From: Ron T.
Date: Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 9:46 PM
Subject: Parable of the Soils
To: Joseph Peck
I wanted share my thoughts on an important Parable of Jesus – The Parable of the Soils (Mat 13:1-23). I firmly believe our churches today are filled with many who only have an outward profession of faith and have never surrendered their lives to the Lord. Jesus spoke about this in His message to the Church at Laodicea. The Laodiceans thought they were rich and need of nothing, but were actually spiritually blind, naked and poor; not having the righteousness of Christ (Rev 3:17-18). That sounds a lot like the spiritual condition of our nation today. Perhaps the Lord may use this as a spark for revival!
In the Parable of the Soils we can see how the Word and the Spirit interact in the lives of men with the goal of leading leading them towards repentance, surrender and faith in Christ. In this parable, I believe we can also see the reasons why some do not come to a saving faith, despite the illuminating and convicting work of the Holy Sprit.
(1) The seed that falls along the path are those with a callous, unrepentant heart. It describes those whose hearts are hardened by sin, blinded by the devil and his worldly system. Their spiritual perception is clouded by the hardness of their own hearts and are easily led astray. (Jn 3:20).
(2) The seed that falls among the rocky soil (shallow heart) are those who only make an outward profession of faith and never follow-through in obedience to our Lord’s commands. Their faith is not rooted in obedience to Christ; it’s only superficial and therefore they never come to repentance. They are only hearers of the word and not doers of the word. They are like the foolish builder who built his house upon the sand and not on the rock (Mat 7:24-27). When their faith is tested, it falters and does not endure, because it has no foundation.
(3) The seed that falls among the thorns are professing believers whose have a divided heart and never surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Although they may be moving toward obedience, they are not willing to count the costs. They are like the rich young ruler, who when confronted by Christ to surrender all, went away sad, because the cost was too great.
(4) The seed that falls on the good ground are those who have responded in faith by obedience, repented of their sin and surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Their yield of fruit is proportional to the degree which they live the Christian life under the submission, influence and control of ,the Holy Sprit.
In conclusion, we know that salvation is a work of grace initiated by God, but it also involves the mind, emotion and will of man. Man must die to both sin and self. In the first three scenarios, man when confronted by the Spirits’s illumination and conviction, appears to harden his heart in response to God’s revelation by refusing to surrender his will to God’s will and therefore never comes to a saving faith.
God is longsuffering and not willing that any should perish, but does appear to have limit on the amount of time that he extends his grace towards an unrepentant sinner (Lk 13:8-9). When we consider professing believers who are within this widow of grace (scenarios 2 and 3), we can begin to understand the passages of scripture that warn about falling away (such as found in Heb 2:1, 6, 10:38-39). It’s not that they loose their salvation, they just do not believe while they can still hear the voice of the Spirit’s call and never come to a saving faith.
To God be the Glory!
Mt 13:1-23 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Rev 3:17-18 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ –and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
Jn 3:20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
Mt 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Lk 13:8-9 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'”
Heb 2:1,6 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away… But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him?
Heb 10:38-39 “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”
Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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