We Are Ambassadors for a Foreign Power!
Good News Magazine
May 1980
Volume: VOL. XXVII, NO. 5
Issue: ISSN 0432-0816
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We Are Ambassadors for a Foreign Power!
David C Pack  

   Our ultimate destiny as Christians is to become kings and rule along with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God, but we also have an important diplomatic job here and now. We, as God's people, represent a foreign government, for "our citizenship belongs in heaven" (Phil. 3:20, Modern Language Version), and we all hold the office of ambassador.
   Ambassadorships are critical appointments and are therefore conferred only on those who can rightly and positively represent the ideals, laws, people, culture, government policies and political ideologies of the countries where they hold citizenship. If ever they fail to uphold all these standards, they can automatically disqualify themselves from — representing their governments and be recalled from their posts.
   As ambassadors for God's future government, our lives are to exemplify God's way to this world. We are to represent the order, peace and abundant joy inherent in the spiritual government to which we truly owe our allegiance. We are, in Christ's words, to be lights to the world (Matt. 5:14-16). And the "Father of lights" (Jas. 1:17) will not permit us to hide our good examples under a bushel. We have been set on a hill for all to see, just as a light pierces the surrounding darkness so people can see where they are going.
   Did you ever notice how people have a way of immediately categorizing anyone they meet or any idea with which they come in contact? If you meet someone from the southern United States, you automatically fit the person into the image you have of the South, even though you may have never been there. You may think of a Confederate flag, a steamboat, the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, humid weather or "Southern hospitality." You assign the person to a certain slot in your mind.
   If someone drives a Cadillac, it means a certain thing in people's minds. Driving a Volkswagen also communicates an image. "Everybody knows" businessmen dress a certain way; models, playboys, bricklayers and athletes also have a certain uniform, in our minds. The way a person walks says that he is cocky, refined, shy, confident or relaxed.
   People are categorized, and many times incorrectly, according to their religion, skin color, political party, manners, sports they like, books they read, friends, jokes they tell, entertainment they prefer or even the kind of dog they own.
   Do you realize what this means to you as a Christian ambassador? People are analyzing your every word, move and habit. Thus you must set an example that will unmistakably identify just who you are and who you represent.
   God intended that Israel be such a sterling example in their obedience to Him that all the surrounding gentile nations could not help but notice how they, too, were really intended to live life (Deut. 4:4-8).
   Unfortunately, the Bible shows that never happened. Israel utterly failed their commission. As a matter of fact, they failed so miserably that in the New Testament Paul often referred to Israel's example to show how not to live our lives (I Cor. 10:6). How much better it would have been had Israel written a positive, righteous record!
   One bright spot in Israel's history was King Solomon's early example of wisdom and understanding, which spread abroad so strongly that the queen of Sheba couldn't believe it. She decided to check up for herself (I Kings 10:1-10) and found out she hadn't heard the half of it (verse 7). Solomon must have been setting quite an example. But though he was king, he was still just one man. What if the entire nation had been as wise and righteous as Solomon? It would have had that much greater impact on Israel's neighbors.
   Even the early Church of God had a hard time learning to generate the right light. The apostle Paul must have had great patience as he dealt with the Corinthian congregation. He had much to say to them about their wrong conduct. He explained to them in II Corinthians 5:20 that "we are ambassadors for Christ." The entire reference was probably not to the ministry or apostles alone, even though they are ambassadors in the most direct sense. Paul was trying to get across to the Corinthians the importance of the examples we all set (verse 10) and stated that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (verse 17).
   Paul instructed the Philippians to "Only let your conversation [conduct] be as it becometh the gospel of Christ" (Phil. 1:27). That Gospel is of the coming government of God. Is your conduct "becoming" of that government or do you cast a bad light on it?
   When Ambassador College was founded its name was not selected by accident. Those 'who are accepted have to really know why they want to go. And once they arrive, they are taught what it means to be an Ambassador. High standards are set so that high standards can be reached. Those standards touch upon all facets of student life: studies, finances, health, appearance, work, athletics, dating and spiritual growth. If anyone doesn't strive to reach those standards, he simply cannot remain at Ambassador College and be an "Ambassador."
   Notice Colossians 4:5-6: 'Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." People outside the Church shouldn't be able to overlook our wisdom.
   I Corinthians 6:2 shows the saints will judge the world one day. If that day were here and all those who knew you in this life now could see you as a member of the God Family, what would their reaction be? Would they, by remembering your outstanding example in your home, in your family and on the job, find it easy to accept? Or would they collapse in shock that you could have made it into God's Kingdom?
   Would they remember hearing you and your wife or husband fighting? The disrespect, foul language and unkempt appearance of your children? Your uncared — for yard, your off-color jokes, your unfriendly, secretive manner, your unpainted house, your poor work record and on and on?
   Christ gained favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). He set us an example (I Pet. 2:21). Are you found in favor with both God and man? A man or woman can convert his or her mate without "a" word or "the" Word (the Bible), but purely by conduct (I Pet. 3:1). People should notice that as a result of your beliefs your conduct is different from the average person's (I Pet. 4:4). Does your example convict. them? You may be the only Bible some people ever read. Can people "read" you clearly? Do you even "abstain from all appearance of evil" (I Thess. 5:22)?
   No error or fault could be found in Daniel (Dan. 6:4). His conduct was so outstanding in all respects that a whole group Of cunning, carnal-minded politicians couldn't find anything of which to accuse him — unless it was "concerning the law of his God" (verse 5). He wasn't doing anything they could gainsay. Nothing!
   This is what being the light of the world is all about. This is what it means to be an ambassador for Christ.

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Good News MagazineMay 1980VOL. XXVII, NO. 5ISSN 0432-0816