Gordon Olson described conviction as “…the painful cloud of self-discovery.” Conviction is not pleasant. As we prepare to consider the convicted sinner, I suggest you read Dt.30:11-14, Ro.3:20, 1 Ti.1:8-11, Mk.10:17-22, Jn.4:16-18 and Dt.5 as sample passages of Scripture that contain concepts that are useful for moving an awakened sinner toward conviction. While you read Scripture, look for more passages that can be used to stir conviction.
The Convicted Sinner
The awakened sinner, disturbed by sin, attempts to locate the problem somewhere other than his or her own choices and behavior. The convicted sinner has yielded under the weight of sin in an attitude of brokenness. They see themselves as a moral criminal before God and man, as the perpetrator of evil and wickedness with regret. Their regret is not due to the negative consequence they suffer, but because they have offended God and hurt others, because sin is wrong and destructive. Recognizing their sin and guilt as self-generated, they do not attempt to blame Adam, parents, society and genetics.
Dealing with the Convicted Sinner
Be careful not to hinder conviction with bad doctrine that removes guilt or with untimely and inappropriate comfort. The convicted sinner needs a clear presentation of the gospel, declaring the loving-mercy and goodness of God and the wisdom in His atoning sacrifice. They need to be encouraged to repent of and forsake their sin, confessing, seeking forgiveness and placing their faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. However, there is no guarantee that they will do so, but if they humbly return to God as a servant, He will make them sons and daughters (Lk.15:18-24). If they repent and enter into a trusting relationship with Christ, they become a converted sinner, otherwise known as a saint, Christian or convert.
People can live in any stage of this process for long periods of time, or they can move through each stage very quickly. Once a person experiences conversion, they become a candidate for discipleship as they are trained in righteousness and equipped for ministry, growing in the truth and gaining life-giving principles through study of Scripture (Ep.4:11-12, 2 Ti.3:16-17). Future posts will consider various aspects of the discipleship process and important foundational information needed for becoming mature believers, vessels fit for the Masters use (2 Ti.2:21).
 This is the problem with a shallow perspective of Christianity that wants everyone to feel good. Surely, we want to see people find relief from their guilt but this will not happen if we simply attempt to make them feel better in the midst of conviction. We are to aim for the highest good of people, which can only come about once reconciled to God through repentance and faith.