The unsaved are coming to the Body of Christ. This is the proclamation going forth in the church today. It’s time to evangelize. It’s time to get our strategies together. It’s time to get our people together and go out into the highways and byways and compel them to come. But does the church know these “fish” they’re trying to catch?
The unsaved who will be coming to our churches won’t be salted. But what does that mean? In many eastern traditions, a newborn was salted to dry up the humors from birth, to disinfect, and to strengthen immunity. It also toughened their womb-softened skin, and combined with fine strips of swaddling cloth, the babies’ limbs were made straight. This gentle salting indicated doting, compassionate afterbirth care.
In Ezekiel’s prophecies during the Babylonian Captivity, he was familiar with the traditions of the East where salting newborns originated. Thus, during the social and family breakdown of Babylonian exile, the prophet speaks of the babes who weren’t doted upon at birth, indicating they had no future at all. These babes didn’t have their umbilical cords cut, they weren’t washed, and they weren’t “salted” in expectation of life and health.
The physically unsalted children of Ezekiel’s day have spiritual counterparts, in our time. These are also the harvest of the Church. They will not have been doted upon, comforted, or protected by family. As such, many will lack conscience, dignity, and a sense of community; being deeply wounded, and cursed with a crooked walk. Hurt, unlearned, bitter, and sick, their situation is clear: they were dumped at birth and no one cared for them. They will have been left to fend for themselves. But these are the people that God is calling forth and wants to use in these last days.
So what should the church know about how to care for the “unsalted?” They will have to be re-parented. They didn’t have fathers or mothers to train and nurture them with love; therefore, they will be unable to immediately flow in the life of the Body. They will need the patient, compassionate, and wise parenting the enemy stole from them. They will need a love that says,” I’m correcting you because I love you and will keep loving you when you fall.” They will need the unconditional commitment of mentors who are personally convinced of their own “re-parenting” call.
When these unpreserved, unloved spiritual infants arrive at our door, their needs will be immediate and demanding. Regardless, we are to assist them to maturity by demonstrating the love and longsuffering of the perfect parent—our own Heavenly Father whom we want them also to know personally just as we do. To get this done, the church will have to be the parents that “salt” them—indeed the body of believers that cleans, straightens, and preserves them.
And this is Truly Said.
Sword: No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were dumped in a field and left to die, unwanted. But I came by and saw you helplessly kicking in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, “Live.” Ezekiel 16:4-5 (NLT)