Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Some Seeds Spring Up Fast and Then Die Quickly

"'A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some of the seed fell along the path, and were trodden down, and the wild birds ate them up. Another portion of them fell upon the rock, and as soon as they sprang up, they withered, because they had no moisture. Still another portion fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with them and choked them out. And another portion fell in rich soil and grew and yielded a crop of a hundredfold.' As He said this, He exclaimed, 'Let him who has ears to hear with, listen!'"
(Luke 8.5-8)

Yesterday we examined the first soil which represented people who don't understand the gospel and aren't concerned with it. Today we will consider the second soil...

2. The Folks Who Check In Then Check Out

As we saw in the last post, Jesus didn't paint a rosy picture of Christianity but, rather, a realistic one. This second group of believers didn't consider what Jesus may cost them--and the price may be costly.

Jesus comments on this type of believers:

"The portion of them on the rock illustrates those who accept the message, bubbling over with joy when they first hear it, but it takes no real root. They believe for awhile, but in the time of testing they fall away." (Luke 8.13)

Matthew's parallel of this account records this:

"And what was sown upon the thin rocky soil illustrates the man who hears the message and bubbling over with joy at once accepts it, but it takes no real root in him, and he lasts only a little while, and just as soon as suffering and persecution come for the truth's sake, he at once yields and falls." (Mat 13.20-21)

Jesus never promised an easy life; sometimes people are punished for doing right, not wrong. In fact, the Apostle Peter went so far as to say that if anyone is going to suffer punishment as a Christian then it should be unfair and not because he deserved it!
(1 Peter 4.12-16)

Jesus didn't want half-hearted disciples; he warned people to count the cost before deciding to follow him (Luke 14.25-35). Concerning part of Luke 14.28, Clarke observes in his Commentary:

"This parable represents the absurdity of those who undertook to be disciples of Christ, without considering what difficulties they were to meet with, and what strength they had to enable them to go through with the undertaking. He that will be a true disciple of Jesus Christ shall require no less than the mighty power of God to support him; as both hell and earth will unite to destroy him."

Yes, I do believe this second group of believers were true Christians at one time yet they forfeited their salvation by denying their Lord.

When one receives the Lord he should receive God with joy...but he should receive God with open eyes and a clear head, too.

He who has ears to hear...