Two Levels of Human Sin
It is one thing for individuals to commit a sin and yet know its wrong and feel remorse about it. All men do this and such sin is forgivable. But it is entirely another matter when society at large begins to call good "evil", and evil "good"... and zealously creates laws, and teaches presuppositions to children which positively mock God's law, calling it "bigotry" ... When society reaches this point we know God is beginning to pronounce judgment on people by giving them OVER to their sin. (see Rom 1:26, 28, 32). This is when the Holy Spirit no longer restrains sinners from engaging in sin but gives them exactly what they want, such that the sinner pursues his wicked ends with abandon ...
People in every age sin, but mostly knew (to one degree or another) that they were doing wrong. They may have done it against their own conscience knowing deep down they were doing wrong. But when a civilization reaches a point where good is aggressively derided openly and publicly as evil, and evil is promoted as the norm, in the name of some legal fictional justice or of a twisted understanding of "civil rights", then Lord help us all.
Luther once said,
"we are compelled to serve in Satan's kingdom if we are not plucked from it by Divine power ....we are translated into [God's] kingdom, not by our own power, but by the grace of God, which delivers us from this present evil world and tears us away from the power of darkness..."
While all unbelievers are captive to sin and Satan (2 Tim 2:26),when people are given over they have what is known as "Stockholm Syndrome" which is a paradoxical phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.
When we pray and persuade our skeptical friends we need to remind them that we are acting on their behalf as their friends so when they continue in sin they are working against themselves, and helping their captor.