We started looking yesterday at how God sees the church. So often we see only problems but God sees something wonderful. God sees the Church becoming a powerful, redemptive force in society, becoming the “salt of the earth”, the “light of the world” and a “city set on a hill”.
Matthew 5:13-14 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Don’t miss a the key principle in Jesus’ metaphors of salt and light. Citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven impact society because they are different (not weird or bizarre but distinct) from the Kingdom of this World. When salt and light try to accommodate to and/or be conformed by the Kingdom of this World, they lose their distinctiveness and their potential to impact the decay and the darkness of the this world which is passing away. In the Revelation 11:15 John records the triumphant cry when “the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
Until then God has left believers in the Kingdom of Darkness and Decay to dispel the darkness and retard decay, as peacemakers giving out the word of reconciliation (2Cor 5:14-21), a word which in some will birth new life and to others will cause them to hate and persecute you (John 3:19-21, Mt 5:10, 11,12. Persecution for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven therefore becomes a sign that one truly belongs to the glorious coming Kingdom of our Lord (cp Ro 8:16, 17, 18-). Don’t let this world squeeze you into it’s mould.
Rarely does the church realize or does the world and think how much they are indebted to the church, whom they “revile and persecute for righteousness’ sake.” (Mt 5:11) The extirpation of the church (which is so much desired by many) would leave the world an entire mass of corruption, without any thing to heal its disorders, or to stop its progress towards utter destruction. Were the church removed , the rest would soon become as Sodom and Gomorrah (Is 1:9). This is why Jesus calls us “the salt of the earth.” The use of salt, in this expression is to keep other things from corruption. This is the role that has been given to the church.