Ambassadors of Christ are Christian reformers that understand their calling as messengers in this world, not heaven. Reformers carry a different spirit. That spirit challenges wickedness, and never shrinks back, but ever so boldly confronts the heart of man without discrimination or favoritism.
“Resistance,” the word seems so foreign today. Yet resistance to tyranny and despotism was foundational in the birthing of the Republic. The founders of our nation believed in the God of perfect liberty. When the spirit of bondage slithered into the Colonies something rose in the hearts of the people. That something was the reformer’s spirit.
Many admire Christ’s reformers after they are dead. To my mind, this generation has forgotten what it’s like to take a bold stand for Christ amid a morally and politically corrupt world. Even the pulpit is lukewarm refusing to address depravity in the land and rather preaches a watered-down gospel that tickles the sinner’s ear and makes him comfortable in apathetic equanimity. It’s clear the indifferent are committed to nothing in particular, not even the cause of Christ. When was the last time you heard the pulpit coming against sin, homosexuality, sexual bacchanalia or Washington D. C. corruption? It appears our preachers have fallen under the spell of celebrity Christianity that makes eunuchs out of Christ’s flames of fire. Hollywood Christianity might get you on television, but celebrity Christianity will not turn the world upside down for Christ. What we need today is the reformer’s spirit.
Like many of you I am a Spirit-filled Christian and descendant of the Protestant faith. Our Protestant faith has its roots in the Protestant Reformation. History says this reformation began when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 on the doors of the Wittenberg church rightly protesting Catholic false doctrines and indulgences.
Luther was the first of many reformers that included John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, John Calvin, John Knox, William Tyndale, Zwingli, George Fox and many others. Today these men are highly respected and their names well known. They have two things in common: They were all militant Protestant reformers and they are all now dead. As already said, people admire Christ’s reformers after they are dead but it was their “Protestant spirit” that changed the world making it a better place for you and I. That same spirit, the reformer’s spirit, needs rekindling today.
Martin Luther reminds us what a reformer’s spirit is like.
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ however boldly I may be professing Christ, ------- Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefields besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
Unlike some modern leaders, Luther refused to keep silent on the great venues of his day, even if his opposition imperiled his life. In Luther’s words, “Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.” Where is the loyal warrior’s battle today? I say it’s in the heart of those remnant patriots that hear God’s voice and are ready for action.
Like Luther, reformers carry a different spirit. That spirit challenges the wickedness of the day. It never shrinks back but ever so boldly confronts the heart of man without discrimination or favoritism. It’s not unequally yoked with a political party, ethnic group or populists fads. A new generation of Protestant reformers is readying for spiritual battle. Lyman Beecher, leader of the Second Great Awakening understood the reformer’s mandate. He said, “I was made for action. The Lord drove me, but I was ready. I have always been going at full speed…From the beginning, my mind has taken in the Church of God, my country, and the world given to Christ. It is this that has widened the scope of my activities beyond the common sphere of pastoral labor.”
Christ’s spiritual reformers understand their call as ambassadors to this world, not heaven. Like Beecher they have awakened to Church, country and world, all belonging to the lordship of Christ. They are governing disciples, “Strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” To these Protestants, Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords, and the battlefield of life only waits to confirm His supremacy.
MESSENGERS OF THE KING
Reformers fathom Christ’s instruction to His disciples. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “Preach” is the Greek word kerux. To grasp the word is fundamental in understanding the reformer’s spirit and your purpose in this world as part of Christ’s royal priesthood of kings (1 Peter 2:9).
Kerux is a governing term coined by the ancient Greeks. The Emperor, for example, would dispatch his Imperial Kerux to cities he was about to invade. Homer writes in “The Iliad” of Talthybius as kerux of the political will of King Agamemnon in the Trojan War.
Through the kerux, a king would announce his expectation of the people. He would also introduce the laws and culture of his kingdom to the newly conquered city. The Kerux was also known as herald, teacher, evangelists, one authorized to call and conduct a general assembly and was the kings most trusted spokesman. So trusted was the kerux he was the only one allowed to mix and pour wine for the king. Nehemiah was kerux of the Persian King Artaxerxes.
Nehemiah’s physiognomy awakened after hearing of great affliction of the remnant in Jerusalem surrounded by fallen walls and gates burned with fire. Like an apostle, Nehemiah was sent by King Artaxerxes with letters of authorization, captains of the Persian army and a military escort (Nehemiah 2:9).
The bottom line is, all followers of Christ are called to act as a kerux for Christ. For a disciple to ignore the political and immoral issues of the day would be a direct violation of the Word of God. The apostle Paul made it clear. He wrote, “I am ordained a preacher and an apostle…” (1 Timothy 2:7).
You, too, are called to carry the reformer’s spirit. Like Caleb and Joshua, with shoulder squared and raised chin, carry that reforming spirit proudly. These were examples to us of those that knew their God and said, “Let us go up at once and possess it for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). Luther said, “Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.”
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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