Posted by Shofar/Liz
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)
Tags: Compromisers, Disobedient, Hypocrites, Legalistic Christians, Marginal Christians, Nominal Christians, Parable of the Sower, Rebellious, Satan, Self Righteous, Spiritual Blindness, Stony Hearts, Stubbornness, Thorny Ground Christians, Way Side Christians
Posted by Shofar/Liz
Psalm 100 A Psalm of Praise
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
See ‘Categories’ on Side Bar or under ‘ABOUT’ for previous chapters- ‘From Journal and Shofar eBook’
CHAPTER 3- THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD, Part I:
- LOVE GOD, LOVE HIS WORD
- GOD’S WORD BUILDS FAITH
- WHY WE NEED TO STUDY THE BIBLE
- THE WORD OF GOD AS OUR WEAPON- Part II
God has given us a powerful weapon so that we can “resist the devil and he will flee from us” (James 4:7).
Read Ephesians 6:10-18 about the description of the WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD which every believer must have to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
The Apostle Paul says,
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”… verses 10-11
He describes who we are fighting with, which is the devil, Satan, and how to arm ourselves with the last and most important piece that completes the armour:
...”the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” vs 17
Without a weapon we cannot face our enemy; without knowing how to use it, we don’t stand a chance in a battle! King Saul, who stood head and shoulders above everyone, and his soldiers would not challenge Goliath. It took a brave shepherd boy with only a slingshot and 5 stones, who knew His God and skillfully wielded his weapon, to bring down the fearsome Goliath! Knowing the importance of our weapon is highlighted in Judges 7 when God chooses His army to fight the Midianites. God whittled down an army of 32,000 to 10,000 men, letting all the ‘fearful and afraid’ go home, then puts the rest to a ‘drinking water’ test. The lappers are separated from the non-lappers. There were 9,700 men who set their weapons down, got down on their knees and drank water with both hands.
Judges 7:6 says,
“And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.”
The Word of God is the believer’s ‘sword of the Spirit’, his weapon in spiritual battles so that we can “resist the devil and he will flee from us” (James 4:7). No one goes into battle without a weapon or not knowing how his weapon works!
The Word of God Brings Conviction
The Word of God has CONVICTING POWER as described in Hebrews 4:12-13:
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power (making it active, operative, energizing, and effective); it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and the (immortal) spirit, and of joints and marrow ( of the deepest parts of our nature), exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (AMP Bible).
A simplistic explanation of the power of God’s Word is that whether God is speaking to us, or we are speaking His Words, the very Words of God will bring conviction on the hearers which will ultimately draw them closer to God, or cause them to step back. From God’s perspective, it is either full acceptance of His Word or rejection of the ‘thus saith the Lord’. This demonstrates how the Word of God is a two-edged sword that brings out the humility or rebellion in man to accept God’s Word for what it is. As such it could be said that God’s Word DIVIDES AND SEPARATES the righteous from the unrighteous, the holy from the unholy, the lovers of the kingdom of God from the lovers of the world, the lovers of God’s Word and the corrupters of God’s Word, sheep from goats, wheat from tares, believers from unbelievers and make believers, the hot from the cold and compromisers, etc. Is it no wonder then that Jesus said in Luke 12:51, “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;” (New American Standard Bible)
And John 7:43 says, “So there arose a division and dissension among the people concerning him” (AMP Bible). And it continues today.
We Will Be Judged By God’s Word
It is God’s Word that will judge us. How many believe Jesus when He said,
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: THE WORD that I have spoken, the same SHALL JUDGE him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” (John 12:48)
In Psalms 138:2b it says, …”Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name”. GOD’S WORD reveals Who He is, which is more than or higher than all of His attributes or names combined together!
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD”. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. Jesus was in the Beginning and in Revelation, at the End of time, in the final war at Armageddon in the valley of Megiddo (Rev 16:16). He returns to earth on a white horse with His armies.
Rev 19:13 ‘And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD.
Ps 19:10 David writes,
“… (His Word is) more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them (His laws, commandments) is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward”.
Tags: Conviction, God's Army, God's Word Divides and Separates, Great Reward, humility or rebellion, Judged by God's Word, King Saul and David and Goliath, Powerful weapon, Resisting the devil, Satan, spiritual warfare, Sword of the Spirit, two-edged sword