I don’t know about you, but I love salt! Oh, I know, most doctors say that it’s not good for you, but did you know that there’s really no evidence to support this? Even though the CDC and the FDA purport that too much salt intake shortens your life, there is evidence to suggest that we have been deceived about this for the last 40 years. (Check this recent NY Times article out: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) As a matter of fact, according to this article, there is even evidence that suggests a low-salt intake can actually lead to premature death!
When I read this, it made me think of how the enemy of our souls deceives people by leading them to think that what is bad is good and what is good is bad. Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter (Isaiah 5:20 NLT). We’re living in evil times, and it is extremely important that the people of God rise up and share the truth with this darkened world.
Jesus told us, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless” (Matthew 5:13 NLT). It’s no coincidence that He said this right after He talked about persecution. It’s a sad fact that people don’t want to hear what is right. They don’t want to hear what is true. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB). And sadly, people who call themselves men and women of God are afraid of being publicly ridiculed or persecuted, and some are afraid that donations to their ministries will end, so they sell out and preach a watered down version of the truth.
Doesn’t this speak of the world today?This may offend some of you, but I have to address this. Let’s look at the mega churches and some of today’s church leaders… Joel Osteen seems like a very nice person, but a man of God is called to be so much more than that. He preaches nice inspirational messages, but when given the opportunity to share the gospel to the masses on national broadcasts, he waffles and he won’t come out and say that JESUS is the only way to come to the Father. It seems that he’s more interested in selling books and making people feel good about themselves.
And let’s look at Bishop T.D. Jakes. His words are often very motivational, and he talks about changing our lives and our minds, but as inspiring as he is, he doesn’t preach the unadulterated truth of the gospel. He even shared the stage in July with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, not to proclaim the gospel of Christ, but to share “Living From the Core,” a program designed to help you reach your greatest potential. How do combined messages from new age speakers Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey promote the gospel of Christ? And Bishop Jakes’ message about self-realization does nothing to draw the lost to Jesus. Again, as nice as Bishop Jakes seems to be, when given the opportunity to preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, he seems much more interested in promoting self-awareness, himself and his many books.
The same can be said of so many of today’s church leaders. Oh, many of them are very charismatic and inspiring, but they’ve lost their saltiness. They’ve lost their flavor. Too many of today’s church leaders are afraid of offending people, so they don’t cry out against sin, because people might get angry and quit giving to their ministry. Look at Paula White, and Juanita Bynum! There’s so much more fame, fortune and recognition if we just continue to tickle people’s ears and motivate them to give more money to our ministry. And dare I say it? Look at the Rev. Billy Graham, who is revered by so many!
Look at this statement he released in a full-page ad that ran last week in the USA Today, after a meeting with Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. “I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.” On the surface that sounds really nice, and Graham claims he’s not endorsing Romney or anyone else. However, what is really interesting is that after his meeting with Mitt Romney, Graham’s organization removed a page from their website that referred to Mormonism as a cult. Really? Does the Mormon religion practice and advocate biblical principles?
Deuteronomy instructs us, “Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you from the LORD your God. Just obey them” (Deuteronomy 4:2 NLT). The Mormons believe that the Holy Bible is not the inspired word of God. They believe that their Book of Mormon is to be obeyed first and foremost.
When I hear of these false prophets and false teachers espousing lies, I am reminded of the word the Lord spoke to the prophet, Jeremiah. Then the LORD said, “These prophets are telling lies in My name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. Therefore,” says the LORD, “I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in My name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine!” (Jeremiah 14:14-15 NLT)
Men and women of God, Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the world, and then He tells us what will happen if we lose our flavor… “But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” I’ve got to tell you – if I shake some salt onto my potatoes and it’s lost its saltiness, it’s going straight to the trash can! Jesus is telling us the same thing! If we water down the Word of God and preach only the parts that we deem palatable, we become worthless!
We must preach the whole TRUTH, not just the bits and pieces we like, taking them out of context, like, “God causes all things to work together for good…” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that – even people of the world like that one, but the truth is, And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28 NLT). Please note that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. That word isn’t all-inclusive! Do you see what happens? When we preach only part of the gospel or take it out of context, it loses its flavor.
If we don’t share the truth with people, God will hold us accountable for their death. Wake up church and remember the words of Jesus! “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless” (Matthew 5:13 NLT).
Cheryl A. Showers