The greatest patriot of all history was the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved His people, the Jews, and He loved His nation, Israel. In Matthew 23:37-39 Jesus mourned for the Jews and for Jerusalem. He mourned for them because they rejected Him, and they rejected the Word of God. Because of their rejection of truth, Jerusalem would be destroyed, and the Jews would be taken into slavery. Matthew 23:37-39, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, (a total rejection of divine truth) how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. (They were negative to divine truth) Look, your house is left to you desolate (empty, the glory of God was not dwelling in the Temple as He did in the past). For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells believers that the nation they belong to while on earth, will only last as long as they, as believers in Jesus Christ, learn and apply the Word of God. In other words, the United States of America will only survive if Christians grow to spirtual maturity, and learn and apply the Word of God. Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the land. (your nation) 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." This applies to the believers of today just as it applied to the believers of that day. The believer in Jesus Christ is the salt of the land, and salt has at least two concepts:
(1) Salt is an unseen preservative.
(2) Salt provides flavor.
The Bible must be interpreted from the time in which it was written, and when the Bible was written, this was the two-fold usage of salt.
SALT AS A PRESERVATIVE - Salt was used to preserve various types of foods. Even today in some parts of the world this is still true. Just as salt preserved food, so the presence of believers in Jesus Christ in a nation acts as a preservative. The presence of spiritually mature believers in any national entity, or in any society works as a preservative for that national entity, or that society. Many national entities have survived for no other reason than the fact that there were a maximum number of spiritually mature believers in those national entities.
Spiritually mature believers in the United States of America today are the preservative of our nation. That is the only reason we are surviving as a nation today. We are not here today because this country has great leadership. We are not here today because this country is full of good people. We are here today for one reason, and one reason only. The grace and faithfulness of God. God has withheld judgment on this country because there are a number of believers in Jesus Christ who have reached spiritual maturity. And He will not judge the wicked if it will destroy the righteous also. (Genesis 18:23-33).
PRINCIPLE - Divine judgment against any given nation is often restrained because of the presence of spiritually mature believers in that nation.
SALT AS A FLAVOR - Most people add a little salt to the food they eat. It adds flavor. Most of us can relate to that. The spiritually mature believer adds flavor to any society that he is a part of. The spiritually maturity believer has impact on society through evangelism, and his correct application of Bible doctrine.
The spiritually mature believer does not add flavor to society by what he does, or does not do, but by what he is. And what he is, is based on what he thinks, so what he thinks, he is. Only Grace thinking and divine viewpoint thinking gives flavor to any society.
We as believers in Jesus Christ must understand our position here on the earth. We are here as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the devil's world. And since it is the devil's world, we are NOT to get involved in anything, or any system that is designed to improve this world. That will not, and cannot help anyone. We are here to function as ambassadors, representing our King, and we are to communicate the information the King has given us, and that information is His Word, the Word of God.
Our impact on society is measured by our communication of the Word of God through divine viewpoint and nothing else. All of the good deeds we do, and all of the nice things we say, are nothing, unless the Word of God is communicated. So the phrase in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the land" has nothing to do with Christians being involved in making our society a better place to live. "You are the salt of the land" refers to the knowledge of Bible doctrine, and the application of that knowledge in our lives.
This means that Christians who are involved as Christian activists to change certain laws in our country, or in our state are not functioning under the will, or the plan of God. Christians who are activists in the pro-life movement, or activists in the pro-choice movement are wasting their time as Christians. Neither of those movements is right. Both the pro-life and the pro-choice groups are full of arrogance and human viewpoint. God is not involved in either group. God is involved in the ministry of His Word and nothing else. And that is where Christains ought to be.
The only hope for any member of the human race regardless of their position in life, whether it be prosperity or poverty, slave or free, master or slave, labor or management, black or white, yellow or red, is regeneration. Salvation through Jesus Christ. And if we as Christians are involved in anything else apart from the gospel message, in an attempt to improve the situation of mankind, then we are wasting our time, and we are turning our back on the plan of God. There will always be do-gooders going around trying to make this world a better place. Satan makes sure of that. But we as believers in Jesus Christ can make a permanent contribution to history. A clear presentation of the gospel and the expression of divine viewpoint in life. This is our responsibility as Christians in our country, and this is why believers in Jesus Christ are said to be "the salt of the land." "The salt of their country." "The preserver of their country."
PRINCIPLE - As goes the Christain, so goes the nation.
If Christians learn the Word of God and grow to spiritual maturity, God will bless their nation, even if they have very poor leaders. But Christians, who ignore the Word of God, and do not learn the Word of God in the filling of the Holy Spirit on a continual basis will never grow to spiritual maturity. And when believers refuse to devote their time to Bible study and spiritual growth, then God will bring their nation down so fast they won't know what hit them. Just being saved, and just being involved in evangelism will not deliver a country. Many thousands of Jews were saved back in 586 BC, just before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity. But they were negative to the learning of the Word of God. So God brought Nebuchadnezzar along to destroy Jerusalem, and kill many thousands of Jews (believers and unbelievers), and took many thousands into slavery (believers and unbelievers). Hosea 4:6 tells us one of the reasons why God allowed the Jews to be taken captive and their city destroyed. ".....my people are destroyed because of a lack of(Biblical)knowledge."See Bible lesson onGod's Purpose For Christians.
There are two things that were here before we were born into this world and they will still be here after we are dead and gone. (1) Bible Doctrine, and (2) Evil.
None of us has ever been able to change Bible doctrine, no one can, but Bible doctrine can change us. We are here today because of Bible doctrine. We are here because of Bible teaching.
Bible doctrine has always existed because it is a part of God, and God has always existed. Bible doctrine was given to man verbally in the first 2,000 years of human history. It was reduced to written form beginning in the time of Moses.
Bible doctrine will always exist because it is not only the Word of God the Father, but it is the mind of Jesus Christ, and the voice of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Bible doctrine was here before we were born, and Bible doctrine will be here after we are gone. Bible doctrine is permanent, I Peter 1:23, "The Word of God lives and abides forever." Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and earth will be destroyed and pass away, but My Word will never be destroyed and never pass away." Bible doctrine has the same existence that God has, which is an eternal existence.
Many try to distort Bible doctrine, including the most brilliant creature that ever came from the hand of God, Satan himself. Many also try to fight against Bible doctrine, to resist Bible doctrine, to reject Bible doctrine, and to destroy Bible doctrine. But Bible doctrine cannot be destroyed, nor can Bible doctrine be changed. But Bible doctrine can change you. So when it comes to doctrine from the Word of God, don't fight it, don't resist it, don't neglect it, don't try to change it, don't try to squeeze it into the mold of your own personal and religious thinking, and don't try to make it line up with your own preconceived ideas. Because Bible doctrine is here to stay, and no one can change it, but it can change you, and the following of its teachings can change the nation that accepts it.
Evil is the second thing that was here before we were, and will be here after we are dead and gone. Like Bible doctrine, evil can never be changed. You cannot change evil, but evil can change you. You cannot fight evil, but evil can destroy you.
Many people don't even know what evil is. Many people think that evil is sin. But evil is much more than sin. Evil also includes a lot of human good. All the do-gooders from the beginning of time were evil. Most of the things done in the name of good have compounded the problems that we face as a nation. Human good among believers in Jesus Christ is one of the sources of self-destruction. Human good turns the government into a god, and no government can ever play God or be God. The government of the United States of America cannot solve the problems it faces. The reason is because most of the problems it faces come from evil, and no government can ever solve the problems of evil. Evil was here a long time before our country existed, and it will be here when this country is lying in ruin and burried by the sands of time.
Basically, evil is the thinking, the attitude, and the plan of Satan. Evil was designed by Satan to control large masses of people, then to rule the world. Bible doctrine is the divine plan that counters this.
Evil is Satan's imitation of Bible doctrine. Many of the things done in evil look exactly like the things commanded by God for His people. The Bible talks about charity being right and honorable and pleasing to God, and that is very true. But evil imitates charity through socialism, welfare and social security. Socialism is an attempt on the part of government to play God. Social security is also an attempt on the part of government to play God. Affirmative action is an attempt on the part of the government to play God.
Government legislation was designed by God to protect the freedom, privacy, and the property of individuals within that nation. But when legislation is extended beyond that which it was designed for, and tries to solve social problems, then the government is using legislation in an attempt to become God, and whenever a nation begins using legislation to try to solve social problems, they have taken something good and turned it into something evil. Anytime the government tells you where you can or cannot go to school, or who you can hire and who you can fire in your business, or tells you that you must hire women, and minorities, then the government is playing God, and that is evil.
Charity toward the poor and the needy of the land is a Biblical concept. God commanded individuals to be charitable to those in need, but He never commanded the government to do it. I am amazed at how many Christians are ignorant of these things. Things that are contrary to the Word of God. Many things are done in the name of good that are in reality evil, and are actually the thought patterns of Satan. When we allow the government to provide all types of special services, we risk inteference in how we live our lives if we take advantage of those services. When a right thing is done in a wrong way, it is always wrong. In other words, charity carried out by the government through its socialism and welfare programs is doing a good thing in a wrong way. Socialism and welfare run by the government is evil, and when anyone attempts to accomplish something good through evil means, then the entire system becomes evil.
In the first century evil was kept under control. Not by actively fighting it, but by Christians learning and applying the Word of God, and advancing to spiritual maturity. The thing that really changes society in any generation is having a number of believers who actually advance to spiritual maturity through the learning and application of the Word of God in that society. Jesus Christ controls history, and He honors the principle, That "anyone in society who reaches spiritual maturity, will cause a periphery of blessing all around him." This means that society will be blessed because of the Christian who learns and applies the Word of God on a consistent basis.
Therefore, just as the Christian in the first century did not fight the social problem of slavery by directly fighting slavery, he fought it by growing spiritually, and allowing God to solve the problem, which He did. He can solve problems so much better than we can. That same principle applies today. Christians are not to solve social problems and social injustices on a direct basis. We do not fight the problems by becoming involved in activism. We don't join organizations, or political parties, or clubs, or groups who are trying to change our country. But we fight all the principles of evil that are actively against us the same way the first century church did. Through the learning and the application of the Word of God in the filling of the Holy Spirit. And those of you who are consistent in the learning of the Word of God are fulfilling the principle of being "the salt of the land." Those of you who are learning Bible doctrine consistently, and moving toward spiritual maturity are fulfilling the plan of God for your life, and at the same time are "the salt" that Jesus talked about in Matthew 5:13. But, if you are not learning Bible doctrine on a consistent basis, you are not following the plan of God for your life, and therefore, you are the ones about whom Jesus is referring to in the next phrase of Matthew 5:13, "but if the salt loses it savor, how shall it be salted? It is therefore good for nothing, except to be thrown out, and to be trodden under the foot of men."
"Salt losing its savor" refers to believers who have lost their testimony, or their spiritual influence. And when a Christian loses his testimony and his spiritual influence, he is good for nothing as far as God is concerned. He cannot help preserve his country, and he cannot benefit anyone spiritually. Therefore, Jesus said, "....he is good for nothing, except to be thrown out...." This refers to the Christian dying the sin unto death and being taken home to heaven before his time.
As goes the believer, so goes the nation. If our nation is going down, the only ones to blame are the believers in Jesus Christ. If Christians were learning the Word of God consistently every day, and growing to spiritual maturity, the problems we face as a nation would not be as great as they are now. Don't get me wrong, we will always have problems, but not to the extent that they threaten to destroy our nation.
Social problems and social issues are never to be a problem for the believer in Jesus Christ. To be involved in social action is to be "entangled with the things of this world." (II Peter 2:20) Solutions to social problems and social issues lay in the realm of Bible doctrine. Therefore, the believer is to avoid any distraction from the learning of Bible doctrine, and this includes any kind of Christian activism. Remember, evil was here before we were born, and evil will be here after we are gone.
Knowledge and application of the Word of God is the basis for all rewards in eternity. But being involved in social action to make the world a better place is not a basis for any reward in the sight of God. Why? Because all who are involved in attempting to make the world a better place are actually serving Satan. The world belongs to him, he is "the prince and power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). He is also called "the god of this world" in II Corinthians 4:4.
When we came into the world, the world was filled with evil, and when we leave this world, it will still be filled with evil. The only impact we can make while we are here is the impact through the learning and application of the Word of God. Therefore, to the believer in Jesus Christ the issue should never be social evils and social issues (no matter what they may be), but the issue should be Bible doctrine in the soul. Whenever the believer reaches spiritual maturity, he becomes a part of the solution to all social problems and social evils, and, at the same time, become a solution to other national problems as well.
Therefore, the Christian should be the best citizen the nation can have. Christians should be the greatest patriots in their nation. I challenge you today, to become "the salt of the land," to become the preserver of our great nation. By placing the Word of God first in your life, and learning it daily, you can not only become "salt," or a preserver of your nation, but you become eligible for fantastic rewards in eternity. Won't you make the decision to not only read your Bible every day, but to study it thoroughly. There are many great Bible teachers who have tapes available with Bible lessons to help you understand the Bible. There will not be anyone in this country who will have an excuse when they stand before the Lord, because there is an enormous amount of Biblical information available to all who desire it. I challenge you to set your priorities to the learning and application of the Word of God. If you do, you will be a part of that group that will be known as "the salt of the land," the preserver of your nation. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." (Psalm 33:12). "Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord." (Psalm 144:15).
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Copyright 1999 by Robert H. Kreger. All rights reserved. Anyone may reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.