Summary: In the battle of spiritual warfare, we are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation.
I was reading blogs this week trying to put together what happened. From what I read, it was in the regional playoff in High School soccer in NC, and was considered by the bloggers one of the most embarrassing events in HS sports. (Bloggers tend to exaggerate, by the way).
Apparently one team was trailing, and started playing way too rough. Cheap shots, shoves, punches, and the coach reportedly did nothing. The amazing thing is that the dirty play was seldom against the other team, but was used by one teammate towards another as some form of punishment for a previous disagreement. Although both boys were ejected from the game, rough play continued until the game was stopped by officials.
Someone wrote l about the incident, “Let me set the record straight about (the head coach and his assistant). These two guys have never had control over a team since I've known them. The players have always had a terrible attitude because those two worthless coaches let the kids run the team. I remember a few years ago a gang at the high school called the “88's” was started by soccer players….Sounds like the coaches take no responsibility and throw the players and parents under the bus. Just look at brothers past teams and nothing has changed through the years.”
Can you imagine a team turning on each other in an important game? Yet, this is the state of Christianity today, and the state of many Churches. Someone said, “Christianity is the only army that shoots its own wounded.”
God never called us to battle mankind. We do not struggle with flesh and blood but are supposed to be engaged in the spiritual warfare. A Church can easily appear a rescue ship in which the sailors are either fighting one another or bailing water to keep the vessel afloat.
In such a situation, we do God’s no favor, nor do we serve His purpose. Yet, God has supplied a wonderful path for reconciliation, with Himself, with each other, and to invite outsiders to be reconciled with God and with us.
2 Corinthians 5 discusses the reality of our heavenly citizenship, and our earthly assignment. Although our earthly tabernacles (bodies) can wear down, wear out and even be destroyed, the reality of our Heavenly existent is guaranteed with Christ’s Spirit in us. We are invited to view life in light of our heavenly eternal existence and accept the assignment of our temporary physical existence.
That heavenly perspective is what we are going to speak of today, and how it affects our earthly assignment. That eternal bliss of our heavenly existence begins with which perspective we approached our life here on earth. Do we get deceived by the appearance of life here on earth, or do we live successfully in this deceptive environment with our minds clearly focused on the truth of our eternal destiny?
I want us today to focus on using our rescue ship to seek reconciliation. We can celebrate the truth that God sent forth His Son to reconcile us to Him when we were once far off. We can celebrate that God has purchased our reconciliation towards one another through the unity of His Spirit within us. And we can celebrate that God has granted to us the ambassadorship to invite everyone in our ministry footprint to be reconciled, with God and with ourselves.
Let’s go through the scriptures and see how these verses give us direction as they piece these truths together. We will see that it comes from the heavenly perspective that we struggle to maintain.
2 Corinthians 5, verse 16 “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.”
I. The Perspective is different. (When we see from a heavenly perspective, we see people differently.)
The world has a perspective on people and we are not supposed to adopt that perspective. The problem is, we were raised with the world’s perspective on people. We have learned to evaluate people abased upon their looks, or their family reputations, their previous contribution, etc. Sometimes we view people according to wealth, or talent, or social worth. However, this is not the heavenly perspective.
Israel serves as an illustration of the futility in the world’s perspective when they demanded a king. The people looked at the candidates like a horse buyer at an auction. They found what they thought was a thoroughbred, Saul.
1 Samuel 9:2 reveals, “And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.”
He looked the part, was chosen, but was an utter failure. When the Prophet Samuel went to reprimand Saul for another disobedience against God’s instructions, he revealed the heavenly perspective of God.