Archive for the ‘Selfish “Christianity”’ Category

Selfish “Christianity” 85

September 5, 2017

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.

“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).

II Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Matthew 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

The opposite of selfish “Christianity” is a Christ-centered and God-centered Christianity. The opposite of a selfish “Christianity is a humble heart that loves God in Christ. The opposite of a selfish “Christianity” is a broken heart that is not self-reliant. The opposite of a selfish “Christianity” is a person that loves and rests in grace alone. The opposite of a selfish “Christianity” is a church that has Christ as its head. The opposite of a selfish “Christianity” are leaders who recognize that Christ is the true Shepherd of the Church and as such they humble seek the good of the people.

Selfish “Christianity” is the opposite of all true Christianity. It is opposite of what it means to truly bow before God. Selfish “Christianity” is the opposite of what it means to live by grace. It is the opposite of each member of the Trinity and it is the opposite of the Gospel. It is the opposite of what it means to be Christ-centered and God-centered. There can be no true Christianity in a person or a group of people as long as the people are selfish. There can be a lot of the externals of Christianity, a lot of the external teachings of Christianity, but as long as a person is selfish in heart there will be no true Christianity.

A selfish heart will not hear of a true Christ-centeredness, but a heart that has been humbled by God will not hear of a man-centered Christ. Charnock is exactly right, “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.” Christianity is not present when Christ does not have the throne of submissive hearts. Christianity is not present when self is anti-God and anti-Christ. Christianity is not present when self is setting itself above God. Christianity is not present when self wants to be adored as God.

A selfish heart is a heart that has not been regenerated but instead is dead in sin. A selfish heart is a heart that loves self with all of its being rather than God. A selfish heart is a heart that submits to the selfish desires of the heart rather than to Christ. A selfish heart is the temple of self rather than the temple of the Spirit of God. A selfish heart is a heart that is the image of the devil rather than the image of God in Christ. But again, it is utterly impossible for true Christianity to be where selfishness reigns.

Until this old doctrine is paid attention to people will go on in their selfish religion thinking it is true Christianity. Until God opens the eyes of a soul to its horrible selfishness people will not see their deepest need of being regenerated. Until this doctrine is set out plainly and clearly from the pulpits people will be in great darkness regarding their sin. Until this doctrine of the heart of sin is set out, people will not see how helpless they are in their sin. Until this doctrine of the heart of sin is set out, people will not see their need to be saved from their sinful hearts by grace alone. A selfish heart is the exact opposite of the grace of God and as such it will always remain in opposition to the Gospel of Christ alone and grace alone. May this be declared in such a way where sinners will be broken when they see the despicable self of their own hearts and the glory of a free-grace in Christ.

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Selfish “Christianity” 84

August 30, 2017

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.

“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).

II Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Matthew 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

John 11:40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

The Gospel is the Gospel of the knowledge of God in the face of Christ. Eternal life is to know God and His Son (John 17:3). We can see a great contrast between the quote from Stephen Charnock above and II Corinthians 4:4-6. The Gospel is all about the glory of God and the Gospel is about knowing God. It is not enough to say a prayer or do some act of the will, the eyes of the soul must be opened and the soul must behold the glory of God. One would think that this would be sufficient to show at least an aspect of the true nature of sin, that is, that men are selfish. When men are blinded to the true glory of the Gospel, they are blinded by their own selfish hearts and desires.

In John 11 we are given the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus told Martha (sister of Lazarus) that if she believed she would see the glory of God. Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead and it was an undeniable resurrection from the dead. Some saw the glory of God and others did not. Those who saw the glory of God saw that Jesus was the Messiah and that He had the power of life and death. Those who saw the glory of God (believed) saw something of the beauty of God and the shining out of the character of God. On the other hand, those who saw the resurrection and yet did not have faith hated Jesus even more. They went away to tell the Pharisees and as such gain the approval of man.

The Pharisees did not seem to specifically deny that Jesus did in fact resurrect Lazarus, but they hated Jesus because of it. Why is that? It was because they saw that Jesus would take their positions away. Their selfish hearts loved themselves and their own glory and honor so much that they wanted to kill Jesus. What we see with some degree of clarity, then, is that when the glory of God shines men either love it or hate it. Those who hate it are lovers of self rather than lovers of God. Men love their own honor and glory and positions among men and as such do not love Christ.

When the true Gospel is preached, the glory of God shines forth. When the true Gospel is heard in some manner by a selfish heart, that selfish heart hates it. This is why there are few preaching the true Gospel in our day. They are more interested in getting people to make a decision, get baptized, and join the local church that they water the true Gospel down in order to get more decisions. But how can a gospel that is focused on men be the true Gospel? How can a gospel that does not have the true glory of God shining forth in the face of Christ be a true Gospel at all? How can it be a true Gospel when it does not have the good news of God taking away our dead, selfish, and sinful hearts by grace and placing His Spirit in His people that they may love Him? It is a false gospel that does not deliver people from loving the glory of self and grant them a sight of His glory. It is a false gospel that does not give people a new heart which has true faith where they can behold the glory of God in the face of Christ and as such behold the true Gospel. A selfish “Christianity” denies all of that in practice if not reality and is not Christianity at all.

Selfish “Christianity” 83

August 28, 2017

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.

“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).

II Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Matthew 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

The passage of Matthew 6:23 (just above) shows us that selfish “Christianity” is quite the opposite of the Gospel of the glory of God. Once can speak much of Christ and yet not be speaking of the biblical Christ. One can speak much of the facts of the Gospel and speak true (in and of themselves) facts and yet not preach or speak the Gospel of the glory of God. When a preacher or another speaks with a man-centeredness, though indeed he is speaking facts as such, this is making men the focus of the Gospel and as such it is no longer the Gospel of the glory of God. The selfish eye will only accept that which it has twisted to be centered on self. The selfish eye will only accept as “light” what is in fact selfishness.

All the god of this world has to do is blind the minds of those who don’t truly believe and though they may see the facts of the Gospel they do not see the true Gospel of the glory of Christ. This is truly stunning when we think how preaching and evangelism are done in our day. All that is wanted is to present the facts and then people are to respond with a prayer or with a walk down an aisle or something. They are not expected to feel the weight of their sin or see something of the glory of Christ in the Gospel or the glory of God in the face of Christ. The selfish heart cannot see the glory of God in any way as s/he is too enamored with the glory of self. The eye that is bad only allows the darkness of self as light into it and as such it is blinded by the true light and so hates it. The bad eye of selfishness is a natural way that the evil one blinds people to the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The heart of the person with the bad eye (selfish eye) hears some truths or facts of the Gospel and yet is blinded to the light of the Gospel of Jesus. The bad eye twists the Gospel of the glory of Christ into the gospel of the glory of self and as such makes some sort of profession of faith (faith in self, not Christ) and is considered a true Christian. Thus the churches become more and more full of those who do not believe in the true Christ but in reality they are believers in self. This bad eye rejects anything it hears or reads about the true God and yet has enough facts to deceive self into thinking that it has truly been converted. This bad eye has no true light but only has darkness in it.

The heart that is dead in sin is an idol and will not relinquish its throne to anyone and so will readily believe a false gospel of a false god. The true God is a true God of glory and does all to the glory of His own name. The person with the bad eye does all for his or her own glory and purposes and so can hear that facts of the true Gospel and yet twist those facts to where self is the focus. This wicked self will hear the message of the Gospel in such a way that it thinks the Gospel is all about him or her. The wicked self thinks that the Gospel will allow him or her to remain on the throne of self. The wicked self is blind to the glory of God in the true Gospel and as such it can only see its own glory and own interests. A truly converted soul is converted from self to God and as such will behold the glory of God in the Gospel. A truly converted soul is turned to where God is the chief love and not self. A truly converted soul is turned from twisting all to self-interests to beholding the glory of God in all. Once again we can see the great dangers of self being left alone and as such selfish “Christianity” is not Christianity at all.

Selfish “Christianity” 82

August 25, 2017

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).

Matthew 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

Regarding the individual, if the eye is bad the whole body is full of darkness. If the very light (or what is called light) that is in the person is darkness, then how great is that darkness. All that enters through that eye is darkness and all that is in that person is darkness. Regarding the professing Church or professing churches, if how they view spiritual things is through self and darkness (the essence of sin), then all that is in them will be darkness since all is interpreted by self. All that is interpreted by self is darkness and as such all that will be in the professing churches will be darkness.

The great horror is that when all that is interpreted by self (darkness or sin) is interpreted in accordance with the essence of sin, then sin appears as righteousness and true righteousness is hated. This cannot possibly be overstated. The selfish eye is darkness and as such the whole soul is filled with darkness. When the soul thinks that it has light and yet that light is darkness itself, how great is the darkness of that soul. The soul that is in that darkness (thinking that it is light) can be given over to a great fervor of religion and yet it all be fueled by self rather than Christ. The soul that is in darkness and yet deceived into thinking it is light may be very studious regarding the Bible, yet all that the soul reads is interpreted by that bad eye and so turn all things to self. The soul that is of self (darkness) can be given to a lot of time in prayer, yet all of that is interpreted by and motivated by self.

The eye that is bad or full of the darkness of self may be taught in the true things of God and yet that eye will not receive them in the true way, but that eye full of the darkness of self will turn all things toward self. This selfish eye that thinks it has light will take orthodox teaching and make them into the things of self. This selfish eye that thinks it has the light will take the true teaching of Christ and His Gospel and make them all about self. The minister with a bad eye will preach, teach, and direct a professing church all for the sake of self and yet think he is doing so for Christ. It is a terrible thing to be under the teachings of Christ and yet see them all with the eye of darkness or self for it is so deceptive.

The eye that is full of the darkness of self will hear of Christ and His work on the cross and be blind to the glory of God in the Gospel and only see the light (in reality it is darkness) of self. The eye that is full of the darkness of self will see something of the attributes of God and yet only see those things in terms of self. The bad eye cannot see things the way they truly are, and the eye of self is the same by analogy. It can only see things in terms of self and it turns all things into the things of self. That is simply how it views things. It will turn nature into things of self and it will turn Christianity into things of self. Even when a person is taught about the sinfulness of self even that is viewed with a selfish eye. Unless the Spirit of the living God changes the eye of the soul, that eye cannot see the true light. Unless the Spirit of God changes the eye to where it can receive true light, it will remain in darkness. Selfish hearts are nothing but darkness and they are helpless in that apart from a Divine work in the soul. We should seek the Lord for that work.

Selfish “Christianity” 81

August 23, 2017

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).

It may be the case that all has been said on this issue that I can possibly say, but this issue is still burning in my heart. It is with sorrow and anger at times (should be true mourning) that I see what is thought of as Christianity in our day. Preaching (so-called) is either nothing more than “emotionalism” in some way or is an intellectual lecture. Preaching can be moralism or simply a call for a person to make a choice. Where is God in all of this? There are appeals to do more and appeals to give more, but where are the appeals to behold God more and appeals to love and adore God more? Where are the clear proclamations of the glory of God and the glory of Christ?

The evangelism (so-called) of our day (as seen in the preaching and in people talking about it) is focused upon the selfishness of man and is an effort to get that man to make a choice based on that selfishness. God is set out as little more than a benevolent being who cannot do anything without the power and permission of man. Where is the sovereign God of Holy Scripture in all of that? Can it be that the modern professing Church has so far capitulated to the world and to the false theology of self that it has bowed down to the great antichrist and the anti-God? In our so-called evangelism are we in fact treating men as little gods and as more important and as having the strength that only the true God has? Where is the true God in all of this? Where are the clear declarations of the living God and His sovereignty over all of His creatures?

If the heart of a man is longing for God and longing to be fed with the biblical Christ when that man goes to a “church” service in our day, will his longing for God be satisfied at all? Will he be fed with the biblical Christ at all? If not, then what is that man likely to hear? He will hear of how wonderful he is, or perhaps of how much he is loved, though one may get hammered for the sins of the flesh. But will that man hear of his inability or will he hear of what he must do? Will that man hear of his sinful nature and how it must be changed or will he hear of his responsibility to believe certain things?

The services are usually built around man and what he must do. The selfish heart of man is ignored and not even dealt with. Man can do all that he is usually told is required of him from a selfish heart, but that is precisely what man needs to be converted from. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” If the heart within you is selfish, then all that is in you is darkness. If the light that you think is in you is selfishness, then how dark is all that you think is light within you. Could it be that a selfish heart takes all that is light and makes it darkness? If so, could it be that a lot (majority, vast majority?) of what is thought to be light today actually be darkness?

Selfish “Christianity” 80

August 17, 2017

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?

Selfish “Christianity” 79

August 1, 2017

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).

In the last post (Selfish Christianity 78) I tried to set out some of the basics regarding the simplicity of God and how it is that selfish sinners hate the whole of God rather than just a part here or there. In fact, this should be used to humble believers as well. We are not commanded to love just a bit of God or a particular aspect of God, but instead the command is to love God which the simplicity (unity of the whole God with Himself and not made up of parts) of God teaches us is to love the whole God. Oh what terror this should bring to selfish hearts when those hearts are awakened to understand the degree that they hate God and all of God. The selfish heart must have his or her nose jammed into this teaching and held there in order to gain a sight of his or her heart.

There is no escape for the selfish heart at this point. There is no place to run. One cannot run from one attribute and find refuge in another because God is One and all of what we think of as attributes flow from His oneness and are one. The selfish heart will fight and try to flee from one attribute to another in order to find refuge, but that is impossible when we take into account who God really is. It is simply a selfish heart that hates God trying to find refuge in the idols of the selfish heart. The selfish heart (as Charnock says above) is anti-God and is against the whole God. May God open the eyes of some to see how wicked this really is.

Let us view the selfish heart in light of the great and holy God who loves Himself and does all for His own glory. The selfish heart is constantly suppressing the truth of some aspect of God in order to continue on in what that selfish heart desires. The selfish heart, however, is really suppressing the whole truth of God and as such hates the whole God as it is straining to remain god to itself. The selfish heart as the anti-God in the world can be a preacher who under the guise of orthodoxy and religion lives for self and uses that religion as a means of hatred toward God. Is there any wonder that “Christianity” is so “weak” in our day when so many “ministers” hate the truth of God and preach their hatred in the guise of truth? Yes, it is true, the last sentence (and more in the past and more to come) will be said to be mean and hateful. That is only if those words are not true.

Let us also consider what a selfish heart does when it says it is preaching the Gospel and says it is evangelizing. The selfish heart, though it may be orthodox and conservative, will actually be preaching out of self-love which is hatred toward God. That selfish heart will evangelize out of love for self rather than love for God and its neighbors. The selfish heart, then, preaches and evangelizes out of hatred for God and even the whole God. The selfish heart is preaching a false god and evangelizes with a false love for others. The selfish heart is opposed to the whole of the true God and all truth as it relates to Him. A selfish version of “Christianity” is no Christianity at all and is in fact hatred toward the whole God and the whole of humanity.

A selfish idea of Christianity is not only no Christianity at all, it is opposed to true Christianity because it is opposed to the true God. A selfish heart can be orthodox and conservative and yet it is all of those things in hatred of the true God. A selfish heart can use orthodox Christianity as a means of exalting self and yet it will do so in hatred of the whole God and true Christianity. We simply must be awakened to the dangers of the selfish heart in our nation or we will continue on the path of having a religion that hates God and Christianity and as such we will be deceived with a great deception.

When our preaching and evangelism ignores the selfish heart of man and the truth of the simplicity of God and how it relates to selfishness, we are preaching and evangelizing as children of the devil and simply deceiving others. If the Pharisees of the day could cross seas in their way of evangelism and only make children of the devil twice as bad, can we say that our day is doing anything different? Could it be that our methods of evangelism and missions are ways of hatred toward God and teaching others to hate God? What if selfish sinners are preaching and evangelizing in the name of truth and yet their selfish hearts do this in hatred of the whole God and a way of suppressing the truth of Him? Is this really that far out? It was what the Pharisees did. What if it is in fact true?

Selfish “Christianity” 78

August 1, 2017

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).

One of the attributes of God that has been long neglected is making something of a comeback. It is the simplicity of God. The word “simple” or “simplicity” is used in an older sense and in reality is vital for understanding the true God. While some have hacked and hewed at it in recent days, it is still at the heart of understanding God. They hack and hew at it in order to change the teaching of God regarding other attributes. As long as the simplicity of God stands, it is hard to set forth a mutable god or a god who is controlled by His feelings at times. The simplicity of God teaches us that God is unified in all of His being and His attributes are one as well. In other words, grace is not something that He has, but it is an essential part of His being. Power is not something He has, but it also is an essential part of His being. As an essential part of His being (simplicity = uncompounded or not parts put together), this teaches us that all of His attributes are in reality one. God is an infinite being and as such finite beings can only understand aspects of His oneness at a time. Hence, we think of God as having attributes when in fact we are only looking at what we can look at of His oneness.

Since God is one and is a perfect unity of being, then when we speak of God or think of God we should think of Him as perfect unity. The word “God” is not just a bare word when we use it of Him, but is a word that we should use to refer to God as a perfect Being in all of His attributes. But of course it will be argued, and in some ways rightly so, that we cannot contain this God in such a way in our minds. Nevertheless, we should know this about Him and learn to refer to Him as an incomprehensible God and yet knowing what we know is truth.

One important application of this great truth is for selfishness in the hearts of sinners. A selfish sinner does not just show hatred toward a little bit of God, a selfish sinner hates all of God. One cannot just hate a little bit of God without hating all of Him. When sinners hate His justice or holiness, they in fact hate the whole God since all of God is bound up with what we think of as each attribute. The selfish heart of a sinner hating God is really the whole heart of the sinner hating the whole of God. This should teach us some important parts about how horrible a selfish heart really is.

The hearts of selfish sinners are wholly given over to the love of self and doing all for self. In doing so, the hearts of selfish sinners are directly and immediately opposed in all ways to the whole of God. The selfish heart hates all of God and not just a part here and there because God is One and is not made up of parts where one part can be hated while not hating other parts. While there are educated sinners and there are nice and polite sinners, the educated sinner and the nice and polite sinners hate the whole of God. There are sinners who are quite religious, but yet in their very religion they hate and oppose the whole of the true God because He is One. Because God is One within Himself, it is not possible to just hate part and not hate the whole. While sinners will argue that they just hate certain aspects that are taught of God, they just misunderstand the other aspects that they say they don’t hate.

The selfish heart is opposed to God in every aspect of His being and is opposed to what our finite minds think of as single attributes. A selfish heart that hates God because of His sovereignty is also opposed to the nature of true love as God is love within Himself as well as sovereign. True sovereignty is also true love and true love is always truly sovereign because God cannot be divided into pieces and parcels. Those who hate sovereignty also hate grace despite their protestations because true grace is always sovereign. The selfish heart which explodes in anger at the mere hint of sovereignty is a heart that is exploding in anger at His true love and grace as well. The selfish heart that is very religious and legalistic is a heart that hates true holiness and does so in the name of holiness. That selfish heart also hates true love and all true morality. What we see, then, is that the truth of the doctrine of God’s simplicity shows us how horrible a selfish heart is and the degree which selfish hearts hate the whole God.

Selfish “Christianity” 77

July 14, 2017

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.

Selfish “Christianity” 76

July 12, 2017

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?