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What Church Would Jesus Attend?

May 4, 2017

If Jesus were to conduct a personal evaluation of churches in America what qualities would He praise? What things would He value as most important for the continued progress of the church? What does Jesus look for in a church? The Christian need not wonder what Jesus values in a loca hurch. The New Testament contains His evaluation of seven churches in western Turkey.

Late in the first century, decades after the majority of the apostles had been martyred, the churches of Asia Minor received a progress report. At the beginning of the book of Revelation Jesus included a personal letter to seven churches. In those letters He warms them of sin, praises them for obedience and exhorts them to faithfulness.

Jesus praises the church in Ephesus for its good works, its intense labor in the ministry, its perseverance despite difficulty and its rejection of false apostles. The Ephesian church received commendation from her Lord because it was doctrinally sound and steady in the work.

The church in Smyrna suffered through persecution and physical poverty. Despite intense spiritual conflict it remained faithful to Christ. Though some in the church were killed for Jesus’ sake, the church did not waiver. The Smyrnan church was approved by Jesus because of its faithfulness.

The church in Pergamos endured despite intense opposition from powerful religious forces. Though they suffered persecution and martyrdom they continued to uphold Jesus and were recognized by Him for their allegiance.

The church in Thyatira was noted for its love, service, faith, patience and good works. They increased in these graces and receive the commendation of Jesus. Though some in the church had turned to false doctrine, those who had not received encouragement from Jesus to continue holding on to truth.

The church in Philadelphia was weak. Despite it’s lack of power it remained steadfast to Jesus in the face of persecution from the Jews. They kept their commitment to Jesus and were assured that He would keep them.

Jesus values doctrinal integrity and faithfulness. He desires His church to retain a firm hold on Biblical doctrine, especially to the truth of who Jesus is. Jesus values a church that declares Him to be God the Son the promised Savior of men. Jesus values steadfastness in the face of opposition and persecution. Those who preach Jesus will be hated by Satan and the world he controls. Opposition, slander and persecution will come at those who uphold Christ. Jesus values a church that continues to elevate Him despite the disapproval of the world.

Jesus values growth in Christian grace, virtue and service. The church Jesus values is not just doctrinally faithful. The church in Ephesus was rebuked by Jesus. Despite her commitment to truth her love had waned. The church Jesus values applies Biblical doctrine to its service, its gathering and to the life of its members. It is active in good works. It is loving. It serves. The church Jesus values takes its Christianity out of the church building and lives it out in the streets.

What do you value in a church?

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