Selfish “Christianity” 55

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 true nature of sin as against God cannot be understood and cannot truly be felt deeply in the conscious until a person sees sin as against God (all of God) and His glory. It is not enough for people to know that they have violated a law and that they are trespassers of the law of God, but they must know that they are sinners with the deepest dye possible. They are dyed in the deepest colors of sin. They have committed acts of treason and of enmity against the sovereign of the universe. It is when a person knows these things and then understands and feels the weight of the charges and of the guilt of sin that the person is truly convicted of sin.

It appears (to me and my somewhat limited vision) that sin is taught in a way today that even the natural man (the selfish man) would feel guilty of it. There is some objective law and when that law is broken is brings guilt, though many deny that today. However, for those who believe that they then tell the person that the law stands against the person (and it does) and that the person cannot make up for that guilt (and the person cannot). But again, the most selfish person on the planet can see that without a change of heart. It is also easy enough to know that only Christ can make satisfaction for sin, but again the natural man and the selfish man can see that.

All of this so far should bring us to the point where we can see that the selfish heart can have a form of conviction of sin and yet the true nature of sin (the selfish heart that is opposed to God and at enmity with God) is left untouched. People are taught that they are sinners (which a selfish heart can agree with) and that they must make some form of commitment to God (and the selfish heart can love to do that). There is nothing that a selfish person cannot do in terms of the external nature of sin. The true preaching and teaching regarding sin and the nature of the selfish heart will expose the wicked and selfish hearts of men in their enmity against God. This will drive men to gnash their teeth against the truth.

When the heart of selfishness is exposed to the sinner and the sinner has his or her eyes opened to see the true nature of the selfish heart, that is the sinner who will seek the Lord for a new heart. Until that wicked heart is opened up to the mind and understanding and until that wicked heart sees itself as selfish and at enmity with God, it will not see itself in need of a new heart other than perhaps in some hypothetical way. The selfish heart will not see that it really and truly needs a new heart (and be a new creation) from the hand of God until it gives up all hope in what it can do. The selfish heart will go to great lengths to be religious as long as it can keep that selfish heart which it cannot do when it is granted a true repentance from God. Oh how we need to hear these things from the pulpits in our land today, but we also know that the mega-“churches” would no longer be mega if these things were done.

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