Go into a mortuary and try to carry on a conversation with a dead person lying in a casket. No matter how charming, charismatic or logical your words, you will get nowhere. That dead person cannot respond.
A spiritually dead person cannot respond to the things of God. God is a stranger to him. He cannot perceive God in the world or people around him. A life with God is meaningless to him. He has no longing for God. He gives his life only to those things perceived in the five senses.
Most people see imperfections in themselves and in others, but tend to blame them on forces in our past, other people or, in places like India, on the bad karma of past lives. Blame is put upon something wrong in the environment. We attempt to “clean up our act” through moral discipline and religious practices.
All of this is like putting band-aids on cancers. Morality and religion do not deal with the root problem which is sin. We sin because we are sinners. Sin is another word for spiritual death.
Just as a dead man cannot respond to the world around him, a spiritually dead person cannot respond to the things of God. Logic and eloquence are of no use. Only the Holy Spirit can change the situation.
In John 16, Jesus tells His disciples that He will soon leave them, but He will give them the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.
The Holy Spirit, the creator of life, is the only one who can bring life out of spiritual death. Only the Holy Spirit can awaken a spiritually dead person to his sin. Only the Holy Spirit can awaken a spiritually dead person to the righteousness of God greater than his sin. Only the Holy Spirit can awaken a spiritually dead person to the Good News that Jesus has judged his sin at the cross and makes him righteous before a good and righteous God.
When the disciples spoke under the power of the Holy Spirit, spiritually dead people came alive by the thousands. In the Book of Acts, the church added and then multiplied the number of people who were being saved.
Such is not the case in most of our churches today. Churches rely on gimmicks rather than the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, few people are convicted of sin. They do not see the righteousness of God to which they fall disastrously short. They do not conceive the power of Jesus at the cross and in the resurrection to judge the devil who has darkened their minds. As a result, our churches have become powerless, and society has become a mess.
The solution to our basic problem is both simple and profound: re-discover the Holy Spirit and His power to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment. Then we will see a big turnaround that will surprise everybody.
We will also see the gospel reach into every corner of the world. I can tell you from experience, millions of people in India are groaning for the Desire of the Nations. Only the Holy Spirit can convince them that His name is Jesus Christ.