Selfish “Christianity” 14

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.

William Weeks would not have been a popular man in our day. The highlighted words of his quote just above would cast him out of anything acceptable to the vast majority of professing Christians today. In the highlighted words, if we have ears to hear and eyes to see, we are given a lot of light about selfish hearts and of the bankrupt manner if which people are evangelized today. Not only that, we can see just how false the methods of preaching are today as well. People are to be approached with true love, that is, love for the glory of God and the spiritual well-being of those we are speaking or preaching to. When one approaches men one will approach them as those with selfish hearts and they need the sovereign God to change their hearts or one approaches them with niceness. This niceness is really not love, but it does pretend to. This niceness, however, approaches men as if they are the center of things and so God is changed to something He is not. Again, we will either tell men about the true God and so they will respond in anger and wrath toward us or we will make them the center of our message and so they are nice to us. In other words, a selfish heart doing evangelism will not tell the truth about God in order for men to love and honor the evangelist.

There has been a debate for centuries on the so-called “free offer” of the Gospel. Along with that is the idea that is the idea of the well-meant offer of the Gospel. This little Blog will clearly not settle the issue, but perhaps for a handful it will clarify the situation. The issue hinges on what was done at the cross, yes, but it also hinges on other things as well. It is vital to think of who God really is, but also who sinners really are. Selfish sinners love those who love them and yet they love them from selfish hearts full of self-love. When people “offer” salvation to sinners and told that God loves them and desires to save them if only they will believe, this is nothing that a selfish heart cannot do while remaining dead and lost in selfishness and self-love. What selfish sinner without the least desire to repent wouldn’t be glad to pray a prayer or make a choice from his selfish heart in order to be saved from hell? The problem, or course, is that the sinner does not see his sinful heart and just how helpless and hopeless he is. He still depends upon himself and his own selfish heart.

We simply must know and feel the weight of what Weeks is saying here. When people speak as if God loves sinners just as they are and desires their salvation just as they are, any selfish sinner will love that message and that false god. On the contrary, God loves the contrite and the humble, but of course and in contrast to the pleasing message of God loves you; the selfish heart must be broken and deeply humbled. Selfish hearts do not want to hear that God wants their hearts broken and even more, only He can break their hearts. The selfish heart needs to see that it is utterly unable to do one thing that is not full of selfishness and self love. The selfish heart needs to see that its selfish heart is at enmity with God and that it hates the true God. As Luther said, until the heart is humbled to where the sinner has no hope from his own will and his own power, the sinner is not ready to be saved.

Since the days of Finney sinners have been approached as if they only needed to be talked into something rather than that they are to seek the Lord for a broken heart. Sinners have been approached without a proper understanding of God or of the nature of sin. This truly changes everything. Is the Gospel worthy of all acceptation? Yes, or course it is. The problem, however, is that selfish sinners hate the true God and find Him and the Gospel of God very unacceptable to them. We must be confronted with the basic truth that sinners hate God and all things about Him just as they hated Jesus when He walked on the earth. As long as we don’t point out the wickedness of the natural man’s selfish heart and present a God who loves them and longs to show them mercy, they will be pleased with that God and in doing so their selfish heart is undiscovered to them.

Frankly, it is so sad to see people approached as if they were neutral and had the power to do what they are told needs to be done. The Great Commandment is to love God with all of our being, yet the natural man has a selfish heart and hates God. This basic truth needs to be pounded into our hearts over and over. Our own selfish hearts do not want to speak to people in that way, yet it needs to be done. Could it be that there are throngs of unconverted people in our day who think they love God when in fact they still have selfish hearts and hate the true God? Could it be that the true God is so rarely heard about and that the selfish nature of men’s hearts is so rarely spoken of that in fact true Christianity has been replaced by a selfish “Christianity” and those who stand for a true Christianity are thought to be haters? Jesus Christ did not come to save nice people; He came to save sinners who were at enmity with God. What is a true repentance if it is not from the deepest sin of the heart?

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