The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. [1 Corinthians 3.8]You see two things here:
1. The one who plants and the one who waters should "have one purpose."
As long as they have one purpose, everything will be fun and smooth sailing. The problem happens if they have opposing purposes. For instance, if churches are in competition because they have different denominations. They try to outdo each other in evangelism, ending up grabbing people from each other.
One church may even say the other church "stole" its members. Clearly, they don't have one purpose, so what they do is not God's work---because God's work, according to Paul, always have workers working in harmony and "have one purpose."
2. Workers (sower, the one who waters or the reaper) "will each be rewarded."
Each one will be sufficiently rewarded. So it won't matter if the one I evangelized went to another church or denomination and not to the church where I attend. Or, if the one I shared the Gospel with rejected the message. I get a reward either way. As long as you did your part in the Kingdom of God faithfully, you'd get a reward. Results of your effort DO NOT MATTER. The Holy Spirit decides the results, not you. You just share the Gospel from the heart.
Get a better understanding of how things work in God's Kingdom. Click here.
3. Be Glad Together
In another related passage, you see this:
Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. [John 4.36]Often today, the sower and reaper cannot be "glad together" unless they are of the same church or denomination. If I share the Gospel with someone and he receives Christ but goes to another church or denomination, I'd feel that he missed something vital or he ended up in the "wrong" place. And I cannot rejoice together with the one who's discipling him in that other church---as I've said, I might even feel that the other church "stole" that new believer from me. Pastors of different denominations cannot "be glad together" in this sense.
If so, then they're not doing God's work---they're probably doing some man's ministry or empire. They can't expect to get rewarded in God's Kingdom.
Thus, Jesus emphasized the idea of one body of Christ when he prayed John 17:
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. [17.22-23].In this sense, all workers---sower, reaper, one who waters---can truly rejoice together because they are all part of the same church---the glorious church of Jesus Christ where all believers have "complete unity."
This is how Jesus sees it:
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." [John 4.38]Next article, I will show you what "residual income" in God's Kingdom on earth is all about and how it works.
Click here for the second article...
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