In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His followers they were to be “salt and light.” The light should not be covered in any way, but prominently display its illuminating power–dispelling the darkness and revealing the way. During Christ’s time, salt was designed to preserve that which is precious and halt the moral decay in our sin-filled world. It had a powerful effect unless it lost its “savor,” as Jesus said. If it did, then “it was good for nothing but to be trampled under the feet of men.”
Because the light of Christ has been dimmed by compromise, lack of compassion, and comfort-seeking compatibility with like kind rather than Christ-like witnesses, we suffer prevailing darkness, deception, and destruction here in America and around the world. People seem unable to find their way because they have missed or rejected “the way, the truth, and the life” Jesus freely offers. Too many church folks have become just that: church folks, rather than Spirit-filled, love-filled, bold witnesses. Because the Christian witness has not been expressed consistently with conviction and made a kingdom imprint on the culture, that which is precious is now being trampled underfoot. The burden of the Lord today is for the church He purchased to rise up and fulfill its calling. The nations are reaping the bad fruit of a garden neglected by the church.
Precious, innocent, unborn babies are mercilessly killed in the wombs of the mothers, disregarding the basic natural tendency to love and nurture the child. Why do not all believers weep over this now-accepted, promoted practice and help stop this modern-day holocaust? It is only when people are inspired to understand the preciousness of all life and its unlimited potential that they will stop the slaughter.
The sanctity of the marriage commitment and vows is of little value to most couples today, with at least 50 percent among professing Christians ending in divorce. Relationships, at best, seem strained and weak. Couples now live together, “hooking up” rather than making covenant vows. Today, same-sex partners demand their personal desires, appetites, and practices be called something they will never actually be. Their relationship will never be what God established and ordained as marriage, which can, by nature, only be between a man and a woman.
Family is now redefined by secular, progressive activists as any group or community claiming to be a family. Government no longer serves the people, but openly tramples the rights granted us by nature’s God and nature’s law, and established by our founders in the Constitution. Freedom is now defined as the right to do what anyone wants rather than the ability to live under control doing what is best as responsible citizens. Lawlessness prevails because God’s law is ignored and cast aside. People are being persuaded to trust a new “Pharaoh” and we are all being pulled into bondage to failed systems of mere men. “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh,” warned the prophet Jeremiah.
Because the walls of protection had been torn down and the gates of the city set on fire by the enemy, Nehemiah called the people and inspired them to stand together against the skeptics and mockers while they courageously built the walls in just 52 days. It was a miracle of faith and working in unity with purpose that brought about the miracle.
Recently, I asked neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson on LIFE Today, “How long do you think it would take to begin effectively correcting our nation’s course?” He said, “Much faster than people might imagine.” He indicated we could avoid the coming catastrophic effects of bad decisions in less than a year. In other words, a wise crew could miss the iceberg, save the ship, and begin to direct everyone toward safe harbor. This is what must happen.
In Lamentations, Jeremiah observed the destruction of Jerusalem and asked tearfully, “Is it nothing to all you who pass this way?” He said, “For these things I weep; my eyes run down with water; because far from me is a comforter, one who restores my soul. My children are desolate because the enemy has prevailed” (1:16, NASB). What had happened to cause him to weep and cry out for repentance, a return to God and hope for restoration? He described the problem, saying that no one would have believed it, even if they had been told. “The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the inhabitants of the world, that the adversary and the enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem” (Lam. 4:12). No one believed that the enemy (Babylon) could actually enter the sanctuary and destroy the worship and witness of the people, as well as the productivity and fruitfulness of the land. No one believed that a great nation set apart and called by God to bless God and bless others could be so terribly defeated. Why did it happen? “Because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests” (v. 13). Perhaps their greatest iniquity was neglect of God’s Word and indifference toward the obvious idolatry.
The shepherds sent by God to inspire believers to be love and truth-filled, bold witnesses as salt and light had failed in the Old Testament, just as they have failed today. The Old Covenant people missed God, and the New Covenant people have broken their relationship through disobedience and indifference. Great responsibility for the precious being openly trampled underfoot rests on the shoulders of shepherds and people who profess to know Christ but do not bear eternal fruit.
Too many believers discuss Scripture, debate it, dissect it, and defend it…but do not demonstrate its power by doing what it says. At best, they have heard the Word, but they have not done the word. They are “hearers” and not “doers.” Some never really hear the word—they just hear non-transforming religious messages. Believers, even today, argue about gifts of the Spirit but don’t demonstrate them. Christians fruitlessly discuss and fight over tongues, but they don’t use the tongue God gave them to declare the transforming truth of the gospel in love. This must change, or the enemy will come in like a flood.
As Dr. Tony Evans said concerning the catastrophic consequences of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was not destroyed because of the storm; it was destroyed because the dikes failed. Today, the Word of God and the witness of the church, and the kingdom power of God, represent the walls—the dikes—God put in place to protect the people from the catastrophic effects of evil flooding the land. The severe torture and slaughter of the innocent occurring now on the other side of the world at the hands of terrorists and Islamic radicals is planned and intended also for those of here in the U.S. and the free world. Those who profess Christ are being killed for their faith; some are being tortured and beaten with 100 lashes before being shot. The enemy plans this for America, all Christians, and those who love freedom. The Word of God must become our “hedge of protection” and the walls of security as we build on the one foundation that cannot be shaken – God’s Word – and the principles found there.
Now is the time to stand together, restore the foundation of faith and truth, and rebuild the walls of protection. Believers must learn to stand together in the supernatural unity Jesus prayed for in John 17. Together, we can and will witness a miracle. Don’t look for an escape. Become the “shining city set on a hill” with the undeniable, positive effect of salt and light. Jesus is coming for an overcoming church adorned in His glory—not pressed-down, defeated, deceived, divided, and defeated. We are to overcome in this life so we can be faithful, fearless witnesses until the end.