Good day to each of you reading this column—I must give the credit to my wife for the title and the topic that is so prevalent in today’s world.
Do you remember the song by Dobie Gray or the Ramsey Lewis Trio—The In Crowd? I do and it was a catchy song and easy to hum. Here are the words for your review:
I’m in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd goes
I’m in with the in crowd and I know what the in crowd knows
Anytime of the year, don’t you hear? Dressing fine, making time
We breeze up and down the street, we get respect from the people we meet
They make way day or night, they know the in crowd is out of sight
I’m in with the in crowd, I know every latest dance
When you’re in with the in crowd, it’s so easy to find romance
Any time of the year, don’t you hear? If it’s square, we ain’t there
We make every minute count, our share is always the biggest come out
Other guys imitate us, but the original is still the greatest, in crowd
Any time of the year, don’t you hear? Spendin’ cash, talkin’ trash
I’ll show you a real good time, come on with me
Leave your troubles behind
What a care-free society, “spendin cash, talkin trash and having a real good time”. This song was written back around the mid-1960’s and, you must admit, it is still as relevant today as it was back then.
Are you “in with the in crowd’’? Do you go along with what everyone else says and does? Have we become lukewarm Christians? Do you go to church to socialize? Does your pastor “make waves” when he preaches a sermon or does he preach feel good sermons? Does your pastor preach the Old Testament as well as the New Testament and that God’s laws are still as relevant today as they were when they were made?
And, by the way, was Jesus in with the “in crowd” or was he “an outsider”? If you were placed on trial, would you have enough evidence to support that you were a Christian?
Ah, but, like, why worry about these questions, I’m in with the in crowd and enjoy this lifestyle of today where I can have a good time, dress fine, make time, know what the in crowd knows and get respect form the people I meet. Let’s live today and not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow may never come—Is that good advice? But the day will come when each of our lives will require a full review of what we have done. We can always say we were in with the in crowd and we did what the in crowd did, that was our excuse.
When I read the Bible, I see that the prophets were not in with the “in crowd”, they stood out. Was Job in with the in crowd? How about David? How about Paul? What about Abraham or Daniel? How about Ruth or Rahab? God does not discriminate whether it be man or woman?
Jonah got in with the in crowd and got swallowed up by a whale and Peter denied Jesus three times because he was in with the in crowd. Satan, the leader of the in crowd, said to Jesus in the desert that he would give Jesus all their splendor and authority, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So, if you worship me, it will be all yours.
Speaking of ‘spendin’ cash, how about Judas Iscariot, who kept the money bag for the expenses of the group. Judas was greedy and decided to sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.” (Luke 22:3,4) (NIV).
Finally, speaking of the in crowd, let’s review John 18 &19. Please take some time and review how Jesus is betrayed and arrested and who does the betraying and arresting.
As you read both chapters, Jesus is not part of the in crowd and does not teach what the in crowd wants to hear. Jesus goes against what the Pharisees and Sadducees have been teaching and preaching. Jesus said nothing in secret and has spoken openly to the world.
Upon reading John 18, turn to verse 38 & 39 (NIV) “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release “The king of the Jews’?”
Folks, the in crowd spoke and Pilate had to abide by the in crowds’ wishes and become one of the in crowd so he would not have trouble on his hands. Pilate’s wife told him to beware and touch not that man (Jesus); for he is holy. As you continue to read John 19, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting and finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
As we close, turn to Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few people find it”. Now turn to Luke 13:22-27 (NIV) “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem”. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you came from. Away from me, all you evildoers!”
Here is your choice, be with the in crowd and be shown a good time presently or enter through the narrow gate to the narrow road that leads to eternal life.
May God Bless you and keep you safe in these turbulent times.