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Partial Hardening


Mark 4:1-9

The parable that Jesus teaches in this passage is one that most of us are very familiar with.

This morning I want to look at something that Jesus mentions in this parable that I believe is critical to our personal salvation…and that is critical when it comes to our influence as followers of Christ, on the world.

So, if you would look at vs. 3. Jesus says, “Listen to this! Hearken! Give audience to Me!  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 now, what precipitated the devil being able to “snatch the word” away?

Luke says in Luke 8: 5 that the seed “fell beside the road; and it was trampled underfoot, 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.

Now, I don’t suspect that there is anyone here this morning who is like this…I don’t suspect that we have anyone here this morning who has not and isn’t giving the word a chance…or who has hardened themselves against it.

But, let me tell you what I do suspect.

Let me just show you a few teachings that maybe some of us have hardened ourselves against.

How about this one:

Heb 10:25  “…not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but        encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”

 And yet, do some of us look at what the Hebrew writer says and say, “I don’t have to do that.”

Do we change this to say, “It is ok if I assemble with the saints once in a while…or when I want to”?

Or, do some of us look at this and say, “I don’t have to assemble with the saints…I can assemble somewhere else with someone else?”

Here is another teaching that some of us may have hardened ourselves against.

I John 4: 7: “Beloved, let us love one another…”

 The word “love” there in the Greek comes from the word “agape” which means to “seek the highest good of another, whether they acknowledge it, deserve it, or accept it or not.

 Do I…do you sometimes look at this and say, “Well, the Lord may love him but I don’t?”

Here is another one: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

 And if you look at this the context indicates that the words that are “unfit for use” are those words which are critical and demeaning. Words that tear down instead of building up.

Look at this. Eph. 4:31-32  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

 Eph. 5:3   But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

 And look at this one. Perhaps people have hardened themselves against this one more than any other. It is found in Acts 2: 38: “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 Some believe they have to repent, but they don’t have to be baptized to be saved.

There is nothing that benefits Satan more than a Christian who has hardened their heart against even just a part of the word of God.