You have probably never been appointed as an ambassador to a foreign country… but as a Christian, you are one. 2 Corinthians 5:20 puts it this way: “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.”
Webster Dictionary defines an ambassador as “the highest-ranking person who represents his or her own government while living in another country.” That accurately describes the role God wants us to have. We have been “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). We represent another Kingdom (John 18:36), and we are called to represent the King of Kings. There are many implications to this idea, but here are a few of them:
1. An ambassador represents someone else who is not there in person. Jesus left for heaven and mandated that his followers represent Him to the rest of the world. Since He is not here in bodily form, we (the church) are his body and thus the way He is represented to the world. This is sobering to understand that our role is to represent God to people.
2. It is an ambassador’s task to deliver a message. We do not make up the message. The gospel is not our idea. We are merely a messenger delivering the Good News that God gave.
3. Additionally, the ambassador is expected to deliver the message. Could you imagine an ambassador who refused to tell a foreign government the communication that comes from his government? That ambassador would soon lose his job. Imagine what God must think of the Christian who refuses to deliver the message!
4. The ambassador has delegated authority from the King. When Jesus gave the Great Commission he references the fact that he has all authority and is deputizing us. “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:18-19). Our evangelism is backed by the endorsement of the King… we don’t have to be shy or cautious.
5. The ambassador is not a citizen of the country where he works. He is a foreigner. As a believer, the same thing applies to us. We are not a citizen of this planet (Philippians 3:20). We are in this world, but not of it (John 17:16). We would probably do better as an ambassador for Christ if we really believed our citizenship was in heaven and that we are living in a foreign country.
So… how are you doing as an ambassador?
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