2 Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled to God.
I have a special errand; I bring a message from the King. When the President of the United States sends a message to the national legislature it takes precedence of all other business. When the ambassador of England or Germany presents his credentials, he has behind him the authority and prestige of a mighty empire. How much more authoritative the voice of him who is the ambassador of the King of kings. I have no theory to propound, but only the command of nay Master. "I beseech you on the behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God." Notice: —
I. HOW POSITIONS HERE ARE REVERSED. It is not the rebel pleading for pardon, but the King asking the rebel to fling down his weapons; not the returning prodigal seeking the father, but the loving Father entreating the return of the wayward son. A son once quarrelled with and stole from his father, then fled to London, where he wasted his substance in sin. A detective discovered him in a haunt of vice — health and money gone. The father was notified, and hastened to the wretched abode. He climbed to the attic, and found his sick son in a broken, troubled sleep. He bent over him and was recognised. "My poor boy, I've come for you; will you go home with me?" "Go home! yes, if you'll forgive me, father." He lifted up the invalid, and took him home repentant and forgiven. So God says to you, "Poor son, daughter, come home, come home!"
II. THE CAUSE OF THIS CONROVERSY. Sin; it affects the whole nature. If I should let fall a single drop of ink into this glass of water it would discolour the whole. There is also a penalty to be met. Christ becomes our substitute. It is His grace that bridges the gulf between us and heaven.
III. THE ONE CONDITION OF RECONCILIATION — that is, submission to God's government. "Unconditional surrender" is the message. We remember how the large-hearted Lincoln pleaded, "be ye reconciled." But he held to the one condition, YIELD! SO God says, "Put away the evil of your doings." You cannot pass over this bridge till you have left at the gate your evil ways and thoughts.
IV. THE FRUITS OF THIS RECONCILEMENT are sweet and precious. You may be lying like a rosebush beaten by the blast and pelting rain. Your heart is crushed and bleeding, but as the sun comes and talks, as it were, with the flower; covers its petals with warm kisses and lifts it up to drink in the sunshine, and to be beautiful again, so will He give you beauty for ashes and joy for heaviness when you repentingly and lovingly open your heart to Christ. Conclusion. — You have heard of the Highland mother whose daughter had long led a reckless life in Edinburgh, sunk in sin. Her eyes were opened. She returned home to the but by the hillside, finding her way in the darkness. The daughter entered and found her old "mother" crooning over the ashes of the fire. The penitent was clasped in her mother's arms. "I came home in the dead of night and found the cabin door unlocked!" "It's never been looked since you went away, for I didna ken when you might come back." So God keeps the door of mercy ajar and waits to welcome you. Think of that Saxon word, well-come — that is, "It is well for you to come." To stay away is hell!
(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.