I arrived at my belief through a journey in life. Life experiences along the way both good and bad are what convinced me and led me to The Lord. Without those life experiences i may not have found my faith. How do my words to a non believer convince them of the Truth without those life experiences in which God revealed Himself to me over and over til I could no longer ignore Him? – Angie B.
Thank you for the question and the opportunity to respond. I understand where you’re coming from. I became a follower of Jesus as an adult and I, too, remember many moments where God was doing a work in my life. So I think you’re absolutely right in that God allows not only the direct message of the Gospel to pierce our hearts but also life experiences (and whatever else He deems necessary) to bring us to a place of repentance.
To answer your question in one sense: Our words would not convince anyone unless the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin (John 16:8; Romans 8). But we don’t have the knowledge of God in that sense. We don’t know which particular person the Holy Spirit is convicting at any given moment. I’ve often heard conversion testimonies where someone (due to life experiences) was chomping at the bit to come to the Lord by the time the Gospel message finally reached them. Also, I’m very encouraged to hear about the increasing testimonies of Christians in the Middle East that are sought out by Muslims wanting to hear the Gospel because Jesus previously visited them through a dream or a vision.
So this is all a long way of saying that our evangelization proceeds without the knowledge of someone’s previous experiences. Perhaps the Lord is working on that person, perhaps not. If the Spirit is working in them, then that person will be receptive to what you have to say. If the Spirit is not working in them, then that person will not be receptive. I proceed under the assumption that the Spirit is working in the person I’m speaking to so that I can make the most out of every opportunity (Colossians 4:5-6) and I let the Lord handle the rest.
Thanks again for the question and may God bless you in your ministry!