Selfish “Christianity” 6

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

Philippians 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.

John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

And when, in addition to these measures, the general strain of what is said to sinners is adapted to work upon their selfish feelings and animal passions, as most of what I have heard has been, and some of it extremely well adapted to work up those feelings to a high pitch, it would be strange if some affections were not excited which they might readily mistake for true religion. When God is represented as desiring their salvation, without the least qualification, and that his desire for it is infinitely strong, what impenitent sinner, that has the least seriousness of mind, is not prepared to be pleased? If ” sinners love those that love them,” as our Lord assures us, they can love such a being as God is represented to be, without any change of heart. A God of all mercy, is just such a God as sinners desire. Will it be said that his justice is also brought into view, and that the terrors of hell are exhibited? True; but in what light are they exhibited? Is it not commonly in a light to which the selfish heart will as readily accord?        WILLIAM R. WEEKS.

The Scriptures are quite clear that men love those who love themselves. This is a truth of Scripture that is clear and obvious in daily life. We see the truth of that in the advertisements of the day, whether on television, radio ads, or magazine ads. The advertisement gurus appeal to self-love in order to sell what they sell. The same is true in most professing “churches” as well. The appeal is to self-love and self-interests rather than a love for God. The appeal to a sinful person that is full of self is to know that God loves him or her. When the Bible teaches us that sinners love those who love them, that teaches us that sinners love themselves and they are the basis for which they love others. When they are motivated to do something because God loves them, then their self-love is the basis for which they will act. When self-love is the basis for which we act, that is idolatry because we are to do all we do out of love for God and His glory.

The very thing that we are to repent of is self. The very thing that we must deny if we are to follow Christ is self. How, then, can preachers move people and try to motivate them to do things by giving them motives that are based on their very sin nature? How can we try to move people to be saved by appealing to their self-love which is what they need to be saved from? No one wants to go to hell, that is, if a person has any understanding of what hell is. However, a person cannot be converted and have faith in Christ based on nothing but a desire to avoid hell because that is something the most sinful and vile person desires. The heart full of self-love and selfishness is a heart that will want to avoid pain and discomfort in this life and for eternity.

It seems that the motives that are given to people to serve in the professing churches are also based on selfishness. The people are told what God will give them or bless them with if they will give money or do things in the professing church. But again, are we serving God or self if we do what we do in order to get even more back? How much of what is done in the professing churches of our day would fall under the condemning words of Jesus (above in John 6) that the people did not seek Him but sought what He could give them? When the sinful heart operates according to a selfish nature it is not Christian to try to move people with selfish motives. People should be motivated because of who God is and out of love for Him and His glory. Alas, when people are not being encouraged to holiness out of love for God but instead out of a love for self, then this is nothing more than a Pharisee would have done. Apparently that spirit is alive and strong in our day. That which we must be granted repentance from (selfish heart) is that which people are being encouraged to be holy by. It is diabolical.

2 Responses to “Selfish “Christianity” 6”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Our church is building a new building. Our pastor said in a sermon that those who helped in its construction would receive extra special rewards from God in heaven for their work, implying that if they wanted to get such rewards they should come and help. What do you think of this?

    • Richard Smith Says:

      Well, it sure sounds like something that is selfish “Christianity.” I would think that encouraging people to give of money and time should be done from a motive of love for God rather than self.

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