The perfect church does not exist but a good church will have these elements, or at least Im led to believe in my study of Scripture.
1.) Proclaim the message faithfully and accurately
2 Timothy 4:2-3 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
2.) Practice the message faithfully.
1 Timothy 4:15-16 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
3. Another aspect of a good church is one where the people who follow Christ are challenged to keep growing in faith, love and obedience to Christ. Another element is the people of God ought to be humble and concerned about the sharing of the gospel and serving. Its wonderful and necessary to follow a godly standard but if we are not careful we can easily get puffed up and look down on others who are not as far along in Christ as we are! The Christian life has no room for pride or arrogance but “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control”- (Fruit of The Spirit) See Galatians chapter 5.
The Church with Rotten Fruit.
-Well, a church that openly embraces sinful living and teaches contrary to scripture.
In Revelation chapter 2 we see this particular assembly of Christians, “tolerated that woman Jezebel” she taught that sexual immorality was ok and led people into idolatry!
Revelation 2:18-29 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Such is the case with many necrotic churches of our day, embracing so many things that the Bible does not. It gives no one hope to just speak good words when their endangering their souls anymore than if a doctor told a terminally ill patient that everything was fine and all they needed was an aspirin and a bandaid.
We also have the sour church,
These churches are filled with pious critical people that look on strugglers and sinners with a spirit of proud contempt and disgust. They are the kind of people too interested in juicy morsels of gossip and “he did this or she did that” and talking about it in the old ladies bible study knitting group.
Now forgive us all Lord for we have all at times been overly critical and judgmental. Let us hate our own sin more than that we see in others.
This might have been the church Jonah would have attended if he were alive today. He was angry and wanted the Ninevites to fall under God’s judgement. So he disobeyed God and ran away from preaching to them. Finally God’s hand gave him no other option and Jonah went but threw a little fit when they did repent and turn from their sin and God spared the city.
Jonah was too upset over the people of Ninevah that he failed to really be upset at his own disobedience. God still loved Jonah but reminded him that the city was full of many people that He (God) was concerned for.
Jonah was quite different then Abraham, Abraham pleaded with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah, however, unfortunately not a person repented and the city was destroyed.
Abraham prayed for people’s salvation and not destruction and God is pleased with such an attitude of concern for even the worst of sinners. We see in another place, a man named Phinehas interceding in prayer for the rebellious Israelites.
Psalm 106:30-31 But Phinehas stood up and intervened,and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousnessfor endless generations to come.
Phinehas was a priest, this is significant because in the new testament we are told that Jesus Christ, The Great High Priest intercedes for us who belong to him,
1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.