All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Heb. 11:13-16)
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 Cor 5:20, KJV)
I often feel sorry for the government spokesmen on the evening news. They are attempting to explain government policies and actions to a frequently hostile audience.
Though often obviously uncomfortable and frustrated at their inability to communicate as well as they would like, the government spokesmen don’t condemn the press, or shout unkind judgments. With professionalism they explain their positions, answer questions, and offer sources for more information.
We’re in a similar situation—spokesmen for a heavenly kingdom no one can see and many don’t believe exists.
In communicating truth about this kingdom, if we feel out of place, if we feel our values have little to do with the values of the world around us, if we feel our perspective is wildly at odds with that of our audience, there isn’t anything wrong with us. It is the proper assessment of reality. We are out of sync; we are out of place.
Like the old hymn says, “this world is not our home.” But just because it isn’t home doesn’t mean we don’t have a job to do in it.
As C.S. Lewis reminded us in Mere Christianity, “Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”
Our sabotage work, as it is for any resistance army, is to create communications that let people know the rightful king is coming back and that this world will not always be under the present deteriorating management of sin and sadness. The early Christians were known as people whose faces were turned toward the dawn. Our communications should reflect that perspective as we look for the public return of our king.
As we speak and write for the “rightful king,” pray to do it as an ambassador worthy of his calling, someone with whom God is not ashamed to be called your God.