What do you think when you hear the word ambassador?
Paul reminded the church members at Corinth that it was their duty to serve the Lord Jesus as His ambassadors in their world, during their day: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Hideo Kitahara, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam and France, who also represented Japan in the United Nations, wrote about “The Makings of a Good Ambassador” in Global Portal for Diplomats: “Ambassadors…must certainly strive to promote their country’s national interests.” He then wrote, “A good ambassador must be a patriot.” The ambassador is all about his home nation’s best interests, and is loyal to it even though he lives apart from it in his host country.
In another article, “Functions of a Diplomatic Mission,” in the Global Portal for Diplomats, the writer recommended five duties of ambassadors. Ambassadors should: “Represent their home country in the host country. Protect the interests of the home country and its citizens in the host country. Negotiate with the government of the host country on behalf of the home country. Promote friendly relations between the host country and the home country. Develop commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations between the host country and the home country.”
So, if God expects His children to serve as ambassadors, as Paul wrote, what does that mean to you? What is a Christian’s diplomatic mission to this foreign country in which we now live? The words of Jesus to Paul on the road to Damascus might best summarize every believer’s diplomatic mission as ambassadors in this world. Jesus told Paul it was his duty: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:18). The duty of every Christian is first, to help people around them open their eyes to their responsibility to God. Secondly, your work is to seek to, “turn them from darkness to light…from the power of Satan unto God.” People without Christ are in spiritual darkness and unknowingly under the powerful influence of Satan. As a Christian, your job is to point them to the light. Thirdly, the benefits of people coming to Christ are that their sins will be forgiven, they will have an inheritance in Heaven, and through faith in Him, will be sanctified, or set apart, as God’s own possession. The question then is, are you an ambassador of Christ? If you belong to Him, you are an ambassador, so, please get about your diplomatic mission.
As ambassadors for Christ, it is also our privilege and duty to represent our Lord Jesus Christ, His kingdom and His gospel message in this foreign land. What can you do to improve your service as an ambassador of Jesus Christ in this world?
ONE: As Christ’s ambassador, remember where your loyalties lie. As a believer in Christ, you are in a host country, a foreign land, while your true citizenship is in Heaven. Paul wrote, “our citizenship is in heaven; from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). Peter put it this way: “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Though we are living here, our citizenship and loyalty are there, so we should live like citizens of Heaven on earth. The songwriter Albert Bromley spoke truth when he penned, “this world is not my home; I am just traveling through.”
TWO: As an ambassador of Christ in this world, you have diplomatic immunity because you are under the protection of your Sovereign. That is not to say you may do things illegal, for Jesus commanded His followers to obey the laws of the land; but it is to say you are under His protection and guidance. Every Christian ambassador would do well to remember Jesus’ words: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
THREE: As His ambassador, you represent your Sovereign in this foreign land. Your primary business is to carry His message, project His life-style, reflect His light and persuade citizens of your host country to believe in and follow Him. Communication does not happen in a vacuum, so in order to share His message, you must develop relationships with people of your host country (the unsaved world). Your redeeming message is: “Be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:20, 21).
FOUR: As an ambassador you are first accountable to your Sovereign for your life and service—not to your host country. Someday you will be called home to stand before the King and account for your actions on His behalf. Christian ambassadors should live in light of accountability to Him, always prepared to return home at the Master’s call.
Be a true Christian patriot! Share the saving gospel as you live by the laws of His kingdom in obedience to your only Sovereign! What a privilege! In Christ, you are an ambassador of the King of kings!