Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Chris Stevens was the first United States ambassador to Libya in a good many years.
Chris Stevens was also the first United States ambassador in a good many years to be killed while serving in that capacity. Understand, it's not that ambassadors aren't put in dangerous and difficult circumstances. They are. But ambassadors are often left alone because as representatives of their governments their person is supposed to be protected and respected.
That rule, of course, is only in effect if you are an individual who respects laws, nations, differing viewpoints, and other religions.
On the other hand, if you happen to be an extremist who wishes to force everyone else to kowtow to your will and wishes, all civilized rules are thrown out the window and, to you, an ambassador becomes a man, walking around with a big target on his chest, and an ambassador's death is a way for you to make a point.
To the radicals who attacked the U.S. Embassy, Chris Stevens was a target for terror.
Of course, Chris Stevens is not the only ambassador who has been in danger. In his second letter to the Christians in Corinth, St. Paul reminded the believers that they weren't just individuals, they were ambassadors for Christ.
With those words St. Paul reminded Christ's redeemed children that they were, in all they did and said, representing Jesus and the new kingdom that the Savior's life, death and resurrection had brought about. Now that Jesus had ascended into heaven, the Lord was using them to make His appeal to an unbelieving world. They were ambassadors for Christ.
It is a job that is not without danger.
Jesus had said, "And you will be hated by all for My Name's sake ...." (Mark 13:13a). The centuries have shown that Jesus was right. Over the centuries His ambassadors have often been the object of hatred, scorn and persecution. Even as we write these words, some of our brothers and sisters around the world are being hounded, hassled and persecuted because they are ambassadors for Christ.
They are suffering, but as they do they know their suffering will point people to the Savior. They know and pray they may remain faithful ambassadors for Christ.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You said Your followers would be persecuted. But You also said that those who endure to the end would be saved. Today I pray for those, many who are nameless, who are being persecuted because You have become their Savior. Help them endure and, when even under persecution, remain Your ambassadors, proclaiming the forgiveness and freedom You have won. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries