Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lovers of Self

2 Timothy 3:2-4 “For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.” 

I just read how one of the dangerous teachings of the “New Age” movement which has spilled over into modern evangelicalism is the notion of “self-love.” Many psychologists - even Christian professional counselors - are attributing society’s ills, especially among young people, to the “supposed” lack of a “positive self-image” or “self-esteem” on the part of those exhibiting antisocial behavior. What they need, we are mistakenly told, is to learn to love themselves more, to appreciate their own self-worth. The problem with this idea is that it is both unscriptural and unrealistic. People do not hate themselves. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:29 that “no man ever yet hated his own flesh”.

 Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31 “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” He didn’t mention loving yourself because that was a given … everyone loves themselves. Instead of learning to esteem ourselves, the Scripture commands us each to “esteem other better than themselves” – Philippians 2:3. What do you see in society today?

The article pointed out that we are told by some Christian leaders that the measure of our great value in the sight of God is the fact that Christ paid such a high price - His own death —to redeem us. The fact is, however, that His death is not the measure of our great value, but of our terrible sinfulness. “Christ died for the ungodly” – Romans 5:6. In fact, as in our text, the rise of this self-love idea is itself a sign of the last days, when men shall be “lovers of their own selves.” The Age of Grace is winding down and there is no better to reach a lost and dying world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being “lovers of their own selves.” is the main characteristic of “New Age” secular humanism, which is based squarely upon evolutionary pantheism.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

 Christ died for our sins because He loved us, not because He needed us. We should live for Him in thanksgiving for the “amazing grace, that saved a wretch like me!”

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