Sunday, February 10, 2008

Meeting Felt Needs or Eternal Needs?

When we preach the Gospel, should we do it in such a fashion as to meet felt needs? It sounds great on the surface, and Jesus definitely did meet those needs from time to time in Scripture, but the real question is what is my motivation? If I am an unbeliever and I come to Christ expecting Him to meet my felt needs, what happens when He doesn't? What happens if that is not God's plan? Sadly, what often happens is backsliding or falling away. Maybe a better way to refer to these conditions is by calling them what they are: The unavoidable results of false conversion. If our presentation of the Gospel is based upon meeting the felt needs of unbelievers, when that promise is not fulfilled, the motivation for "conversion" is lost and the new "Christian" loses his faith. If we come to Christ with a proper motivation based upon a proper presentation of the Gospel (i.e. Sin, Hell, The Cross, Repentance, Faith, Redemption, etc.), when trials/temptations come, we will cling to the cross of our Savior for direction and deliverance. This is some food for thought that may be hard to swallow for many contemporary preachers, but it is the Truth as presented by the power of the Holy Spirit which leads to conversion, not the finesse of the preacher. So there is no confusion on the matter, I am not saying to avoid meeting peoples needs, because that is something that our Christian faith motivates us to do. What I am saying is that it is an inappropriate motivation to be dished out to unbelievers in order to attempt to secure a conversion.

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