INTRO: This morning I want us to think together about one of the very familiar parables of Jesus. It is often called the parable of the sower. However, would a better way to identify it be the parable of the soils? In the parable we can find a number of important truths. And as ancient as it is and as unfamiliar to our urban ears as it is, the truths and lessons are as obvious and contemporary as they were when they were spoken by the Lord.
I. SOME OF THE ELEMENTS HERE:
A. The sower
1. anyone who spreads the seed - ... went forth to sow
2. a person accepting responsibility - could be you!
B. The seed
1. according to v.19 the word of the kingdom
2. Lk 8:11 says it is the word of God
C. The soils
1. a variety of soils: wayside - stony places - weedy - good
2. as the parable develops, we see the soil is the seat of understanding - the mind - the heart (v.19)
D. The results
1. certainly, the results of sowing varied
2. no impression at all ... Jno 12:39,40
3. no lasting impression ... Jno 6:66
4. no fruitful impression ... 2 Tim 4:10
5. good soil - good results ... 1 Thes 1:5-8
III. BUT WE HAVE SOME QUESTIONS
A. Was the seed defective in some cases?
1. after all, productions was limited
2. in todays agriculture one might suspect bad seed
3. ah, but in this case no way - the seed is Gods word ... this is the word of truth (Jno 17:17)
B. Was the sower at fault for limited harvest?
1. certainly, he is a key participant here
2. but we are told he did sow the seed ... and it would appear he sowed bountifully
3. so, we see this sower as effective, responsible
C. So, what was wrong? where was the fault?
1. it was the soil! it was the hearts which received the word of God
2. there is personal responsibility for the manner of hearing!
3. Acts 17:32-34 no great response
4. 1 Cor 1:23-26 good seed - effective sowing - but limited response
5. each hearer makes a choice
D. There are ...
1. people who want nothing to do with the word (Acts 7:57)
2. people who are temporarily excited by it - but who are not willing to pay the price (Lk 14:27-30)
3. people who permit the cares and pleasures of life to interfere with the working of the word in their lives so much potential so little devotion (Lk 8:14)
4. this is reality
E. But we must go forth to sow anyway!
1. because there will be those who will hear well
2. and they will be influenced to do what is right
3. recall Lk 15:7,10 the value of one soul!!
CLOSE: Having said all of this, though, I want to ask you ... which soil describes you? I am especially concerned about that third kind of soil. Does it describe too many Christians?
Cecil A. Hutson
16 June 2002
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)