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Ambassadors For Christ

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Good morning, its great to see everyone this morning. If you have your bibles please turn in them to .
and we are going to be looking at just two verses this morning. verses 19-20. The title of my message this morning, is Ambassadors for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:19–20 NKJV
that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 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.
(Let’s Pray)
How many of you know that over time human beings have the tendency to complicate simple things?
One little example of that back in 1891 when the first rule book for the game of basketball came out, there were two pages in that rule book, two pages thats it.
100 years later in 1991 there were 114 pages of rules in the basketball rulebook. We have this tendency overtime to take something simple and build it up until it is overcomplicated.
I believe firmly that we as Christians and we as churches have a tendency to do the same thing when it comes to the mission of God for our lives for being ambassadors for Christ.
We have a tendency to over complicate that. I heard a story recently about an American pastor who went down to cuba and was doing some missions work there and he was working along side a local church there, and this church was seeing disciples made, they were growing, and then churches being born out of it, in a great and an awesome way.
This one church had planted in a short amount of time 60 other churches out of this one church. After some time this American pastor went to one of the churches that one church had plnated and that church in and of itself had planted 65 churches other churches.
So this American pastor was just blown away by the number of people getting saved and being discipled. This American pastor had the opportunity to sit down with the cuban pastor who was leading this disciple making church planting movement, and he sat down with him, and he got out his notebook and his pen, and he was ready to taker some note, and he said
“alright I want you to tell me how have you seen all these churches multiply at this great rate?”
So he was ready to take some notes, but he didnt hear anything for awhile, and the cuban pastor was sitting there thinking, and after a few minutes of silence he said well,
“we make disciples”
he said that’s good let me write that down, so he wrote that down. Then he thought he was going to hear more but the Cuban pastor no thats it, we make disciples.
We proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ we lead people to believe in Him, we gather them together in church, and then they proclaim the gospel of Jesus, lead people to faith in Jesus, and gather them together in churches and we keep doing that until Jesus comes again.
This American pastor was blown away, with the simplicity and clarity of the mission of these churches. I think that somewhere along the way, often times we as American Christians tend to get so bogged down with activity, and programs, and events that clutter our schedules that sometimes we forget to keep the main thing the main thing and somewhere in the mix making disciples, or being an ambassador for Jesus Christ slips through the cracks.
So my prayer this morning would be that the Lord uses His word to remind and refresh us of the mission of the church that we might recover the simplicity of the mission we have been called to accomplish for the Lord Jesus Christ.
So we need to remember the centrality of our mission.
If I were to summarize to you what I think Paul is saying in these two verses this morning, its this, As Christs ambassadors we represent Jesus by declaring the message of reconciliation to the world.
This is Paul’s way of proclaming the great commission to go and make disciples of all nations, as Christs ambassadors we represent Jesus by declaring the message of reconciliation to the world.
Now if were going faithful ambassadors as I believe he is calling us to be here, we need to understand 3 keys to understanding this text which help us know how to be an abassador for Jesus Christ.

We Must Understand Our Message

2 Corinthians 5:19 HCSB
That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
2 Corinthians
The message of reconciliation.
This message of reconciliation was extremely important to the apostle Paul. Paul says that our message is one that is marked by the theme of reconciliation.
To reconcile someone to God
now at the basic idea of what this idea of reconciliation is one author says is this...
“at its simplest form the verb reconcile is the action by which peace is made between two personal enemies.”
Think about what that means Paul says the message that we as ambassadors are sent out with the message is about reconciling enemies.
The fact is that the Bible says that without Jesus Christ if we are left in our sins, we are enemies of God we are separated from God which is why we must be reconciled to Him in the first place.
The Bible that apart from Jesus in our sins we are enemies of God, this is why it is so important to get it right, to settle your salvation within your heart, because if you die apart from Christ you will stand before Him as His enemy!
I dont know about yall but I dont wanna take my stand there, even if I have been a good moral person, even if I have never done anything extremely wrong or never had hurt anyone, the Bible tells me that based on my sin nature that I will arrive at the throne of God almighty as His enemy!
James 4:4 ESV
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:4
What it means to be an enemy of God is that we are in danger of falling under the wrath and anger and judgment of God for our sins, the prophet Nahum said it this way.
Nahum 1:2 HCSB
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The Lord takes vengeance against His foes; He is furious with His enemies.
Do you see why this is not some sort of religious exercize when we come in this place? Do you see why we need to proclaim the good news of the gospel to people everyday?
Because apart from Christ we are enemies with God and we need to have that relationship mended.
We are in danger of the wrath of God!
Yes we are right to say that God is a good good Father for those who have been saved, yes we are right to say that god is a God of love but lets not forget the doctrine of the wrath of God.
I was with some of the college students one night this week and we were eating dinner and Andrew said your a fire brimstone preacher, I said I am?
I never have qualified myself as a hell fire and brimstone preacher, and they all sat there just looking at me grinning, and I said well.. but before I could finish every one of them said, BUT THAT WHAT WE LIKE.
People by in large wanna know the truth about God and in a day where preachers are afraid and want to water it down I count it an honor to be titled a brimstone preacher!
Johnathan Edwards who was a great pastor in the 1700’s and who is known by many as one of the greatest theologians in American History, He played a major role in one of the greatest revivals in American History.
Called the Great awakening, His most famous sermon “SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD.”
I had to to read this in a public college, this thing was required reading for a class who cared nothing for the Christian faith, it was just that influential that they wanted everyone to read it.
Listen to this snippet from his sermon:
“The God that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider or somse loathesome insect over the fire. Abhors you and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire, He looks upon you as nothing but to be cast into the fire, He is to pure of eye than to bear you in His sight.
You are 10,000 times more abomonible in His sight than the most hateful venemous serpent is in ours.
You have offended Him infinitely, infinitely more than a stubborn rebel did his prince. Yet it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else that you did not go to Hell last night, that you awaken again in this world after you closed your eyes asleep, and there is no greater reason why you have not been dropped into Hell, since you arose in the morning but that Gods hand has held you up.
There is no reason to be given that you have not gone to Hell since you have sat here, in the house of God provoking His pure eyes with your sinful wicked manner of attending His solomen worship.
Yay there is nothing else to be given as a reason why you have not this very moment dropped down into Hell, Oh sinner consider the fearful danger you are in.
It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God whose anger is provoked and incesned against you as much as it is any of those in Hell.
You hang by a slinder thread with the flames of divine wrath ready to singe it and burn it in two.”
You dont hear preaching like that much anymore do you, the wrath of God we treasure the love of God and if it werent for the love of God none of us would be saved.
We need to tremble at the wrath of God, let me tell you this morning, if you are not believing in and following Christ you are in danger of the wrath of almighty God.
You are in danger the Bible says of suffering forever in the fire of Hell. I wanna say this as clearly as I know how because I believe there might be somebody here this morning, I want you to know that God loves you however I want you to know that if you do not repent of your sins and believve in Jesus Christ, there is a place of eternal torment that God did not design for you, and that is where you will spend eternity, burning forever where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
but it doesnt have to be that way.
Because we have been sent to proclaim a way of escape a way to be reconciled to God!
How those who are under the wrath of God can be made friends of the Lord. Thats the message we proclaim!
2 Corinthians 5:19 HCSB
That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
God has made a way, through the blood sacrifice of the cross of Jesus Christ, He is able to take someone who formerly was under the anger wrath and judgement of God, Christ is the means by which God can draw that person to Himself and make that enemy HIS FRIEND!
its in Christ
God does not count your sin against you!!!
(debt wiped away)
How would you react?
Romans 5
Romans 5:10 HCSB
For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!
When paul talks about not counting their trespasses against them this is another way of talking about forgiveness, that God would no longer count it against you that youve sinned against Him.
That He would no longer hold it against you that you have failed Him.
Psalm 32:1–2 HCSB
How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is the man the Lord does not charge with sin and in whose spirit is no deceit!
So we are sent out as ambassadors and the thing we are proclaiming to the world is, though you are an enemy of God and in danger of His wrath through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross God wants to make you His friend.
God dont wanna count your sins against you anymore so repent and be reconciled to God.
That is the message!
An abassador without a message is nothing!

We must see our Role

2 Corinthians 5:18 HCSB
Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
This whole process of reconciliation is making enemies friends and making peace between Him and His former enemies. He has entrusted that whole process of reconciliation to us.
He says the same thing at the end of verse 19
2 Corinthians 5:19 HCSB
That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
Now notice at the end of verse 19 He says we have been entrusted with the message of reconciliation. This can be translated we have been entrusted with the Word of reconciliation.
What He is sayin is this, if we want to be obedient to this calling and this message He has entrusted to us. That is going to involve us speaking words to the world.
We have been entrusted with the word of reconciliation. Its important how we live, thats important we dont wanna lie in anyway that would cut the word in half.
However no one will be saved through our actions. If anyone is goig to be reconciled to God its only through words namely the word of God.
There is this saying by st. Francis of asisi
“preach the gospel always and if neccesary use words.”
Sounds good but
The problem with that is that you cant preach the gospel unless you use words, and so we have been given this eternal task, the message of reconciliation and thats where he flows into verse 20.
2 Corinthians 5:20 HCSB
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
Ephesians 6:19–20 HCSB
Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.
The heart here for Paul, of being an abassador for Christ is this idea that we will proclaim the message of the gospel.
If people are going to be saved then they need to hear the good news!
An ambassador is an official representative from one kingdom speaking to another kingdom.
The US has 80 ambassadors that are stationed all around the world.
The job of a US ambassador is to represent our nation and our nation in a foreign land. They are to work while they are there, to bring others into a peaceful relationship with us, as much as possible.
In order to do that a US ambassador must consitently communicate the values of our nation to those other nations that we wanna have a relationship with. Thats what they do.
This is what Paul is saying the Christian is, we are offcial representatives of our King we represent the kingdom of Christ in a land that is not our home.
It is central to the Message that we proclaim we proclaim the values of of our King the Word of our King and people are brought into a peac filled relationship with that King. now all over the Bible you see God sending out ambassadors sending out representatives who will proclaim His message to the world.
Think for a second about Moses who is:
Sent to the nation of Egypt
Sent to Pharoah the King of Egypt to proclaim a message to represent God and say to Him LET MY PEOPLE GO.
Moses was an ambassador
You think if JONAH Who was sent to Nineveh the capital of the Assyrian Empire who was the biggest enemy of Israel in those days. he was sent as an ambassador to them to represent Yahweh and proclaim a message of repentance to them.
You think of all the prophets who were sent by God as spokesmen for the Lord. You think of Isaiah for example who said
Isaiah says here I am send me Lord.
How about Jesus Himself, we need to understand that before we become ambassadors for Christ Jesus was an ambassador was HE not?
God the Father sent His son dow from Heaven on a mission to represent the kingdom of HEaven and Jesus said “I ONLY SPEAK WHAT THE FATHER GIVES ME TO SPEAK and He represents the Father here on Earth and proclaims the Fathers word and brings us into a relationship with Him.
that same Jesus turns around the Great commission and says now what I have done now I am giving you that role I am sending you out you will be my witnesses to the uttermost parts of the Earth.
We are here to preach the message of our King and how do we do that?
Proclaiming the gospel
2 Corinthians 5:20 HCSB
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
2 Corinthians 5:20
He is pleading people to be saved in the name of Jesus Christ.
Thats how you can be a faithful ambassador, you can have a passion for sharing your faith. To plead means to be so caught up in the reality of what is coming next that you care nothing of your pride here on the Earth.
We are pleading with people,
2 Corinthians 5:11 HCSB
Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade people. We are completely open before God, and I hope we are completely open to your consciences as well.
2 Corinthians 5:
We pursuade them we b eg them we plead with them, to escape the wrath of God through Jesus Christ.
Charles Spurgeon: If sinners be damned then let them leap to death over our dead bodies, if they perish then let us wrap our arms about their legs and beg them to stay.
Pleading with them imploring them to repent and trust in Jesus.
(Great White Throne)
Romans 10:14 HCSB
But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?
Is there anything that would prevent you from repenting of your sins and accepting Jesus Christ right now?

God’s Appeal

2 Corinthians 5:20 HCSB
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
Ephesians 5:20 HCSB
giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Which means if we are not making an appeal then God’s appeal cannot be made, because God has chosen to use us to be the vessel the tool by which the gospel is proclaimed.
Listen we know that God is soverign over salvation, but here and in other passages we see clearly that God desires to make His appeal through you and me.
This is also something that takes the pressure off of me, if I am nervous to share the gospel, because listen we can talk all day, but if God is not appealing through us then no one will get saved, but when God’s Spirit begins to plead with others through us, then we have a chance to see someone’s life changed forever by the power of the gospel.
John 6:44 HCSB
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.
So while we understand that no one can come to faith in Christ unless the Holy Spirit draws God has still commanded us to implore people to be saved in Jesus name.
Listen while we are sharing the gospel the Bible says at the very same time God is making His appeal through us.
It is just like the writing of the scriptures, did Paul write 2 Corinthians yes, but did God write 2 Corinthians? Absolutely.
When we obey God we have the chance to be a part of something eternal, and God will use you even you without the right words to say, stumbling over your own tongue to lead someone to Jesus Christ. ‘
Who is your one?
Who are you going to tell the good news to this week?
(Let’s Pray)
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