life in the service of His Lord.
Every face of someone you know represents the face of God. They were made in the image of God. If they do not know Jesus as Savior, their image is damaged. They need to hear your personal God story; they need the seeds that God has uniquely given you to plant. They need you to be salt and light for their sake.
This is a time when the pulpits of most churches are filled by weak men in weak churches giving weak messages. Instead this should be the time for boldness, for strong biblical ministry so people hear the word of the Living Lord and respond in true repentance for their sins. One of the signs of the wrath of God is when he abandons a culture. I believe He has done that throughout the world, including the United States. Our culture has asked God to leave and He has complied. We now are left to reap the whirlwind.
There is one last aspect of Salt we did not touch on, the ability of Salt to heal. As a believer, knowing who I am in Christ is a great responsibility. When I act like Moses and refuse to open my mouth or when I act like Samson and choose to flow with the current of the sewage we all swim in rather than Stand Alone against the tide… my heart breaks leaving an open wound. You see, my soul is full of light. I know better than to let the encroaching shadows of the old man get a hold of me…yet…often shadows fill my soul.
Sometimes even a follower can get lost.
When this happens my witness is tarnished, the Holy Spirits power is diminished in my life and I am ashamed and cry out for forgiveness. The salt that I am supposed to be turns inward and flows into the open wound in my broken heart. The salt then causes me pain as it heals me.
The God I serve knows that ”I am but dust “ before HIM. My God loves me and extends new mercies everyday to all those who love him. He heals my broken heart and takes away the evil shadows in my Soul with His light. And then, I begin a new day devoted to making a difference for Him with those I love and those He puts into my path.
May you continue to live your days under the protection of His wings, bathed in His light and covered by the Shadow of His Cross.