Pastor James J. Barker

Text: MATTHEW 7:13, 14


  1. My message this morning is entitled, "The Majority is Not Always Right" (Matthew 7:13, 14).
  2. In 1844 a medical doctor named Ignas Phillip Semmelweis, who was the assistant director at the Vienna Maternity Hospital, suggested to the doctors that the high rate of death of patients and new babies was due to the fact that the doctors attending them were carrying infections from the diseased and dead people whom they had previously touched.
  3. Dr. Semmelweis ordered doctors to wash their hands with soap and water and rinse them in a strong chemical before examining their patients. He tried to get doctors to wear clean clothes and he fought for clean wards. However, the majority of doctors disagreed with Dr. Semmelweis and they deliberately disobeyed his orders.
  4. In the late nineteenth century, on the basis of the work by Dr. Semmelweis, Dr. Joseph Lister ("Listerine mouthwash" was named after him) began soaking surgery instruments, the operating table, his hands, and the patients with carbolic acid. The results were astonishing. What was previously risky surgery now became routine.
  5. However, the majority of doctors criticized his work also. Today we all know that Dr. Lister and Dr. Semmelweis were right, and the majority of doctors in their day were dead wrong. Just because the majority believe one thing does not necessarily mean it is true.
  6. If you listen to the news media -- whether in the newspapers, magazines, the radio, television, or the Internet -- you will notice that we are constantly being bombarded with the results of surveys.
  7. Many people, especially the left-wing politicians and their media allies, are constantly telling us, "The majority of Americans now want so-called gay marriage," or "The majority of Americans now want more gun control," or "The majority of Americans are pro-choice."
  8. First of all these surveys are often inaccurate. But more importantly, we should not determine what is right or wrong based upon what the majority says. We should determine what is right or wrong based upon the inerrant and infallible Word of God -- the Bible!
  9. Leo Tolstoy said, “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
  10. Michael Crichton said, "Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels."
  11. The majority is not always right. It has been rightly said, "Democracy is actually mobocracy," that is, ruled by a mob. Benjamin Franklin said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."
  12. The Founding Fathers understood the dangers of what they referred to as "the tyranny of the majority."
  13. Thomas Jefferson said, "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."
  14. Mob rule may sound good if you're part of the 51%, but what if you are part of the 49%? That's a different story!
  15. It should be emphasized that the USA was not established as a democracy, but as a constitutional republic.
  16. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
  17. Our Founding Fathers understood the danger of mob rule. That is why they established the Electoral College. The Electoral College insures that the voices of the minority will be heard. Otherwise, candidates would just pander to the mobs in big cities like NYC, Chicago, and Los Angeles, etc. and ignore voters in the smaller cities and towns.
  18. Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of checks and balances, and separation of powers, and so they established three branches of government: The legislative branch is made up of the two houses of Congress; the executive branch headed by an elected president; and the judicial branch, which oversees the court system.
  19. They understood the importance of these branches because they knew the Bible. Isaiah 33:22 says, "For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us."
  20. I do not want to take up too much time this morning discussing American history or government. Rather, I want to focus on the Word of God, and the Word of God clearly teaches that the majority is not always right.



  1. In Noah's day, the majority of people thought he was wrong. They refused to listen when he warned them about the flood.
  2. First Peter 3:20 says, "The longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."
  3. Only eight people got on the ark. The majority drowned and went to hell.
  4. The majority of people were wrong in the days when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20-33).
  5. The LORD said, "I will not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if I can find ten righteous people there," but there were not ten righteous people there so the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
  6. Joseph had eleven brothers, and they all hated him -- that's eleven to one, and the majority was wrong.
  7. Acts 7:9 says, "And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him."
  8. "But God was with him" (Acts 7:9). If you are right with God, then you and God make a majority!
  9. That is the lesson the LORD taught Gideon (Judges 7:1-7).
  10. We have been studying the book of Jeremiah on Wednesday evenings, and we have seen over and over again that the majority of people were wrong.
  11. They were wrong about Jeremiah; they were wrong about Baruch his assistant; they were wrong about the Babylonian invasion; and they were wrong about the judgment of God.
  12. Jeremiah kept pleading with them to get right with God, but they hated Jeremiah and tried to kill him.
  13. Our day is very much like Jeremiah's day. The people today in the USA are wrong about Bible preachers; they are wrong about Bible prophecy; and they are wrong about the judgment of God!
  14. The majority in Elijah's day was not right. Under the leadership of King Ahab and his wicked wife Queen Jezebel, the majority of people were worshipping Baal. Up on Mount Carmel, Elijah faced four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and four hundred prophets of the groves.
  15. That is 850 to one! But Elijah was right, and the majority was wrong.
  16. Daniel, and Shadrach, and Meshach, and Abednego were greatly outnumbered by the idolatrous pagans in Babylon. The majority in Babylon was not right.



  1. Our Lord said to His apostles in Luke 12:32, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
  2. Remember, all of the twelve apostles were martyred, except for Judas, who was a traitor and hung himself; and John, who was exiled on the isle of Patmos.   The majority was wrong about the apostles.
  3. Pontius Pilate stood before the angry mob (the majority) and said, "Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?" (Mark 15:9), and they cried out, "Crucify him" (Mark 15:13).
  4. "Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him" (Mark 15:14).
  5. The majority of Jews rejected our Lord and wanted Him crucified.
  6. And if He were to come back today, the majority of both Jews and Gentiles would try and kill Him again.  But they will not be able to, because the first time He came to die for our sins but the second time He is coming as King of kings and Lord of lords.
  7. We are greatly encouraged when we read the book of Acts and see how the apostles successfully evangelized the Roman Empire (cf. Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4; 5:14, 28; 17:6; 21:20).
  8. The World Christian Encyclopedia estimates that by AD 100 there were one million Christians in the Roman Empire.  However, there was a total population of 181 million so the vast majority were not Christian.
  9. Even throughout church history, when God sent wonderful revivals, the majority of people did not approve of these revivals.  For example, back in 1774, Harvard College published an open letter rebuking the great evangelist George Whitefield, calling him "an enthusiast and an uncharitable person, and a deluder of the people."  John Wesley was not allowed to preach in many churches so he preached in the open fields.
  10. The majority of people was wrong about George Whitefield, and wrong about John Wesley and the other revivalist preachers, and great multitudes were converted under their preaching.



  1. According to statistics, only 33% of the people in the world claim to be Christian. The majority of people (Muslim, Hindu, et al) are not Christian.
  2. Furthermore, out of the 33% that identify themselves as Christian, the majority of them are not saved.
  3. For example, there are over 1.1 billion Roman Catholics in the world. Plus, many Baptists and many evangelicals and many Pentecostals are not saved, etc.
  4. "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14).
  5. Why are so many people on the road to destruction?
  • They love their sin (John 3:19).
  • They love money (Mark 10:17-27).
  • They think they can be saved by their good works (Eph. 2:8, 9).
  • They think religion can save them. Nicodemus was a very religious man, and Jesus told him he needed to be born again.
  • The apostle Paul was a very religious man, but he was on the road to destruction until the Lord saved him on his way to Damascus.
  1. There are only two roads. Which road are you on?
  2. There are two types of preachers -- true Bible preachers, and false prophets (Matt. 7:15-20). The majority of people like the false prophets!
  3. There are two foundations (7:24-27).



  1. The majority is not always right -- especially when it comes to salvation!
  2. During the tribulation, the majority of people will worship the antichrist. Revelation 13:8 says, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
  3. Is your name written down in the Lamb's book of life? An important question!
  4. F.B. Meyer said, "The beginning of life, each soul stands before these two paths. In each of us the love of life is strong, and in each is the desire to get as much as possible out of the years which may be go through the wide gate, and to take the broad the way of society, of the majority -- the 'many' go in there, it is pre-eminently the way of the world, and no one who goes by this way, allowing his course to be dictated by strong natural impulses, need fear that he will be counted strange or eccentric!
  5. "It must be admitted that, in its first stages, the broad way is generally easy and rather delightful...But to a life given up to self-indulgence, there is only one end, destruction.
  6. "There is a more excellent way, but it is too narrow for pride, self-indulgence, greed, and avarice, it is the Way of the Cross, but it leads to Life!..Few find and enter this path, is the lament of our Lord. Let us put our hand in His, that He may lead us into the path of life, 'that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.'"

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