Summary: The church is God's "House" in this world. As ambassadors for Christ we represent him and are his image to people everywhere.
I used to think being an Ambassador for the US would be a plush job -- until Benghazi. I realized that being an Ambassador may be prestigious when all goes well. However, it can be a dangerous, even deadly enterprise.
2. Yet, We are called to be ambassadors for God in our world.
3. 2 Corinthians 5.1-21
a. Temporary Nature of Life
b. Eternal Nature of Life
c. Our Ministry of Reconciliation
d. Our Authority as Ambassadors
4. Consider the person of an Ambassador -- God's Representative
I. An Ambassador Has a Special Residency (Citizenship) -- 4.16-5.10
While Secretary of State during the Regan presidency, George Shultz kept a large globe in his office. When newly appointed ambassadors had an interview with him and when ambassadors returning from their posts for their first visit with him were leaving his office, Shultz would test them. He would say, "You have to go over the globe and prove to me that you can identify your country." They would go over, spin the globe, and put their finger on the country to which sent--unerringly.
When Shultz's old friend and former Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield was appointed ambassador to Japan, even he was put to the test. This time, however, Ambassador Mansfield spun the globe and put his hand on the United States. He said: "That's my country." On June 27, 1993, Shultz related this to Brian Lamb on C-Span's "Booknotes." The Secretary said: "I've told that story, subsequently, to all the ambassadors going out. 'Never forget you're over there in that country, but your country is the United States. You're there to represent us. Take care of our interests and never forget it, and you're representing the best country in the world.' "
We must never forget where our home and our allegiance is -- the Kingdom of God. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 3.20
A. A Type of Dual Citizenship
[People with dual citizenship; amphibians
1. A Temporary Position
a. Limited time in another country
b. Limited time in this world -- 2 Corinthians 4.16-18
2. A Permanent Citizenship -- 2 Corinthians 5.1-5
[Missionary returning home did not realize the President was on the same cruise ship; saw the crowds in the harbor and assumed they were waiting for him; by the time he had gotten off the ship the crowds were gone and no one was there to greet him; "I thought someone would have come to welcome me home;" his wife replied, "You're not home yet."
a. A Place of Heritage (grafted into Israel -- Romans 11)
b. A Place of Belonging and Loyalty
c. A Place of the Heart -- 5.2; Deuteronomy 6.4ff
B. A Guaranteed Return Home
1. A Passport is a fairly common document. It allows me right to travel around the world, it shows not only where I come from but also who I am. It shows that I am a citizen of the United States of America; therefore I am also a representative of my country to the rest of the world. The way that people abroad view me will have an impact on how they view my county.
2. Holy Spirit is Our Guarantee of a ticket home -- 5.5
C. An Essential Accountability
1. "People do not do what is expected; they do what is inspected."
2. We are accountable to our King -- 5.10
a. In Reality -- Matthew 7.21
b. Parable of Talents
c. Separation of sheep and goats
3. Whom are we trying to please? -- Galatians 1.10
Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.
II. An Ambassador Has a Special Role -- Representative
A. "Sent Ones"
1. Ambassadors of Influence
A traveling man came into a hotel to secure a room for the night. Upon being informed that every room in the building had been taken, he was naturally quite perturbed, until a portly gentleman standing nearby kindly offered to share his room with him. The offer was thankfully accepted.
Upon retiring, the portly man knelt and prayed, tenderly mentioning his guest for the night in his petition. In the morning his host informed him that it was his custom to read a portion of the Word of God and pray before taking up the responsibilities of the day. The effect upon the man was moving; that he determined to become a follower of Jesus. A soul had been won!
But who is this humble ambassador of Christ, who so strikingly resembles a member of President Wilson's cabinet? When business cards were exchanged before parting, to the guest's amazement he read, "William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State."