The Ministry of Reconciliation

God is a very loving God.  But he is also a God of wrath and vengeance for those who reject him.  There is a wonderful place reserved in heaven for you, but there is also punishment for those who do not obey the gospel.  2 Thessalonians 1:7b-9 “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

There are many of your family, friends and acquaintances who do not know God or are separated from God and will one day receive the punishment and wrath of God.  They are lost and need the salvation of the gospel.  2 Corinthians 5:10-11a “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”  Since you know what God has in store for those who do not know Him, you should seek to persuade them to come to God.

As sinners, every one of us was an enemy of God and subject to His wrath.  Romans 5:6-11 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”  Jesus Christ died for you to reconcile you to God.  He paid the price; He took your punishment.  As a result, you are no longer an enemy of God; there is no enmity between you and God.  You are now His beloved child.  Colossians 1:19-23 “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.  And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

Do you keep this blessing of reconciliation just to yourself?  No.  You should want others also to be reconciled to God.  2 Corinthians 5:18-21 “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  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.”  Implore those you know to be reconciled to God.

Certainly, you are to be a light to those around you.  Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.   Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  As a light in the world, others may see your good works and way of life and therefore desire to be reconciled to God.  But you should also wisely implore them to be reconciled.  Follow the example of the Apostle Paul.  He was so provoked in his spirit in the city of Athens that he tried to persuade those he came in contact with.  Acts 17:16-17 “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.  Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.”  Does the sinful life of others provoke you to seek to implore them to be reconciled to God?

I encourage you to have the ministry of reconciliation; implore others on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God.