Where is the Salt & Light in America Today?
By Bernard Timmerman
Many articles have been written on the deaths and violence which have taken place in our nation's schools.
Some have said the reason for these happenings has been because prayer in schools has been forbidden. Others state that the moral law, or Ten Commandments, may no longer be displayed and cite this as a reason for the alarming things taking place.
We must begin to look closer to home than our schools or the decisions made by the Supreme court. The Lord Jesus Christ our creator stated, "Ye are the salt of the earth but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men." Matthew 5:13
Christ spoke these words of instruction to his disciples: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candle stick and giveth light unto all that are in the house." (Matthew 5:13-15) In this teaching, he declares to his disciples or learners to be "the salt of the earth," "the light of the world," and those that give "light to all that are in the house."
If we are ever to experience a change in the dreadful situation as it is today, we, the church, must learn of Christ. We must listen to the one of whom God the Father said, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5) Much good can come from organizations and through government but this is not God's first instrument for needed change. It was to his body, the believers in Christ Jesus that he said, "Ye are my witnesses." They were the ones through whom repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
God is first of all searching his church, those who profess to believe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This takes place when the salt has lost its savor or the light has been put under a bushel.
Some would say we only need better government and better schools. We will never have either until we have better Christians and better churches. Only then, when parents and individuals begin at home to preach, believe and practice the gospel will we have better homes, and better children.
Do you really believe that the gospel can change you from poor salt to good salt, from a light under a bushel to one set on a hill'? The gospel of Christ alone is the power of God unto salvation. A salvation not only from the wrath to come (and it surely is coming) but a salvation from every way of sin, every power of sin. It is the power of God.
If a man with a good record ran for president and promised moral reform, people would believe him and there would be much hope. Do you know he would surely fail? He could only begin in Washington and not at our Jerusalem. Unless he could change you and me, he would never fulfill his truly needed promises.
We can be thankful for our great leaders of the past. They have left their mark on this nation. A mark that many want to erase; even denying that they were God fearing men. Not all were Christians, but there were those who believed in and professed Christ to be their Saviour.
We should not look to those leaders first of all. Instead of saying we need them, we ought to be saying, we need again preachers of righteousness - men sent from God like Jonathan Edwards and others like him.
I have an article before me that states "Jonathan Edwards had more to do with the beginning of American history than even Washington or Jefferson." He had, by God's calling and blessing, a tremendous influence, not in the forefront of government or politics, but in the hearts, homes, churches and schools. Those who believed the message he preached became not only good people, but good citizens and then good leaders.
He certainly was a salt that God used to give salt to the earth and light to the world. During the Great Awakening Edwards wrote, "There was scarcely a single person in the town, old or young left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world ... This work of God, as it was carried on, and the number of true saints multiplied, soon made a glorious alteration in town ... the town seemed to be full of the presence of God: It was never so full of love, and of joy ... as it was then. There were remarkable tokens of God's presence in almost every house. It was a time of joy in families on account of salvation being brought unto them: parents rejoicing over their children as new born, and husbands over their wives and wives over their husbands."
Holland, Michigan, or your town, our "Jerusalem's", need gospel preaching. We need repentance and the remission of our sins. This can begin by giving the word of God a proper place in our hearts and homes. This might mean shutting off the television or even removing it. There needs to be the true preaching of the Word in the church that will bring reviving and awakening. Yes, in our churches first; the place where salt is made. Let's not just be the outwardly pious Pharisees or the liberal Sadducees but the publican who cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner."
Oh what have we done with those great blessings from God? We are today salt which has lost its savor; weaklings being run over without raising the cry, repent and believe the gospel.
Formerly it was said that preachers carried the greatest influence in our nation. Today I fear we are being guided toward the bottomless pit by our news media, movies, television and the Internet. Our nation is being lulled into darkness. God's word states, "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:18) It also tells us: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Psalm 111:10 & Proverbs 9:10)
The truth seems to be so little known that when it is voiced, many say upon hearing it, that the church has no right to speak out; but God tells us, "Cry aloud and spare not."
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