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Matthew 5:13 says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." It's hard for us in this day and time to appreciate the significance of that statement.
Salt back then had great value. It was prized so highly that
Note how the verse starts with “You are...”. Jesus wasn't just speaking to His disciples there, He was speaking to disciples all over the world. It’s not something you have to do or achieve, you are salt. Those of you who are committed Christians are valuable in God's eyes. You play a vital and strategic role in the world. Don’t underestimate how great your impact can be.
In that day and time, they knew nothing about refrigeration, freezers, canning or jarring food. They didn’t know about chemical preservatives, like the sustaining power of a Hostess Twinkie during a nuclear holocaust. They didn’t have the capabilities we now have. They only had salt. When it came to preserving meat, they would rub salt on it to keep it from "putrefaction." Without salt, meat would quickly rot. Gold or money can't stop this process. It can't keep the deer they shot, or the cow they butchered from rotting. Without the preserving effect of salt they and their family might go hungry. So you can understand why Roman soldiers might prefer to be paid in salt.
So how does all this help us to understand what Jesus is saying in Matthew 5:13? Spiritually speaking, as the "salt of the earth" we are used to stop the spread of corruption in society. This world is a rotten place. The very presence of godly people living godly lives is stopping this world from totally decaying and rotting away. We, the church of Jesus Christ, are doing that!
2 Thessalonians 2:7-9 serves to verify this point; "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders..." These verses describe the time when the church will be snatched away often referred to as the "rapture". We are told the "lawless one" will be revealed once "He" (the Restrainer) is "taken out of the way." Many Bible scholars believe the "Restrainer" is the church. When we (the church or "salt of the earth") are taken away or "raptured", it will usher in a time the Bible describes in Mark 13:19, "For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be." If you think things are bad now, once the "salt" or "preservative" (His Church) is gone this place called earth will be unbearable to live in. Why? Because God has removed His church, His salt. This is what Jesus said "you are."