Five weeks ago the Lord lead me to write about His parable, “The Parable of the Soils”, this is the sixth and final installment. The first five are:
1. Soils and Hearts – Introduction
2. Can't Hear Won't Hear – the first soil
3. Self-Interest Conversion – the second soil
4. The Double Minded – the third soil
5. Extraordinary or Should I Say Extreme – the fourth soil
“The Parable of the Soils” is found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, I have been writing about the account of Mark 4:1-20. Today I would like to talk about two things, two frustrations and why this parable is the answer.
I write this blog for two reasons; out of obedience to my Lord and out of love for my neighbor. The world as you see it will soon end, I don’t know the time or the date but I do know that time is running out, the world is condemned, it has been marked for a Day of Judgment that is coming and once that Day arrives it will be too late. Even so each person living isn’t even guaranteed their next breathe much less years and once you take your last breath you will face a Holy and Just God in Judgment. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Every single one of us born of the seed of the first man Adam received the sin gene, none of us can say that we are without sin, it is our nature from birth and this world does not help, we are constantly bombarded with temptation daily. “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God is Holy and hates sin, He can’t look upon sin and will cast out all who break His laws, which leaves us in a bad place because we have all broken His laws, but the good news is while God hates sin He loves us and has provided a way to redeem sinful man. What we deserve for breaking the laws of our creator is death, “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death” (Romans 6:21), while what we deserve is death God offers us the free gift eternal life through His son Jesus Christ for all who believe, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Salvation is by the Grace of God alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. The people asked Jesus what works should they do and He told them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29). That is why I write, I write to warn of the wrath of God to come and to tell people about the salvation that comes through faith in God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ.
Now that brings up my two frustrations and God revealed to me the answer to those frustrations through His “Parable of the Soils”. My first frustration is this; I know that God’s wrath is coming and that there is a Way of escaping His wrath and that Way is Jesus Christ, so I daily tell people about that Way, the only Way. It seems as though no one is listening or at least very few. It’s like standing near a railroad track and you see people milling about on the tracks laughing and playing and I see a train bearing down on them, I plead with them to get off the tracks and they don’t listen, I write them letters and they don’t listen and yet the train and their demise draws closer and closer. They will either yell at you and be angry at you saying you are full of hate or just wave you off as though you said nothing not believing there is a train even coming. Some may listen and head the warning get off the tracks but before you can even give thanks they’re back on the tracks again. Some hear the warning and agree that a train is coming but they enjoy the tracks and therefore refuse to get off. Then there is a small few that head the warning, but it seems so few.
This is what God has shown me through this parable and what I should do. “The Parable of the Soils” was written for believers not unbelievers. The Lord knew His people, those who believe would be His witnesses and He told us this parable so that we would know what to expect. I know I am a sower, “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow” (Mark 4:3), “The sower sows the word” (Mark 4:14). Nothing significant is said about the sower, the sowers one and only job is to spread seed and the seed is the word of God. It is not mine to save, that is God’s, my job is just to spread the word, sow the word. I don’t need to worry about where or who I sow the word in I’m just to do it, broadcast the word wherever and to whom ever I can. I can’t make anyone listen, I can’t make anyone believe that is God’s alone. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). How awesome is it that the God of Creation who could do whatever He wants chooses us, His people to spread His word? I for one count myself as privileged to do so, it is God’s will that I spread His word and it is His word that I will spread until He takes me to His glory in Heaven. Jesus said after His resurrection, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
My second frustration is the church, yes you heard me right the church. It is through this parable that the Lord has brought me to understanding and has relieved me of this frustration. The Bible tells us that, those who are in Jesus Christ are born again, “most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). That God has given them a new heart and that the old has passed away, they are new creations, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and He has given His Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation, “who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:22). Now I ask you. If one is born again, is a new creation, and has the Spirit of God in their heart, would you not expect to see a dramatic transformation in their lives? Seriously, we are talking about the Spirit of God? There are so many in the church, involved in pornography, adultery, getting divorces, filled with anger and hatred, filled with selfishness and the wrath of man, never speaking of the Lord outside of the walls of a church. They will come to church services singing praise songs and go out and live as though they are of the world and they are in fact the world. But then there are others who are completely transformed, sinless no, but so much different it is extraordinary. They love their neighbor and love the Lord even more, they love to speak of Him often and do so all the time. How is it that these two can exist together in the church and on the surface look the same but inside are so different. The answer is in “The Parable of the Soils”. Four differing soils or hearts with four differing reactions to the seed of the Word; two are not in the church and two are left in the church together. The first soil never hears, the second soil hears comes into the church for a while but in times of trials departs; but the last two soils remain one hears the gospel and comes into the church but remains caught up in the world, the other hears the gospel and repents (casts the world aside). Jesus said to His disciples in private, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables” (Mark 4:13). This one parable is the key to unlocking the meaning of many of the other parables. At the end of this parable we are left with two in the church; the true convert and the false living side by side. “The parable of the Wheat and Tares” (Matthew 13:24-30) the true and false living side by side until the harvest where the tares are burned and the wheat is gathered into the barn, “The parable of the dragnet” (Matthew 13:47-50) the dragnet is the church caught in the dragnet are the good fish and the bad fish, the good fish are collected into vessels the bad are thrown away, “The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins” (Matthew 25:1-13), when the bridegroom came (when Christ returned) the wise went in with Him and the foolish were left outside in darkness, “The Sheep and the Goats” (Matthew 25:32- 46) The Son of Man separated the sheep to an eternal kingdom with Christ and the Goats to an everlasting fire. And there are many more, the point is until Christ returns the church will be filled with both true and false converts living side by side, does this cause problems? Of course it does but it is just the same.
What am I to do about this, what are we to do? Preach the Word of God, as a sower spreads seed we are to spread the Word of God to everyone. Preachers never assume when you preach that you are preaching to the brethren alone in every congregation no matter how large or small, there are both true and false converts, both the saved and condemned living together. So join me brothers and sisters let us be sowers; spreading the Word of God that there is salvation from sin in Jesus Christ for all who “Repent and believe alone in God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ”.
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ