Selfish “Christianity” 75

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 power of sin is in one sense the power of the love if self and the power of pride and self-exaltation. We can see this power over men in their daily lives as well as their religious lives. We see the power of self in the words and arguments of atheists. It is the atheist who ascends to the throne and thinks that s/he rules over self and does all for self, though indeed those who are captured by self in the practice of religion do the same thing though in a different way. We see this in those who are in the media and those who are Hollywood stars. They are in the powerful jaws of self and they do all for the sake of self and want to be adored as God.

The Greatest Commandments are to love God with all of our beings and to love our neighbors as ourselves, but the selfish heart loves self and does all with self as its greatest goal and motive. The selfish heart does all for self and instead of using self out of love for God it uses God (in motive) for the purposes of self. The selfish heart does all it does for self rather than doing for others out of love for God. This is another way we can see the ugliness and horribleness of self as it has ascended the throne of God and does all for self. We might think that we see the true service of others in professing churches as outwardly good works are done, but when the motive of doing things for others is not the glory of God (in truth and not just word) it is just a way for self to exalt itself in doing outwardly good works or exalt itself in the things of religion.

It may be that the key component of a selfish heart is the exaltation of self to the throne of God. This is assuredly an awful pride, yet people are blind to the fact that they have ascended to the throne of God and are ruling over self, living for self, and seek honor for self. Living in sin is really living out of the flow of a selfish heart that lives as if self is God and as such it has ascended to the throne of God (in practice). When a person lives for self, that person is not living for God which is to say that person or self has taken the place of God in life. The words of Charnock are a terrible indictment upon humanity and yet we are blind to the horror of it. In each selfish heart there is the desire that God would be dead and self would be God. This is seen in the way of life of each person that honors self, determines all by the perceived good of self, and also chooses the way of religion for self. This horrible self will even choose what kind of god it desires rather than bow to the living God.

We can see the power that a selfish heart has over those it reigns over. What a power of darkness that this self has. What a power it has over the mind, heart, soul, and strength to interpret all things and give motives and intents for all things. While the selfish heart is blind to it, once again we can see that the selfish heart has taken the place of god in all things for that person. When we see the absolute horror of what a selfish heart really is, we can see that professing “Christianity” is when ruled over by self. On the outside it may appear to be fairly much the same, yet at the heart of professing “Christianity” it is nothing more than the reign of darkness under the disguise of Christianity. It is the prince of the power of the air working in his children to deceive them and others into thinking that they are on the road to heaven when they are on the broad road to hell. It is a terrible deception, but perhaps especially so when popular leaders of the professing Church and countless professing churches are bound tight in the bondage of selfish hearts and perpetrating that as true Christianity.

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