Selfish “Christianity” 22

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 finds the true God repugnant and is opposed to that God, though (again) that selfish heart may be a very orthodox person in terms of Christian doctrine. The clearest example of this is the teaching of the Bible on love. Selfish hearts love to think that love is great and that it can love, though very few in the modern day have a grasp on the nature of true love. For example, it seems as if the majority of people think of feelings in terms of love and they seem to think that God has feelings for them when they think that God loves them. Since they have warm feelings for themselves it also gives them warm feelings toward God as long as they are told that He loves them.

The truth of the matter is the selfish sinners hate true love, though indeed they virtually swoon over false conceptions of love. As long as they think that God loves them and desires their salvation without reserve, their selfish hearts will be deceived into thinking that they love Him. This is seen as patently false since Christ, who was love incarnate, was hated and put on a cross by the most orthodox and religious people of the day. The Lord Jesus is the clearest example of how pure love is hated by the most religious of people. He was hated by the religious leaders of the day as His teaching and His Person was opposite of the heart of their teaching.

If Jesus would have just gone along and not confronted the errors of the Pharisees, He could have been quite popular with them. If only He would have conformed to the orthodoxy of the day just think of how many people He could have reached with His message. Well, at least that follows from the approach in the modern day. The message of true love was hated by selfish hearts when it came from Jesus and it will be hated by selfish hearts in our day as well. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is hated by religious people and even by orthodox religious people as well. The selfish heart will be contented with orthodoxy, a selfish gospel, and a moral life.

In the last petition of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray to be delivered from evil and the evil one. This is not in accordance with the freedom and the responsibility that man supposedly has. Man hates the idea that no only must he have grace to do one thing pleasing to God, but he cannot keep himself from evil. The concept of free-will is truly far, far from true at this point. Man is not free to do good works apart from Christ and man cannot keep himself from evil and the evil one except divine power grants it. Divine love taught this, but religious man hates this. Even those who accept it when it is watered down a bit will hate it when it is taught in full strength. It is a terrible concept to modern man that he cannot even keep himself from evil. While orthodoxy teaches that God is sovereign, man cannot believe that a God of love would not allow him a free choice. While orthodoxy teaches that God is under no obligation to save sinners, man cannot believe that God will not save because He is love. The selfish hearts of men are opposed to God at all points and that includes the truth of His love.

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