Brethren, Whatever happened to conviction of sin? Has it been relegated to the trash heap of Christianity, along with simplicity, reverence, and the fear of God? As possessors by God’s grace of the most profound truth in existence, we are going to be held accountable by Him for what we have done with this in our generation.
Of all the profound needs that I see as I survey the landscape of our time, it seems obvious that this lack of conviction, an arresting if you will, by the Holy Spirit, is a major hurdle in bringing men to a right attitude of heart so as to receive the precious gospel message. You be the judge; what seems to be the more common scenario-that of Lot’s sons in laws, who thought that the holy angels were joking when they declared the destruction of Sodom imminent, or the response in the second chapter of Acts to the message preached by Peter and the rest of the apostles when the multitudes cried out “Brethren, what shall we do?” Any honest soul can bring an answer forth in a matter of seconds without fear of contradiction.
Why is this so? Is the Holy Spirit not here today? Does He still not brood over the hearts and souls of wicked sinners? Obviously He does or we would not have been washed by the precious blood of the Christ. Yet, by and large, it is unequivocally true that conviction of sin is a rare commodity in this time. Is it because the church in the main has gone astray, deified the traditions of men, and fallen under the condemnation of Mark 7? Is it because the ‘pastor’ has become a cult object and has usurped the headship of Christ Jesus in the assemblies? Is it as A.W. Tozer said that the world has now become our playground instead of our battleground? Or maybe because each of us, in our own private sphere, have failed to receive a deliverance from the power that the world has over the human heart, and individually we have become adulterers and adulteresses. Or maybe we have refused to let the spirit of Christ give us a heart that can receive His love and compassion for a perishing world.
Well, that’s enough of my list. I am sure each of us can add other factors as well. This is no small matter. If we do not begin to experience the power of God we are simply going to find the ‘power’ of men continuing to gain the ascendancy in the Church. This kind may indeed only go out by prayer and fasting. I’m not saying that every one in the world has to feel the flames of hell warming the bottoms of his shoes. I’m saying we need to be intelligent, Spirit filled workmen who are laboring in unison with the Lord and not against. For instance, maybe some folks need to hear John 18-20 before they hear 3:16. Maybe we need to preach that He is looking for disciples instead of converts. Maybe we all should count the cost ourselves, then tell others to do the same.
God has much, much more for all of us. He has given the nations to Jesus as His inheritance. Let us go forward as simple children receiving what He wants to give us so we can minister in His power to this sin sick age. Ponder if you will John 6:57.