By Tom Roberts
Introduction: A common object is often taken as “commonplace” while it actually has tremendous importance in life. Such an object is salt. As a preservative, its use from ancient to modern times is constant. Jesus used its importance to illustrate a spiritual principle about righteousness (Mt. 5:13; Mk. 9:50; Lk. 14:34).
A. We are the salt of the earth (Mt. 5).
B. We are to have salt in us – Mk. 9 (equate with righteousness).
C. If not, worthless; be cast out (Lk. 14).
D. Point of lesson: Christians must have a vital use in society beyond raising moral standards. That which “preserves” us (righteousness) also serves to preserve a nation (Prov. 14:34).
E. God decides when a nation rises or falls (Acts 17:26; Obadiah).
A. Gen. 6:5-8 – Flood.
1. Noah – an heir of righteousness by faith (Heb. 11:7).
2. Not enough righteous people to save world.
B. Gen. 15:16 – Amorites.
1. God promised Canaan to Abram.
2. Delayed giving it to him for 400 years.
3. “Iniquity of Amorites not yet full.”
C. Gen. 18:23-33 – Sodom and Gomorrah.
1. Note v. 25: “God of all the earth” – not a tribal deity.
2. Ten righteous people would have changed that nation’s history.
3. The power of a righteous life is obvious when viewed from God’s perspective.
1. Amos 7:7-17; 8:1-7.
2. A plumb line of righteousness will be the standard as with Israel.
3. They were not fit to remain in the land.
E. Judah – 135 years later.
1. Jer. 1:9-10, 13-19.
2. The Holy City was destitute of righteous people even as “worship” continued.
F. Jerusalem – 70 A.D.
1. Mt. 23:29-36.
2. Mt. 24:15-28.
A. We can not know with surety where God will draw the line.
1. Eight not enough in Noah’s day; 10 would have been enough for Sodom.
2. What is the bottom line for a nation like America?
3. What about the church? When will God remove a candlestick (Rev. 2:5)?
B. God still respects the righteous man (Jas. 5:16).
C. What is your influence in the home? church? nation?
Guardian of Truth XXX: 8, pp. 10-11
April 17, 1986