A Question I Was Asked:

How Come That Non-Christians Also Have 'Love Experiences'?

The Question:

I'd like to ask about an experience I had a number of years ago. I was fasting and praying very hard. As I turned to the story of Lazarus and read Jesus' words, "Lazarus, come out!," my room filled with LOVE. There is no way to explain except to say that I felt LOVE. It was extraordinary and unmistakable. I felt Jesus, the Spirit of God, met my honest search for answers in my life in an extraordinary way.

My question is, how do you explain it when a non-Christian has a similar 'love experience' - like the doctor several years ago who shook up the world with his story/book on a NDE - feeling Love?

God is love. I was seeking God/Jesus/Holy Spirit for direction and comfort. It was not an NDE. However, can you offer any explanation for a non-Christian experiencing this LOVE, and even calling it 'om'? Clearly they did not meet Jesus, yet they experienced Love. I do not doubt this doctor's story. I am simply confused by this.

Thank you very much. I look forward to your answer.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Yes, this happens. The explanation is surely that our God is supremely loving and merciful and - without question - He may allow such "love experiences" to effect many people, especially if they are honest and sincere. However, this alone might not necessarily indicate that that person might be on a path to Eternal Life - though they certainly could be. Then again, many such people, while not Christians at present, could be on a spiritual journey, with the Spirit of God only openly their minds very slowly. It is possible that some such people will eventually accept Christ and - in His mercy and perfect wisdom - He allows them just a little of the love and fullness which they will eventually receive in full.

In my own case I found God opening my mind to His precious truth gradually, starting in childhood and continuing on from there - nothing sudden and dramatic. The first time the truth about Christ was explained to me (as a young child), I passionately believed in Him and that has never dimmed, but real knowledge about the work of our Saviour upon the cross came later, especially deepening from the mid-1990s (when I was in my 50s). For others it was indeed sudden and dramatic, although I occasionally question the knowledge-level of a few dramatic conversion people, especially where they don't move on and grow.

However we should all bear in mind that true Christianity is not about temporary 'love experiences,' rather, it should come to impact every area of our lives. Emotions can be a very deceptive area; the intense emotional response of the moment has even led to some joining cults and extreme charismatic groups. We have to continually weigh such things up.

Robin A. Brace. September 30th, 2013.