What are the advantages we possess by belonging to the kingdom of heaven? Also, what challenges do we face in reaching those in the world around us? What are strategies we can use? Those are all discussed in this episode.
Now that we have seen models for two vastly different worldviews and considered how that affects the meaning of words we use, it is time to take up our work as ambassadors for the kingdom of heaven.
First, let us consider the advantages of the kingdom to which we belong and represent as ambassadors. Simply put, we cannot die and all things are ours.
Indeed, since God makes all things work together for good (Romans 8:28) there can no longer be death (negative relationships) in our lives and there is nothing we need for our ambassadorship that God does not supply, exceedingly abundantly beyond all we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Even if (or especially if) people would be negatively disposed toward us, we would find opportunities to extend the positive content of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:38-48). Furthermore, we do not keep these advantages to ourselves or use them against others, but quite the contrary! We seek every possible means of extending the blessings of our citizenship to others. The more we give advantages away, the more we realize them. There is nothing that we can give away or that anyone else could take from us that God will not replace; the life of Jesus’ is living, everlasting proof.
Second, what are the challenges of reaching natives of the world around us (including our own corrupt, contrary human nature)? Corrupt human nature is insatiable and this world is flooded with everything our corrupt ego craves and is addicted to. How can we ever begin to reach into that flood and through the noise of our culture? Love makes us care about others. Care for others makes us watchful. Watchfulness makes us patient yet ready. We consider the people we already know, as well as people around us that we do not yet know to see if and how we might befriend them. Befriending means devoting time and attention, which builds rapport which opens the way for candid, honest conversation. This is the place where people will share with us how they are perishing in Red Pyramid world. Here is the time when we can help them realize the kingdom of heaven that is already providing for them.
Third, we consider three views that keep our ambassadorship oriented and faithful. How do we view the behavior of a drowning person? Are we critical or understanding? Would we expect that person to save himself or help others? Would we expect that person to hear us? Our first step is to put what is solid beneath that person so that terror gives way to relief. The kingdom of heaven is an accomplished fact from eternity, grounded in history, and confirmed in the resurrection of Jesus. Next, how do we view what takes place in a hospital? Those who staff the hospital are of the same essence and just as vulnerable as the patients they treat. The hospital envelopes those who are ill or injured with all that promotes healing and life, sometimes by surgery, sometimes by medication, often with time and help for rehabilitation. Finally, we take the long view. Seeing physical human life in time within a three-dimensional eternal kingdom changes everything. We no longer sacrifice our eternal soul for physical gratification of appetites that are never satisfied. Instead, we devote our whole self, body and soul, to our life’s work of ambassadorship, living and extending the kingdom of heaven to all.