Jesus was at a party and he gave a speech. Hearing him, one of those listening announced, “How wonderful it will be for those who are at the party of God!” Jesus replied with a story: “There was a man planning a party and he sent invitations out. As a reminder, he sent one of his employees out at the time of the party to all those invited. But they—every one—offered excuses instead. One said, ‘Oh, I just bought some real estate and I need to go look at it. So sorry, but I’m just too busy to come.’ Another said, ‘I just bought five work trucks and I need to test them out. I’m really sorry, but I’m too busy to come.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, and, well, we’re just too busy. Sorry, can’t come.’ So the employees returned to their CEO and explained all this to him. He fumed and he told his employees, ‘OK, fine. Then go downtown and invite every beggar—the bums, cripples, winos and indigent.’ After a bit, the employees reported back to him, ‘We did as you requested, sir, but the hall still looks pretty empty.’ So the CEO said, ‘Then go out of the city and collect the passers through, all the immigrants looking for work and other foreigners. Convince them to come in until the banquet hall is completely full. But I swear to you, not a single one who was invited will have even a bite of my feast.’”
Jesus noticed that a crowd had gathered, outside the party, listening, so he said to them, “Many of you want to follow me, and be a part of my school. You can learn to do miracles, to be holy, to obtain God’s kingdom. But listen carefully—you can’t be a student in my school until you hate your father, hate your mother, hate your wife, hate your children and brothers and sisters. You can’t be part of my school until you hate your very life. To be a part of my school, you’ve got to be ready to be branded a rebel and killed as a traitor. Look, if you are going to paint your house, you want to know how much it will cost ahead of time, don’t you? Because otherwise, you get halfway done and run out of money to buy more paint and anyone passing by laughs at you and says, ‘Look, this guy started something but he couldn’t finish it.’
Suppose two countries were at war. The presidents of the countries would certainly sit down and make sure that their army was large enough to defeat the other. But suppose that one found that his army was only half the size of the other. Wouldn’t he begin working out a negotiation of peace, surrendering everything he had to prevent this war? Even so, God is coming, and you aren’t ready for him. If you want to be in my school, and so be ready, you must surrender all of your possessions, just like that king.”
You may think that you are different, the salt of the earth, the stuff of which the church will really make a difference. But if salt has no flavor—if it’s just the same as everything else—then how can you make it useful again? It is pointless—not of any use for food or anything else. So we just throw it out. What do you think God will do with “salt” that is the same as dirt? If you’ve got a half a brain, then understand this.