Selfish “Christianity” 40

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.

We must always remember that the traditions of men are not always very false, but they can be close to the truth. Every time we study the Bible we must remember that something must be changed. We will twist the Bible just a little or a lot to fit our own selfish hearts or our hearts must be changed to conform to the truth of God shining out in and through the Scripture. Sinners lie to themselves and others in order to attain a level of comfort and the way they do that is to change the truth of God into a lie (Romans 1). Men love to hear of a god that loves them and desires their salvation and that without any change required of them. Men love to hear of the grace and mercy of God as long as that grace and mercy has nothing to do with their real and true repentance.

We must notice that man is always changing for the worse and as he does that he is also changing his views of God. This is the nature of sin in that the self-centered and proud heart of man will always want to adjust the truths of God so that man can remain as he wants to be. The selfish heart cannot believe that God would want it to change so it manufacturers a god in its own image so that it will not have to change. The selfish heart loves the god it thinks is like it and will not require a true change of heart. The selfish heart loves the god of its own imagination because it is a god that loves it and desires all things that the selfish heart desires.

The selfish heart is a heart that is full of lies about itself, about God, and about other people. The selfish heart hates the truth of God about God and itself. The selfish heart is full of self and full of love for self and longs for others to love it as it is, so it loves others only to the degree it thinks it is loved and will only love the god it imagines as long as it thinks that god loves it. The selfish heart wants to be like God and as such will imagine a god that is like it in some way. Of course that god will not demand anything beyond what the selfish heart can do in its own power. Of course that god will not be truly sovereign and that god will show grace as the sinner pleases rather than show grace as He pleases.

It cannot be overstated that the selfish heart will not have the true God in its understanding and as such when a selfish heart is religious it will not have the true God rule over it. The selfish heart comes up with its own religion quite apart from the Bible though it may not admit that. The selfish heart will use whatever it can find in order to have a religion that will suit it and it can be comfortable with while remaining a selfish heart. We must know that the selfish heart hates God and lives in direct opposition of the ninth commandment as it relates to sin and as it relates to the true God. The selfish heart is at war with God and will try to bring Him down to its level.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is of the true God and the gospel that pleases the selfish heart is a lie that flows from a lying heart. We must know and come to grips with the truth of this. While ministers will declare a false gospel across our land and multitudes may love that, the true Gospel is not one that selfish hearts will love. The true Gospel is not just rejected, but it is lied about and distorted. The selfish heart longs for a gospel that is not the true Gospel. The selfish heart loves to hear of things that are false as long as salvation remains in the control of a selfish heart and as long as it is loved as it is.

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.

When a minister is selfish, then all he does comes from a selfish heart. His preaching and all he does is not for the interests of Christ and His people, but it is all for his own interests. What happens when men preach and teach and minister (in name) for their own interests? They are liars to themselves and others about God, about themselves, and about others. At the very core of the issue the selfish preacher wants to be a god to himself and to others. He wants people to glory in him rather than the true God. He wants people to admire Him rather than God. He will lie about God or tell the outward truth of God in order to gain the attention of others to his orthodoxy and to his talents. A selfish heart is a terrible thing and it is at war with true Christianity regardless of how close to the external truth it is. The selfish heart is always lying about true Christianity and as such it leads people astray.

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