Selfish “Christianity” 77

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).

What if Stephen Charnock was right and is right? What if it is self that is the great antichrist and the anti-God in the world? If he was and is right, then what is called “Christianity” in our day by the majority is actually not Christianity at all. There is no overstating of this issue. If self is the anti-God in the world, then those who have not denied self and died to self are still in the bondage of self and as such are opposed to the true God and true Christianity. If self is still ruling over people and professing “churches” then those people and those professing “churches” are really anti-God. Regardless of how orthodox they are, if self is still ruling over people and the professing churches then it is that self which is being bowed to and worshipped.

A selfish heart does not pray to God, but instead prays to self. One way of praying to self and for self is to pray in a way where self is noticed and honored for the prayer. Instead of praying for the kingdom and glory of God, which was how Jesus taught His disciples to pray, selfish people pray for their own benefits and things. Selfish people will pray in an orthodox manner if it will bring them honor before people or perhaps if (they think) it will earn something from God, then they can pray with orthodox words. However, that is a far different thing than praying with a heart that loves and desires God and His glory above all things and in fact all we desire should only be a means of seeking His glory.

This should be highly instructive to selfish hearts and to those who are a new creation in Christ Jesus. A selfish heart basically prays in a way that is primarily for self and selfish means, though this can include a lot of prayers for others and perhaps for the kingdom of God. The selfish heart seeks God and all it seeks for self as its primary goal. Those who are new creations in Christ are still burdened by self but they still will have some love for God and His glory as their primary goal. The selfish heart cannot desire anything above self and as such will desire religious things for selfish goals and purposes. The heart that comes from a new creation is burdened by what remains of its selfishness and longs to be free of that so it can love God from a pure heart and serve God while seeking His glory truly, though indeed falling short to its own grief.

It is shocking to the sensitive heart to have God open its eyes (spiritual sight) and see just how much self has been running its life and that includes its religious life. The opened eyes are shocked to behold and the spiritual affections are moved with horror to see just how much self has been god to self and how it is in reality anti-God. All the religion of self, which includes all it has done and continues to do in the name of Christianity, will come crashing down when it sees that it has been doing all for self and as such self is anti-God. Oh how the self-righteous person will fight this and hate this, but that does not change the reality of it.

It would appear that there are vast numbers of professing “Christians” who are anti-God and do not realize it. They are caught up in religion and religious things. They are caught up in building “church” buildings and church activities and do not realize that those things are blinding them to their own hearts that are anti-God. It is a terrible thing when large professing “churches” are filled with selfish hearts and religious activities and as such they are anti-God. All of their outward religion and good works are not out of love for God and His glory, but instead they are out of love for self and the glory of self. In other words, they are anti-God. As God hardens hearts and turns people over to sin as judgment for their sin, so He hardens hearts and turns people over to their religion as punishment for their sin of being anti-God. Selfishness and selfish hearts are not just little sins, they are the very heart of sin to be anti-God and that is precisely what selfish hearts are.  A selfish heart is anti-God and as such it is not Christian at all regardless of how religious it is.

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