Most countries have diplomatic relations with other countries. Part of that is posting an Ambassador from your country in all the countries you have relations with. They are the representative of that country. Today we are talking about being Ambassadors of Heaven.
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When I hear the word Ambassador, I think of an important person from another country dressed very formally attending a formal meeting or social gathering. They are respected. They are there to represent and speak for their nation. In the world today, there are agreed upon laws and treaties that protect ambassadors and their staff. They cannot be unduly held or treated for any reason. It is understood that they are there representing the interests of their nation and mean no harm. They bring perspective and help nations work together. Sometimes they are an ambassador to a hostile nation. However, the agreed upon diplomatic rules allow them to be there and be heard, but they also must listen, and continue to work toward a mutual understanding and friendship.
Christians are called to be Ambassadors for Christ from Heaven here on earth. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:20.
2 Corinthians 5:20
(20) 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.
Paul is referring to himself and his companions here as he identifies themselves as ambassadors of Christ. Paul and his companions are not only sharing the message of Jesus but also representing Him here on earth.
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary says:
“Christians have been called by their King to serve as ambassadors in a world that is in rebellion against Him. However, God has given His representatives a message of peace and reconciliation. In this way, believers are God’s ambassadors, whose mission is to implore people to be reconciled to God, to listen to the forgiving voice of their Creator.”
Just as Paul and his companions were ambassadors for Christ in this world, so are you and I. Just as the ambassadors that have come before us brought God’s message of peace and reconciliation to this world, so must we. Let’s look at what those two messages are.
God’s Message of Peace
To understand God’s peace, we must understand what it is like to now have God’s peace. Before you knew God and were a follower of Jesus Christ you were subject to the storms of life in this world. There was little peace as the wind and waves of life’s storms hit you wave after wave. Life can lack purpose and we feel as though we must fight for every inch we can.
God’s peace takes that away. God’s peace is a peace that surpasses all understanding. Look at Philippians 4:5-7.
(5) Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God wants all of humanity to experience and live in His peace. The peace of knowing that our lives are not lived in vain and we will be with Him for eternity in Heaven where there are no tears, and all is joy.
This message of peace must be lived before it can be shared. As an ambassador from Heaven, we must live within the peace of God and then share that peace with others. Hebrews 12:14 says:
(12) Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
An ambassador of a nation here on earth may not agree with the country he is working in, he must still live peacefully, not causing trouble or making a commotion. We too, as ambassadors of Heaven, must live peaceably with the people of this world as we represent the interests of God and Heaven here in this world. We do this by respecting others even when we do not agree. We do this by not backbiting and gossiping or starting rumors. We do this by living a life worthy of Christ and not pointing fingers at anyone, just as Christ never accused anyone.
God’s Message of Reconciliation
The other message as ambassadors of Heaven we are to convey is God’s message of reconciliation. The moment Adam and Eve invited sin into the world through their disobedience, we have needed reconciliation to return to the right relationship God intended for all of us from the beginning of time. That reconciliation looked somewhat different from the Old Testament days to the New Testament days. In the Old Testament God created a system of laws and sacrifices to teach mankind how to atone for his sins day in and day out. This was a stop-gap measure. As man sinned, those sins had to be atoned for, again and again. This was unsustainable, and God knew that. But God had a plan for real permanent reconciliation.
The time came for God’s final plan of reconciliation thousands of years later, and that plan was and is Jesus. That plan of reconciliation is quite simple. Accept Jesus’ sacrifice as your own and invite Him to be your Lord. There must be a level of trust. This level of trust comes from how people view us, His ambassadors. If we are trustworthy and loving, not condemning or divisive, people will accept that we represent Christ and all of Heaven. When they see that in us God’s message of reconciliation will be easier to see, understand, and accept.
That message of reconciliation is summarized in just two verses. John 3:16-17.
(16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
This message of reconciliation has two parts. The first is that Jesus is God’s plan for reconciliation. This is the whole reason Jesus was sent to earth. This is why he left the side of God the Father, relinquishing His life as it was already in Heaven, and subjected himself to the process of birth and growth as a human. He willfully did what God asked him to do, not only giving up his life in the spirit initially but then willingly giving up his life here on earth to pay for all our sins.
This time, the Sinless paid the price for all our sins. There was no more need for further payment. It was done. There is a second part of God’s message of reconciliation, and this is the part often left out or forgotten. It is found in verse 17.
When God sent Jesus to pay for our sins, he sent him to save us, not condemn us. Jesus did not condemn. He got pointed a time or two with some of the religious leaders, but he never condemned anyone. He did not even condemn Judas who betrayed him. Jesus knew that Judas was part of the father’s plan.
As ambassadors, we are to carry this message of peace and reconciliation. As ambassadors of Heaven, we are to live this life of peace and reconciliation. We cannot do that if we continually argue and take sides on matters here on earth. Frankly, this earth someday will disappear. In the end days, it will be burnt up and will be replaced with a new earth for all those who have accepted Jesus.
Ambassadors of nations do not try and force their way on other nations. They are not trying to turn every nation into their own. They are representing the interests of their own nation. An ambassador who starts to take up his own causes and thoughts and not those of his own nation and leader will lose the respect of the nation he is serving in and will not be an ambassador for very long.
Sometimes we, as ambassadors of Heaven, are so focused on making Heaven on earth, we forget Heaven already exists. Jesus told us to go and make disciples which will build His Kingdom, Heaven, not our rendition of it here on earth. Stop trying to make earth like Heaven. It is not going to happen; the Bible tells us so. We are here for one purpose. Matthew 28:19-21 tells us:
(19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Stay true to the mission we have as ambassadors of Heaven, given to us by Jesus himself. Be an ambassador of Heaven and represent Heaven and God’s interests here on earth.