Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Does the majority make it so?

Following the crowd, is just that, following the crowd. Follow Jesus, the crowd might just be wrong! Acts 17:11
The way most people think, if the majority is for it, it must be the right thing to do. That is not necessarily so. There are times when the majority is not right, and you may very well be! In Acts 17, we see this played out, when Paul was preaching about Jesus, how He had to suffer and die, and rise again from the dead. It went well for some folks, but there was a crowd, that did not accept this teaching and became very upset.

To the point they were able to stir up the whole city in verse 5. Not only stir them up, but convince them to go after the ones they so disliked. Their only complaint was these men who have come here, have turned the world upside down, verse 6. Wow! Turned the world upside down with what? Jesus. Paul was in no way forcing the people to believe anything, he was just preaching Jesus!

The problem was, they did not want to hear, kinda like today? When we share the gospel of Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and on the third day rose from the tomb, are we not getting some flack from the crowds? Even to the point they took prayer out of the schools, and public prayer has been coming under attack. The complaint? Christians are trying to force people to believe what they do not want too!

Is that truth? Not really, we are just sharing our faith and what Jesus has done for us. But like the Jews at Thessalonica, they do not want to hear, so they stir up the people and begin to cry out, foul! When they do this, people just tend to follow. Why? Because of fear. Fear of rejection, even retaliation, for not agreeing! The problem, they have a lack of knowledge. It is not that they disagree, they just do not know, and it's easier to follow the crowd than make a solid decision to just listen to the facts!

The real problem is sin! They do not want to hear about sin. So what do they do? Anything they can to distract people, including themselves, from listening and hearing the gospel. So groups form and protest, just as they did back in Paul's day. The squeaky wheel get the grease, so to speak. The more the people gather in numbers the more attention they get, and the more people follow, because majority rules. 

What should we do as Christians in this case? Exactly what Paul and Silas did, move on! Don't argue or debate, if they are not saved they will not understand anyway! Move on, remembering, it is not you they are rejecting, it is Jesus! Don't be intimidated by their numbers, for greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world I John 4:4. Move on, there are people who want to hear and want to listen.

We need to listen also, let the Holy Spirit speak. But you also have to be quiet and listen to His direction. He will guide you to the next step, to the ones who will listen. That, in most cases will be one person at a time, not a crowd who will be able to distract. But that one person, who sees the One in you shining forth and has already been looking.

Acts 17:10-12-"Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent  women as well as men."