I watched a fascinating programme on BBC last week about the Group B rally cars. These were the madness years of rallying (early 1980s) when manufacturers were allowed to submit cars with little or no resemblance to production cars and virtually no other rules. This was coupled with one of the most popular spectator sports in the world and in some countries with no spectactor control at all (see picture). Crowds parted at the last minute to let these leviathans through. Deaths were inevitable, and deaths there were. Spectators and competitors. You can watch the programme on the iPlayer for a bit here.
I remember being enthralled by the sport at the time. The danger and the sheer recklessness of it all was captivating to a teenage boy. But looking back coldly, it was madness. Everyone could see it. But what interested me most is that in the present-day interviews with the drivers and team bosses, there was very little regret. Drivers said it was the best time of their lives. Team bosses went all misty eyed at the memories. These, for them, were the glory days. Never mind the carnage and the deaths.
They knew it was madness. They knew the dangers. But they went ahead anyway.
When we preach we need to not only convince people that sin is real and sin is bad but that sin is going to lead to destruction. That's why we need the whole gospel. I don't think it's particularly hard to convince people of (1) and (2). (3), however is much harder. The problem is not convincing people that sin is bad, but tearing people away from sin that they like. This is why the Holy Spirit's work is essential. In the world of rally, people knew the logic, they knew the dangers, but still they chose the path of destruction. In the spiritual realms, likewise, people will still choose the paths of destruction unless the Spirit convinces them that the word is true.
Reflect on Ephesians 2.1-3.