An evangelist is preaching in a large crusade. Next to the aisle in the fourth row from the front sits a man who appears to be the classic picture of boredom. His wife coaxed him to come to the meeting and he finally yielded to please her. His mind moves from business deals to the golf course. He keeps glancing at his watch, anticipating the final prayer so that he can get on with more important things.
Suddenly a statement from the speaker strikes home. The man who seemed so distant and untouchable fixes his attention on the evangelist and hangs on every word. Though still captured by the message, he becomes uneasy, shifting his weight a number of times and folding and unfolding his arms. Occasionally he wipes his brow.
When the evangelist gives the public invitation, the man who had come to the service so reluctantly steps out into the aisle and makes his way toward the preacher. He wants to be born again.
What happened to change his attitude and melt his heart?
The conviction of the Holy Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction of sin to the world. The human conscience cannot be trusted to recognize the seriousness of sin. Influenced by falling standards, people are able to rationalize immorality and borderline honesty. When under conviction, however, true standards of holiness and sin are brought into focus.
No wonder you have been uncomfortable in your sin!