Steven M. McCalip
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Intro. to the Parable of the Sower
The Lord Jesus taught multitudes by use of the parable, and one definition of a parable is even called a “riddle” by God himself in the book of Ezekiel: “Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 17:2). Why would Jesus speak in riddles or parables to man? Well, he prophesied he would in Psalms 78:1-2: “Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.” Jesus told them why he did this: He said the lost themselves had closed their own ears and their own eyes to hearing the truth (My, my, how that contradicts the Calvinists who say that only God himself can do that to his unchosen people!). Jesus taught that these people could open their own ears and eyes to hear the truth, but they chose not to. He also taught that these people were lost when he said, “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given.” Those who have salvation will be given much more than parables as he showed his disciples when he interpreted this parable for them and them only and later when he gave his disciples much more other in-depth teachings as well.
“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Matthew 13:10-13).
Notice that after Jesus said, “…it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given,” the very next line tells WHY it was not given to some, and it HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING CHOSEN BY SPECIAL ELECTION: “Whomsoever hath” are the ones who are given. Whosoever already has (“hath”) salvation and has God is given in more abundance. This disproves any special election by Calvinists. It is easy to read this verse and not see that and jump to the unstudied and immature conclusion that only special people chosen ahead of time were given all the goodies. Jesus refutes this by saying, “Whosoever hath, to him shall be given.” You are not given anything until you “have” the Lord to begin with.
“And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:14-15).
Notice now also that these people “at any time” could see with “their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with THEIR heart, and should be converted.” They could see, hear, and understand with THEIR hearts if they chose even though they were dead and blind. They could open their eyes and ears according to Jesus. This clearly refutes the “total depravity” doctrine of Calvinism. If these people are so depraved they can’t hear or see on their own, then Jesus’ statement is madness. If Calvinism were true, then Jesus should have said “lest at any time they should see with eyes I give them, and hear with ears I give them, and should understand with hearts I give. They didn’t need new ears, hearts, and eyes to see and hear. That’s like scolding a blind man for not seeing and punishing him for it. That’s Calvinism, the false gospel of our “godly” forefathers. Yea right.
But on to the parable of the sower. This parable is critical for many reasons, and Jesus himself said if we understood this parable, we could understand all parables: “And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” (Mark 4:13). This parable, then, is necessary to understanding all, and by understanding it, we will gain great insight into a major part of the word of God. In fact, this parable is so important, that Jesus himself gives his own interpretation of it, and I will be looking at that as well. Even with his interpretation, this parable is quite involved, so much comparison is in order here.
Basically, this parable involves four different kinds of people or hearts who hear the word of God and shows their responses to having the seed, or the word of God, given to them. I will be showing, unlike many teachers, that three out of these four soils, or three out of these four people are lost, false brethren, though it appears that two or three may have been saved according to many people. I am showing that only one of the four has the right reaction to the word being sown in their heart. The other three have characteristics of being saved, but upon close inspection, they are not believers. They are false brethren. So let’s look at these four kinds of soil, these four kinds of hearts, keeping in mind that this same parable is told in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I will be cross referencing all accounts of this parable, for each author adds significant details that enhance the story. For each of the four people or hearts (soils) listed, I will give the scripture, Jesus’ interpretation, and then my teaching.
The Parable of the Sower
1. The Seed By the Wayside
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Matthew 13:4
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Matthew 13:19
First off, let’s not forget that these “seeds” are called the “the word of the kingdom” by Jesus’ own interpretation. These seeds, then, are the real word of God, and not some substitute like so many unbelievers use today. These “wayside” people actually “heareth the word,” and it gets “sown in their heart.” Notice, my Calvinist friends, that “any one” can hear this word. I see no elect soil described here. I don’t see the sower wondering where the elect soil is. I do see the sower dropping seeds everywhere and on everyone. Now let’s look at the characteristics of these persons by the wayside in list form:
a. They hear the word
“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom…” People can hear the word of God, and by doing so, even appear to receive it with gladness. These aren’t people that overtly disregard the word and don’t want to hear it. These are people that do want to hear it, and that is what is scary. These people are still lost as we will see proven. Jesus talked about these people that “hear” and still don’t hear later in this same passage: “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive” (Matthew 13:14).
Just in case you ascribe to the false teaching of Calvinism that man can’t hear the words of God because he is spiritually dead, God says that deaf men can hear if they choose: “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see” (Isaiah 42:18); “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness” (Isaiah 29:18). Do you really believe that God commands a deaf man to hear something he can’t hear to begin with? The man is deaf by choice, for God says to “Hear, ye deaf.” That command is deception if its unable to be heeded.
b. The word is sown in their heart
“…then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.“ What is even more startling is that these people actually have the word of God sown in their hearts. They remember his words; they even like his words enough for them to be in their hearts. But how much they are sown there is another story completely. The words are sown without the person’s understanding, and that is fatal as we see next.
It takes the whole heart to love his words, not some of it. These people give him some of their heart like others mentioned in scripture: “And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:33); “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).
c. They don’t understand the word
“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not…” Even after hearing the word of God and having the word of God sown in their hearts, these people still don’t understand his words. This is one factor why these people are not saved. You cannot be saved and not have some understanding of his words. Some will cry out and say that no one can have a perfect understanding of God’s words even after they’re saved. That is true, but the word says you will have a “good understanding” if you are saved: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do is commandments: his praise endureth for ever” (Psalm 111:10). The Lord Jesus said in this very same parable that people “…should understand with their heart, and should be converted” (Matthew 13:15). Understanding is essential for conversion. It is not an added luxury.
d. They allow the “wicked one” to steal or “catch away” the words of God out of their hearts.
“…then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. Now to more on the second reason why these types of people are lost. The fowls of the air “catcheth away” or steal the words from these people. When people allow the word of God to be stolen from their heart as these people do, this shows not only do they not have understanding, they no longer have God’s words in their hearts. This parable does say that one reason the word in their hearts was stolen was for lack of understanding of the word. If you don’t have a good understanding of it, you will most likely have the word stolen as well by the Devil. Another way the Devil steals your words is, of course, making you doubt they are God’s words altogether. I have plenty of proof of that in this website. Suffice it to say for now that if you doubt any of God’s words, you lack understanding, and you will have the words that are sown in your heart snatched away and not even realize it. The Devil will make you believe you still have God’s words, yet he snatched them from you and replaced them to cover his tracks. To repeat, those of you who have had the word of God snatched from you, as evidenced by all the false bibles you use, is just proof that your understanding is missing. You have been robbed and you don’t even know it. It is like the diamond thief who steals an exquisite diamond from a museum and replaces it with a fake that looks quite real. Fake diamonds and fake words are similar. You are now on the “wayside” because you have been robbed and aren’t planted with the real seeds. You are on the broad way where the birds of the air will pluck the life from you.
Notice that Satan, the wicked one that Jesus said was represented by the fowls of the air, was watching these people, and he was perched and ready to steal the words sown in these people’s hearts.
Now, how do we know that these people and all persons like them are lost? It may appear to some that they were saved since they did “hear,” and the word was “sown” in their hearts. Nonetheless, let me reiterate that there are two proofs that these people are lost: The first is that they didn’t “understand” the word. Second, the word was stolen from their hearts. Understanding is critical to being saved as the Ethiopian eunuch’s story exemplifies in Acts 8. The first thing that Philip asked the eunuch upon seeing him reading the word of God was this: “Understandest thou what thou readest?” The eunuch did not. Psalm 119:130 says that when God’s words truly enter a man’s heart, they give understanding: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”
It is critical for you to realize that this parable shows the causal relationship between not understanding the word of God and the subsequent stealing of those words by Satan. The fact that you doubt any of God’s words, according to this parable, shows you don’t have understanding of God’s words and shows that Satan has stolen those words from your heart. No understanding means no salvation. That statement may seem too blunt and to judgmental for your liking, but this parable puts it pretty clear. There is no Christian who doesn’t have understanding and who doesn’t have God’s words in his or her heart. If your words were stolen from your heart, you didn’t understand them, and you didn’t keep them. You let the Devil steal them by talking you out of them. He’s very good at it. Just ask all the people who don’t believe the Bible that is in their hands is pure in EVERY WORD. That’s a heart that has been snatched away. That’s a heart that never truly loved his words and put them deep in the heart.
2. The Seed Into Stony Places
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Matthew 13:5-6
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. Matthew 13:20-21
a. They don’t have “much earth” or “deepness of earth.”
“…and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth.” They don’t have enough soil, or “deepness of earth.” Their whole heart is not in it, just as the whole heart wasn’t in it with the wayside people. This shallow soil cannot support a root to even grow. You must be able to dig deep to plant anything of substance. Weeds can grow in any depth of soil as we will discuss shortly and at the end of this article in the related “parable of the tares” that immediately follows this parable.
b. “They were scorched” by the Sun.
“And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root…” They can’t handle the real Son (sun). Too much Jesus. People can talk about God all the day long, but when you really start pressing people about their faith, it is Jesus Christ and their relationship to him that matters. If all they talk about is “God,” that can mean any god. When you want to know about Jesus Christ, the real one, they start to wither. Too much Sun, to much Son, too much light. They like to hide under the false light of the their false god. Jesus is the light of the world. He is the resurrection and the light: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The knowledge of God is in the face of Jesus Christ. Period. If I preach the Son too much to you, then you are scorched as well. You can’t get too much of the Son. He is the life of any believer: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).
c. They don’t have any root.
“Yet hath he not root in himself.“ This is proof they aren’t saved. They have no root. Without any true root, you won’t have any branches. Branches usually go out as far as the does the root system. “Ye are the branches.” You must have the root of God in you. Jesus is the root: “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star”(Rev. 22:16); “A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved” (Proverbs 12:3); “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5).
d. They hear the word of God “with joy” and receive it “with gladness.”
“But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it.” Just like the people by the wayside, these people also “hear” the word of God, and they even hear it “with joy” and “with gladness” according to the Mark 4 account. This is why so many are deceived about who is saved. They don’t realize that the word of God tells us that you can hear the word, receive it, have joy about it, and still be lost. Don’t be conned. It is a false joy and a false gladness. Satan can give you both of those rather easily. It doesn’t last, however, as we see next. Their seeming joy turns into being “offended” quickly. It is not real joy and gladness because of their reaction to the word of God. You’ll see why in the next paragraph.
e. They endure “for a while.”
“Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while.” These so-called believers endure for “a while,” but notice what triggers their joy, gladness, and false faith to come to an end: It is persecution for the word of God. See the next paragraph for further details of why they no longer endure.
f. They are offended at the word of God due to persecution, tribulation, and affliction
“…for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” This characteristic is vital for understanding that this group of people are lost. It is vital for understanding why all three groups are lost. They are “offended” at God’s words when they reach the point of persecution for those very words. All Christians will get persecuted for believing that God’s words are his very words. You can easily avoid persecution by telling others that God’s words exist only in lost pieces of paper called original autographs. By doing that, you don’t risk anything. Those “original words” can’t be found, believed, handled, or proven. by any living person. Therefore, you avoid offending others and suffering for believing God’s true words. You believe in an invisible bible that can’t put your faith or others’ faith to the test. That is believing in nothing while you think you believe in something. You are offended when someone like me comes along and puts your lost bible and errant faith to the test. You are offended at someone like me who calls you out for your complete lack of faith in God’s words because you can’t show me a book that you use that is completely God’s words. You get offended when I point out that there is a book of God that doesn’t have errors. You expose your unbelief by doing so.
The main point to remember here is that this group of people is lost and a main characteristic given by Jesus is that they get offended because of their beliefs about the word of God. These people aren’t willing to suffer for the word of God as Christians do and as the apostle John did in Rev. 1:9 when he said he was on the isle of Patmos and banished there “for the word of God…” These people aren’t willing to be persecuted for the word of God; therefore, they don’t believe it though they claimed they did. Remember that this group “heard” the word, received it with joy, and even “believed” for a “while.” The key test was whether they got offended at the persecution and tribulation that comes with believing every word of God is from God’s mouth. They were not prepared to believe that.
h. They produce a plant, but it is a tare
“Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up…” Now something here in these people that is different from the wayside people is that this group actually produces the growth of a plant-something “sprung up.” However, don’t assume that growth means it is a real plant. It is a tare, a weed that has no root. It is a weed that has no ability to produce any real fruit. It is a false Christian. As we will see from the parable of the tares at the end of this article, it grows and looks like the real thing until the very end.
i. The tare withers
“…they withered away.” Another proof that this weed is not a real plant is that it withers. It withers, the Bible said, because it “had no root.” If you don’t have the real root of Jesus in you, you will wither also. It is just a matter of time. You won’t have the ability to endure the heat of the sun or the weather. You will wither and die because you are not a strong plant with a root system and the proper nutrition. One more reason this plant withers is because it had no water of its own. The Luke account says it “lacked moisture.” It is not washed by the water of the word of God. It is lifeless for all practical purposes.
k. They fall away
“…in time of temptation fall away.” The Luke account in Luke 8:13 says, “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. It is “temptation” that causes them to fall away. They cannot endure it as a true child of God can. They have no root of Christ to help them do so.
l. They are compared to the wayside people by use of “likewise”
“And these are they likewise.” A final proof that these people are lost just as the wayside are is Jesus’ comparison of them to the wayside people by his use of the word “likewise” in Mark 4:16: “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness…” These people are similar, very similar, to the wayside people, or Jesus wouldn’t have used the word “likewise.” Since we know the wayside people have been proven to be lost, we now know also that these are lost as well.
3. The Seed Among the Thorns
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: Matthew 13:7
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. Matthew 13:22
Now this third soil, the one among the thorns, appears to go either way as to whether these people are believers. At first glance, these people also “received seed,” they also “heareth the word,” and they also produce a plant as Luke 8 shows us. It is my contention, however, that this group is also lost, and I will show many reasons for it.
a. They are choked by the thorns. They live among the thorns.
These people allow the things of this life to choke the word. They allow and choose for the things of this life to do that very thing. The word of God is not convicting these people, and it is not bringing any change in their lives. I do not see any evidence in this passage that these people were upstanding at one time but then allowed the things of this life to choke them. Christians are new creatures. They are changed men and women. They can fall, but they also get back up. They overcome the world with the word of God and Jesus Christ, and the opposite is not the case. They are not overcome with the world and the cares of it.
b. They yield no fruit
The account in Luke 8 reveals greater details: “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” The fact that this group brings absolutely NO fruit is sufficient evidence they are not saved people. Saved people, at one time or another, will produce fruit. A tree is known by its fruit according to Jesus. The fruits of the Spirit are evident in all Christians no matter what stage they are in. If you can be a Christian and never produce fruit, you would be no different from a heathen.
c. They “sprang up”; thus, they were also tares
This passage implies the same situation that was going on in the stony ground people-they too were a tare, a weed, that appears to look like the real plant planted by God. The fact that this passage said that these people brought no fruit to perfection has to also mean that this was some sort of plant that might bring forth fruit. However, it was not a plant that does bring forth fruit. It was a lost, unsaved group of tares.
d. They hear the word
Like the other two seeds by the wayside and the stony places, this group also hears the word and appear to receive it. Yet the word never produces a true plant. It was not planted in the correct manner by the Father himself who shall root up every plant that grows that he didn’t plant: “…Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). This account is just another example of a tare, a false plant that looks like the real one.
e. They have “care of this world”
The account in Luke 8:14 says this: “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” These people’s main cares are the “care of this world.” Jesus reiterated this when he said in Luke 21:34: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. The apostle John said , “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. The apostle John tell us rather bluntly about these types of people: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16). Because these people are consumed with the cares of this life and appear to love those things more than God, this is strong evidence that this group is also lost.
4. The Seed Into the Good Ground
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Matthew 13:8
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew 13:23
a. They are on “good ground.”
Just because it says that seed fell into good ground does not imply that this people were good to begin with. It was just good ground for planting. It was sufficient ground to bring forth life. It was good enough ground for seed to fall “into” it. This in no way implies that these people were good and holy before receiving the word of God. Scripture sometimes calls a man a “good man” without saying he is a saved man.
b. They bring forth fruit (30, 60, and 90)
Bringing forth fruit is not optional. It will happen with every believer and is a sign of a believer. No fruit is a sign of an unbeliever. The amount of fruit will differ, of course, but the fruit itself has to have developed. If no fruit ever developed, you couldn’t identify if it was a fruit tree at all. Another sign of a believer is that this fruit will have “increased” according to Mark 4:8 of this same account.
c. They receive, hear, and understand the word
This is the only soil or person who receives, hears, and understands the word. It is the only soil that is said to understand the word. That evidence of understanding is one of the main reasons why this soil or person, I believe, is the only one who is saved. No other soil or person is said to understand the word of God even though the others are said to hear it, receive it, and even believe it (for a while).
d. They keep the word
Another reason why this soil represents the only saved people is that these people are said to “keep” his words as it says in the other account in Luke 8:15 “having heard the word, keep it…” David said: “Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word” (Psalm 119:17). Lost people don’t keep the word of God in their hearts or by doing them.
e. They end up having an honest and good heart
This is the only seed where Jesus mentions the “heart” of the people who received the seed. Don’t read this wrong, however. The seed didn’t fall into an honest and good heart. The scripture teaches “having heard the word” the honest and good heart keeps the word. That shows that the heart became honest and good and was not already that way before hearing the words of God. Upon a casual observation of this verse, it could be taught the other way around, and Calvinists would jump on that because they teach that God gives a heart to believe first and then you hear his words. This scripture does not teach that but sounds that way unless you look at it closely. The word “having” shows an action that has already taken place. These people already had possession of the word of God in their souls, and by “having” it, they now have an honest and good heart. It’s a little tricky, but it’s right. You do not get a good heart without conversion, so this in no way could teach that this soil or heart had a good heart before ever hearing the word which itself gives a new heart. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jeremiah 15;16); “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter” (Romans 2:29). “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). The main point is that these people get a new heart, as opposed to the other three of whom nothing is said about their hearts because they obviously didn’t get a new one.
f. They have patience
“…and bring forth fruit with patience” Last of all, these people on this good ground have patience with the fruit they produce: “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). These people have patience with their fruit developing, a true sign of a believer. “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses…” (2 Cor. 6:4).
Notice from all four accounts how the seed, or the word of God, fell and where it fell. The word fell “BY the wayside,” “UPON stony places,” “AMONG the thorns,” and lastly, “INTO good ground.” The word of God fell “by, upon, among, and into” all four soils. All these soils were the hearts of men. The word, then, fell BY, UPON, and AMONG the first three’s hearts. It didn’t penetrate their hearts if it fell “by” them. It didn’t penetrate their hearts if it fell “upon” them. It didn’t penetrate their hearts if it fell “among” them. It only penetrated the soil and their hearts in the fourth person where it said specifically the seed fell INTO good ground. Don’t pass over those words lightly, my dear reader. The Lord put that in there specifically for those who study his words. The seed of the word of God has to go INTO you and will go INTO you when you truly believe it. “The entrance of thy words giveth light.” It will bring forth fruit to perfection and you will understand it. Jesus only called one soil “good ground.” The others were, obviously, not good ground and not suitable for planting. If you are on the “wayside,” you will get run over. It is a place of travel and not a garden. If you are on the stony places, you will never develop a root though you may produce a tare, a false plant. If you are among thorns, you will never produce a plant either, for you will be choked out. Only in the good ground can you bring forth a plant that produces fruit. If you produce no fruit, you are not a plant. Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up, Jesus said. There are plenty of things that look like plants, and they are called tares. Jesus said what he would do with the tares in the next parable of the tares. He would bundle them up to be burned.
Make no mistake about these four types of people described by the parable of the sower. Three of them are lost, thoughÂ those three seem as if they could be saved. These three soils or people have multiple characteristics of saved people-they hear the word of God; they receive the word of God; they put it THEMSELVES in their hearts; they grow and produce plants. However, they have no understanding of the word; they bring forth no fruit whatsoever; they don’t get a new heart. If you were planted with good seed on good ground, you will hear the word, receive the word, keep the word, understand the word, bring forth fruit in multiple amounts, have patience, and not be consumed with the cares of this life. They receive an honest and good heart as a result of all of the deep planting and fully receiving the word of God that involved them hearing, receiving, keeping, understanding, believing and loving the word of God. Because of those things, this last person produced a fruit-bearing plant and was a true Christian.
If you have learned anything from this parable, it should be this: False brethren are many times hard to recognize because they produce things similar to true brethren. But in the long run, Jesus told us what to look for. Christians shouldn’t simply disagree here with my premise that only one of these people described by Jesus was saved just becauseÂ Christians see these similar characteristics in saved people who aren’t necessarily mature. I am not denying that there are immature Christians who will look like seeds one through three. But if those people are Christians at all, the characteristics of seed number 4 will show itself right away. This parable should show us the stark reality of a lost church world who comes across as Christians at times but who lacks the depth of soil, the root of Jesus, the love of the word of God, the understanding, the fruitfulness, and the patience of a true believer.
January 21st, 2008 at 5:46 pm