Selfish “Christianity” 60

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 is a heart that loves self, is full of self, and is motivated only by self and the glory of self and the things that are of benefit to self. Therefore, it is opposed to true Christianity which loves God, is full of God, and is motivated by God and His glory and the things that are of benefit to God. The two are as opposite as darkness and light. In fact, the self is darkness while God and His glory is light. From the verses above we can see how much a God who is perfectly holy and loves Himself as triune would be opposed to a fallen creature who loves itself instead of Him and His glory.

How wicked it must be in His pure and holy sight to have selfish hearts seek after Christ (John 6:26) because they wanted free food rather than to seek Him for who He was. We must remember that Jesus taught in John 14 that the Father was in Him and He was in the Father, so that the Father was seen in Him. This was astonishing to the disciples, but the Father was with the disciples in and through Jesus. This means that when people sought the Christ (after a sign/miracle of who He was) for food rather than to behold the glory of God in Him, they were committing an awful act of idolatry. They were choosing food over God Himself. The same is true today. When people seek Christ and pray in His name (so they think) for things, they are seeking Christ (in a sense) and using the name of Christ in a vain way in order to obtain things for self. They are choosing the things they seek rather than God when they do that despite what their religion may say.

What is a wicked heart doing when it seeks religious things and even the ministry (Philippians 2:19-21) out of the interests of self rather than the interests of Christ? It is seeking self rather than the true God and even using God for the interests of self. What is a minister who is seeking the interests of self rather than the interests of Christ? He (or she these days) is a minister of the devil who is not concerned about the sheep of God. He is also a person who has a monstrous pride in preferring himself to the true good of the congregation and his own pocket and or honor to the glory of God. The “minister” that seeks the interests of self rather than the interests of Christ (in truth and from the heart) is a monster who is playing God to self and to the people.

A professing church needs to think on these things as it looks for a minister and the true sheep of God need to think on these things as it looks at the “minister” in the pulpit where they attend. Could it be that the man who is so nice and so kind and perhaps a very knowledgeable man in the Bible or in theology is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Could it be that he is hiding his own selfish heart from himself and others by his knowledge and his niceness? Could it be that he is actually a very religious person and is deceived by his own selfish heart? We live in such a day where it is acceptable to know the facts of things and yet not have any real experience of them, which means the very “ministers” in the professing Christian churches can be selfish beings who seek themselves instead of Christ and they are not even noticed. It is so wicked for men to do this, but they may be blind to it. However, when a congregation cannot detect this in the minister, it does not bode well for them at all. What a spiritual curse it is on a congregation to have a selfish minister who is blinded to his own true spirituality by his selfish heart. However, God does send “ministers” to wicked people in order to blind them more and more.

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