MAY 25, 2022
Minority rules. Let’s talk about that, on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, keep it open because I didn’t make this stuff up. I’m a Bible teacher and these ideas come from Scripture. And we’re studying the book of Acts and we’re at the 13th chapter, in which in the 13th verse, it says John Mark went back home and left the mission to which he had been called. In other words, he left the ministry. And that creates a question. Why did he leave? And we’ve been spending a good deal of time talking about from Scripture, why he left. And, we saw that he left because there was a change in leadership from Barnabas to Paul. We saw that he left because the truth was a lot more offensive than John Mark thought it was. We saw that he probably left because the journey was too strenuous, the persecution too strong, the obedience was too radical. And then we saw yesterday that he left because he didn’t like the people God liked, that’s Acts 13:47-48. Everybody who belongs to Jesus, belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus, deal with it. Now, let me show you one other thing that I think played a part in John Mark and then I’m going to tell you the rest of the story. Finally, I would suggest that John Mark didn’t like being a part of a minority party, Acts 13:50-51.
But the Jews incited, the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city and stirred up persecution against Paul.
All of a sudden there was a major power shift in religious circles. And I suspect that John Mark wasn’t too happy about it. I have a friend in Atlanta, pastor of a church there, one of the pastors who wrote a great book called Minority Rules. And you can read that in a lot of ways that the minority has the power and that there are certain rules that you play by, if you’re in a minority that you don’t have to play by, if you’re in a majority. Minority rules, well, that’s what happened to John Mark. All of a sudden minority rules started playing and he didn’t like it. And he said, I’m out of here. You know, that’s happening to us, isn’t it? Or at least it appears to be happening. We’re not the people of power anymore, as Christians. We don’t have the leverage or the money that we used to have, right? People don’t like us the way they used to like us and politicians don’t nod in our direction in order to get our vote because they don’t care. Does that bother you? It does me, but it shouldn’t, you know why, because we’re getting down to the muscle in this country and that’s a really good thing. Let me tell you something, it’s a secret you ought to know. Christians, the Christian family has always been a minority. Sometimes it didn’t appear to be a minority. Sometimes it didn’t appear to be small. Sometimes, sometimes it just didn’t look that way, but you need to know that in Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said.
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who are by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
That was true when Jesus said it and it’s true now. Now, that statement by Jesus requires some teaching and someday I’ll spend, it’s not what you think. But at bottom line, Jesus is saying minority rules. At bottom line, he’s saying my family is long, a large family, but get out of the way because they’re mine. And one plus me is a majority and that’s always true. Okay. Those are the reasons I think John Mark left, but you’ve got to hear the rest of the story. You can’t just leave John Mark there, can we? In Acts 15, Barnabas gives John Mark a second chance. That’s when Barnabas and Paul got into a fight about whether they ought to take John Mark with them on their next missionary journey. Barnabas, whose name means son of encouragement said, I think we worship a God of second chances and we ought to give him one more chance. And Paul said, no way, this is important work and he proved himself to not be up to the task. And I’m not going with him again. And they had a really bad fight. The Greek says, they had a really bad fight. Now, we’ll look at it when we get to it more in detail, but they had a fight, but let me show you the rest of the story, in Colossians 4:10.
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions— if he comes to you, receive him)
And then I Peter 5:13.
She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, send your greetings, and so does my son Mark.
Mark was with Paul and with Peter in the closing days of their life and their ministry. Talk about restoration, toward the latter part of Mark’s life, he is said to have established the Christian Church in Alexandria, where it is said that he became a martyr. So, if on occasion, you have left, come on home. If on occasion, you think you’ve sinned bigger than Jesus can accept, that’s a lie. You think he’ll never use you again? Not true. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes when I have time on Wednesday, I spend some time answering your questions. Of course, Pete Alwinson will be in on Friday and we always spend that Friday or the Fridays of Key Life answering your questions. But sometimes I have a little bit of extra time and I take some time in the middle of the week. We do love getting your questions. You can ask your question, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, and recording it. Sometimes we put your voice on the air. You can write to
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Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected]. And if you can help us financially, those are good places where you could do that. By the way, if you decide you want to help us financially, you can do it on your phone. You can text Key Life at 28950 and just follow the instructions. And we recognize that most of you are not able to help us financially. And if you can’t, do say a prayer for this ministry, And if you can, we’ll rise up and call you blessed. Let’s get to one or two of these questions. This is an e-mail. A friend has just lost a loved one. What can I say or do that would be of help? Well, be there. That’s enough. And if you do nothing, other than that, be there. Hug your person and say, I’m so sorry. Too often, when there’s especially a tragic death, we use clichés because we mean well. We say things we shouldn’t say that are insensitive. We try to lay out what the Scriptures say about life after death, when sometimes the best thing you can do is just to be there. I remember the first time a person died on my watch when I was a young pastor. I’d never done a funeral. I didn’t know what to say or to do. By the way, it was on Cape Cod. And he was an old sea captain, who died. And so, I decided it’s my job. I’ve been called to this. I’m going to visit the home and exercise all I had been taught in seminary to do when somebody has died. And so, I got to the door and it overlooked the Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis. I’ll never forget that day, knocked on the door and his wife came to the door and I said, I’m so sorry and I came in and then I had this speech memorized and I couldn’t think of a thing to say. And, by that time, other people started coming. And I remember sitting down on the couch and feeling so ashamed, I’m a minister. I should be able to minister. I’m a pastor. I should be able to say the right thing at the right time. And I didn’t. And after a while I went to her and said, I’m praying for you. And I left. Two weeks later, she came by my office and she said, I just wanted to thank you. And I said, for what? She said, for the ministry you had to me when my beloved Sam died. And I said, I didn’t have any ministry to offer you. In fact, I wanted to say something and I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to be wise on I wasn’t wise. So, I just sat there like a lump and watched you greet all the people who came. And she said, I know, and I was so thankful for that. You were there and it meant everything to me. And so, when a friend dies, be careful, it’s not time for theology or Bible teaching or saying things. Sometimes you ought to be able to just say, I taste the salt of your tears. I taste the salt of your tears. And I’m so sorry. This is another e-mail. What’s the difference between trust and faith? I’m not sure there’s any difference. Trusting when you sit in a chair is trusting that that chair will hold you. Having faith is trusting in the arms of Jesus, that he’s going to hold you too. Oh man. I’ve got to get out of here. I’m out of time. But before I go, I am required to say to you. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.