Concerning the Subject of Religious Selfishness

Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? – Acts 1:11

Religion never ought to become the subject of selfishness, and yet I fear some treat it as if its chief end was spiritual gratification. When a man’s religion all lies in his saving his own self, and in enjoying holy things for his own self; there is a disease upon him. When his judgment of a sermon is based upon the one question, “Did it feed me?” it is a swinish judgment. There is such a thing as getting a swinish religion in which you are yourself first, yourself second, yourself third, yourself to the utmost end. Did Jesus ever think or speak in that fashion? Contemplation of Christ Himself may be so carried out as to lead you away from Christ: the recluse meditates on Jesus, but he is as unlike the busy self-denying Jesus as well can be. Meditation unattended with active service in the spreading of the gospel among men, well deserves the rebuke of the angel, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?”

Moreover, some are careful and anxious and deliriously impatient for some marvellous interposition. We get at times into a sad state of mind, because we do not see the kingdom of Christ advancing as we desire. I suppose it is with you as it is with me, I begin to fret, and I am deeply troubled, and I feel that there is good reason that I should be, for truth is fallen in the streets, and the days of blasphemy and rebuke are upon us. Then we pine; for the Master is away, and we cry, “When will He be back again? Oh, why are His chariots so long in coming? Why tarries He through the ages?” Our desires sour into impatience, and we commence gazing up into heaven, looking for His coming with a restlessness which does not allow us to discharge our duty as we should. Whenever anybody gets into that state, this is the word, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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