“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, NKJV)
In the last month in the US, the country has experienced multiple mass shootings, including one in Uvalde, Texas, which is the second worst school shooting in United States history. During these times of strife, it is easy for Christians to retreat into our churches and hunker down for the long haul.
We tell ourselves that the culture at large does not want to hear about God since we seem to move further away from him with each passing day. And it is true that the distance we have put between ourselves and God is the distance we have placed between us and our solution to these problems. What culture is experiencing right now is a spiritual crisis of epic proportions. And it is during times of spiritual crisis that culture needs the church to move back to the forefront. If we are to fulfill the second greatest command from Jesus, to love our neighbor, we cannot shy away from spreading the gospel.
“It is during times of spiritual crisis that culture needs the church to move back to the forefront.”
The apostle Paul calls us “ambassadors for Christ.” An ambassador is a representative of an organization or nation. So, we are representatives from Christ’s kingdom here on earth. In our culture’s pursuit of a modern, post-Christian culture, we are losing the very foundations upon which the life of wisdom and compassion can be built. That foundation can only be the Word of God.
Jesus has not changed and will never change. The Word of God has outlasted every empire the world has seen. It continues to be the only means of salvation in a world of brokenness that seemingly knows no depth. As Christians it is our duty to wade into these depths of brokenness to show and tell people the gospel, the good news, of King Jesus. We embrace the people who have been left out; we love the people who have been hated on.
“We embrace the people who have been left out; we love the people who have been hated on.”
Unsurprisingly, some of the words used in our culture here have very different meanings than how we use them in Jesus’ Kingdom. There’s no better example of this than the word “love.” The word “love” over the course of our modern times has found its meaning distorted and devalued. As Kelvin Teamer writes in Kingdom Life: Experiencing God’s Reign Through Love and Holiness, love in Jesus’ kingdom is “a cross-shaped action that glorifies God and benefits someone else.”
When we don’t care about a person’s true, eternal state, we’re going to be giving people something less than love. Love in modern Western culture has taken on a tragically lesser meaning: it’s become equated with acceptance. If you ask any married couple, you can quickly find out that you can love someone and not agree with everything that they do.
As Christians, we have to hold fast to biblical truths and help people find their footing on the firm foundation of the Word of God. This requires that we have tough conversations with people we love. This requires being a representative of Jesus in all aspects of our lives. The mark of a true friend is not someone who allows a person to explore the depths of their sin. A true friend will reflect the light of Jesus and point them to the way out of their despair.
“As Christians, we have to hold fast to biblical truths and help people find their footing on the firm foundation of the Word of God.”
This is not a call for judgment, but a call to action. The answer to a spiritual crisis is the body of Jesus being the ambassadors that God calls us to be. A true representative is out in the community proclaiming the gospel and pointing people to the only thing that can bring them salvation and joy. The Lord is pleading through us for people to repent and return to him. This is a high calling that our Lord has given us, and on his behalf we must implore people to accept him. This is what will make a sustainable difference in our culture.
 Kelvin Teamer, Kingdom Life: Experiencing God’s Reign Through Love and Holiness (Renew.org, 2021), 67.