The True Christian
By Nick Bibile
Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit a hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, 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.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 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 above is called the parable of the sower. Note the audience that Jesus is speaking to; these people did not come from one town but from every city, which means there was a huge crowd. Jesus looking at the crowd sees them in a spiritual way, as he sees their hearts like the soil of the earth, and they are different people from different towns, so are the peoples hearts are compared in this parable to different soils. In this parable there is the seed, there is a sower, a different soil and a field. The sower has a field, and this field cannot be compared to the fields we have today, Jesus is speaking not from the western or English customs view but from the Eastern countries perspective. This is a typical countryside village. There is a field, and there are footpaths, in the field where people cross the field to another location, these are like short cuts.
The sower is the one who preach the gospel, the one who witness. He is the instrument of God. The seed is the Word of God, this seed does not belong to the preacher but it is given to him by his divine Master. Then he goes in his Master's name and scatters the seed in the field. This is the work of the true Christian. The soil is the heart of men. He does not know which is the best soil; we are speaking from a spiritual perspective, as the Minister of the gospel does not know who will be saved. In the same way the Sower from the spiritual perspective does not know which soil is the best, if he knew he would have put all his seeds there. But not knowing the hearts of men, it is his business to be obedient to his Master's Command, in preaching the gospel to all ethnic people, to all nations. He scatters the seed, preaches the gospel, give the word of the Lord, and he has to leave the seed in the care of the Lord, his Master who gave it to him. The sower is not responsible for the harvest. (Matthew 9:38 God is the Lord of the Harvest) He is only accountable to the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19-20)
God uses the true Christian as his instrument in taking the gospel out, one will plant the seed and the other will water for the seed to grow. Apostle Paul said,
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
God will get the increase, as he is the Lord of the harvest, the seed belongs to him, the instruments belong to him too.
The true Christians work is not going to be measured by his hearers or by the standard of the world. According to the standard of the modern church there are many radio and TV preachers who are very popular among the people. But our duty is not measured by the character of what people say, but by God's commandment. The modern church will look outwardly and say, wow! Look at the crowds, in this church and see how many are coming forward to receive Christ! But from God's perspective we are to preach the gospel whether men will hear or not, and be obedient to the commandment of God rather than to the opinion of men.
In this parable there are four classes of People. These four classes are divided to four different soils. And we will observe them in order.
1. "Some fell on the wayside and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it."
Now there are many who fall into this category. There are many who say they are Christians by name only, and they go to church on Sunday as a tradition. They do not know their intentions of coming to church. They do not intend on worshipping God. They are "hearers only" The seed is on the path, and they are like the path on the field, that path never intended to be a cornfield. There is a lot of traffic on this path, as many travel by foot and the seed is beaten by continual traffic daily, Satan and his demons are constantly passing over your heart, with all kinds of lies, lusts, pride, greediness and worldliness. This seed have no time to settle in and get rooted as it gets trampled by the busy feets. You have no time to settle in the Lord and find rest in the Lord in his word, in prayer and witnessing, as you are busy all the time. You are busy in working at your job, with your children, shopping, schoolwork, gossiping, watching TV, taking care of your home, and the only time you open your Bible is at church, the only time you pray is in the church because you are crowded with other things. The priorities are incorrect.
Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
The problem is not the seed, but the soil, the heart. These people do not take the wrath of God seriously, they do not take the seriousness of sin, the confession of sin and the future state of their souls, but they take all the other things seriously. My Children are more important, my job is more important, my shopping is important, doing the laundry is more important. Yes, we all have to do these things and they are important but the priorities are incorrect as you seek all the other things first and last the Kingdom of God. They are only hearers, they hear sermon after sermon but their hearts are like the path, very hard as it is trodden down by many feet, their hearts are like iron, surely we can tame wild beasts and convert these wild beasts into disciplined loving animals but we cannot convert these hard hearted souls as they are busy bodies for the devil.
Oh! Hearers how sad for the word of God to shine on your face and yet to be blinded to it. So this seed is exposed to the birds of the air, to the devil as he is called the "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:2) At the end this seed is devoured by the devil. The devil can set his plans with his legions of demons, and he can use your own husband, wife, children, friends, enemies, boss, co-workers, customers, creditors and anyone to carry out his plan for your destruction. This precious seed becomes the devil's meat.
May the Lord have mercy on you and break your hearts, how you need to cry out to God and ask him to plough your hard heart and melt it with the precious blood of Jesus.
2. "Some fell on rock, and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture."
These are the ones not only they hear the word of God, but they are impressed by it. In this field there are rocks as the farmers did not have the hi technology to remove the rocks. If you look closely on the rocks they are all not smooth shaped but worn of and like holes here and there and water can lodge there. The seed that fell into one of these rocks can spring up because of the little water but then when the sun beats up, the rock gets hot and the water will dry up and if the heat continues without rain that seed will dry up and die.
These second classes of people have hard hearts too, like a rock, but they gets impressed by the word of God and they can weep. You can preach the terrors of the Law or the Love of the cross and they can get impressed and will rejoice in their hearts. They appear to have genuine faith, joyful in the Lord; they get excited and love to talk of their excitement. This seed is safe as long as the moisture is there, but as soon as the it gets beat up with the continuous heat of the sun, you will see the difference of the seed.
These people when they get beat up with trials, hardship and difficulties they cannot stand up in the Lord because they have no root. They are the ones who will commit suicide, leave the wife or the husband for another man or a woman, then later on forget Christianity because I got burned; it is better to be in the world. Remember the seed settled in the rock and the rock cannot be ploughed. There is no conviction, the Law of God is not preached, and instead there is easy evangelism. God has a wonderful plan for you, accept Jesus repeats this prayer and you will be saved type evangelism. How many people have accepted Jesus in this fashion and where are they now? Only time will show if they are true Christians are not. They begin the race fast then they are gone off the tracks fast. They fall during the time of temptation.
They have no root.
Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.
These people are not rooted in Christ, not rooted in strong doctrine, good theology; they do not study and search the word of God as they rely on the Pastor for everything. They get in caught with all kinds of doctrine and when they face the enemy head on they becomes the victims of the enemy. When Jesus was encountered by the enemy he used the Word of God.
All are going to be tempted by the devil and his demons. You will be tempted in all kinds of lusts, when you are tempted are you going to entertain your mind and the hearts with the temptation? These people will do. They will say, yes I will rebuke the devil and conquer him. But later we see them in the hands of the devil. When temptations come realize that you are powerless and do not be so prideful of your power as the enemy can rip you off with his deception. Flee from temptation! Fall down on your knees and pray hard asking God that you are weak, and ask for his grace, then you will see that when you are weak, you can become strong in the Lord.
3. "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it."
The difference here is that this is good soil. The first two are bad, but this one is good soil. Here the seed fell on the proper place and it grows, as it fell on fertile soil. But as the seed grows there are weeds that grows next to it and all around it, and these thistles and thorns will become strong and will twist around the plant and will choke it all the way and prevent it from growing and will not produce any fruits.
These are the ones, who hear, and they are impressed and they do understand what they hear. They even take the word home and think, meditate, they attend prayer meetings, study the word, even witness, they started in a simple way now they become rich, accumulates wealth, have a nice home, car, get a nice job, buy more material things for the home, spend the money on pleasure, charge all to the credit cards, work harder to pay the credit cards, now have to pay more and more bills, what about this payment, that payment, then suddenly they realize they are getting choked by the world. How many marriages have ended in divorce because of financial problems. Yes, you can be rich and yet can go to heaven, but that is going to be hard work, " Mt 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.." If you have more money and earn more money give it to the Lord, have a simple life style. Do not be conformed to the world, the unbelievers, they are always thinking of money and popularity. "… If riches increase, set not your heart upon them."(Psalm 62:10)
1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Achan became greedy for the beautiful robe, he wanted it somehow and some of you when you see something, you want it and you will get it somehow which is a terrible sin against the Lord. God stoned Achan and his family to death. Judas asked the high priests, "What will you give me if I hand him over to you?" (Mat 26:16) Some are so greedy for money they will do anything to satisfy their greed. The Bible is clear the greedy will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:10)
May be you are already making plans, trusting in your wealth, your job, you have security in your job and you know you can endure but when an earthquake comes you get scared and only for a while. Pr 11:28 "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch." We need to pray, Pr 30:8 " give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me."
4. "But others fell on good ground, sprang up and yielded a crop a hundredfold."
This soil is prepared by the Lord and it is well prepared. It is good by grace, because God ploughed it, he put the conviction of sin, the gospel was preached the heart received, this man realized what a wretched sinner he is and he deserves the wrath of God and thankful for the mercy of God and in his thankfulness he wants to be obedient to the Lord. He realizes, to obey is better than sacrifice. He spends his time serving the Lord; even at his work he is a light to those around him. He has stood in the hottest of battles, he will be wounded by the enemy but will not be destroyed, he will stand by fervent prayer and confession of his sins, and he will become even stronger. He loves the word of God, he study, the word becomes his treasure he hides it in his heart, he takes it where ever he goes, he is being used by the Lord as there are fruits in his life. He may become un popular among the compromising church but the Lord loves him. He keeps himself always busy in the Lord, and he has no time to listen to the devil. He hates to talk ill against others, he hates gossiping, he hates putting other people down, and looking for faults of the others, in God's eyes he is a mighty servant of the Lord.
When the trials and hardship comes he can face it as he is rooted in the Lord as he had built his house on the rock, he is a strong soldier for Christ.
Jer 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
At the end the true Christian can say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day...(2 Timothy 4:7-8)
His mind is set not on earthly things but on heaven, he fears the wrath of the Lord and avoids sin. He is in the minority, as many will take the broad road, he is taking the narrow road that leads to eternal life. He is the true Christian. On the last day the Lord will separate the sheep and the goats. He will give the inheritance to the true Christian and the others will be punished in the lake of fire, as they did not take the word of God seriously.
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