The Holy Ghost convicts the world of sin and righteousness & judgment. You can preach the gospel all day long to someone without conviction and it will only be foolishness to them.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;”
-Why? Because just as only they that are sick need a Physician, only they that are convicted of their sin and God’s judgment upon them see their need for a Savior.
-How does the Holy Spirit bring conviction of these things? Through teaching of God’s righteous rule and reign and by the preaching of the law.
Romans 7:7 “ Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
Proponents of Easy believism/Prayerism usually preach merely the gospel facts (the death, burial & resurrection of Christ). They generally assume that a clear presentation of this basic message is sufficient effort to warrant leading someone through a prayer.
In the book of Acts however, we read of Paul reasoning and disputing in the synagogue for days at a time. In chapter 17 we see him preaching to the men of Athens. He did not simply give an ABC’s or 123’s gospel message; he preached to them the true identity of God, who he is, his hand in creation & his personal relationship & availability to men. He preached God’s righteous judgment and the coming resurrection as well as the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then when some said, “we will hear you again”, and clung to him, he continued preaching to them. As a matter of fact, NEVER did he lead anyone through a prayer or pronounce them saved, even if they WERE convicted. Instead he simply instructed those who believed to be baptized. Shouldn’t we do the same?