Selfish “Christianity” 72

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.

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.

“Self is the great antichrist and anti-God in the world, that sets itself above all that is called God…It sits in the temple of God, and would be adored as God…It is so far from bending to the righteous will of the Creator, that it would have the eternal will of God stoop to the humor and unrighteous will of the creature” (Stephen Charnock).

The selfish heart has such power over each and every unbelieving heart (including professing Christians and ministers) that it has changed and can change true Christianity (in conception and practice) into a false religion (in professing churches) and has changed the true God into its own likeness. While this may make many caught up in the false religion of self smile, yet it is the teaching of the Bible. This is what the selfish heart does. It is always after the truth of who God is and it tries to change the teaching of the true God into what the selfish heart loves and desires.

We can easily understand what happens when ministers preach the god of their own imaginations rather than the God of the Bible. We can easily understand what happens when seminary professors preach the god of their own intellects rather than the God of the Bible. We can easily understand what happens when elders in a church want the god of their own imaginations that tickle their ears taught rather than the God of the Bible. We can easily understand what happens when congregations want their ears tickled with the god of their imaginations rather than the God of the Bible. The natural man (unregenerate) hates God and loves self. The natural man has great pride and will be god to himself and will only want a god that will leave the wicked self untouched.

The selfish heart realizes to some degree that there is a true God but it will not have that God rule over it, so it must find a way to twist and turn the true God into a god that is manageable and controllable by self. It will control its own little god by its morality, its prayers, and its religious duties and actions. It thinks that it pleases this god by what it does and thinks that this god will reward it for the duties done. It loves this god only because it is a god that it has dreamed up and thinks that the god loves it. As said by Weeks above, it will have a god to which it can readily accord and since it loves those who love it this selfish heart will love a god it has dreamed up and is lovable to self since this little false god is thought to love the selfish sinner.

A professing church with a minister who has a selfish heart is a professing church with a false god set before it Sunday after Sunday. If there is any worship at all, it is a worship of a false god and a worship of the selfish heart which loves this false god because it thinks this false god loves it. Despite the confession or creed or history of a professing church, it can do nothing but worship a false god and self and as such the theology of the place is really practical atheism and is a place of idolatry. This is simply another way of saying that “Self is the great antichrist and anti-God in the world, that sets itself above all that is called God.” It is this self that “sits in the temple of God, and would be adored as God.” That self is the self in the heart of a “minister” and that self is the self that is in the heart of all unregenerate who are in the professing “churches” whether orthodox in theology or not.

In Old Testament Israel they were given a form of worship. Many times they fell away from that form into idolatry. Other times they followed the form and yet followed it in a way of ritual rather than as a way of humility and adoration of God. The ritual was nothing more than idolatry as well. The Lord simply blasted what they had done and were doing and told them to take their noise away from Him. This was and is nothing but a case of selfish hearts wanting to bring God down and set up the false god of self in His place. While there is only one God in truth, there are billions of little gods running around playing God. This is (once again) true in professing churches as well as anywhere else. The selfish heart will play God to self in all places and at all times and that includes the professing churches. Self sits in the professing churches and would be adored as God.

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