ESV - 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.
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In the Old Testament (Leviticus 2:13 and Ezekiel 43:24, for example), God commanded that offerings to Him (whether grain or animals) should be salted, both as a purifying influence, and as a symbol of Israel's everlasting covenant relationship with God. Fire (as mentioned in other passages of Scripture) can have the dual purpose of refining (such as in Malachi 3:2, where God is spoken of as being like a refiner's fire), or of consuming or destroying. I believe that these are the contexts to which Jesus was referring when he spoke of people being salted with fire, in order to illustrate the contrast and permanence of the results that will occur in response to the trials that people undergo through either the permissive or directive will of God. The effects of this testing on the saved or redeemed (even if it should happen to cause them temporal pain) will be beneficial -- purifying and refining them. (Paul used somewhat the same imagery in Romans 12:1 when he admonished the Christians at Rome to present their bodies as a living sacrifice.) The effects on those who reject God and the salvation that He offers in Christ will be punitive -- destroying and consuming.
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