Real Men Love Pink – A Collection of Quotes by A. W. Pink


Self-Delusion
June 23, 2012, 6:12 AM
Filed under: Deceived, False Believers, Ignorance

“Self-love and self-esteem. This is as prolific and powerful a cause of self-deception as any of those mentioned above. Sinners compare themselves with their fellows and award themselves the first prize every time. He who is immoral regards himself as better than those who grind the poor and rob the widow. He who is a liar and a thief prides himself that he is no murderer. He who is outwardly religious deems himself vastly superior to the openly profane. Each one discovers some cause or other to say with the self-righteous Pharisee, “I thank God that I am not as this publican.” This is because they measure themselves by a wrong standard. Even a soiled handkerchief looks comparatively clean if it be placed on a miry road, but were it laid on newly fallen snow its uncleanness would soon be evident. So it is with those who are blind to their deplorable condition. But men are possessed with such a high estimate of themselves, and entertain such a good opinion of their souls’ condition, that even if they can be induced to measure themselves by the rule of God’s Word and examine their state they come to the work prepossessed, prejudiced in their own favor. Self-love will not suffer them to deal impartially with their souls.

When they read some condemnatory passage of Scripture they refuse to appropriate it: when they hear a particularly solemn and searching sermon they take it not home to themselves but apply it to some of their fellows. If they be awakened in some measure to the awfulness of sinning against God and alarmed at the fearful punishment reserved for such, this mood is only fitful and fleeting, for they quickly reassure themselves that no such guilt rests upon them. Sudden death may strike down some of their companions, but self-delusion blinds them to their own peril. A manifest judgment from God may fall upon their community, but they persuade themselves that they are in no danger of the wrath to come. The fact is that there are very few indeed who abandon all hope, give way to utter despair and conclude they will experience the everlasting burnings, and yet there is only a very little company who will escape them. The multitudes continue defying God, sinning with a high hand, and go on walking along the road which leads to the pit, and yet by one means or another each persuades himself he shall not enter there.

“For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful” (Psalm 36:2).

Yes, the sinner “flattereth himself in his own eyes.” If he did not, he would be in terrible distress and anguish. He would not go on so cheerfully and gaily if he really believed himself in danger of hell. But he has too good an estimate of himself for that: he does not think he has ever done anything worthy of such a doom, he is sure he is not bad enough for such a place.

Men flatter themselves that they do not live in vice, but are decent citizens and good neighbors. They can see no reason why God should be angry with them. They do not take His name in vain nor scoff at religion. Yea, they flatter themselves that they have done much to commend themselves to Him and obtain His approbation. They read their Bibles occasionally and say their prayers. They attend church and contribute to its upkeep. They send their children to the Sabbath school. They resolve that later on they will be even better, out and out for Christ. but meanwhile they want to enjoy the world a little longer, “trust in themselves that they are righteous” (Luke 18:9) and are comparatively clean in their own sight, and yet they are not washed from their filthiness (Proverbs 30:12).” —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Taken from “The Sermon on the Mount” by A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

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