Have you played a middleman role before?
Standing between two estranged friends… Pleading with them to reconcile.
What really happened, you ask.
And one gives you her side of the story. The other person does the same.
Then you empathize, and admonish, and encourage…
“You remember the fellowship and love you both shared. How everyone admired your friendship. And the positive impact you have on each other. Don’t let this pull you apart. Let it go… Rachael, says ‘I’m sorry.’ Rebekah, forgive. And tie the friendship cord back together.”
Oh, the joy and tighter bond that forms when these friends reconcile and reunite. And they remain always grateful to you!
Man and God are just like those two friends. But this relationship is even deeper and stronger.
Reconciliation means the restoration of friendly relations. In the Bible, reconciliation involves a change in the relationship between God and man or man and man. It assumes there has been a breakdown in the relationship, but now there has been a change from a state of enmity and fragmentation to one of harmony and fellowship.1
God created man for an intimate fellowship with Him. He likened this God-man relationship to the intimacy between husband and wife.
As seen in Genesis 3: 8, the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day… in search of man, to fellowship with Him.
But on that day, instead of Adam and Eve joyfully welcoming and discussing with God, they hid. They had eaten the forbidden fruit. And hence lost that relationship with God.
Just like any genuine lover, God wasn’t ready to give up on man. He sought a way to reconcile with man. That desire cost Him something dear: His only beloved Son.
Jesus. He came to this sinful world and gave His life, so that man can have access to an intimate fellowship with God – again.
Jesus is the way to the throne of grace, where we can enjoy mercy, help and friendship with the Godhead. He reconciled us to the Father. And also offers us the privilege of being a “co-reconciliator” with Him.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
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.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5: 18 – 21)
What an honour!
What great privilege we have in Christ!
What joy it will be for someone to look at you with teary eyes and say, “thank you for linking me to the great friendship – with God.” And oh, how heaven will always smile at YOU.
But, you can’t just wish your way into the rank of co-reconciliator with Christ.
You need these three arsenals:
You can’t graciously share what you’ve not experienced.
You can’t recount the taste of what you’ve not eaten.
To reconcile someone to Christ, they’ll need to understand what benefit a relationship with Christ holds for them.
Some of those people have read and heard about Jesus. They have head knowledge… that needs to be transferred to their heart. A true taste of the blessedness of reconciliation to Christ, which you share from your life experience, can stir even the worst of sinners to embrace Jesus.
Do you remember that woman at the well? (John 4: 1 – 42)
After the long discussion she had with Jesus, something happened in her life: transformation. She walked from seeing Jesus as a Jewish man to accepting Him as Lord and Saviour.
She experienced Jesus. His love. His touch. His salvation.
So when she dashed into the city to be a vessel of reconciliation, she heralded the news with such heightened enthusiasm… One that comes from someone who has not just head, but a heart knowledge:
“Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4: 29)
You have to first be reconciled to God before you can become a vessel of reconciliation.
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men (2 Corinthians 3: 2).
Everyone reconciled with God ought to be walking Bibles.
Like Paul wrote, read of all men. Our lives ought to pinch people’s lives and expose their need for God, more and more to them.
Your lifestyle should testify to your confession of following Jesus. One that makes the world wonder in admiration… and causes them to ask, “how can I have what you’ve got?” This life of honesty, purity, joy, faith, purity, astounding results…
Is your life such an epistle?
Can those around you desire the kind of life you live? In your words, conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity, are you an example of the believers?
Like Paul the apostle said to the Corinthians, can you tell someone to “follow me as I follow Christ”?
In the words of Vesta Mangu, “Every life… is a potential hand-me-down.”
Elisha grabbed the mantle of Elijah when it fell off as the chariots that carried him away.
The people that crucified Jesus parted His garment among them. (How precious it must have been!)
If your life were a garment, would someone love to wear it?
Would your family long to put it on?
Would friends and people around you desire to have what you have?
The experience is one part. Your example is another. But it doesn’t end there. You need to exhort the people. You need to go forth and speak up.
Paul charged his spiritual son Timothy to, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4: 2)
God’s word is ever powerful. We need to take that word to the lost, teaching and admonishing them on the need for reconciliation with God. The Samaritan woman ran into the city, and told the people to, “come… see.”
We need to go and tell them. Share your salvation story. Tell them about the painful plight of sinners – sin makes them enemies of God. And how they can be reconciled with God if they confess their sins and repent.
You don’t need a special “call to ministry” to do this. Every Christian is already called to the ministry of reconciliation.
If you’re not reconciling men to God, you’re failing Him. And God isn’t pleased with you.
It’s time for God’s children to rise, take up His word, and stand in the gap – reconciling men with God.
Souls are crying,
Men are dying,
Win the lost at any cost.