“There’s no such thing as a perfect Church”
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'” ~Revelation 3:7-13
It seems that our Lord disagrees.
This Church only had a little strength, but had strength nonetheless; they kept His word and did not deny His name. They persevered. Unlike most the other churches, the Lord did not rebuke them for error; not because the Lord shows favoritism, but because they were not in error.
Perhaps the reason why we believe there can be no such thing as a perfect Church is because we have no strength, we have not kept His word, and we are denying His name, just as Paul said, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16). Perhaps it is because we do not persevere, nor are willing to endure the pain of the cross that we might follow Him.
Next time you hear this excuse given for error in your Church, ask yourself why the Church is excusing error in the first place?
To the Churches that were in error, Jesus did not ask for pithy sayings, or better excuses, He commanded them to repent and warned of His condemnation (2:5, 2:16, 2:22, 3:3, 3:16).
Do we not know that the judgment of God begins with His own house (1 Peter 4:17)? He is sifting those who are unfaithful, who have loved the things of this world rather than the things of God, and who have said in their heart, “my master delays His return”, and begun to act unruly.
We are being sifted: either as approved faithful stewards of the good gift of God, or as condemned unfaithful stewards of the grace of God.
Do you know the glory of Christ’s inheritance in His saints?
That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. ~Eph 5:27
That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. ~Php 1:10–11
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. ~Php 2:14–16
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. ~Col 1:21–23
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation. ~2 Pe 3:14–15
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. ~Jude 24
Brethren, be on guard. You are not alone. You are not alone.
May you be found faithful in the Day of the Lord, unafraid of the trials to come, Amen.