Selfish “Christianity” 51

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.

People can go through their whole lives and never know that they are in darkness and sin. This is how a person can become quite self-righteous and proud. A person that is deceived about the true nature of holiness and sin will not see sin as it is and instead only be concerned about doing some external moral acts and not doing other external moral acts. People become quite religious and think that they are doing things for God in being moral and in doing religious things. This is in one sense quite tragic. Christianity has, at least the majority of those who take the name, become little more than moralism in our day. It has even become business and even big business for many. It has become a way for some to obtain a name and honor. It has become a way for some to seek glory for themselves.

People seek God only for the things they think He will give them. People seek Christ only for the things they think He will give them. “Christianity” has become an acceptable and religious way of seeking self. It has become an excuse for seeking self. It has become an approach to preaching that will manipulate people into giving money to preachers and organizations. RC Sproul once said that while Luther wrote The Babylonian Captivity of the Church in his day, if he were alive in our day he would write The Pelagian Captivity of the Church. That is absolutely correct, but he might also write another book in which he would entitle The Captivity of the Church to Selfishness. The point is that we are far from what Luther thought was basic Christianity. The doctrine of Pelagius is alive and healthy in our day and as such selfish hearts are thought of as okay and even good.

We are in a day when God is thought to be man-centered instead of man needing a work of free-grace in order to be turned from man-centeredness to God-centeredness. Men are approached with the things of “Christianity” as if they needed more and more selfish things to induce them to make a selfish decision for Christ instead of men needing to repent of their selfish things in order to seek God for grace to grant them a true faith. We must be granted grace in order to come to a real and true faith rather than coming up with faith and as such coming to God on that basis. True faith is to seek God based on who He is rather than seek Him for something for self. True faith is to seek God for Himself rather than seek Him in an effort to obtain something from Him for self.

How blind people are to the true nature of sin when they seek God out of selfish hearts and for selfish reasons. Even when they say that they are seeking God for religious reasons, they are seeking Him for selfish reasons. It is much the same as the crowd who sought Jesus only to get free food (John 6:26). In our day people think that as long as they seek Christ in any way and for any reason they are doing what is right and good. They think that going to church will please God and in that way they can get things from God. This is a horrible blindness. Why would it please God to go to church if one is going for all the wrong reasons? Why would it please God for people to go to church who hate Him and are blinded by that hatred? The very seeking of God in the things of religion is a horrible sin when He is sought out of love for self and desires for selfish things. People who are blind to spiritual things are in horrible sin when they use God and religious things to seek self. Their blindness, however, is no excuse but is a judicial judgment upon them. If that is true, then woe to us as we are in the midst of a terrible judgment.

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