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  • Grace B-P Contributor

Be Ambassadors of Christ

By Rev Tan Eng Boo


From left: Johnson See, Rev Eric Kwan, Rev Tan Eng Boo in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20)


The three of us love nature and the outdoors. However, we have different outdoor passions. Rev Eric reaches out to the elderly in the Senior Adult Life Transformation (SALT) ministry by bringing them out for various outdoor activities. Johnson See conducts outdoor workouts with those who have Parkinson’s disease, like himself. My passion is birding. Since young I have had a love for birds. My father and brother would bring me outdoors for birding and scuba diving activities etc. We all learnt to swim in the sea.


As you can see, the three of us are no longer young. But we still make time to go outdoors, to admire the wonders of God’s beautiful creation.


“You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you” (Neh. 9:6).


Be an ambassador for Christ


I started to go birding on my own after being in the ministry for a long time. I realised that after being a Christian as well as being in full-time ministry for over 40 years, I had less and less non-Christian friends. (I used the word “non-Christian” because I believe that it is more accurate to use, instead of the word “pre-believers,” which I often hear). So I decided that I must do something to in order to keep having the opportunity to meet and to know those of other faiths. The apostle Paul says we must be an “ambassador for Christ.”


To be an” ambassador” is to be a “representative” of Jesus Christ. We are to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ and be His representative, wherever we stay, work and play. We need to make the effort to show Christ in all that we do and say. Shine for the Lord and when the opportunity comes for communicating the gospel, do so. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said,


“You know, this is a matter of common honesty. The great apostle says elsewhere, ‘I am an ambassador for Christ.’ What is the business of an ambassador? Is it to voice his own opinions? Is it to say what he thinks? Well, if he does so, he is a very bad ambassador. The ambassador’s job is to convey the thinking and the point of view of the country that has appointed him and which he is representing. He may disagree with it entirely, but it does not matter. The business of the ambassador is to deliver the message which has been given to him, to hand on this commission, whatever it is. And Paul says, I have no choice about this; that’s what he told me to say. I’m not here to give you my theories and my ideas, he says. I am determined simply to preach what he gave me.”


That is a good definition of what it means to be an ambassador of Christ. But we need to be wise in taking the salvation message to them.


Represent Jesus always!


In the birding community there are many people who have never attended church before. There are also Christians who have stopped attending church for a long time. I see the opportunity to be a lighthouse for the Lord to them. I have been with them for some years now and they are a wonderful group to be with (both Christians and non-Christians). They are helpful, caring, and courteous people. My duty is to be what Jesus said:


“…, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

In other words, “let your holy life, your pure conversation, be everywhere seen and known. Always, in all societies, in all business, at home and abroad, in prosperity and adversity, let it be seen that you are real Christians.” (Albert Barnes). Share Christ when the opportune time comes.


You too can be a “light” for God. Wherever the Lord has placed you, be His representative. Be an ambassador for the Lord. The world takes note of such people who claim to be “Christians.” And when that opportune time comes for sharing the Good News, I would like to echo the words of the Apostle Paul: “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak” (Col. 4:3, 4).


Evangelism


This is a frightening word for many Christians. This is a word we know from Scripture. We know it is a command. We know we are supposed to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). We don’t argue against this teaching. I know how frightening a task it is to approach a stranger and ask for permission to share the gospel to them. Someone told me recently that in their door-to-door evangelism sessions, they often wished that the residents not open the door, and that they will only need to leave a gospel tract at the door. I know some people are gifted in evangelism. Each time they go out, they return with the good news of salvation of individuals. Praise God indeed! But evangelism is there in the Bible, and there are many ways to do so. Let us always desire to be an ambassador for the Lord.


Let us learn to be like the Thessalonian believers whom Paul described were shining for the Lord:


“so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything” (1 Thessalonians 1:7, 8)


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