Selfish “Christianity” 47

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 statement of William Weeks just above is also quite demonstrative of the power of the selfish heart in its opposition to the true God. The selfish heart will twist the teachings of the Bible to fit it and its own desires. Some of the teachings it can twist quite easily, but others it must work harder to do so. Either way, the selfish heart will not have the true God in its mind and so it will invent one to fit its own selfish imaginations.

Following the order of the quote above, we can see that the selfish sinner changes God from being God-centered to being centered upon the sinner. In other words, the sinner is now sovereign over his own salvation rather than being in the hands of a sovereign God. The selfish heart represents God as desiring for the sinner to choose Him and be saved rather than that the sinner must be changed to desire the true God. The selfish heart must change the nature of the true God to love him or her first so that the sinner can then love God, but the reality of the matter is that the sinner must have a new heart in order to love God. The selfish heart will not change its essential selfishness though it will change morals or outward behavior, but instead it will change who God is so it will not have to change.

The selfish heart will see in the Bible that God is a God of great mercy, but what it does is change that mercy from a sovereign mercy in Christ to a mercy that will be shown to the sinner when the sinner desires and is always available to the sinner when s/he desires it. The selfish sinner will not have a God of perfect justice but will have a god who is just to some degree but not enough to send a selfish sinner to hell or that will bring judgment on the selfish sinners sin. The selfish sinner does not mind hearing certain things about hell as long as it is a watered down hell, or perhaps even taught in some orthodox way, but it will not have a hell for which it is liable.

The selfish heart opposes the truth of who God is but at times it does so in such a way that it is not obvious to people, and especially not obvious to selfish hearts which love a God that loves them and leaves their selfish hearts alone. As long as there is a version of Christianity which leaves the selfish heart untouched it can be popular. Versions of Christianity that focus on the selfish heart can be wildly popular, though it is nothing but the spawn of hell. The devil, as a selfish being, does not care if people are religious and even very religious as long as they are selfish. This is so hard for people to get into their thinking. The devil does not just go around and try to get people to be as outwardly wicked as he can, but instead he also gets people to be as religious as they can and in doing so he deceives them. It is the selfish heart that is opposed to God whether it is outwardly wicked or outwardly religious and very devout. The selfish heart is the child of the devil whether it is openly wicked or is a very devout appearing minister.

The devil is at home in selfish hearts and he reigns and rules there. He dwells in those selfish hearts through pride and self-seeking. He loves the morality of the moral and the religiosity of the religious. He loved to work with and in the Pharisees as much as those who lived flagrantly sinful lives. He loves to work in popular evangelists and the health and wealth ministers as much as in those who are openly sinful in Hollywood. He can deceive the selfish hearts in many ways and so he uses many ways. The evangelists of the devil can wear white suits and can be quite charming and nice. The evangelists of the devil can also be orthodox in many ways, but of course we are told not to judge. If the Lord will show us and drive it into our hearts that selfish hearts can be religious and very religious, we will never see things the same way. A selfish heart is incompatible with true Christianity regardless of how religious a person that has that selfish heart is. A selfish minister and selfish leaders can gain many, many followers, but so can many other forms of religious leaders. We must be wise and we must seek the Lord for wisdom in these things.

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