What’s an embassy, what is the Church, and how are the two similar? According to the Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary, an embassy is a body of diplomatic representatives; specifically: one headed by an ambassador. An embassy represents its government in another country. According to the Bible, the Church is the Body of Christ-sinners who have placed their faith in Jesus for salvation, thus making them citizens of heaven. Christians are therefore, sojourners on earth; our home is heaven, and the apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:20, we are Christ’s ambassadors (authorized representatives) here on earth.
Hence, both entities are established to represent higher powers (their governments). If one desires to know something about another country, one could go to that country’s closest embassy to find out, or ask any of the diplomatic representatives of that country they encounter. In the same way, individuals who’d like to know about God and heaven could contact the Church or Christians. As Christians, we should present our home and Lord in a way that makes people outside the Church hungry for what we have, and how they could also know our Lord in a personal way. It is our responsibility as citizens to introduce others to our Lord!
Some of the individuals who have never traveled outside their country of origin probably have very little knowledge about the importance of Embassies. They don’t care much about the role embassies play in international matters. Having been born and raised in Ghana, and currently living in the United States of America, I know a bit about the functions of embassies.
When considering relocating to another country, one can’t just up and move there without encountering an embassy. Every country has requirements for immigration from other countries. In order for me to gain access to the US, I had to go the US Embassy in Ghana, present the required documentation (quite extensive) for processing, and then be interviewed. On approval, I was issued a visa, permitting me to enter the US. That embassy was representing the government of the United States: protecting its interests, enforcing its laws even outside its shores, and making sure it is seen in the best possible light.
Similarly, Christians are representing their Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, here on earth! As the Church-heaven’s embassy, we should present the whole counsel of God to the world. We’re all ambassadors, and should maintain that status twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! We can show folks outside the Church how to become fellow-citizens of our incredible country, whose designer and builder is God Almighty (see Hebrews 11:10). Armed with the information we share, those interested in becoming citizens will be directed to place faith in Jesus Christ, and can then look forward to their new home, where no one will ever shed another tear or experience sickness or death. We can also show them how they can contribute to the efficient running of the embassy by faithfully using their God-given talents and abilities.
An Embassy doesn’t run independent of the homeland; communication is ongoing whether there are problems or not. Likewise, the Church needs to be in constant communication with the Father, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV), because without Him we can do nothing (see John 15:5). Lines of communication are always open; there are no busy signals or voicemail messages. In fact, he is always with us and knows our needs before we even realize them.
Another role embassies play is looking out for the welfare of their citizens in the countries where they are based. Their citizens call on them when they run into trouble. Likewise, the Body of Christ supports one another, whatever the need. We pray for each other, encourage each other from the Scriptures, and meet social and financial needs as much as is possible.
Embassies and their ambassadors show travelers how to obtain visas to the countries they represent. The time is coming when it will be too late to obtain a visa into heaven, so let us (the Church), get serious in our efforts to show the world how to obtain a visa into heaven-call on Jesus!