Selfish “Christianity” 12

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 selfish heart only seeks Christ for what He can give the selfish heart in accordance with its selfish desires, which is seeking its own things. The selfish heart has no use for Christ if Christ must be the center and His glory is what is truly sought. The selfish heart has no use for divine sovereignty if it will not give it what it wants and basically when it wants it. The selfish heart is really and truly selfish in all things and in all ways and it will be provoked at the slightest perceived insult unless it suits the selfish heart better to act forgiving. Oh how religious the selfish heart can be as long as it is seeking its own things. How wonderful preachers with selfish hearts are as long as they can seek their own honor and have people applaud them for their preaching and service. However, one word against the service or preaching of the selfish heart will lead to that heart seeking to bring the other person down. That heart clearly is seeking self and finds it in preaching, and that can be true of orthodox men as well.

I Cor 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The reason true love does not seek its own is because it seeks the glory of God and the spiritual good of others. True love, in seeking the glory of God and the spiritual good of others, is then not provoked by those who are in opposition. Every single bit of perceived opposition is known (by the heart with true love) to come to pass in the sovereignty of God and knows that it is for good, but the only good that the selfish heart will deal with is its own selfish good. The Pharisees had selfish hearts and rejoiced at the wrongs done to Jesus, so selfish hearts in our day rejoice when those selfish desires are met even at the expense of others. Selfish preachers are full of themselves and seek honor, prestige, and glory from others when in fact those things belong to God. This is seeking self at the expense of others. They are sensitive and are provoked when their own honor is touched. True love seeks the good of others whether in preaching or in whatever one is doing, so true love is not provoked but instead responds in a way that seeks the glory of God and the spiritual good of others.

The nature of true Christianity and of true love is as opposite of a selfish “Christianity” and self-love as the true God and the Devil are. True Christianity is not distinguished from what is false by orthodoxy alone and by works alone. The Pharisees were quite orthodox in many ways. Roman Catholicism can be devoted to many good works, but the Pharisees did what they did from a selfish heart. Roman Catholics, and anyone else, who are doing good works to obtain something from God are only doing them from selfish hearts. That selfish heart is serving self in the name of God. We must get this point or we will never be able to distinguish true Christianity from the false at all. The selfish heart hides underneath orthodox Christianity and the selfish heart hides under the ministry. The selfish heart hides underneath good works and morality. It must be exposed or it will remain hidden to itself and other religious people, though the stench of it will not be hidden to the living God.

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