Selfish “Christianity” 76

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).

While this series of posts may seem repetitive, it is necessary to go over this and try to show the truth of this from many different angles. In the past fifty years or so we have had conference after conference on the antichrist and all the issues of end time issues. If Charnock is right, self is the great antichrist. When will we see a conference on how self is the antichrist? When will we see hordes of people flocking to pay money for books and audio recordings of the teachings on how self is the antichrist? What is important to people? Is it to know the truth or be enamored with conferences and volumes of information that may not be all that relevant at all?

What would all the people who study all that they can trying to find out who the antichrist is if they found out that each selfish heart is the antichrist? Would they be disappointed? Would they be shocked enough to give up all their studies and start searching their own hearts? It is far easier to study a theoretical antichrist than it is to find the antichrist in my own heart. It is far easier to study the Bible trying to find a sign of a coming leader than it is to study the Bible on my knees asking God to show me my own heart. Is it too rough to say that until people are more concerned with the antichrist in their own hearts than the coming antichrist that people will not understand sin and the Gospel of Christ?

We stand at the precipice of eternity and we are simply not concerned enough with the true antichrist. We want a Christianity that is easy and one that we don’t really have to deal with our own hearts and deal with the true nature of our sin. Until we are ready to deal with our own hearts as the great antichrist, we are not ready to deal with the true nature of sin and with the true nature of repentance and therefore of the true Gospel. We must not flee from the truth of our own hearts and we must not flee from the true nature of our sin if we truly long for God and His glory. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is by grace alone and it is for sinners, even really bad sinners. As long as we shy away from our own hearts we will shy away from the Gospel of grace alone. If we are willing to settle for turning from a few outward sins rather than a true repentance of the heart and from self, we are not willing to come to Christ alone for salvation by grace alone.

Let us be plain and to the point. If we are indeed born dead in sins and trespasses and one important aspect of that is that we are born with selfish hearts, then there will be no true life until we have been granted true repentance from our being anti-God in the world. There is no salvation apart from being granted repentance from sin and if selfishness is the heart of sin we MUST be granted repentance from selfishness. There will be no true turning from selfishness until God works a new creation in that heart and turns a person from the life of self in the heart to Christ and His life being in the heart. Where, then, will we hear of this vital doctrine? When will people be awakened to the true nature of sin and of the sin of their own hearts? When will people be awakened to the fact that they are anti-God and that during their most religious times? Can there possibly be an awakening in the professing churches until this happens?

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