The Ministry of Reconciliation

TEXT: 2 Corinthians 5:10-20 |  VIDEO LINK

Those not acquainted with biblical theology suppose that there is a contradiction between God’s sovereign election of sinners to salvation, and the essential ministry of evangelism.

As you know, I am absolutely convinced that God in His infinite wisdom ordained/chose/elected some of His image-bearers to salvation. This is not unfair or unjust because “God is in the heavens; [and] he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3).

Because this doctrine is incredibly humbling, it is repudiated by those that are proud and do not want to relinquish control of their so-called “free will.”

On the flip side, believing that God is sovereign, and that all who He has chosen will eventually enter into His fold, must not be permitted to bring about laziness, disobedience and carelessness.

As with all doctrines, when the pendulum swings too far in any direction, there will always be a misinterpretation of God’s revealed truth.

When it comes to evangelism, there are basically three schools of thought:
1. ARMINIANISM (Extreme #1)
It is my responsibility to save souls. This leads to guilt, creative methods, emotional invitations etc.
2. HYPER-CALVINISM (Extreme #2)

God will rescue His elect with or without me. This leads to laziness, disobedience, and carelessness

3. EVANGELISTIC PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD (Biblical Balance)The believer sounds the outward call and God issues the inward call (2 Corinthians 5:20; 6:1) 

I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that it is God who regenerates the sinner, but that He has entrusted to us the message that has the power to bring about the new birth. In this sense, we are in a very real partnership with God which began the moment that we first trusted in Him.

We are never held responsible for the sinner’s decision, but we are commanded to preach the gospel. We are not to lose sleep over our failures in eloquence or articulation of the message, but we should be concerned with being faithful to this ministry of reconciliation.

We have talked a lot about different church ministries that are being launched today as part of our Vision Sunday. However, it is important to know that there is a ministry that EVERY believer is appointed to the moment they are saved – it is the Ministry of Reconciliation.

This is to be our primary occupation. We are to pursue souls; chase after the lost; use our resources, gifts, and time in this precious endeavour; We are to be faithful, fervent, and frequent in our evangelistic efforts.

Our Theme for 2020 is “The Ministry of Reconciliation” and being “Ambassadors for Christ”, and these are the subjects I wish to broach today. Join me as I preach a message entitled: The Ministry of Reconciliation.


– 2 Corinthians 5:1-6 deals with the new body promised to the believer at the return of Christ.
– 2 Corinthians 5:7-10 challenges the believer to live in a manner which bring honour to the Lord, remembering that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day.
– 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 outlines the responsibility of every Christian to be an ambassador for Christ.

The Motivation: (3 Motivations)

 1. The Fear of the Lord (obedience and judgment) (2 Corinthians 5:11)
  • The word “fear” is translated “terror” in the AV.
  • It carries the idea of supreme respect, awe, and reverence.
  • There are two possible meanings to this verse and both have merit:
    • Fear for the believer in disobeying Christ and giving an account at the judgment seat.
    • The fear, horror and dread for those at the Great White Throne judgment who rejected the gospel.
2. The Love of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:14)
  • The word “controls” (or “constrains”) is quite diverse. It carries the following ideas:
    • To hold together.
    • To press together.
    • To impel or excite.
    • To motivate, press forward, encourage toward service.
  • The “love of the Lord” could either refer to His love for us or our love for Him. Both are probably intended here.
3. Personal Experience of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 5:15-17; John 4:29; Mark 5:19-20)
  • Having been “recreated” (v.17) and reconciled to God, we know firsthand what it is to be saved.
  • Knowing what God has done for us, and the change He has wrought, motivates us to preach the gospel to others.


Our motivation for being faithful ambassadors for Christ comes from the knowledge that we will stand before Christ at the judgment seat, and our obedience will be tested.

Our motivation for preaching the gospel should also find its root in the plight of sinners on their day of judgement. Our hearts should be moved with compassion and with a sense of urgency.

The love that Christ has for us and our love for Him should motivate us to pursue the lost.

Lastly, we know what it is to be set free from sin. This reality should embolden us to see other prisoners set free!

The Message: (2 Direct Aspects to the Message)

1. In Christ, God brings Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18)
  • Exposes a problem if reconciliation is required.
2. Double Imputation (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • Essential to salvation is an understanding of imputation.


Today the message of the gospel has been eclipsed by false promises and erroneous doctrine. The true believer must understand the “mechanics” of salvation so that he/she can be most effective in presenting the truth.

Can you explain the gospel? If you were asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Could you provide a biblical answer that could lead a person to Christ?

The Messenger: (4 Truths about the Messenger)

1. A New creation first and foremost (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • New affections, appetites, attitudes, affiliations, and actions.
2. Given the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18)
  • The word “ministry” is diakonia from which we derive the term “deacon”.
  • It primarily referred to those who served as waiters. The picture here is that we did not make the food (the message), but we serve or deliver it to those in proximity.
  • “Reconciliation” – exchange, divine favour, restoration of parties at enmity.
3. Entrusted with the Message of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19)
  • To be entrusted with something is to be held responsible.
  • To be entrusted with something is also to be privileged


Best man at Caleb’s wedding. Entrusted as the ring-bearer. A serious responsibility and yet a wonderful privilege.

4. The Role of the Ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20)
  • The word “Ambassador” means a representative, a delegate who manages the concerns of his sovereign.
  • Ambassadors do not have power in themselves, but they have derived power as an emissary of the monarch.
  • Ambassadors are representatives in the absence of the higher authority. In this sense, all Christians stand in the stead of Christ before a world of lost people and deliver a message of vital importance.
  • Being an envoy is not a choice but a sovereign deployment
  • It is a supreme honour and privilege
  • It is the highest of responsibilities.


We have been chosen to represent the King of kings and Lord of lords. We have been sent from the Kingdom of Light into the kingdom of darkness with a message of reconciliation. This is both terrifying and a supreme honour.

The question is not, will you be an ambassador, but rather, are you a faithful ambassador?

The Model (4 Topical illustration from various gospel accounts)

As with all things, our supreme model is Jesus Christ. Let me highlight a number of instances in the gospels where Christ’s evangelistic endeavours provide us with a great example:

1.  Indiscriminatory in proclaiming the gospel (Matthew 9:9-13 – Matthew the tax collector and sinners.)
2. The importance of compassion and empathy (Luke 7:11-17 – Empathy on a widow whose son has just died.)
3. Strongly rebuked the religious upper-class (Matthew 23:1-36 – Religious leaders, Pharisees, Hypocrites.)
4. Gentle and gracious to those who knew their sinful state (John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in adultery.)

The Method (6 methodologies taken from this text and others)

1. Urgent but not intentionally inflammatory (2 Corinthians 5:20; 2 Corinthians 6:2-3)
2. Passionate but not condescending (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Example: “I’m not a very passionate person” – Not true! God made us passionate. You just may not be passionate about the gospel. How about football, cars, the garden, etc.
3. Persuasive but not manipulative (2 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 4:1-2)
Example: When you come into my store, there are some brands that I am motivated to sell because I have personal experience with them. I know their quality and longevity.
4. Invitational but not emotive
5. Clear but not unnecessarily harsh (2 Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 4:15)
6. Simple but true (1 Corinthians 2:2-5)

The Mobilisation of MCCBC in 2020 (10 key ways)

What does this all mean for us at MCCBC this year?

In conclusion, I would like to summarise some of the ways that I can see us having a greater influence in our community and taking our responsibility as ambassadors up a notch or two.

1. Commence corporate prayer meetings where we bring the lost before the Lord.
2. Use our resources to develop a greater digital footprint:
    1. Live-streaming preaching from MCCBC pulpit
    2. Uploading sermon notes
    3. Glorious Gospel Ministries
3. Take the gospel to homes via tracts
    1. The Most Important Truth (goes to print next week) and I hope to get one into every letterbox in Alexandra this year
    2. Thank you for being Real – A tract that thanks shop attendants for their services and has a short gospel message.
4. Church Community Events
    1. Grand Prix
    2. Camps
5. All ministries seeking to have an evangelistic aspect
    1. Youth Group
    2. Young Adults
    3. Care Ministry
    4. Baskets of Blessing
6. Personal Visitation
7. Country Tech and other Christian businesses within the assembly.
8. Evangelistic Meetings: Friend Days, Seminars, etc.
9. Hospitality: Invite people to your home for a meal. Invite the pastor too!
10. Accept and look for opportunities to be involved in community groups for the purpose of getting to know people so that there is an occasion to share Christ.


People need the Lord and we have been entrusted with the message and the ministry of reconciliation. Let’s get moving and may God grant us a harvest of souls in 2020!