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Parable of the Sower- Shofar eBook, Ch. 6 Good Ground Christians and Conclusion

GOOD GROUND CHRISTIANS

The parable of the Sower is the most important parable to study because it reveals why there will be a comparatively small group of Christians who will hear the word of God and do God’s will, and the reasons why this will be so.  The  faithful and fruitful believers serving the Lord at His Coming will likely be few in number, rather than many.

“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.”   (Mt 13:23)

“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’. The Amplified Bible says, ‘But as for that (seed) in the good soil, these are (the people) who, hearing the Word, hold it fast in a just (noble, virtuous) and worthy heart, and steadily bring forth fruit with patience.”   (Luke 8:15) 

“..work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  (Philippians 2:12)                                                                      

After Jesus told the parable of the sower, He said,

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”
(Mt 13:9,18; Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8).

Why would Jesus say, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear?”  Everyone has ears and can hear, but not everyone UNDERSTANDS what they have heard. Jesus expounded on His Words to His disciples and said of them, “blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear”  (Mt 13:16).  Jesus said, “Take heed therefore how you hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have” (Luke 8:18).

Good Ground Christians are humble with ‘an honest and good heart’; they take God’s Word seriously, understand it and apply it to their lives; they reverence God and His Word.  Their lives reflect good moral character and spiritual fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). They provide a good testimony and produce fruitfulness in their lives, bringing no reproach to the name of the Lord. They live by this:

“For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and   truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”   (Eph 5:9-11).

CONCLUSION OF THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
The parables are called the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven or God. We have a king whose name is Jesus and He has a kingdom that will soon be established upon the earth. It is called the millennial kingdom, a thousand years of peace that will follow the kingdom laws Jesus preached about. He taught about the kingdom of heaven in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt chap 5-7), and in His other teachings. The kingdom of heaven is mentioned 32 times, only in the book of Matthew, while the kingdom of God is found 69 times, only in the New and not in the Old Testament. The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are both the same kingdom that Jesus proclaimed!

In the parable of the Sower there three groups that are no worse than the other– the wayside, stony, and thorny ground Christians. They all are the deceived or backslidden Christians– make-believers or unbelievers, backsliders, compromisers, hypocrites, lukewarm and such like. Most think that because they go to church or that because they are in a church, they are or will be saved. This also speaks of members of every religious group and denomination. The Bible says except they are born again they will neither see or enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-8). This is why the gospel of the kingdom must be preached! We are given the responsibility to reach our families, friends and others with the gospel, and also to intercede for them in our prayers, that God will move in their lives and the Holy Spirit will bring them under conviction of sin.  Many do not realize that they are on the broad way“that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Mt 7:13). If we don’t warn them, those who are deceived by their self-assurance and who are satisfied with their level of spirituality will have a rude awakening when they are not received into the kingdom of God! Ezekiel 3:18-20 tells us that if we don’t warn the wicked, the backslider or lukewarm Christian, everything good that they ever did will not be counted, but their blood will be on our hands! That is why we must ‘Sound the Shofar!’

SUMMARY AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
The parable of the Sower illustrates the importance of receiving God’s Word into our hearts and becoming fruitful Christians, worthy of having a place in God’s kingdom. We learned from this parable how people handle the Word when they receive it, how long they kept the Word before it was forgotten or what made them lose interest in God’s Word. And we learned that Christians can be identified as belonging to basically one of 4 groups, with the Good Ground Christians numbering only one out of four Christians, according to this parable.

What is the main reason for lack of commitment in our faith walk?
The main reason is LACK OF FAITH. In Romans 10:17, it tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Thus,
NO WORD, NO FAITHLITTLE WORD, LITTLE FAITHMUCH WORD,GREAT FAITH! Our Christian walk requires us to believe and be obedient to the Word of God, and this will determine whether or not we will be found acceptable to God.

Jesus said, regarding the parable of the Sower,

“Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know ALL parables?” (Mark 4:13)

This points out the importance of studying the parable of the Sower  because it unlocks the understanding to all of the other parables that Jesus taught! In a brief overview of some of the parables, it can be seen that God is going to sort or separate out unacceptable Christians in a number of ways. The following parables and others should be studied. The parables are found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but none in the gospel of John.  Here are some of them:

  • Parable of Fig Tree Relating to the Way Side, Stony, and Thorny Ground Christians;
  • Parable of the Tares- True and Counterfeit Christians;
  • Parable of Dragnet in the Sea- Good and Bad Christians;
  • Parable of Faithful and Unprofitable Servant- Fruitful and Unfruitful;
  • Parable of Rich Man and Beggar- Thorny Ground Christians;
  • Parable of Rich Young Ruler- Thorny Ground Christians;
  • Parable of Ten Virgins- Wise and Foolish Christians;
  • Parable of Talents- Good-Faithful Servant and Unprofitable  Servant;
  • Parable of Hidden Treasure- Good Ground Christian;
  • Parable of Pearl of Great Price- Good Ground Christian;
  • Parable of Mustard Seed- Good Ground Christian.

(This ends Chapter 6 from ‘Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times’ eBook)

Further recommended reading:

Mt 7:13- 29 These scriptures detail who will go to heaven, how to tell the true leaders and disciples from the false ones.

Rev 3:15-22  Description of apostate church of end times, neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm (the Way Side, Stony, and Thorny Ground Christians) and will be rejected by God.

(Next- Chapter 7  WATCHMEN ON THE WALL)

Parable of the Sower- Shofar eBook, Chap. 6 (con’t)

We are on Chapter 6 where the hearers of the Word of God had the Word stolen away by Satan.  They are the Way Side Christians which comprise the majority of Christians today; they are also considered ‘nominal’ Christians by some, but by the conclusion of this study, they will be seen to be ‘marginal’ Christians as well.  For now we will continue with-

STONY GROUND CHRISTIANS
This second group has the seed of the Word of God sown into stony ground and,

“.. 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” (Luke 8:13).

There is no soil to grow in, thus no roots. That’s why the prophet Hosea said, “break up your fallow ground” (Hosea 10:12) It is impossible for anything good to come from stony ground. In the parable of the fig tree, Jesus described men as being like trees needing the soil turned, fertilized, branches pruned, etc. Time was given for it to have healthy growth, but if after all that was done and still a tree bore no fruit, then it would be cut down (Luke 13:6-9).

Simply stated, Stony Ground Christians are shallow Christians. The Bible says that those in this group of Christians initially receive the Word of God with joy, but then because of trouble or persecution that arises over the Word, they allow doubt and confusion, fear and intimidation to cause them to distrust and reject the Word (Mt 13:21 paraphrased). How could they receive the Word with joy, then reject it? In Jesus’ day, thousands of people followed Him when they liked what they heard and saw. They liked seeing and being a part of the miracles He performed, but when they found some of His teachings too difficult to accept, they stopped following Him.

John 6:66 states,

“From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with Him.”

In the Bible, hard or stony hearts are also related to rebellion, stubbornness, disobedience, and spiritual blindness (Eph 4:18; Job 41:24; Isaiah 30:9). Samuel, the prophet/judge told King Saul,

“rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” 
(1 Sam 15:23).

Stony ground Christians include ‘religious’ people who hold on stubbornly to only what they want to believe, or what they have been taught to believe. They are self-righteous and hypocritical in that they believe they know everything they think they should know, and there’s nothing more you can tell them, i.e. they’re right and you’re wrong. They are proud and have unteachable spirits. Their hearts are hardened.

They often follow customs, church traditions, rituals, etc. and are legalistic in their doctrines. Many Stony Ground Christians have also remade God and the Bible palatable to what they feel is acceptable to them. Many churches have compromised the Word of God with unscriptural teachings that God is a God of Love and not of Judgment, and have caused schisms in their own denominations, e.g. with some stubbornly rejecting the idea that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to God. They are spiritually blind, and are resistant to truth even to the point of provocation and violence.

It was the religious people of Jesus’ day, the scribes and Pharisees, who thought they knew everything and did everything properly, who resisted the teachings of Jesus vehemently and did not acknowledge Him as the Son of God, and finally put Him to death. Today, Stony Ground Christians are some church leaders, who can be compared with the Pharisees of Jesus’ days, who did not enter into the kingdom of God; neither did they let others to enter in also! They lead the pack in this rebellious generation today in rejecting God and His Word! They are not open to the guidance and teachings of the Holy Spirit and divide the body of Christ, bringing reproach to God and His Word, and are a major stumbling block to the unsaved (Mt 23:13).

(next- Thorny Ground Christians)