Selfish “Christianity” 13

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.

No one can seek Christ in truth and love who does not seek Christ for Himself. We should want Jesus for who He is and not just for what He gives, especially if we only think of what Christ gives as physical things or worldly things. Imagine the Christ who is the Beloved of the Father and the most beautiful Being in the entire universe and selfish hearts ignore Him and His glory and prefer worldly things and sin before Him. Then we see that there were ministers who preferred their own interests to Christ and as such had no true concern for the welfare of the people of Christ. We also see (from the verses on John above) that selfish hearts hated Christ when He spoke to them about their sin. Not only did they hate Christ, but they hated His Father. Yet, if a false Christ is preached then people will love that Christ and love the Father of that Christ. They may not seek Christ for true food as the people in John 6 did, but they still seek Him only for the things He gives.

Behold the horror and extreme wickedness of a selfish heart. A selfish heart is at enmity with God and it hates the true God when He is set before it, though a selfish heart will respond positively to a god that it thinks loves it and will give it what it wants. Behold the wickedness of a selfish heart in that since it does not seek the interests of Christ it does not seek the real good of the people of Christ. Behold the deep darkness and bondage of a selfish heart that will love a “god” to the degree it thinks that this “god” loves it and will do things for it. This is nothing but a selfish heart loving itself over and above God and all other human beings. A selfish heart is a heart that seeks itself in all it does even when it is doing outwardly good things for others. Can the evil of such a heart really be measured? What lengths would a heart do that was totally given over to selfishness?

Dwell upon the fact that most of the love, kindness, and outward morality in the world comes from selfish hearts. Dwell upon the fact that most of the religion (even a very great percentage) in the world comes from selfish hearts. Selfish hearts are one and all opposed to God, hate God, and hate His people. Selfish hearts in reality, despite their outward love and apparent niceness and kindness, hate all people. This is the gist of Titus 3:3, which says, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.” Those who do not love God and therefore do not have true love in their hearts from God seek themselves in all they do and in reality they hate all those around them. Paul, speaking of the unbelieving heart, said that the lives of unbelievers are spent in malice and envy. They are hateful and live hating one another. That is a selfish heart on display. Regardless of how nice and loving this heart appears, it is a selfish heart and in reality it hates all around it.

The selfish heart is in a prison and it cannot escape doing all it does out of love for self and hatred for God. The selfish heart cannot keep one command of God since all the commands can only be kept out of love for God and neighbors. It is a profound error to think that people have a free-will and can just decide to believe in Christ and love Him. No selfish heart can ever love at all. Before one that has a selfish heart can love that selfish heart must be crushed, humbled, and driven into the dust of nothingness. It is only when God deeply humbles the heart and regenerates it that a heart can love. A selfish heart constantly looks to self for the power to love, but all it can do is hate and hate more. Oh how we must have the power of grace to change our hearts.

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