“knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”
Remember, awakening is not salvation. It is possible for a man to know that he is lost, still never be saved. He may be made thoughtful, and yet he may still die in his sins. If you find out that you are a bankrupt, the consideration of your debts will not pay them.
It is one trick of the devil to tempt a man to be satisfied with a sense of sin and another trick is to show that the sinner may not be satisfied to trust Christ, unless he can bring a certain measure of his own despair to add to what Christ has already worked for him. Our awakenings are not to help the Savior but to help us to the Savior. To imagine that my feeling of sin is to assist in the removal of the sin isn’t true. It is as though I said that water could not cleanse my face unless I had looked longer in the mirror and had counted the dirty marks on my forehead. A sense of need of salvation by grace is a very healthy sign, but again, one needs wisdom to use it right and not to make an idol of it. As, some do!
One who had been long in prison was not willing to come out. The door was open; but he pleaded even with tears to be permitted to stay where he had been so long. Surely the prisoner must have gone a little unstable in mind! Are you willing to remain an awakened one, and nothing more? Are you not eager to be at once forgiven? If you choose to delay in hurt and fear, surely you, too, must be a little out of your mind! If you so desire peace, have it at once! Why stay in the darkness of the pit, where your feet sink in the miry clay? There is a light to be enjoyed; light marvelous and heavenly; why lie in the gloom and die in anguish of your soul? You do not know how near salvation is to you. If you did, you would surely stretch out your hand and take it, for there it is; and it is meant for us to take.
Even so, to believe that you have sinned, and that your soul is given up to the justice of God, is the right thing, but it will not save. Salvation is not by our knowing our own ruin, but by fully grasping the deliverance provided in Christ Jesus. A person who refuses to look to the Lord Jesus, but persists in dwelling upon his sin and ruin, reminds us of a boy who dropped a coin down an open sewer grate, and sat there for hours, finding comfort in saying, “It rolled in just there! Just between those two iron bars, I saw it go right down.”