Archive for the ‘Selfish “Christianity”’ Category

Selfish “Christianity” 75

July 10, 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 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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Selfish “Christianity” 74

July 8, 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 power of the selfish heart is perhaps beyond the understanding of mortal humans. It is clear enough to a small amount of discernment that the reign of self in the heart is really the reign and rule of darkness. Self opposes all that is of God, hates God, and is at enmity with God. Where self rules, whether it is through religion or open sinfulness, it is really the reign of darkness. Where self rules, even if it is a preacher, it is the reign of darkness in and through that person. Where self rules in a professing church, that church is a place where darkness rules regardless of its stated theology and regardless of the amount of moralism and external good works done. While this may sound shocking to many if not most, we must be confronted with the reality of the situation. It is not external things that distinguish the reign of Christ from the reign of darkness, it is whether a person has been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Beloved Son and in that soul Christ reigns.

Here, if we care to pray and think through the situation, we can see something in another way of how the modern age has fallen. The modern age tries and tries to get people to exercise faith and so be saved. In the former days men were told to seek the Lord for a new heart that was a believing heart. This is a vital, vital point. In the modern day our teaching men to exercise faith there is a colossal failure to teach men that self can come up with a form of faith as well. It is not just that men are to come up with just any kind of faith, they are to come up with a faith that only God can work in them. When they are not told this, it is easy to see how men are not delivered from self and so from that self they come up with a false kind of faith. When men are not delivered from self, they will come up with a religion of self to some degree.

We can easily see how self can be told to repent and from the power and love of self a person will turn from the outward practice of sin (s/he thinks) and become quite moral. But the heart of sin (reign of darkness) is the selfish heart and the person continues on in the power of self though now self has disguised itself in the garb of religion. It is perhaps more dangerous for a person to deceive self with religion than for a person to be going on in a general life in outward sin. The kingdom of darkness loves to deceive people and as long as people are deceived and blinded by the things of religion the kingdom of darkness is pleased.

The proud heart of selfish men is so pleased to set itself up as God in the professing church. Selfish hearts will have a god of its own imagination, it will have a system of morality that it can mostly do, and it will have a whole system of religion that is pleasing to self. But as long as self rules and reigns in the professing church, Jesus Christ is working to harden those people and is not reigning in them. Jesus Christ is absolute Lord and He will not be mocked. The selfish heart has a Jesus it can love and a Jesus it is pleased with, but the self has taken the throne and the true Jesus is not bowed to and adored or obeyed.

When that happens, the words of Charnock are seen to be true and are the practice of the professing churches. It is self that is the anti-Christ even in conservative churches since it is self on the throne. It is self that is anti-God since self hates the true God and works to set up a god that it can love. It is self that sits in the local churches and would be adored as God. It is that selfish heart that in all of its religious finery is nothing more than a great idol. Sunday after Sunday it is self that is being worshipped and it is self that is being adored while people sing in worship of self and the god of self that is the god of their own imaginations. Sunday after Sunday it is the god of the people’s own selfish heart that is worshipped which is nothing but self. Surely it is quite obvious that such wickedness and such idolatry cannot be anything but hated by God. Surely it is obvious that the stench of self is that which men think of and trust in as their self-righteousness. Such appears to be the state of the professing Church in our day.

Selfish “Christianity” 73

July 6, 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).

If self is indeed the great antichrist and the anti-God in the world and that same self sets itself above all that is called God, then where self is misunderstood and allowed to stand there is the place where God is opposed. If that place where self reigns is a professing church, then that professing church is anti-God and sets itself above God. It is perhaps beyond terrible when the professing churches are the greatest idolaters around. It is beyond terrible when the places where the true Gospel is to be preached are the places where the true Gospel is hidden beneath the teachings of Christianity. However, this is precisely how the devil works when the Lord frees him to go forth and blind people to the truth.

People think or imagine that they have free-will, but this is really an illusion. Sinners are in bondage to self or they are in bondage to Christ. There is no ground in the middle. It is an enormous deception for people to think that they are free to choose and do as they please. They know that they are doing what they desire, but they don’t understand that their desires are in bondage to a selfish heart and that selfish heart is reigned over and ruled by the devil. When Christ frees people from their selfish hearts, they are not absolutely free, but instead they are in the kingdom of the Beloved Son. Until a person is in the kingdom of the Beloved Son, that person is under the dominion and domain of darkness. In that darkness a person is in bondage to a selfish heart and a slave to the lusts and desires of self. In that darkness a person does not even know or see that s/he is under the power of pride and a selfish heart. In that darkness a person will attend a professing church or be a minister of a professing church and all the while be in utter bondage to a selfish heart.

We can see this in ministers and leaders as well as the people of the congregation. They are following after the things of self with no real idea that they are in bondage to self. They are following the dictates of a selfish heart as they go on in the way of professing Christianity. Even the most orthodox of denominations and professing churches can be caught up in this and actually hold to orthodox teaching out of a selfish heart that loves the honor of being orthodox. A failure to understand the nature of a selfish heart is a dangerous thing. A failure to come to grips with “my” own heart and how it is selfish apart from grace is a danger. It is to fall into a great deception and if a teacher in the professing church it will lead to the deception of others.

A great part of the inability of man in the spiritual realm is precisely at the point of the selfish heart. It is not that man is physically unable to perform the outward acts, but because of the selfish heart of man all that man does is out of love for self rather than love for God. In fact, however, the love of self is precisely the issue at hand in the Charnock quote above. Man loves self and so longs for self to be adored rather than God, though indeed religious man will say that God is to be adored but he only says that in order to be orthodox and so he himself will be adored as orthodox. Man has no ability in the spiritual or moral realm because he has no love for God on which all morality is built.

The selfish heart of man can be turned over to all sorts of religion and yet man is still dead in sins and trespasses. The selfish heart of man can be very evangelistic and quite active in discipleship and all manner of activities, yet that man will be doing all for self and in hatred of the true God. Man will serve the god of his own imagination with diligence and energy, yet all the while he will be exalting self rather than the true God. That is what orthodox “Christianity” can do while in full enmity of the true God.

Selfish “Christianity” 72

July 4, 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 selfish heart has such power over each and every unbelieving heart (including professing Christians and ministers) that it has changed and can change true Christianity (in conception and practice) into a false religion (in professing churches) and has changed the true God into its own likeness. While this may make many caught up in the false religion of self smile, yet it is the teaching of the Bible. This is what the selfish heart does. It is always after the truth of who God is and it tries to change the teaching of the true God into what the selfish heart loves and desires.

We can easily understand what happens when ministers preach the god of their own imaginations rather than the God of the Bible. We can easily understand what happens when seminary professors preach the god of their own intellects rather than the God of the Bible. We can easily understand what happens when elders in a church want the god of their own imaginations that tickle their ears taught rather than the God of the Bible. We can easily understand what happens when congregations want their ears tickled with the god of their imaginations rather than the God of the Bible. The natural man (unregenerate) hates God and loves self. The natural man has great pride and will be god to himself and will only want a god that will leave the wicked self untouched.

The selfish heart realizes to some degree that there is a true God but it will not have that God rule over it, so it must find a way to twist and turn the true God into a god that is manageable and controllable by self. It will control its own little god by its morality, its prayers, and its religious duties and actions. It thinks that it pleases this god by what it does and thinks that this god will reward it for the duties done. It loves this god only because it is a god that it has dreamed up and thinks that the god loves it. As said by Weeks above, it will have a god to which it can readily accord and since it loves those who love it this selfish heart will love a god it has dreamed up and is lovable to self since this little false god is thought to love the selfish sinner.

A professing church with a minister who has a selfish heart is a professing church with a false god set before it Sunday after Sunday. If there is any worship at all, it is a worship of a false god and a worship of the selfish heart which loves this false god because it thinks this false god loves it. Despite the confession or creed or history of a professing church, it can do nothing but worship a false god and self and as such the theology of the place is really practical atheism and is a place of idolatry. This is simply another way of saying that “Self is the great antichrist and anti-God in the world, that sets itself above all that is called God.” It is this self that “sits in the temple of God, and would be adored as God.” That self is the self in the heart of a “minister” and that self is the self that is in the heart of all unregenerate who are in the professing “churches” whether orthodox in theology or not.

In Old Testament Israel they were given a form of worship. Many times they fell away from that form into idolatry. Other times they followed the form and yet followed it in a way of ritual rather than as a way of humility and adoration of God. The ritual was nothing more than idolatry as well. The Lord simply blasted what they had done and were doing and told them to take their noise away from Him. This was and is nothing but a case of selfish hearts wanting to bring God down and set up the false god of self in His place. While there is only one God in truth, there are billions of little gods running around playing God. This is (once again) true in professing churches as well as anywhere else. The selfish heart will play God to self in all places and at all times and that includes the professing churches. Self sits in the professing churches and would be adored as God.

Selfish “Christianity” 71

June 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.

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

God made man in His own image, but when man fell into sin man had children in his own fallen image. It is also true that as God could behold something of His own image when He beheld man, now man tries to turn the tables and make God after his own image. But of course now that man has fallen it is fallen man trying to make God into man’s own fallen image. When man does this he becomes his own great idol and he does this by turning and twisting the Bible and nature into ways where man can retain his own idolatry in his own mind. The selfish heart is at war with God and will be its own god in some way. When man does this, however, he shows that he is his own idol and that he is willing to change the character of the true God in order for self to retain control.

When the selfishness of the heart is at work in changing the character of the true God in order for self to retain what it thinks it should (to be god to self), self truly desires to have the living God stoop to and serve the unrighteous will and desires of the creature. This is especially true in the things of Christianity. Man wants to be sovereign over self and others and so refuses to let go of his own power of selfishness which is his ruling love and god. The doctrine of free-will is simply the selfish heart of man wanting to be god to self and even wanting to have the power to dispense grace to self or do something to obtain grace from God. This is a mind-boggling attempt of self to rule over self and bring God in the control of self. In that scenario it makes salvation out to be something other than grace alone since man has done something to obtain it. Grace, which can only be true and pure grace when it is sovereign grace, is brought down to be something man can do to obtain it. How wicked this self is as it encroaches (in the mind of man) on the throne and character of God.

This is why it is so vital for lovers of the Gospel to be clear about the nature of grace and of God in the Gospel. They must make it so clear to those they are preaching and speaking to about the horrible power of self and of the fact that grace is sovereign or it is not grace at all. Men must come to God emptied of self seeking salvation from His hand as something He is under no obligation to grant. Men cannot come to God full of self seeking to obtain salvation as something He will grant to them if they will simply fulfill a condition or two. Of course men will not admit that they are doing that, but they are. The heart of man is deceitful and it will twist the character of God and the clear teaching of Scripture in order to retain some control of sinful self.

The greatness of the idol of self is seen precisely in the nature of the Gospel and of the nature of men’s twisting the Gospel and the glory of God that shines in the Gospel. The selfish heart of man will twist the Gospel as if it is a wax nose to suit his own selfish heart which desires to control salvation regarding how he obtains it and when he obtains it. As long as the selfish heart of man longs for and retains control (at least he thinks so) of his own salvation he is not bowing to the true grace of God which will always be in the hand of God to grant as He pleases. The “god” of modern evangelism is precisely what the selfish heart longs for. The “god” of modern evangelist is the one that is dreamed up so that selfish sinners will love that god and numbers can go up. However, it is not possible to preach the true Gospel and have selfish sinners be pleased with that God.

The professing “Church” is in a deep sleep and God has sent that sleep along with great darkness. The professing “Church” is okay with its rituals and some nice moralism and some with fairly orthodox teaching, but the true God who is sovereign in all things and all circumstances must be kept quiet and hidden so that selfish sinners will be comfortable. A selfish heart will be greatly pleased with a false god who does not threaten self, yet all the while it retains its hatred of the true God. The true God demands that the selfish heart be repented of and self cannot bear that and self cannot do that in the power of self. Oh how deeply the truth of the sovereign grace of God cuts the selfish heart and with all the strength that self can muster it will fight to bring that God down to be a god of its own imagination. Selfish “Christianity” is really nothing but a form of Christianity without the true God and with each selfish heart as the god of itself. That is gross and wolfish idolatry hidden beneath the sheepskin of a false god and a lying and selfish heart.

Selfish “Christianity” 67

June 22, 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.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

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.

It is hard to overstate the dangers of ignoring or being ignorant of selfishness within the realm of professing Christianity. It is also hard to overstate the damage that has been done to the state of the professing Church and the state of theology because of ignoring the dangers of the reality of selfishness. This is not just another intellectual doctrine (as some state), but instead it is at the heart of the doctrine of depravity and inability and is where the sovereign of the grace of God meets the depravity and inability of man. This doctrine is also inseparable from instructing us of the true nature of repentance and also something of the true nature of faith. It is to our own peril that we ignore or diminish this teaching.

At the risk of sounding like I am overstating the case, the doctrine of the selfishness of sin and of the human heart is also at the heart of the meaning of Calvinism and the biblical Gospel. If we do not understand the true nature of the depravity and inability of man, then to that degree we will not understand the workings of grace in response to that. If the Gospel is just a little good news to people who are sinners, but perhaps still have some ability, then we will not understand the true nature of the Gospel. If we do not understand the true nature of the inability of man because of his selfishness, then we will not understand how to evangelize men. We will appeal to their selfish motives in an effort to get them to make a decision rather than show them that the greatest thing they can do in religion by their selfish motives is still sin. A “gospel” based on selfish motivations is simply not a true Gospel at all.

Sinners who are guided and dragged around by the selfish heart may easily make a profession of faith and may easily become leaders in the professing churches by their strong morality and the amount of knowledge they have. However, those people are still guided by and driven by a selfish heart. All of their religion is from a selfish heart which is a proud heart and a heart driven by self-love. We know that God resists the proud and we know that there is no true religion apart from the love of God. There can be no religion that is powered by selfish hearts with a doctrine of God that has been conceived from hearts that love self rather than God. A selfish “Christianity” (which appears to be the vast majority in our day) is not Christianity at all but is a false Christianity that is very deceptive.

The nature of the selfish heart is such that without it Calvinism becomes closer to Pelagianism than Calvinism. We can see this in our day when the evangelism of professing Calvinists is no different than that of the standard and garden variety of professing Christians. Now, of course, the professing Calvinists will say that they have better theology and so that is the difference. It may be better, but it may also be more deceptive because something that is close to the truth can be more deceptive as it is less obviously wrong. When the Calvinism of the day is closer to Pelagianism than Calvinism, we know that there is a serious problem. Selfish “Christianity” is not Christianity at all and is opposite of true Christianity.

I am quite sure this will sound quite nuts to many people (if they read it), but it is still quite true. There is a corresponding truth to the selfish heart that sets this out. The selfish heart will only have a god that is man-centered, but the true God is God-centered and does all according to His own pleasure and glory. The God-centered God is a vital truth to the Gospel and to the grace of the Gospel. The God-centered God is at the heart of the five sola’s of the Reformation and of the Bible. It is a God-centered God who does all for His own glory that is at the heart of for His glory alone. It is a God-centered God who does all for the sake of His glory in and through Christ that is at the heart of Christ alone. It is a God-centered God who does all for the sake of His glory and for the sake of Christ that is at the heart of Christ alone. Thus we can easily see that a God-centered God is the God of the Bible. The selfish heart cannot stand that and will change that (at least in practice and love) to a God that is focused in self.

The selfish heart, then, is incredibly dangerous and destructive to biblical Christianity. It can sound so orthodox, but the heart of orthodoxy is removed by the selfish heart and the selfish heart may be blind to what it is doing. The selfish heart will not stand to have a sovereign God in reality, though indeed it may have one in its doctrinal standards because a selfish heart longs to be orthodox. That is simply one way orthodoxy in creed can be twisted to become something far from orthodoxy. The selfish heart will always be on the throne of self with desires to be on the throne of the universe. The selfish heart will twist away at the nature of the true God until it becomes one that the selfish heart can live with while self remains on the throne. This appears to me what we have in the modern day. It is a version of “Christianity” that has orthodox language and yet is but a deceptive shell of what Christianity really is. The selfish heart has conformed “Christianity” to its selfish desires and no longer has the true God who is God-centered and opposes selfishness, but instead we now have selfish hearts on the throne and God is man-centered (they think). Beyond that, however, what we really have is a sovereign God who is turning men over to their sinful hearts and a false version of Christianity.

Selfish “Christianity” 66

June 20, 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.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

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.

If the nature of a selfish heart is set out for us to see in John 6:26 and Philippians 2:19-21, then it would be to our great advantage to take notice and pay careful attention. If these things are true, then we must examine our own hearts to see if we have truly repented. The Greatest Commandments teach us that above all things and in all things we are to love God with all of our being and our neighbors as ourselves. But, if we follow Scripture carefully, we cannot be possessed by a selfish heart and love God and our neighbors at the same time. We cannot have two masters as we will hate one and love the other. We cannot love self as our master love and love God at the same time. We can see this in Philippians 2 where the men were said not to genuinely be concerned for the welfare of the people because they sought after the interests of self rather than the interests of Christ.

We must take some care to think through that text. It is because those men sought the interests of self that they did not seek the interests of Christ. Again, the men sought the interests of self as their chief interest and as such they did not truly seek the interests of Christ. When men do not seek the interests of Christ chiefly, they are not truly concerned for the welfare of the people. This is a clear teaching where a person that seeks the interests of self does not seek the interests of Christ and therefore is not truly concerned for the welfare of the people. A selfish person cannot truly seek God and as a result of that cannot truly seek the true welfare of the people.

We can also see (once again) that true repentance is not something that is simple and easy, but it is a true change from a selfish heart to a heart that loves God and His people. Apart from the work of grace in the heart which changes the very nature of a person from a selfish heart to a heart that is focused on and centered upon God. That is the essence of true repentance and as such apart from that a person serves self in all he does whether it is in the world or in religion, even the conservative branches of Christianity. If we think of the Pharisees as a model of selfish hearts, we can see that the things of religion are a comfortable place for selfish hearts.

The selfish heart is not just opposed to the interests of Christ; it is a heart that hates the true and living God. The selfish heart, then, is not just a little bit off; it is full of enmity toward the true God but it is quite comfortable with the God of its own imagination. The selfish heart will love a false god as long as that god loves the selfish heart as it is and does not require it to change beyond what is in its own power to change and beyond the love of self. We simply must wake up to the heart of depravity which is selfishness and thus the inability of man is to love God. Man has no spiritual ability to love at all, thus man has no ability to do anything that pleases God. Not only does man not have any ability to do anything to please God, all that man does in any realm (including Christianity) is at enmity with God.

The selfish heart must be changed. The selfish heart must be repented of in truth and reality. The selfish heart teaches us that we must have a new heart. The selfish heart teaches us more of how depravity and our inability functions. In our selfishness, pride, and self-love all that we do in the things of religion we are using God and the things of God for self and out of love for self. As we seek self in all we do we have no love for God or man, but instead all we do is for self. We do not need to hear selfish motivations in order to be enticed to follow Christ as selfish motivations only move us to follow self more. We need to have our selfish motivations exposed in order to see our selfish hearts in order that we may seek the true grace of repentance. If not, we are left in the bondage of self and will perish with our wicked and selfish hearts.

Selfish “Christianity” 65

June 18, 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.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

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.

In the last posting we used John 6:26 and Philippians 2:19-21 as a paradigm for selfish “Christianity.” This is not just important, it is extremely vital. As long as a person seeks Christ for nothing more than the things of self, that person is not seeking Christ but is seeking self. By the very definition of a person we think of a rational being that desires and chooses, so a person is always desiring and seeking people or things with motives and desires. If a person is always seeking people and things, then a person is either seeking people or things for selfish reasons or that person is seeking them out of love for God. This should show us that we always seek and love God in the things we seek or we seek them from a selfish heart.

People seek religious things out of love for self as well. We can see that clearly in John 6 and Philippians 2. The ministers also sought the things of self (selfish heart) rather than the things of Christ in their “ministries.” Now, it should be obvious then that people cannot repent until they repent of self. As long as a person is under the power of a selfish heart (self-love and pride), that person has not truly repented and is a slave to self rather than a slave and lover of Christ. Again, this is not a point to just pass over lightly. A person can still be a slave to self and be a strongly religious person and an orthodox minister. Jesus Christ Himself told us that if we are going to follow Him we must deny self and that means self must be denied in order to truly follow Christ.

In the modern day we are told over and over again that we must believe in order to be saved. That is true, but we are also told to deny self and that we must repent. It is far easier to repent of outward acts of sin than it is to repent of self which is impossible apart from grace. It is only if God changes a heart in regeneration can a heart be turned from a selfish heart to a heart that has Christ as its life and therefore love God. Justification by faith alone must never be used to water down the absolute need for sinners to truly repent. In fact, when one considers the true meaning of justification by grace alone through faith alone we will see that in fact a true repentance comes by grace alone. It is when we look at faith through Arminian concepts that we get into trouble. When we think of faith as something a person has the ability to do, we think that a person can come up with faith and so God responds with salvation. In effect this destroys the true idea of justification by grace alone.

The true concept of repentance that is in accord with justification by grace alone is that repentance can only come from a heart that is changed by grace alone. Repentance is no more a human work in the Gospel than working to obtain righteousness is. No one can work to obtain a shred of righteousness in the sight of God, and as such true repentance cannot come to anyone apart from the grace of God. If God opens our eyes to see that we must repent of a selfish heart and not just of outward acts, we will see that repentance is a work of grace and it comes to us in regeneration and that comes by grace alone.

This is terribly confusing to people in the modern day. Since Finney (who stressed it and made popular the modern Pelagian movement) people think that they have the power to repent and believe. Since Finney this was stressed and people were pushed and given selfish motives to repent as if they had the power to do so. When the inability of man is not stressed to sinners, the heart of Pelagianism will reign. It does not matter if the person claims to be a Reformed person or whatever, as long as the inability of man is not stressed the unbeliever (a Pelagian by birth) will remain a Pelagian until s/he is granted a true repentance by grace alone. A Pelagian by birth can confess and be a creedal Calvinist and yet remain a Pelagian as long as the self is not repented of. The doctrine of man’s inability is not just something to agree to, it is vital. The doctrine of man’s selfishness shows us an important aspect of just how man is unable to do one thing spiritual or good apart from Christ, yet these things are rarely heard from the pulpits in our day.

Selfish “Christianity” 64

June 15, 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.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

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.

If we look at John 6:26 and Philippians 2:19-21 as a paradigm for the selfish heart in religious things, we can see how easy it is for people to be religious (even very religious) and mistake their selfish heart doing religious things for true Christianity. We can think of a zealous “evangelist” who will present nothing but selfish motives to sinners and then count the numbers as true converts. Perhaps what we don’t think of often enough is the motives behind the preaching and teaching of the zealous “evangelist.” Jehu said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD” (II Kings 10:16). However, it later appeared as if his real zeal was for himself and his own glory. It may be that a zealous “evangelist” has nothing but his own bank account and his own glory as his chief motive. This is why he knows of nothing but selfish motives to persuade sinners with.

When even Jesus did miracles and preached the truth from pure motives (love for God and His glory), even He was misunderstood and people sought Him for the things they could get from Him. This is appalling, to say the least, but time has not and cannot change the human heart. In fact, we could even say that things are worse today. Things are worse because it appears that in our nation the pulpits are filled with those preaching with selfish motives. When selfish motives are behind the preaching, we can be quite sure that only selfish motives will be presented to the people. Those are the only motives that the selfish preacher knows by experience and those are the only motives that he can truly be moved by.

Jesus the Christ preached with the purest of motives and perfect motives. He preached out of love for the glory of God. He preached with the purest intent and the purest love possible. However, the selfish hearts of men heard Him and they interpreted Him with selfish motives and selfish ears. Even His disciples did not seem to understand much of the time and they wondered who was the greatest among them and who would have the highest seat in the kingdom. Can there really be any doubt that the human heart is selfishly depraved? Can there be any doubt of the basic selfishness of the human heart when we see how they interpreted the words of Jesus and even how His disciples were selfish? His disciples followed Jesus, yes, but they appeared to have a lot of selfish motives when they did so while He was on earth. This should sober us as the impact of this hits us.

Jesus fed thousands (John 6) with a miracle and the glory of God was put on display before these people. Did these people now seek Him as a prophet sent by God? No, they sought Him because they wanted Him to give them more free food. Now while this is somewhat understandable, after all, who does not want free food, but how blind and how selfish could they be to so blatantly seek food when Christ had put the glory of God on display? One would think that they would lose all their physical appetite and throw themselves on their faces to seek the Lord! Oh no, the glory of His miracle was simply that they received free food and now they sought Him for more.

The same thing is true today. People seek material things in the name of Jesus rather than seeking for Him. In other words, their appetite for physical things is far greater than their spiritual appetite (if they have one at all). This is not mocking them, but it is an effort to point out the great blindness of those who fill the buildings with “church” on the door in our day. They hear promises of riches and material blessings and soothing messages about their souls in the name of Christ while the true Christ is ignored and shut out. Oh the great blindness that selfish heart has. Oh the power that the selfish heart has over the things of religion in our day. How wretchedly awful it is for selfish sinners to give money to the professing churches when their only motive is that it will be good for them or that it will bring them more money. How many building programs are carried on in the name of Christ when the true Christ is forgotten? How many church programs are carried on in the name of Christ and yet the true motive is to get more people and more money for the “ministry” and yet the true Christ is forgotten?

How many ministers (in name) preach and “minister” out of love for Christ? How many long for and desire the glory of God and wish that their own name would perish as long as Christ is exalted? How many would be content to receive a small salary and preach in a small and rather shabby building as long as they could preach the true Christ? Ah, it may be the case that if one wants to preach the truth one must be ready not to have fame and fortune in the right circles. It may be the case that if one wants to be faithful to God that one will have to suffer insults and ridicule rather than popularity. It may also be the case that those who want popularity and big buildings will have to seek those things while denying the true Christ. A selfish heart who reads these things will probably sneer, but for those who have ears to hear they will mourn.

Selfish “Christianity” 63

June 13, 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.

John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

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.

When we consider some of the names that fall under the heading of a selfish heart, we can see something of why it is vitally important. The proud heart is from a selfish heart. The self that Christ tells us that we must deny in order to follow Him is from a selfish heart. The hearts that God says are foolish hearts are selfish hearts. The heart that God turns over to its lusts is a selfish heart that is full of the lusts of self and for self. The unrighteous heart is a selfish heart that is filled with self and follows the unrighteous lusts of self. The wicked heart is a selfish heart that desires and seeks things that are for self rather than the glory of heart. The greedy heart is the selfish heart gathering things for self as opposed to the glory of God and the good of others. The envious heart is a selfish heart that hates others because they have something that it desires.

II Timothy 2:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

The passage of Scripture just above can be seen as bookends of a selfish heart with all the things in the middle as describing what the selfish heart does. The selfish heart is a lover of self and loves pleasure than then being a lover of God. As a result of that, the selfish heart loves money, is boastful, is arrogant, and is a reviler. The selfish heart is disobedient to parents, is ungrateful and unholy. The selfish heart is unloving, irreconcilable, and is a malicious gossip. The selfish heart is without self-control (clearly and obviously), is brutal, is a hater of good, is treacherous, is reckless and is conceited. All of this comes from a selfish heart that loves self and not God. This makes it appear that all the sinful desires of men are selfish desires. This makes it appear that all the sinful things that flow from sinful hearts are those things that come from selfish hearts. Could it be that the selfish heart is what the Scripture refers to as the sinful self or the old self? Could it be that modern “Christians” have mistaken outward actions as the problem rather than the selfish heart?

If it is true that the selfish heart is the real issue with sins of the heart, mind, and actions, then this is a vital issue. If the selfish heart is the real issue, then it is a terrible diagnosis for a minister (or other) to deal with just the externals of sin and not the heart of it. It is the same (though more serious) of a physician treating the symptoms and leaving the disease untreated. If the selfish heart is the real issue, then evangelism must be more than just telling people to believe some facts about Jesus. If the selfish heart is the real issue, then sanctification and holiness are far different than those who think they have the outward actions as the primary focus. If the selfish heart is the real issue at hand, then preaching must take this into account in dealing with sin and in dealing with conversion.

The concept of the selfish heart is not just one among many doctrines or teaching, and it most certainly is not something we can ignore unless we do so to our own destruction. Without some understanding of it we cannot understand the basic nature of sin and therefore of repentance. Without some understanding of the concept of the selfish heart we will miss the true nature of conversion. Without some understanding of the selfish heart we will not be able to evangelize correctly. Without some understanding of the selfish heart we will not be able to deal with men and their slavery to sin and of their inability in their sin. Could it be that apart from this basic teaching on the human heart and the nature of sin that men are practical Pelagians even when their outward professions are orthodox? Could it be that the selfish heart of man is a vital teaching that when missed it has a huge impact on other necessary teachings?

When serious illnesses go undiagnosed the body can be eaten up and destroyed by the illness or disease. When sin goes undiagnosed the soul will be eaten up and destroyed in the spiritual realm. When a serious illness is not diagnosed properly, there can be no true and effective treatment. When sin is not diagnosed properly, there can be no true and effective treatment. A serious illness can be masked and left to rampage throughout the body when it is not diagnosed or when it is hidden by treating the symptoms so that the patient is left feeling better. When sin is masked over, sin will harden the heart and cause eternal destruction to the soul and this is true when it is treated with superficial sermons and superficial treatments of sin. When the soul is treated with a false Christ and a false God, this is terribly destructive even though the sinner will feel better. Could it be that there are vast numbers of people who have sin rampaging in their souls and they are given little bandages and soothing statements that numb them to the reality of their dire need of the true Christ?