Christian failure can be cured
The Gospel is adapted to this end, and when wisely presented we may confidently expect the effectual co-operation of the Holy Spirit. This is implied in our commission, “Go and disciple all nations, and lo! I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”
If we are unwise, illogical, unphilosophical, and out of all natural order, in presenting the Gospel, we have no warrant for expecting Divine co-operation.
In winning souls, as in everything else, God works through and in accordance with natural laws. Hence, if we would win souls, we must wisely adapt means to this end. We must present those truths and in that order adapted to the natural laws of mind, of thought and mental action. A false mental philosophy will greatly mislead us, and we shall often be found ignorantly working against the agency of the Holy Spirit.
Sinners must be convicted of their enmity [a state or feeling of active opposition or hostility}. They do not know God, and consequently are often ignorant of the opposition of their hearts to Him. “By the law is the knowledge of sin,” because by the law the sinner gets his first true idea of God. By the law he first learns that God is perfectly benevolent, and infinitely opposed to all selfishness. This law, then, should be arrayed in all its majesty against the selfishness and enmity of the sinner.
This law carries irresistible conviction of its righteousness, and no moral agent can doubt it.
All men know that they have sinned, but all are not convicted of the guilt and ill desert of sin. The many are careless and do not feel the burden of sin, the horrors and terrors of remorse, and have not a sense of condemnation and of being lost.
But without this they cannot understand or appreciate the Gospel method of salvation. One cannot intelligently and heartily ask or accept a pardon until he sees and feels the fact and justice of his condemnation.
It is absurd to suppose that a careless, unconvicted sinner can intelligently and thankfully accept the Gospel offer of pardon until he accepts the righteousness of God in his condemnation. Conversion to Christ is an intelligent change. Hence the conviction of ill desert must precede the acceptance of mercy; for without this conviction the soul does not understand its need of mercy. Of course, the offer is rejected. The Gospel is no glad tidings to the careless, unconvicted sinner. These true Christian Ministers have to ask the Holy Spirit of God to help them learn how to convict Lost Souls of their selfishness.