Friday, January 11, 2019
“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20). To “be reconciled to God” redirects our earthly efforts to “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17); and to “make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20).
An October 9, 2018 headline at The Washington Free Beacon states, “Nikki Haley Resigns as United Nations Ambassador”. She subsequently vacated her role as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. on December 31, 2018, a date she choose for her exit from that pivotal role.
Webster’s Tenth defines an ambassador as “an official envoy…a diplomatic agent of the highest rank…representative of his own government…an authorized representative or messenger”. Nikki Haley’s departure has created a tough vacancy for the Trump Administration to fill as revealed in a December 7, 2018 POLITICO article titled, “U.N. search sputters as Nikki Haley’s exit nears”. Many once considered for the job have fallen away due to “a lack of foreign policy chops”.
Unlike Ms. Haley, however, Christians may not vacate ambassadorship of Christ without severe consequences. If the Christian’s earthly pursuits are not carefully guarded, he or she can become lukewarm, (Rev. 3:15–17), which, if not repented of will result in being cut off from Christ.
Ms. Haley represented America to the nations. The Christian, in word and deed, represents Christ to the nations and defends His truths. When Jesus came He represented God the Father, speaking and doing the Father’s will. Christians emulate that by being Christ’s representatives. Thus, it is extremely discouraging when the Church restricts and silences the end-time testimony of Christ.
But “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body” (Phil. 3:20–21). Awaiting the Savior requires being prepared and remaining steadfast with a vision of what is to come…the end of this age is now near, and only what we do for Christ will endure.
America is the world at its best, and while there is some social good, its national best is corrupt, full of lies, deceit, infanticide, death and wars, just like other nations. And though we live in the world we are not of the world as God warns, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
Being an ambassador for Christ is not expedient in American politics, in fact, it would be political suicide. But didn’t Christ call us to that very thing, to die to self, to spiritually die to things of this world? It was Jesus who said “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). That’s not an American ideal. It’s an ideal of those who have made a willful cost-counting decision to follow Christ and reject Satan’s ambitions because “the whole world lies under sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).
An ambassador of Christ is not synonymous with being Republican, Democrat or Independent. Neither is fighting for one’s constitutional rights, or fighting and killing in America’s bloody wars; in fact, the latter is altogether anti-Christ for which God warned against (2 Cor. 10:1–6). No apostle of Christ fought in national wars because they were ambassadors of Christ, and as a result suffered persecution and martyrdom by their governments and religious leaders.
Ambassadors of Christ, however, cannot resign their calling as do ambassadors of nations without committing spiritual suicide, for “It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:4–6). Could this account for the dramatic rise of Christian suicides?
Ambassadorship to the Lord Jesus who saved us, warns, saying, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; [one cannot depart from God if he didn’t once belong to Him] but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Heb. 3:12–14). This is just one more biblical truth among many that destroys Calvinism’s “once saved always saved” doctrine.
To “hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” agrees with Jesus saying that “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13), not meaning those who jump ship and take their own life or the lives of others into their own hands, because Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). This is extremely critical as the world now faces end-time global wars.
Contextually, God said, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?” (Heb. 2:1–4).
Ambassadorship of Christ follows His example who said “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). Truly, just as the time came when Jesus could no longer work as He prepared for His dark hour of trial, so too, the tribulation darkness is coming when we will not be able to work as ambassadors for Christ. That time will come at the middle of the tribulation when Antichrist issues his mark of the beast, and “the woman [the prepared Church] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Rev. 12:6).
Time is short, so “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Jos. 24:15). America, and all nations will be destroyed, and anyone fighting to preserve her will ultimately be fighting against God, who said, “I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem…Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations” (Zech. 14:2–3). God wins, but the United Nations lose! Dear believer, decide now to who’s ambassadorship you are given.
Marlin J. Yoder