Following Jesus 87

How does a church excel in the sight of God? Revelation 2:1-7 explains that an excellent church is one which works. Jesus said, “I know your works.” To work means to fulfill one’s responsibilities, whatever they may be. 
An excellent church not only works, but it also toils. Work is one thing, but toil is something else entirely. Toil refers to difficult work, trouble and labor or work done during troubling circumstances. 
But an excellent church, in the midst of its toilsome work, endures. It patiently endures. It does not give up the tasks God have given it. It possess the capacity from God to bear up under difficult circumstances. 
An excellent church does not tolerate evil. While it bear with toilsome work, in contrast it will not put up with non-truth. Evil is that which the Bible says is harmful and damaging to people in particular and to the church in general. 
The excellent fulfills the commands given in I John 4 to test the spirits to see if they are from God. An excellent church tests truth claims. As they do, they discern what is truth and what is a lie. 
An excellent church has a good reputation. The Lord is pleased with them and their efforts to glorify Him. 
An excellent church does not grow weary in doing the Lord’s work. It does not give up.
Finally, Jesus says an excellent church is one which hates false teaching. While it does not hate false teachers, it strongly dislikes and it even hostile to what false teachers teach. 
Jesus is practical and clear regarding what He says makes for an excellent church. Please notice, that not once did Jesus ever say anything about numbers; as if numbers and attendance are a side note to the character qualities of the church pleasing and honoring to God.

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