Has Our Salt Lost Its Saltiness?
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matt. 5:13).
I have heard many sermons preached on salt in my lifetime. We hear regularly that it seasons, purifies and preserves, but I cannot recall a message that includes salt as an irritant. From reading God’s Word, those early Christians were salty. The book of Acts and many of the epistles tell us they also irritated many they met, which is a normal reaction when you put salt on an open wound. These early Christians made no attempt to keep from rubbing it, so much so, that they were arrested, threatened, beaten and, when questioned, their answer was not soft-hearted, but bold from a heart that feared God.
Listen to what they said: “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard, and our goal is not to please men but to please our God.” The result was that the religious bosses took knowledge of them; that they had been with Jesus.
How about you and me? How many sinners can tell we have been with Jesus? What would we do or how would we answer if those in power came and demanded that we never speak the name of Jesus again in public?
I encourage our sister churches to be extremely careful when calling a pastor. In the day and age in which we live, there seems to be a vast supply of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance from other pastors and the various departments in our association.
While every flock needs a shepherd, having to do without one for a while is far better than calling the wrong one. Don’t be guilty of taking what generations have fought for and stood for and changing it as if it meant nothing. We must strive to find pastors that follow our doctrine, not pastors who want the people to go their way regardless. What we preach and teach makes us who we are. Check their references and study their track record. If you fail to do your homework, it could come back to bite you. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).
From Our Missionaries
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “The workshop is called ‘Principles of evangelism, discipleship and gospel movements’ and there are 10 topics. Last week we gave topic two — The Oikos map. This tool helps us to identify people who are in our social context, with the purpose of praying for them to share the good news of Jesus.
“Ebenezer has a base to continue growing. One way is for me to dedicate myself to continue evangelizing (it is a slow way to do it). The other is what we are looking for with the training we are giving — that each member in Ebenezer wins the people around them, makes disciples and, in turn, they reproduce in others.
“We are in an interesting stage of training. Pray that we will soon have fruit and that, as we give the workshop, the Lord will move Ebenezer in a passion for the lost. Only the Spirit of God can do things we cannot imagine.
“Once again, thank you very much for your support and prayers. We are praying at Ebenezer. The tool we have is prayer; it is to depend on Him. To God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “What a wonderful week we had at Faith Chapel! Our joint VBS with our mother church, The Bridge, was a huge success, and all our kids and parents had a great time. We are so grateful to them and thankful for them and all their efforts and hard work!
“What a great day Sunday! We had our best number ever. Bro. Roy was back for the first time in four months after losing his lower leg, and he is doing really well with his new prosthetic one. Allen, from West Park Baptist Church in Ozark, and his two sons were with us for the first time. It was good to see them. We knew them from all the times they visited The Bridge when they are in the area. They brought good news — West Park has voted to help support us. Praise God! Thank You, Lord! Then to top that, the Leonard family that has been faithfully attending for several weeks now joined Faith Chapel and became our newest members. Praise God again!
“We had a great number Sunday night and two more first-time visitors. What a day! Praise God again and again!
“We thank you all for your support and especially your prayers for us, Flippin and those joining in our ministry, and those we are ministering to. Please continue, God is hearing them and answering.”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “I finally am back to health. This last week was great with all the meetings I had. I am currently working with one of our men in designing a program we can use to bridge to other churches. We are hopeful to bring on some allies that will allow us to do bigger ministry events and reach more people with evangelistic conversations.
“I had several great meetings this week with local businesses. We are planning on renting the local martial arts studio for our kids to have a place to get out of the heat and cold. The Porch Kids may become our Fighter Kids (still workshopping the name).
“We are making inroads to our homeless population that lives behind the coffee shop. We are also talking with ministries that have assets to help the homeless and connecting the two.
“I am looking forward to seeing Drew preach the next two weeks. He is growing in his abilities to handle the Word, and I love his heart. Continue to pray for him and his wife as they grow into the position. There is a lot of work still to do, but we are so excited to see how God is moving and working here.
“We had 2 new people in our services yesterday, bringing us to 17 in attendance. We also had 17 people out because of vacations and COVID. Please keep everyone in prayer as we continue to do the work.”
Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “I was blessed to have the opportunity to speak at Landmark Baptist Church in England for their Vacation Bible School. It was a great experience and so much fun! When we arrived at the church, we saw buses of kids being dropped off for a night of learning about Jesus from the amazing bus ministry they have there. The kids were so eager to hear about missions and to get to know Jesus as their personal savior. I was so humbled to see God’s hand working in these children’s lives. The student minister let me know that, by the end of their VBS, they saw 19 professions of faith. God is so good! I enjoyed speaking in this kind of setting and would love to get more opportunities to be able to do this if needed in the future.
“I also had the privilege of bringing the sermon on Sunday morning at Celebration Baptist Church for the pastor while he was out this week. We had a great morning of worship and studying the Word. God laid on my heart the passage from Joshua 1:5-9, telling us to continually keep the Word on our lips and meditate on it day and night. As God’s people, we are also to step out in faith as He leads us to our promised land — an eternal life with Him in Heaven. Spending time in Scripture and prayer are the best ways to build our personal relationship with our Savior.”
Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “We continue to meditate on the mission of the church, and Jesus has sent us into the world with a mission; but this mission can be appreciated beyond the New Testament. From Genesis 12 in the covenant that God made with Abraham, we can clearly see in this text a glorious plan about a mission that tells us God’s plans to bless the world, but this mission to bless the world is not teaching it to seek economic prosperity. This blessing God told Abraham was going to bring to the whole world comes to those who lay down their lives and put all their trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior. ‘And all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you’ — means that God blesses (gives salvation) to those who put their faith in Christ.
“This was our second week of Bible study in our home, and we studied the reasons why Christ became man. As part of the plan that God has given us, we continue to relate (making connections) with the people of the community, and we were able to meet a family on Monday and Wednesday who came to our house and shared coffee with us.
“The group of people we are discipling continues to grow. On Saturday, at 7 p.m. the couple came again and already have set aside Saturdays to come and hear the Word of God. On Sunday, they came to dinner with us and brought their daughter (a teenager). God has been so good that we already have a group of five disciples every week, and we continue to pray for those divine appointments God has for us.”