Many fabulous careers explode with tremendous success down here by gratifying the crowd or audience. The great baseball, basketball, or football stars of today and yesterday have all longed to please exceedingly those who watch them. The famous actors of today and the past have likewise lived to please their paying audiences. With every cheer and applause from the public brings a desire to garner more from their adoring fans.
Many will lose themselves in this quest for gratification and plunge themselves into a downward spiral or place themselves on an emotional rollercaoster. While the crowd is satisfied so too then is the performer. What happens when the applauds cease? Where will that inner feeling of worth come from then? If we could see inside the hearts and minds of many of these people, we would find an empty shell.
These are questions of tremendous importance today and forever. The thought that other people can somehow fulfill us is a path that leads only to complete disappointment. The desire in every human heart is for satisfaction. What type of satisfaction? This can only come by way of the truth. The truth is what sets every human heart free to live a full and fulfilled life down here on the earth. The truth in knowing and loving the Lord Jesus Christ only brings contentment.
When we examine the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we find the first man to live that did not desire the applause of other men. This man was purely and solely concerned with truth. We would learn from His own lips that He was truth incarnate. If Christ did not see or hear the truth, He was not interested in the outcome of any endeavor.
A true follower of Christ must never be interested in gratifying the crowd. He must singularly be interested in the gospel of Christ, His truth, and glorifying Him. How often do we find in the Bible accounts of the majority being wrong and a small minority (sometimes only one person) being in the truth.
Many today have abandoned the pure simplicity and truth of the gospel of Christ in favor of many sophisticated methods, procedures, and gimmicks to try to lead spiritually lost men and women to Christ. However, the prophet Jeremiah (speaking the words of the Lord) asked this question, “Is not My Word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]? says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock [of most stubborn resistance]?”
It is not our mandate to please the masses as do the athletes and entertainers spoken of earlier, but it is our solemn and humble privilege to be ambassadors for Christ pleading and imploring lost men and woman on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to God.
Luke 12:49 I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and how I wish that it were already kindled! (Quick Amplified Bible)
Albert Barnes (1798-1870) had this to say about God's Word, “God’s Word is the great purifier which destroys all that is false and aves, only the genuine metal. God’s Word rouses and strengthens the conscience and crushes within the heart everything that is evil.”
If we truly want to gratify or please the crowd then we must go about that endeavor this way. The sowing of the Word of God is the only thing that will bring genuine gratification and satisfaction to every human heart. Why must we give lost people something that will only leave them empty, hungry, and thirsty for more in their inner man?
Once the earthly farmer plows his field, he does not then leave it and wait for his crop to come up for harvest. Of course not, that would be ridicules. When he has plowed and prepared his field, he then sows his seeds into the ground and waits patiently for the seed to produce a crop.
Such is the mandate for every true regenerated son or daughter of the Most High God. The lost people are the field. The Word of God is the seed. When we sow the true gospel of Christ in the field, there will undoubtedly be a crop for harvest.
Being kind and nice to people is our mandate from the Lord Jesus. He has commanded us to speak evil of no one and to love our enemies. Nevertheless, this alone is not enough to see a crop produced. It does picture the preparing of the field, but afterward we must sow the seed (the Word of God) if we expect hearts to turn from the love of sin to the love of Christ. This is the only requirement for us in gratifying or pleasing the crowd.
Hebrews 4:12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. (Quick Amplified Bible)
There is no need to gratify the crowd with nice flowery words. Only the truth (the Bible) spoken without fear or reservation, many of its hearers will not resist or refute its message. It is not for us (the children of the living God) to reduce ourselves to clever methods or gimmicks trying to entice lost souls to truly trust our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A message such as this will only leave them enslaved by sin, darkness, and the devil and will produce merely hypocrites who have never met the Lord Jesus and do not love Him. When we speak His Word without fear or compromise, many will hear spiritually and a great transformation by His grace explodes in their hearts.
Popularity was never a quest of the Lord Jesus and His children like Him exude the same mindset. In order for a man or woman to be popular with people in this fallen world, he/she must adapt their speech to conform to the desires of the audience, still enslaved by this world system. The Lord Jesus Christ never did such a thing, no matter His audience. He even warned us (His true children) to beware of those people that all men would speak well of.
Luke 6:26 Woe to (alas for) you when everyone speaks fairly and handsomely of you and praises you, for even so their forefathers did to the false prophets. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Is this not the complete opposite of what people of the world seek after? As we stated in the introduction of this piece, we even find professing Christian men and woman wanting everyone to approve of them. How contradictory is this thinking with that of the words of our Lord.
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (KJV)
Why did the Apostle Paul say this? Because he understood that we would not (as twice born men and women) always be able to live in peace with those who are still only born in the flesh (once born). To gratify the crowd for us would be to turn our backs on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus throughout the New Testament exhorts us through His Apostles to come out of the world and do not be conformed or molded into this world system and its belief system.
Am I as a follower of Christ to seek to make enemies? Of course not, but the mere fact of my love and devotion to Him and His Word will bring said enemies to me. If I compromise the truth of the gospel and His Word there is not that evil opposition directed at me. This is what our Lord spoke of as the plight of His true disciples.
John 15:18-19 If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you. (Quick Amplified Bible)
John 17:14 I have given and delivered to them Your Word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Should we still hold any glimmer or thought that we will gratify the crowd with the strong and singular message of the true gospel? These are the Words of our Lord Jesus. How they must remove from us all desire to be people pleasers. Our desire should be singular and steadfast in pleasing the Lord Jesus by our commitment and devotion to Him and pleasing Him only.
When we learn of Him, he will mold us into His image. Gratifying Christ should be the supreme desire of every heart changed by His grace. Before I came to Christ, I was a devout supporter of Pro-Choice in the aborting of unborn babies. The crowd in America supports this position of Pro-Choice. I was among that crowd prior to my conversion.
However, now that I know and love the Lord Jesus Christ and see His glory, I cannot follow the crowd any longer in the popular position or politically correct position on this issue. Christ has transformed me and is continually transforming my mind to know, see, behold, and obey His good, acceptable, and perfect will. Abortion is not His will; therefore, I am now completely Pro-Life.
How could I be His son, follower, and disciple and stand on the other side of this issue? If I belong to Him (and I do), I must stand where He stands, not in opposition to His position. This seems simply and purely logical to me and I hope and pray it does to you as well.
Is it our generation only standing in opposition to the crowd? Certainly not, the Apostle Paul said of himself that the people of his day counted him as a deceiver, yet he was true. He was spoken evil of by some and hated by many. Did this cause him to shriek back from the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and please the crowd?
No, he was loyal and obedient to Christ no matter the opposition he faced on many occasions from the crowds. The people took Paul outside of a city and stoned him leaving him for dead. However, when the Lord Jesus raised him up and dusted him off, he went on proclaiming the same message without any change or compromise.
He never feared any of the consequences of truly following Christ. This is our duty people. We must not be afraid to say what God says, for nothing else written anywhere in any book can transform the hearts of men and women. Truly to gratify and please the crowd is to show your lack of love for the very crowd you aim to please and finally it means a denial of the Lord Jesus you claim to love.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)