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Parable of the Soils

PARABLE OF THE FOUR SOILS                       –                       Mark 4: 13-23.

I would like for you to notice verse 1 again.

And look at the first word of verse 3…and notice the exclamation mark…

And now, notice also verse 9… the last thing that He has to say in this parable is, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 

This parable is intended not only for these people that He is speaking to, to evaluate themselves, but for us to evaluate ourselves too.

So, let’s look at this parable…and you decide what kind of “soil” or “hearer” you are?

Vs. 3. Jesus says, “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow;

 And as far as who the “sower” is, the “sower” isn’t specifically mentioned…but in the context of this passage the “sower” is Jesus.

Now, look at verse 4: “…and it came about that as he (the sower) was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.

 Now, look at Jesus’ explanation in verses 15. He explains by saying, “And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.

And it is significant that Satan does this “immediately.”

But what happened that caused the seed to just lay there on the top so that the devil was able to “snatch the word” away? What caused it to just lay there so the “birds” could get to it?

Luke says in Luke 8: 5 that the seed “fell beside the road; and it was trampled under foot, and the birds ate it.”

And in Matthew 13: 19, Matthew says that the word fell beside the road, and those who heard it “didn’t understand it.”

And that is what a lot of people, perhaps even some here this morning do, we never give the “word” a chance! We never give it a chance to make a difference in our lives.

And it may be that there is someone sitting here this morning whose life is a mess…and even though you are here you really haven’t given the word a real chance in your life.

It is kind of like this: Some years ago, my doctor put me on some blood pressure medicine. I went back a few weeks later to see him and things weren’t much better. He asked me about it and I told him I was only taking the medicine 2 times a week. He was irritated. He said, “I can’t help you if you won’t take the medicine as prescribed. Two times a week is not enough. Take it every day.” I did and I do and I haven’t had any problems since.

Let’s look now at where some other “seed” fell.” Mark 4: 5.:“And other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil;

Mark 4:5-6 “…and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. 6 “And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.”

 Now, look at the explanation in vs. 16 and 17: “And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

And since salvation is not counted to those who endure for a while and quit…but to those who remain “faithful unto death”…these too will be lost forever.

Did you respond to and obey the word of God…only to fade and wither away?

Now, look at where some other “seed” fell; vs. 7: And other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.

Now look at the explanation found in verses 18-19.  “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

And notice, Jesus mentions the “deceitfulness of riches.”

And He mentions a “desire for other things.”

And the sad thing is, these thorns grow up in our hearts so subtly…and we are soon dead before we realize it.

And then there is a fourth place where the “seed” fell; in vs. 8.  And other seeds fell into the good soil and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Now, look at the explanation in verse 20: “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

 What kind of fruit will they bear?

And what happens to those who bear this kind of fruit?

So, the question is: What kind of “soil” are you?

It is so important for you to be honest because it can be the difference between eternal life and being eternally lost.

If you are not what you need to be you can change…it is not too late.

It is kind of funny, Satan doesn’t mind if you want to admire the word. He doesn’t mind if you want to proclaim the word…he doesn’t mind if you want to dissect it, look at it, examine it, and study. Satan doesn’t mind just as long as you don’t plant the word in your heart and allow it to grow.

And one of Satan’s most cherished victories is for someone to have received the word and allow it to grow…and live for years trusting in the word…and then at the end quit.

What kind of soil are you? If you are not the kind of soil that you should be…will you start today…and make the change?