Sin is deceitful. How else would a human being dare commit an act of rebellion against his Creator, knowing full well that he must pay for it in this life and for all eternity? He could not do it except he was deceived. Sin is mixed with a deadening, lulling, and sinfully soothing potion, the effects of which can only be reversed by a crisis awakening of the soul.
“I wake with horror from the spell
Of Satan’s dread control;
My sins were sinking me to hell,
O Jesus, save my soul!”
Sin affects the mind. A sinner, having given himself over to be a servant of sin, is immediately subjected to the mind-altering influence of Satan’s spell. Sin is altogether unreasonable, yet man prides himself of it. It is destructive, not only to the soul and spirit, but also to the body, yet man revels in it. It is contrary to nature, yet man pursues it madly.
In order to be saved, every sinner must become as the prodigal son who “came to himself” (Luke 15:17) and confessed his sinful insanity to the God who invites all to come and reason with Him.
Sin brings death to the soul. Jesus spoke of the awakening of those dead in sin: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25.
The call of the gospel has always been for dead, sleeping sinners to awaken. This call is universal: Its loving tones have blessed the ears of every person that was ever born. None are predestined to be eternally lost. This call is persistent: A sinner may, by his own rebellious choosing, harden himself to such a degree against the dealings of the Spirit that he becomes desensitized to them. He may distance himself to such an extent from the call of God that he no longer hears it. Whatever the case, the persistent call of God follows the sinner throughout his life. What divine mercy! When this call reaches the heart of a sinner, he must act upon it, or forfeit the priceless drawing of the Father, without which no man can come to the Saviour. How many hear the call and yet refuse to give heed!
Oh, sinful sleep! How rare for the soul that has once been lulled to sleep by your enchanting lullaby ever to awaken again! What a miracle, then, is this great salvation that has power to quicken those who were dead in sins, thereby snatching them from sure destruction. All those who have escaped the clutches of sin can rejoice with the song writer who wrote,
“A resurrection, I confess,
Has taken place within my breast;
I’ve been awakened from the dead,
And now I live with Christ instead!”
The salvation of a soul depends entirely on its being awakened. There can be no repentance without godly sorrow; there can be no godly sorrow without an awakening. True godly sorrow–which works repentance and does not merely produce selfish regret–will only come to a soul after it has been awakened to its destitute condition.