This is the second part of “Ambassadors for Christ. If you missed part one, you can find it here.
We left off with an amazing Biblical fact: Our purpose for living is fellowship with God, and that fellowship contains a purpose which is making disciples for Christ. (Matt. 28:18-20) Consequently, our calling is to make disciples. There are many directions we could go from this point of beginning. We could discuss how to make disciples, what it entails and we could also go back to what a disciple is. But we were discussing a particular text, 2 Corinthians 5, so let’s continue that discussion now…
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
An ambassador is someone who represents the interests of a king or nation in another kingdom or nation. Thus an ambassador for Christ represents Christ and His Kingdom on this earth. We are not at home here, we are posted in a “foreign” land.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.“(Hebrews 11:13)
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangersin the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,” (1 Peter 1:1)
“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.” (1 Peter 1:17)
“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)
We are not citizens of this world, for we have been redeemed by Christ and have been given Heavenly citizenship. Here on earth, we represent Him and we serve His purpose… or at least that is what we are supposed to be doing here. In due course, we be called Home to be with Him. This is our purpose for being and our purpose for living on this earth. Our message from “Headquarters” for the foreign land in which we are “posted” as ambassadors is the “message of reconciliation”, that is the Gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
OK, this is really quite simple when you think about it. Once again we are at a place where there are many ways to go in the discussion, but I would like to take a look at the land we find ourselves in.
For better or for worse, we find ourselves in the world of 2011, soon to be 2012; we are not in the world of 1961, 1936 or 1750. Those worlds were much different from this one, they are like being posted to different nations… Here’s what I mean:
If you were appointed to be the US ambassador to France, you would not get very far if you insisted that the French speak your language and adopt your customs in order to speak to you. They would probably be angry and completely tune you out!
In the same way, if we approach the world of 2011-2012 with the culture of 1961, who will listen to us? The frames of reference will not be shared, the culture is quite different; in fact there is in many ways a different language being spoken now. Have a look at my posts about 1961 and 1936 (links below) to see what I mean…
In saying all of this, I am not suggesting that we compromise the message of Christ with the current culture which is largely anti-Christ. What I am suggesting is that we must present our message in a way that people who do not know Him will understand and welcome. To do otherwise will result in our doing a very poor job for the Master who has given His life for us!