Selfish “Christianity” 80

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 concept and biblical teaching of a selfish heart is not something to be taken lightly. If it is true that all are born dead in sins and trespasses and by nature are children of wrath, then we should not grow dull to that. If a selfish heart is the essence of sin, then we should be awakened to that. A person that is dead in sins and trespasses is a person that does all that flows from a selfish (self-centered, self-motivated, self-glorifying, lover of self rather than God) heart. A person that is by nature a child of wrath is then (from Romans 1:8-32) a person that lives at enmity with God and suppresses the truth of God. When that person makes a profession of Christ, which is a false profession of a false Christ, then that person may become a very religious person and so all to the glory of self rather than God.

When a person is very religious out of a selfish heart, that person is his or her own idol. All of the religious acts of that person is an act of idolatry and as such enmity toward God. That person will pray for selfish reasons, study the Bible out of self-love, and will be ministers and evangelists out of love for self and hatred toward the true God. In the past post on this thread (Selfish “Christianity” 79) I alluded to that. It is a haunting and extremely sobering thought. What happens when a selfish minister loves self during the week? That minister “ministers” and does all he does out of hatred for the true God. A selfish minister does all for self and self is opposed to the true God. It does not matter what the words of the mouth are, the heart of the man is for self and as such is opposed to the true God. The man is now a minister of self rather than a minister of God. The man now seeks His own glory rather than the glory of God. This is to be at enmity with God.

What happens when a man preaches out of a selfish heart? That man will preach for his own glory and as such out of enmity toward God. That man has a hatred for the true God and from that hatred will preach with hatred toward the true God. That means that the sermons of that man will be a constant suppression of the truth of the true God and will be a means of setting forth that man’s true love which is self. Each time that man preaches, even if it is orthodox, the reality of the situation is that the man is preaching for self and is suppressing the truth of God. Before a man is reconciled to God that man is at enmity with Him, and as such his ministry and his sermons will be nothing but acts of enmity toward the true God. That man will use the same words to speak of the false god of his own imagination, yet he hates the true God and that is the God he will not preach.

A selfish heart is not just sinful; it is the heart of sin. When a person is converted, that person is converted from a selfish heart to a God-centered heart which loves God rather than sinful self. Until that person is converted, s/he will love self, be centered on self, and God will be hated and the truth of Him will be suppressed. It is true that one cannot serve two masters, so the unconverted man is in the service of self out of love for self and all other things are used for that purpose. The truly converted will serve God out of love for God and all other things are used for His purposes.

Self is indeed “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…” The minister who is not truly converted from self to God is in the pulpit and would be adored as God. The minister who is not truly converted is an anti-God who uses the name of God and the things of God to exalt himself and set himself above all that is truly God. The minister who is a minister of self will seek to make converts to self rather than converts to God. After all, his selfish heart hates the true God and loves self as his god. The converts to ministers of self are not converts of the living God since the minister of self does not preach and teach about the true God. The minister of self hates the true God and the true Gospel of God and as such suppresses those things. What is a professing church which has a minister of self and is filled with the converts of that man? It would appear that it is more like a synagogue of Satan. While that sounds arrogant and maybe even crazy, think about it. What other conclusion can we arrive at? But what does that say about the judgment of God upon the professing “Church” in our day?

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