Selfishness as Sin 2

They love or hate God, just as He appears friendly or unfriendly to them. When He smiles upon them in His providence, and grants them the desires of their hearts, they are well pleased with Him. They rejoice that God is, that He governs the world, and that He fills the earth with His goodness. They have no consciousness of the least enmity against Him, but are disposed to speak well of Him, and give thanks at the remembrance of His mercies. This was the disposition of the Israelites at the side of the Red Sea . They could joyfully join in celebrating the praises of God, for their great and signal deliverance. They sang His praise with gladness of heart. And all other sinners would have done the same under the same circumstances. Their selfish hearts are always pleased with the favors God bestows upon them, and they love Him so long as they think He loves them. And they are no less pleased with spiritual, than temporal favors. When they imagine God is disposed to forgive their sins and admit them to heaven, they will sensibly rejoice in the hope of eternal life. In a word, they will always love God while they believe He loves them, and intends to do them good. But on the other hand, whenever He appears opposed to them, their hearts are opposed to Him. Their selfish hearts dispose them to hate God Himself, when He appears to stand in the way of their happiness. This was exemplified in the Israelites, who sang His praises, but soon forgot His works. As soon as they perceived that He was a holy, sin-hating and sin-revenging God, disposed to destroy them for their unholy, selfish affections, they turned against Him, murmured, complained, and expressed their bitter opposition to Him, by saying, He has brought us into the wilderness to destroy us. The selfish hearts of sinners always will dispose them to love or hate God, just as they view Him friendly or unfriendly to them. (Nathaniel Emmons, 1745-1840, Selfishness, International Outreach, 2009)

The results of the fall are so deadly that men and women don’t realize that they are born dead in sins and trespasses and as such they are full of enmity toward the real God out of their self-love and selfish heart. A selfish heart, as Emmons sets it out, is not just one that does things for self with some disregard of others, but it is a heart that is driven by and guided by the self. It is a heart that has a flow of self and does all for self. It is a heart that is full of pride because a heart given over to self is a heart that is full of pride. This pride may not even be seen by the unregenerate because pride blinds the heart to what it really is and judges itself in the best possible light. For example, in the quote above Emmons argues that selfish hearts are pleased with what God does as long as it is what self approves, but when providence brings something that self is displeased with the self is angry and the enmity toward God is seen. It is self and selfishness that guides and controls the disposition toward God rather than a new heart that loves God being in control, which is to say the life of Christ in the soul.

For the sake of emphasis of a vital point, the unregenerate (selfish heart) heart will love God as long as it things God loves it. To put it another way as Emmons does, as long as the selfish heart thinks that God loves it and intends good (as defined by the selfish heart) for him or her, then that person will love God out of an undiluted selfishness. However, the same heart that thinks it loves God when God does good things for it will oppose God when He appears to oppose them and their selfish desires. This should be self-evident that a new heart (regenerate heart) is not needed to get people to say a prayer or attend church as long as God is presented in a way that is according to selfish hearts. This is what the professing Church has become. It is tickling the ears of sinners and is teaching and preaching a false god to unregenerate hearts, and it is doing so to such a degree that multitudes are being deceived. False prophets are growing large “ministries” and doing so built upon a false god that is pleasing to unregenerate hearts that love Him only because they are deceived into thinking that He loves them.

If what I am saying is true (and using Emmons quote as evidence or to make the point), then the professing Church is full of unregenerate people in need of new hearts. A selfish heart will be very religious for the exact same reason some people are irreligious. The selfish heart will be deceived into thinking it loves God and yet will show enmity toward God for the same reason. It all comes from how the selfish heart thinks God is treating him or her. For something to change, however, will require God to raise up men who will love God enough to endure the wrath of men. If indeed the professing churches are full of deceived men and women who are still full of self-love and pride, when someone comes along and tells them the truth about God and of their own wicked and selfish hearts, those hearts will respond in anger and even hatred. Ministers in name who are also guided by selfish hearts will never see much less confront the real issue as that would cause others not to like them. Nevertheless, until the selfishness of the heart is set forth by faithful ministers sinners will be left in the deceitfulness of their own hearts and be on the broad road to damnation. God is judging our selfish nation by turning us over to hardened hearts of selfishness and giving us ministers who are clueless as to what that means because they have selfish hearts themselves. How we must seek the Lord to give us eyes to see and broken hearts in order to seek Him for grace in sending forth men who will preach the truth.

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