Originally Posted by frank4570
Really? Helping 1 person get saved is just as good as 10?
If a whole bunch of people fail to get saved because of your tactics that doesn't matter to god?
In the context of that statement, I meant that large numbers of converts are not necessarily an indicator that everything is going well or even that any
one is being saved. All Israel gathered for the reading of the Law and said "All this we will do!" and within hours, they were dancing around a golden calf. Campus Crusade for Christ is famous for converting young people to Campus Crusade, but not to Christ. 'Revivals' often result in similarly shallow conversions. They are emotional moments that trigger emotional responses.
'Tactics' are irrelevant
as long as the Word is preached accurately. It's not about tactics or techniques. It's about whether the person hearing the gospel is (a) predestined to salvation, and (b) whether the 'seed' of the Word is preached, and takes root. If he is elect, and the Word is preached, he will be saved. The call is effectual
-- it cannot fail to fulfill its intended purpose.
And yes, it matters if one is saved. It always matters. The Good Shepherd will leave 99 sheep to go and find the one that was lost.
Frank, the gospel does not have to be preached with 'fire and brimstone' to be offensive. The gospel is intended
to be offensive. When we soften it, we empty it of its content. We are not to be offensive in our delivery(though most of that is in the ear of the hearer), but it is a hard message that upsets the lost. To the saved, it is a 'fragrance' of life; to the lost, a fragrance of death.
Edwards preached what was appropriate to his time. The fear that fell on the people was a godly fear that God sent
; they were convicted in their spirits by what they heard and they were appropriately terrified. The reason there is not more fear like that today is because we are entering an age of apostasy. The Lord makes people dull of hearing; He sends "strong delusion that they might believe a lie." [2 Thess 2:11] He gives many people over to their sin, and they feel not a hint of concern.
It's a gift if you think about it -- imagine living in terror all your life of the judgment that awaits, and then going
to that judgment. Ignorant bliss is God's mercy to the non-elect. Jesus actively sent people away, and intentionally spoke in parables so the crowds would not understand, and then He took His disciples aside to explain. He cautions the rich that they have their reward now (implying that they should enjoy it while they have it). To the non-elect He says nothing; they feel no need of Him, and they enjoy, to the extent they can, the few years of self-gratification allowed to them without being troubled by conscience. It's a kind of mercy.