Salt and Light – It’s Time to Be The Church

Posted: January 5, 2012 in build up, Disciple, Discipleship, great commission, Mentor, mentoring

Are you proud to be a follower of Jesus Christ?  Are you proud to be a member of your local church?  If yes to either or both, then why is it so hard to share Christ with those who don’t know Him…or even simply share anything about our faith life with others around us?
Our mission, as given to us by Jesus Himself, is to make disciples.  He doesn’t say to make converts only, but to make disciples.  The Church in general is doing a poor job of simply making converts, even though Christ said to go further and make disciples.  However, even if the Church was making converts at a break neck pace, Christianity would be dead in one generation.  You see, making disciples requires the one who has become a disciple to pass it on and make disciples themselves.  Disciples making disciples…that is Jesus’ plan for the Church!
There should only be three types of people in the local churches:
1) Seekers – those checking out the claims of Christ and His followers and trying to decide if they will buy in to His claims to be the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world.
2) New believers – those who have accepted Christ as their Savior and are now ready to be a disciple.  These people should seek out a mentor to help in the discipleship process.  This is when you begin discovering the passions and gifts that God has given you, and start using them to serve others (volunteering, ministry, etc.).
3) Disciple makers – those who have been and are a disciple, who are purposefully seeking out others to mentor into a relationship with Christ as well as walking with those new believers as they start the journey of discipleship.  Here is where you are serving in the church as well as serving individuals on a mentoring and discipleship level.
The problem is that the churches are filled with people who do not fall into one of those categories.  They are filled with sponges – people who are looking out for themselves only, filling the seats week after week without giving a thought to volunteering or mentoring someone that is younger in faith than they are.  Many of these people are the very ones that may have attended regularly for years but never share the good news of Jesus, make disciples or even help out in volunteering in Children’s Ministry, being a Greeter, Facilitating a class, etc…these are the same ones that are first to complain about a problem, but are never willing to help with the solution!
It is time for the professing Christians to begin fulfilling the great commission to make disciples.  First thing we need to do is to get rid of this ridiculous idea that faith and ______________ (politics, school, work, etc. – you pick) don’t mix.  If you are a professing follower of Jesus Christ then stop using excuses and start sharing your faith!  To say that you cannot mix these things is to say that having strong character and integrity did not come from the fact that you have a God that has shown you an honorable way to live and that all moral absolutes come from His Truth!  Of course if we are true followers of Christ we will show strong character and integrity…so how can you separate who you are from the things you do (work, school, etc.)?  Here is the problem…too many so called Christians do so every day by the way they live their lives at work or school without thinking twice about living an honorable life of character and integrity that has been modeled for us so well by Jesus.  And it happens in the churches as well…we must stand up for what, or Who, we believe in and if those around us claim to be offended then it just may be God convicting them.  I am not saying to go be rude…Jesus never did that!  I am saying that since we know the Truth about what happens to those who do not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior (the torment of hell is beyond our imagination) then why in the world would we shy away from sharing that reality?  Should we pick and choose who we will love enough to save from the torment of eternity in hell?  I should hope not!
It is time for Christians to grow up in their faith (so to speak) and take seriously the command the make disciples: To get off our backsides and love others enough to share eternal life with them;  To volunteer on Sunday mornings so that the seeker can come in and be loved and learn about the Good News that we so dearly love;  To walk alongside those seekers and mentor them by sharing life and faith and maybe a cup of coffee as you develop a relationship that may have eternal consequences; To be discipled by a more mature believer and continue that gift by discipling others who are younger in their faith walk.
I truly believe that God will have words with those who stand by and, after accepting the most amazing gift ever given to anyone, simply sit back and coast into the Kingdom and selfishly hoard the Church as if it is an institution created to serve them…WE ARE THE CHURCH!  Time to stand up, grow up, and act like it!
Matthew 5:13 (NASB) Disciples and the World – 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
This scripture is clear…we are either salt, which was considered very valuable for preserving food and for adding flavor, or we are useless…thrown out and trampled by the world.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
You see, the answer to the question in verse 13 (how can it be made salty again?) is in verse 16.  We are to be salt and light, shining for the world to see and adding flavor to this world…preserving the name of Christ in all we do.  When we are saved, it is not about what we do, it’s about who we are.  But once we know who we are, or better yet Whose we are, then it is about what we do (see verse 16 above – so that they may see your good works…) as we serve by fulfilling Christ’s commission for the believers of this world...to go make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them all that Jesus has commanded (paraphrased from Matthew 28:18-20).
Well Church, we have a choice.  We can be Salt and Light, or we can be sponges – sucking up all around us and stinking up the faith we claim to have.  I suggest we be Salt and Light as we live the lives we have only because of what Jesus did!  I am not sure why the gospel is referred to as good news…it is THE GREATEST NEWS OF ALL TIME!  Why on God’s earth (it’s not ours anyway) would we not share such wonderful news!  Make that commitment now…live the live that you have for the very One that gave you that life in the first place…and pass it on!
Let’s stand up, grow up, and become The Church that God can be proud to say is His!
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