Envoys of Christ
By Hal Lindsey
We rarely associate the Lord God Almighty with the term “Public Relations.” PR is generally a shallow and vain pursuit — and there’s nothing shallow or vain about God. But many scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments show God’s unique interest in the topic.
Don’t misunderstand. God doesn’t measure Himself by our opinions. To do so is the very definition of human vanity and lostness. It is nothing like God. He doesn’t judge Himself by “job approval” numbers, or His popularity among human big-shots. He obviously wasn’t trying to impress the elites when He sent His Son to be born in a stable, or to die on a cross.
So why would God feel any concern over what people think of Him? I’ll tell you why. Because He loves us.
The quality of each human life — now and forever — depends on each person’s relationship with God. Since He loves us, He naturally wants us to experience the benefits of knowing Him. We will never have the joy, peace, fulfillment, purpose, and meaning He designed us to experience, unless we are in a right relationship with Him. And from our vantage point, that relationship begins with how we think of Him.
Studies show that if you love your human father, odds are far greater that you will never go to prison, and that you will live a happy, productive life. It’s the same with your Heavenly Father, only more! What people think of God has a huge impact — not on His quality of life — but on theirs.
God’s love for humanity compels Him to field an army of PR men and women across the globe. They’re known as Christians. Collectively, they’re known as the Church.
In Matthew 5:14-16 (NASB), Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
The good works of God’s people bring honor to Him. Don’t confuse this with salvation. Good works don’t save you, but they are important.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
That verse shows us that our good works are a byproduct of His good workmanship in us. It’s not a matter of trying to make yourself impressive so people will think well of God. It is a matter of living in full fellowship with Him, so that His light will shine through us.
Trying to make people impressed with you is a trap. It will tempt you to bend (or even break) His word in an attempt to make it conform to the moral fashions of the moment. Trying to make the Gospel politically correct will always be futile because political correctness changes with the times, but God’s word remains forever the same.
Our job is not to make people impressed with us, but to live according to His will and His word. If you want to be a good PR person for Christ, follow Philippians 2:15. “Prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”
Conversely, when the people of God do not live in accordance with His will, it brings reproach on His holy name. Ezekiel 22:26 speaks of the actions of Israel’s priests causing God to be profaned. “Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.”
After David’s sin of adultery and then murder, the prophet Nathan said to him, “By this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.” (2 Samuel 12:14)
But even after those unthinkably terrible sins, God forgave David. If you’re His, then He has forgiven you of your sins also. If you have not accepted His gift of salvation in Christ, you can. Now is the best time.
The Bible does not call us God’s PR people. It uses a more noble term. 2 Corinthians 5:20 calls us “ambassadors for Christ.” We can be good ambassadors, or bad. We never want to do as David did and give “occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.”
That’s one of the reasons it is so important that we follow the admonition of 1 Thessalonians 2:12 — “Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”