What happens to residual blessings in Christ if we’re caught up in artificial church success? Well, to be sure, there are some bad effects. Paul said we’ll all face the judgment seat of Christ in the end where we get what we deserve—“whether good or bad” [2 Cor. 5]. So, there are “bad” results and they’re sure to be due to misusing the things of God. And bad results reap bad harvest.
I imagine them to be residual bad effects. You start something bad and it spreads, reverberating down the line, to the third and fourth generation. And you reap everything one way or another. Lots of churches are like that. They started in Christ but tried something else along the way and have been doomed to it since. They can’t seem to get out. The ones who started it will reap a bad harvest from the bad fruit of everyone affected, residual bad effects. Their work will be “burned up,” says Paul, but they themselves will be saved.
Effect on the Body of Christ
Because the trend today is the numbers game, anything big and growing in numbers is in. Anything peopled and moneyed is “correct.” It’s the gauge of success. It’s a worldly standard. The body of Christ takes that in and all hell breaks loose. As in abnormal physical bodies, you may see some body parts okay and others seriously sick. But it’s one body so there’s nothing really okay about it, actually. They explain this away by saying, "There's no perfect church." Outwardly everything seems okay! Everything seems beautiful!
We’ve seen people with one eye defective and the other in good condition. One arm good but the other is shriveled. One kidney sick but the other is still functioning. One leg amputated but the other is normal. However, even if one part is okay, the whole is affected. It's one body. And this happens because something wrong had happened somewhere in the past. So they replace them with artificial stuff and everything looks okay.
The same with the body of Christ where you see some parts doing okay while others aren’t. This is because some parts tried to be smart and coveted growth by worldly means. They couldn’t wait for God and took things in their own hands. They used worldly ways and standards, covered them up with bible verses, and made them work. And it worked! They built massive and magnificent church ministries. The majority is in awe and pursuing after them. They do the same things because they want the same results.
Stick to the Unseen
Satan teased Christ in the wilderness by offering him success in this world if he’d do things Satan’s way. And Satan adorned the idea with a bible verse. Everything looked good and acceptable. Jesus could do his world mission smartly and convert the whole world. But Christ opted God’s ways alone. Today, you do what Christ did and churches think you’re an idiot for passing up on the chance to look smart and be successful. And they’d also think you’re lazy and your heart is not committed to God.
You see, genuine residual blessings in Christ cannot be appreciated by these people because such blessings are unseen by unspiritual eyes. To the natural man they are foolishness. They cannot understand them. What they understand are tangible things in the world—what the physical eyes see. So they’d mock at spiritual residual blessings in Christ. What they want to see is money, church membership that produces the money, and earthly grandeur and fame.
Spiritual residual blessings in Christ work only with the perfect body of Christ (again, the unspiritual do not believe there is a perfect church). The bible says the true church is a radiant (glorious) church, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and pure. Look for that church (though it has no physical address, so look for it in the spiritual realms. It would be easy because the Kingdom of God is within you). Be part of it. Do things—evangelism and discipleship—promoting that spiritual church, the true body of Christ. You get residual blessings in Christ.
But what if people you evangelize end up in man’s church that knows nothing about Jesus’ spiritual church? No problem. Your labor is never in vain, if your labor is based solidly on God’s ways through the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. You still get your residual blessings in Christ. All obedience to God gets rewarded.
But it's entirely different if you do things in the ways of the worldly church from start to finish, believe these worldly ways with all your heart and defend them. The only reward you get is that which the worldly church gives on earth.
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