The Parable of the Soils (Sower)
Contained therein is the parable of the soils, which is also referred to as the parable of the sower. Probably calling it the parable of the soils is more fitting, because what happened had much more to do with the soils into which the seed fell than anything the sower did.
The sowers of the Gospel are sent out simply to sow. The power is not in the messenger. In fact, Paul said (I Corinthians 3: 6) that he planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. The messengers (preachers) are commanded to be ready to preach on an instant's notice (II Timothy 4: 1-5), but they are not commanded to "get results." Noah was a preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2: 5), but he did not have a single convert in a hundred years.
The first group of hearers were those for whom the seed fell by the wayside. Preaching the Gospel can be like that. It could be said that they never really hear it. It is within the sound of their voices, but the word is snatched away before it has any chance to take root. Given that the path to becoming a Christian is to hear (Romans 10: 17), believe (Romans 10: 17, Hebrews 11: 6), repent (Acts 2: 38, Acts 3: 19), confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10: 32, 33; Acts 8: 37), and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2: 38, Acts 22: 16), this first group gets cut off before the hearing can ever really take place. Many of this group cut off their own hearing because they sense that hearing God's word will lead them to repentance, and they love the sin so much that they don't even want to start down that road.
Ignorance of God's word is no excuse. See Acts 17: 30-"And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent."
The second group was those for whom the seed fell into shallow soil. They may have obeyed the Gospel, and in fact at one time had their names written into the book of life in Revelation 20: 11-15. But then they turned away. They didn't continue with a very firm resolve to keep living the Christian way. They needed to read II Peter 2: 17-22 to heed the warnings about turning back. These will not be saved.
The third group may be like a lot of people we know. They become Christians and their conversions were real. They may have continue for 5, 8, 10 years. But gradually they allowed Satan to come back into their lives. Satan has three main ways that he does this-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2: 15-17). Truly "Let him who thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall" I Corinthians 10: 12. Eventually their lives get so choked with worldly things-things that, if viewed one at a time, might appear harmless-that they no longer have time for Christ. They will still be lost.
The fourth group make up the few of Matthew 7: 13, 14. They receive the word gladly. They begin with a firm resolve to stay with it. They keep Satan in check so that he does not take over their lives. And, they lead others to Christ as well. These are the ones that are saved. They are who we need to be like.
We hope that by visiting this website, you have been blessed.
Sid Womack, webmaster
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