Not only is sharing about Christ something we do because He is the best thing that happened to me and to you, but also we share Christ because we believe he is true. He is not a teacher, a prophet, a mere leader of a religious movement, but we believe He is the Son of God.
If this building is on fire, I could say, you know, I think it would be good for us to exit. But if you are talking and enjoying yourself in the fellowship hall, it’s going to get hot in here, but feel free to ignore me. But I recommend that you consider what I am saying. Take your time. Think about what I said. Fire, you might get burned, the roof might collapse any moment, but I want to just let you know that I’m going now so do what you want.
Would I be speaking like that? No, I’d be like, Fire! Run! There’s the door. And whoever was around me, I’d be grabbing them, pulling them, we gotta get out of here. There would be an urgency because it’s a matter of life and death.
In John 4, Jesus is healing a blind man and he says this in v4-5,
4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Why doesn’t God simply teleport us to heaven the moment we’re saved? Because we have work to do. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Remember, Jesus was sent on a peacemaking mission and we are blessed if we join Him. Night is coming. We’re in the twilight hours. It’s getting dimmer. The end is near. So we must work while we still can. Not because some spiritual mentor is pushing us. Not because someone is guilting us into reaching out to others. Because night is coming. The window of opportunity to work is closing. There is a sense of urgency.
In Phil 1, Paul expresses this tension. He says, to live is Christ and to die is gain. For Paul, to die is great gain because you have Christ all to yourself. Christ, being with Christ, departing from this world quickly and being with the lover of his soul seemed so desirable for Paul. But he reasons, it’s better for your sake that I stay here so that I may work hard and labor for the sake of souls. Fruitful labor.
James describes life as a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4). Life is short. Night is coming. Our message is good news that we want to share because Christ is the best thing that happened to us and we share this good news with a sense of urgency because it’s true. The building is on fire and so we need to get out or be rescued. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. If you are a child of God, your life will have impact. Be salt, be light, point others to Jesus and the impact from your life will flow out naturally.
Second, if a salt or a light stops having impact, if they don’t serve the purpose for which they were designed, they are useless.
13 “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.”
Saltless salt, or a lamp that doesn’t shine. What happens to them? It’s no longer good for anything. It’s useless. So they are thrown out.
What does this mean? Does this mean that Christians can lose their salvation? It’s like the debate between those who believe in pre-destination vs. free will. It’s a mystery. Same here. There are proponents on both sides. Some say, once saved, always saved. Others say, you can lose your salvation. I don’t believe you can lose your salvation, but then the question is, what does it mean to be thrown out and trampled by men? I’m not sure, but it sounds pretty bad. There are things in Scripture that won’t have a simple black and white answer, but we made a mistake if we think, I have assurance of my salvation so any verse like this about being thrown out doesn’t apply to me.
Let’s just wrestle with what it says in the text. We’re not talking about a salt that began saltless. And was therefore never saved to begin with. Or a lamp that was defective from the beginning. We’re talking about salt that lost its saltiness. Meaning, you were once salty but you are no more. You were once shining, but now the light is out. We all have our bad days. We can go through seasons when we are not shining as we ought to. But if it becomes a pattern, then this passage is a stern warning.
How many times have we heard about people who were zealous during their youth group days or their college days, but then life got busy. Work is demanding. Children need to be cared for. And the period of being true salt and light is relegated to a few year stretch in their early twenties and then the rest of their lives, they lost their saltiness and their light was no longer lit. If this describes you, then heed what it says. You might get thrown out.