Citizens of Heaven, First and Foremost

The Call to be Ambassadors

By Kirk Giles

Our world is rapidly changing, and everything feels very unsettled. Around the world, there is economic uncertainty. We are witnesses to governments who are murdering their own citizens, and terrorists who have no concern for the borders of nations or the lives they destroy.

The issues facing our world seem to be overwhelming, and everyone seems to have their own idea as to what the solutions are. To the average person, we have our opinions on how to fix the problems, but we also feel powerless to actually do anything about it. Should we just shrug our shoulders and hope for the best? Should we become active in any way to bring about change? Should we care?

As followers of Jesus, our starting point needs to be that we belong to Him. In Philippians 3:20, we are told that “our citizenship is in heaven.” In other words, Christians are not first and foremost citizens of a country or citizens of earth. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom.

In Romans 8:20 and 21 we read a description of the realities of the world we live in, and a vision for what Jesus came to bring us: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:20 we are told what our role is in this vision of the Kingdom of God: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

I hope these words strike a healthy fear for the responsibility given to us as children of God. We are ambassadors of Jesus Christ. In the chaos all around us, in the midst of the fear and uncertainty, and in the pain and the darkness that many are experiencing, we are His ambassadors. This leaves no room for ignoring the challenges the world is facing, and leaves no room for our own agenda or opinions to be pursued.

This role of ambassador first and foremost requires a thorough understanding of the wishes and desires of our King. Then, it requires an allegiance to faithfully represent His heart and His commands towards those who are both friend and stranger—allies and enemies.

In [the March/April 2017] issue of SEVEN, we explore world issues. As you read through the articles in the magazine, I urge you to examine your own heart to discern what your attitudes and actions say about where you see your primary citizenship.

KIRK GILES is the president of Promise Keepers Canada. However, his most important roles as a man are husband to Shannon and father to Carter, Joshua, Sydney and Samuel.