I can witness all day long if the person I'm talking to would allow me to use the Bible or hear verses I've memorized. But when they are uncomfortable or even hostile to this notion it becomes more difficult - if not impossible.
So how can we witness without use of scripture?
Ideas I have used
When I have tried to mentor men it was impossible without the use of the Bible. There were men who didn't read the Bible who read it when I asked. I would always have them start at Adam's alibi. Because they were living with someone I knew every time they would see themselves in Adam.
All of the men I mentored at a crisis pregnancy center had similar issues. For those that wouldn't study scripture all I could do was listen to their problems for which they had not solutions. In general they felt they did what everyone else did.
My Grandson gave the same answer but followed along all the way to confession and Baptism. As a saved individual he's still dealing with issues. But I talk to him regularly and help him with lifestyle issues when he's willing to accept it.
Where to Look
There are many questions a non-believer can have that are difficult to answer. But God has the answers. For our fleshly being to gain God's knowledge is difficult. But we must remember we have the Holy Spirit, who is the third person (or role) of God. Many times we will reply to their questions with "I don't know". This is almost a better answer than just going ahead with an answer.
- It shows our love if we ask to meet again after we've found an answer. Ask them to get their answer also to insure you don't want to have a one-sided conversation.
- Ask open-ended questions for clarification of the person's views.
- We'll have time to verify our facts and Biblical references.
- We'll have time to pray.
- Don't move beyond these steps until the answer(s) to this point have established a new starting point in your discussions. Don't go through the process too fast - wait for the person to catch up and fully understand the ground you all have covered so far.
- We're not starting this process just to sell fire insurance. If all they know is that they're avoiding Hell you've failed to create a disciple.
- A disciple is one who is growing once they're saved and is maturing to the point they can disciple someone else. God did not intend to fill Heaven with people who didn't bring anyone with them.
The most important part of witnessing is prayer. The goal is to present God by being Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not expect God to sign off on your initial plan all the time. Don't be upset if the next step or rest of the process is accomplished by someone else. Often we're part of a relay team. And as such if we drop the baton we may cause the would-be disciple to not cross the finish line. And we could be any one of the four disciplers in the race. And the race could take decades in some cases.
Scriptures that are useful are:
- (Luke 12:11-12 WEB) 11And when they bring you to the synagogues, and [before] magistrates, and powers, be not solicitous how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12For the Holy Spirit will teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
- (John 16:13-15 WEB) 13But, when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all the truth: for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he shall hear, [that] will he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He will glorify me: for he will receive of mine, and will show [it] to you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore I said, that he will take of mine, and show [it] to you.
- (Romans 8:26-28 WEB) 26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints, according to [the will of] God. 28And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
Evolution and War
Questions about Evolution almost certainly will come up. They are difficult to answer. Particularly if you're talking to a liberal Christian such as Barak Obama. As well meaning as he is (I believe he is sincere), he misses the essential point that understanding Genesis 1:1 is directly tied to John 1:1; and that God is not bi-polar.
Listen to Ken Ham (founder of "Answers in Genesis") explain how there is no Gospel message without Genesis. They will show that physical evidence that they observe can to some measure be reproduced or observed in current events like the volcanic explosion on Mount St. Helens.
And study the Old Testament (wrath and Grace) and the New Testament (wrath and Grace) to see that God has not changed and man's nature has not changed down through the millennium. Both Testaments (Jesus included) speak to wrath and Grace The difference that people need to see is Christ's substitutionary sacrifice on the cross. And to realize that God's Grace is greater than His wrath.
The third chapter in Genesis (an expansion of the sixth day in chapter one) shows that although Creation was very good (correct translation is "perfect") Adam and Eve fell to Satan's temptation to become like God. They gave away their birth right to a demon who also wanted to be God. Since Adam and Eve were given dominion over the Earth that control now went over to Satan, the author of lies and misery. And those who don't follow God are following the current ruler of earth.
The best source for answering questions about evolution or why so many wars is best answered by "Answers in Genesis" in Kentucky. https://answersingenesis.org/
Role of listening
After all I've written and receiving all of your comments - the most important tool is listening. Not only as a tool but as a demonstration of our love. We always need to hear people out. If we're going to shocked and start admonishing when we hear something uncomfortable - we lose our opportunity to witness.
In addition we gain further knowledge of where people outside of Christ are coming from. They have experiences too - just like us. I worked with a young man who was into Wiccan and earlier had been into Buddhism. His experiences are bizarre. He has a friend who was also into Wiccan and they can describe beings that they've seen and were they able to draw they would be drawing the same creature. I'm not a disbeliever in what they describe after hearing missionaries describe Vodo or been involved with two persons under demon possession.
I would have had no audience with him had I expressed how uncomfortable I was.
Knowledge of Creation Leads to Bible
Much of what I've said above is more about the person witnessing then it is about the non-believer. But having a background that can counter Evolution and knowing the real source of Evil in the world we can now going about using current experiences to highlight principles contained in scripture. And since all mankind started with a single family and knowledge of Go there are still faint traces of God in every society.
And there are very poignant experiences in the lives of most unbelievers of Satan's rule in this world. For example, how can we blame God for the wars that men create. Natural disasters and death are harder to explain - except that they were not met to be. How does the non-believer explain these things. If they're OK with it then ask how it could be better. And the Bible will have the answer.
And above all how does the unbeliever know of a being (as most unbelievers will ) and know anything about this "being". Look at other religions and they will find everything's a "religion" where man attempts to appease God. Our faith says God has come to us and paid the price for our sin - if we accept it - otherwise we still belong to the ruler of this world.
This is gettijng down the road a bit. There's a lot that is unstated in between the lines. I don't know what the writing is either. But let's see through our comments other people's success at witnessing without starting from the Bible. We must ALWAYS END WITH THE BIBLE for the unbeliever to receive SALVATION.