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October 30, 2006


Pastor Penn

Pastor Jon,
Yesterday in my devotions I came across Mark 9:49. "Everyone will be salted with fire"

What's your take on this?

Jon Cannon

Hi Travis,

Wow! Talk about a toe stumper!

Well (?????) Here is my take on it! The first things is that this is a very puzzling statement, and it is unique only to Mark, and one more thing...it is difficult to interpret. Actually there are about 15 possible explanations! Therefore, I will attempt to give a few:

(1) "Everyone" could refer to every unbeliever who enters hell (reference vs. 42-49). They will be "salted with fire" in the sense that as salt preserves food so they will be preserved throughout an eternity of fiery judgment.

(2) “Everyone” could refer to every disciple living in this hostile world. They will be “salted with fire” in the sense that Old Testament sacrifices were seasoned with salt (Lev. 2:13; Ezek. 43:24). Disciples, living sacrifices (cf. Rom. 12:1), will be seasoned with purifying fiery trials (cf. Prov. 27:21; Isa. 48:10; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:12). The trials will purge out what is contrary to God’s will and preserve what is consistent with it.

(3) “Everyone” could refer to every person in general. All will be “salted with fire” in a time and manner appropriate to their relationship with Jesus—for nonbelievers, the preserving fire of final judgment; for disciples, the refining fire of present trials and suffering.

What do you think?

Pastor Penn

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one finding this a difficult passage. I think #2 seems to make the most sense to me. But the context does make it very hard. You have the reference to hell in the beginning of the context, and then the reference to being salt in the world at the end of the context. The salt of fire seems to bridge the gap.

If I come upon any other ideas about this passage I'll let you know. Thanks for sharing your ideas and thanks for blogging.

Doing my best to be salt and light,
Pastor Penn.

Jon Cannon

Thanks Travis for the challenging question from Scripture. I always love to ponder over difficult passages. Also thanks for checking out my blog. It's always good to know that someone benefits from what is posted. God bless you in your ministry!

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