sermon: Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen (Part Seven)
Parable of the Sower
Martin G. Collins
Given 11-May-19; Sermon #1487; 65 minutes
Memory is a gift from God; without it, we become isolated from ourselves, our family, history and culture. The Hebrew word zakar signifies both memory and male, suggesting that, without the knowledge gleaned from memory, boys fail to mature into men who lead and protect their families. In post-modern America, responsible fatherhood has become discarded as a useless relic from the past. When examining the history, character, and prophetic references of the seven churches of Revelation 2-3, we are alerted to the dangers of 1.) losing our first love, 2.) falling prey to false teachers, 3.) compromising God's Truth and 4.) forgetting life-saving doctrine. In the Parable of the Sower, Christ teaches that He and His representatives will scatter (or sow) the seed of God's Word. Some seed falls on shallow ground (representing a fleeting interest on the part of the hearers), some on thorny ground (representing those hearers beset by the cares and attractions of the world), some on good ground (representing receptive hearers, who, over time, will bear bountiful fruit. Over the centuries, many have been called, but few have been chosen as First Fruits.
How good is your memory is? Is it more important for men to have a good memory or for women to be able to remember? Does it even matter? Memories among those easily overlooked gifts for which we should daily thank God without memory were isolated from others, But even worse, we were isolated from ourselves without memory. Life is this is a disconnected sequence of thinly sliced moments of time. It is memory that stitches together those instances, compiling them in into our identity. The word remember means to join together, just as the word dismember means to separate. Please turn with me, too, dude around me 32 and verse seven. Also, family memory is also a tragedy. Happy memories help unify families, creating a repository of good times, spurs, smiles and a strong sense of connection with those memories, which are later shared. Similarly, country's citizens are sustained by collective memory of how and why their nation's founders struggled on ly by knowing their shared history. Can people share a destiny? Not surprisingly, Scripture repeatedly directs Israel to remember numerous verses in the five books of Moses stress the act of remembering. Look at this general admission admonition here in Deuteronomy 32 in verse seven. Remember the days of old. Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you your elders. And they will tell you that's Ah pretty much a command for us to remember. And for those of us who are fathers to keep those remembrances and remind her children of those things And this actually, for elders and ministers, it's the same thing. We're responsible for helping you remember the days of old and considering those years, I thought over to Genesis one in verse 27 please. Genesis One in verse 27 Old Testament Hebrew provides a vital insight into the nature of memory in Hebrew. If two concepts share the same word, those two concepts are connected. It is significant that Hebrew uses only one word transliterated Zakhar Z a k a. R for both male and memory. Genesis one, Verse 27. So God created man in his own image in the image of God. He created him Male Sarkar z a k a. R and female. He created created them. Okay, Now turn over to Genesis 40 Verse 23 Genesis 40 Verse 23. And they are says. Yet the chief butler did not remember same word. Zakhar z, a k a. R that was male in Genesis one and verse 27 Joseph, but forgot him. Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph but forgot him. The car is what is called a nominative in Hebrew grammar, and I'll just briefly explain it just to show you a comparison. For example, to dust is from a noun. Dust to victimize is from the name victim. So there is a connection between the two, and that's what the cave of the cases in this Hebrew words a car. There was a connection between male and memory. There is meaning behind it now. Why? By using the same word for mail. And remember, would God length the concept of memory to males? We can better understand this by asking what the difference between males and females is when it comes to memory. Well, one of the most significant differences between the sexes is that most girls naturally grow into womanhood, while many boys, if neglected, will either remain adolescence or become barbarians. And we are seeing that in our society today. Surely you know Maur 40 year old males who are still adolescents than females. Transforming boys into men takes effort, and that's not being done in this country. And sadly, we are somewhat exotic black for in the church as well. While most girls intuitively feel a desire to devote themselves to one man and instinctively know how to cuddle a baby for a society to endure, Borys must be taught how man should behave. And they are not being taught that. Today girls mature with a and then build awareness of time, while boys tend to live on ly for the moment. And this makes them act destructively toward themselves and toward their community. The cure for this is memory, which links our boy to his father and to the uplifting traditions of manhood. A boy's desperately need role models of manly behavior from the past. Heroic accounts of brave and chivalrous men inspire boys. As we read in the CG weekly this week about her heroism, heroism memory is vital for males to become men, which is why families used the Father's name rather than the mother's name for the last name. While sadly, not every boy receives the needed education from his family or community. One resource the Bible is available to all in the earliest chapters of Genesis. God establishes ground rules for male behavior. Loss of memory is a dreadful affection. Affliction. Medical science has not yet found the solution, however. We can do much to create and maintain memories in our families and in the church, and that's what we do each week. As we preach, we help you to remember what the Scripture says. We expound upon it and things like that, and we should be doing the same in our families and you fathers husbands are responsible for making sure it happens. Well, Rabbi Daniel and Lou and Susan will happen, provided that valuable insight into the biblical concept of memory asking, Do you remember in their book thought toils tools by him, too. Available at www Rabbi Daniel happened dot com. I want to make sure he was credited with that in great part because men are have often failed in their leadership capabilities, the church throughout history has often suffered from a lack of direction. Why have many men failed the church, the major causes of men's failure? Toa lead our I'll give you three of them. One. A lack of knowledge, the lack of knowledge, a lack of knowledge that the man should lead. It has not been clearly understood that the man's sacred responsibility is the stand at the head of his family. It is a Satanic deception that the husband and wife should lead equally. It is in spiritually potential that they are equal. You do not have to turn their butt. Ephesians five and Verse 23 3 25 You're very familiar with this. You almost have it memorized, for The husband is head of the wife as also crisis head of the church, and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands and everything. Hey, husbands, love your wives. Just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her, this is a great mystery. It's a great mystery to the world, but not to people with God's Holy Spirit. But I speak concerning Christ and the church, Paul says. That is about is politically correct. Incorrect as you can get in this society today. Don't let political correctness in this world stop you from tree from speaking the truth. Don't tell to it. Even if you count the one item of it, you're going down a rabbit hole. Everything that we teach in the church. Everything that the Bible teaches is politically incorrect in this society. And we can see them changing the wording, changing the meaning of words in destroying the language. Proper knowledge in later and gentle, righteous leadership is vital to the spiritually health of the church. Today, mainstream Christianity has been feminized and sadly, it has influenced God's church is well okay. The second cause of man's failure to lead a lack of conviction. When a man does not comprehend the tremendous importance of his responsibility to lead without conviction, everything is merely a preference. James two versus 23 22. But do you not? Do you want to know a foolish man that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works? When he offered Isaac his son, it bar on the altar? Do you see that Faith was working together with his works and by works, faith was made perfect. A lack of conviction is a lack of faith faithful conviction is vital and to the spiritually health of the church absolutely needed the third cause of men's failure. Toa lead. There are more, but I'm only only going to give you three at this time a lack of self discipline and that all though a man may have knowledge and conviction, he may not have the character to a apply it to life's experiences. If he lacks self control, he may allow women and Children's Dominator pressure him. Or he may fail to offer needed virtuous leadership. The Apostle Paul writes of fruitful Growth in the Faith in 1st 2nd Peter one versus five through nine, and he Lismore qualities that men must have and women as well. Second Peter one versus five through nine. You're very familiar with this as well. That's why I'm not turning to it, but also for this reason, give all diligence. Add to your faith or conviction, virtue to virtue, knowledge to knowledge, self control to self control, perseverance to persevere is godliness to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love for if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither Baron nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ for he who lacks these things and they should be characteristics that every man's drive for and every woman, for he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. This list of spiritually fruit is vital to the spiritually health of the church, and we men are responsible for helping our families and helping the church remember it. Men's failure to lead is not the fault of women and children, although their weaknesses may contribute somewhat to the problem or at least make it more difficult. The blame lies with the man, and there are many social problems which occur when the Father is not a proper head of his house. As a result, the same problems that have often hit the Church of God down through the centuries now have accumulated into an onslaught of difficulties. At the end of this age, personality clashes, discontentment divisions, false doctrines, false teachers, faithlessness, this loyalty, the list goes on this the society influences each and every one of us, and we must fight and resist against it. As I mentioned earlier about the political correct correctness is one of the more obvious things, particularly since about the early 19 nineties, we have observed, and some of you have experienced people of dubious convert conversion claiming to be members of the true church people who tend to pick and choose from a smorgasbord of ministers, which messages agree with their own humanly reason. Beliefs. They look for leaders who titillate their senses and do not offend their sensitive emotions. Turn with me that second Timothy for inverse one, please. Second Timothy Foreign Verse one. Men who should be spiritually mature often fail and the responsibility to lead gently, teach the truth and protect the church from false doctrine. Such men reject the government of God and set themselves up as the standard of righteousness, attempting to supplant Jesus Christ and God. The father who give clear instructions through the Apostle Paul Not to do this second Timothy for verses. One through four. I charge you therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom preach the word. Be ready in season and out of season. Convince rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and teaching for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching years, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables. With this in mind with this background, so to speak in mind, we've returned to the Book of Revelation than seven Church, just where I left off. In the Book of Revelation Chapters two and three, we discover that all seven letters to the seven churches have three distinct approaches. First, historical and chronological references indicating that the seven churches follow consecutively down through history while also overlapping one another. And this is the weakest of the applications of the three. The second character references indicating negative and positive, attributes characteristics and works seven times, Jesus said. I know your works. He mentions that in Revelation to versus two and nine and 13 Revelation to nine and 13 and also Revelation three, 18 and 15 18 and 15. And the third distinct approach. Prophetic references to Christ Second coming, indicating that the seven churches where the seven church characteristics and attitudes exist exist just before Jesus Christ return five out of the seven references to the church and Revelation two and three indicate they are in existence when Christ returns. And since this is the case, we can rightly two DUIs that all seven added to church attitudes exists just before the return of Christ. The five that are mentioned that of him coming are the following emphasis in Revelation to versus five and six. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent and do the first works. Or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp. Stand from its place unless to repent. The 2nd 1 is per per grimace Revelation to inverse 16 repent or else I will come into you quickly and will fight against them with this mop. The sort of my mouth, the entire river. Revelation to Verse 25. But hold fast what you have till I come. Sorry, This Revelation three versus three through four. Remember therefore how you have received and heard Hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch I will come upon you as a thief and you will not know what our I come. I will come upon you. And finally Philadelphia Revelation three versus 10 and 11 because you have kept my command to persevere. I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly. Hold fast what you have that no 1 may take your crown. So we see there that these messages are for our time now, just before the return of Christ. Here's a quick summary of the negative characteristics of the cold of the Church of God down through its history and at the end time emphasise lacked village in CE and love for the doctrine of Christ there by losing its first love, it ceased to actively carry God's truth to the world and in the process, went to sleep spiritually. Smyrna as nothing never negative said about it by Christ. However, they were warned about infiltrators. Programas compromised the doctrine of Christ and this was the church of evil surroundings and it was infected with heresy. Dia Tyra was guilty of harboring of false prophetess. They committed spirit spiritually adultery with Roman Catholic Church. They undervalue the holiness of the doctrine of Christ, and many just sympathized with the church with little or no comment commitment to the teachings of Christ. Very few were willing to give up their lives for it. And when the going got rough, they dropped away from that from what proof they had received, often neglecting the Sabbath. Sorry, this is called the Dead Church because it forgot much of the doctrine of Christ and became spiritually dead as a result of a lack of really faithfulness and spirituality. It is accused of in perfect works, and they had misdirected efforts that were fruitless. Their priorities were skewed. Philadelphia There is nothing negative said about it. I said about it by Christ. However, he says, hold fast what you have that no 1 may take your crown. So obviously there are people trying to take what you have. This indicates that there are people targeting them and trying to make them slip up by deception. Later, the CIA It's called a lukewarm warm church because it is faithless, self satisfied and tolerant of sin. The self righteous group, consisting constantly, strives over doctrine because of their never ending pursuit to liberalize and water down doctrine and I could add two. Then they are affected or they are influenced by political correctness. The world looks on such events occurring in any church as evidence of corruption or wrongdoing or something wrong and reprehensible in the church. Worldly clubs, societies or churches in the world do not generally seem to have such noticeable origins, they notice. But with such troubles or controversies over doctrine, they do over their own doctrines over their own traditions of men, but not the doctrines of Christ, because they do not have them. For the most part, they are already on his side of the Satan does not bother them. They're already on his side, but Satan seeks to destroy God's one and only true church. But we know the gates of hell will never prevail against it now. Historically, members of God's church have made plenty of mistakes We all have. We know it in our own lives, from which we may learn much, and we have the blessing of access to these admonitions to the church, which were prepared for us almost 2,000 years ago. What are you? And so I must ask, What are we going to do about these things in our own lives because we can't try to fix them in the church if we are not fixing them in our own lives. Because the problems that we are having in our own lives affect everyone in the church. Please turn with me if you will. Please. Please turn with me. Tio Isaiah 58 in verse 13 Oh, sadly negligent negligence of the Sabbath has been very common for the children of Israel. And this weakness has also been apparent with some in the church. One generally ignored principal concerning the Sabbath is finding your own pleasure. It seems vague, but it is not that vague because we know what we are pleases us and what doesn't, I'd say 58 versus 13 and 14 says there is 13 if you turn away your foot from the Sabbath from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath of delight the holy day of the Lord honorable and shall honor him not doing your own ways, not finding your own pleasures, nor speak in your own words. Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth and feed you with heritage of Jake of your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken, you know. Many seek entertainment during this holy time, while at one in the same time they neglect Bible study in prayer. Some spend hours every Sabbath, and restaurants feeding or lusting oh are feeding the lust of the eyes and flesh. Eating out of the restaurant on the Sabbath is not necessarily wrong. Occasionally, or the Feast of Tabernacles, however, it can easily become a form of entertainment and pleasure seeking. It could be pleasure driven. Others play sports or work out. And some go afar is to do secular work on its such a cz washing the car, cutting the grass or many other things that we shouldn't be doing on the Sabbath. Protestantism has been a negative influence on members of the Church of God. It de emphasizes. They even rejects keeping the 10 Commandments. And in many congregations, the 10 Commandments have become suggestions rather than commandments and their falsely thought of as optional guidelines. When appearing before the Great God, we should wear the best we can afford. A casual attitude for toward the Sabbath shows that God's way of life is a preference rather than a conviction. We throw in with me to second Thessalonians two in verse 13 2nd Thessalonians to adverse 13 that we must yield to being molded into the image of God growing in character in grace and a knowledge choosing to do the right thing to set the right example requires effort. We must demonstrate our commitment to God by our faithfulness and living his way of life. 24 7 It is to those who overcome, with the help of God's spirit that God allows into his kingdom. God's spirit abiding in a sanctifies us sets us apart from the world for holy use. And we have to think of ourselves as set apart for holy use so that we use the Sabbath and the holy manner sanctification signifies that were impregnated with the Holy Spirit and stamps us with a seal that says we have God's Holy Spirit. And here in second, Thessalonians two, we are going to read versus 13 through 17 1st 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, Paul speaking of course, brother, and be loved by the by the Lord because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the spirit and belief in the truth to which he called you by our gospel for the obtaining of this glory of our Lord Jesus Christ in verse 15. Therefore, brother, and stand fast and hold the traditions. That means remember and do the traditions which you were taught whether by word or our epistle for 16 now made our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and our God and father who has loved us and giving us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work word and work. God calls many, but he selects on ly a few as first roots. He makes his truth available generally, but by comparison on ly a few pass the test for inclusion with the first fruits. So tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people throughout the almost 2,000 years of the true Church, is history have been introduced to God's truth and gone back to the religions of the world. It's helpful of this time to summarize the positive characteristics of the seven church attitudes, the common link in the praise that Jesus Christ gives the churches and the difference between the called Who Fall Away and the chosen is that the called Who fall Away our faithless, proud and opinionated and the elect of God are truly faithful, humble and teachable. Emphasis is persistent and service to God and their patients has mentioned twice. They are strong and disciplined, including self control. Smyrna is poor and material possessions in contrast to the lay of the scenes, but rich and faith. Because of their faithfulness, they are strong enough to be solely sorely tested in their appreciation for the doctrine of Christ. Many remained faithful, even though persecuted to death. Programas is steadfast in their identity with Christ. They were not afraid to be called Christian. They actively evangelized much of Europe, witnessing aboutthe coming Kingdom of God. Many remained faithful, even through persecution, to death. Dia, Tyra, the Church of Good works. At their end, they had the fine character traits of love, service, faith and patience. Sorry is this credit would. Credited with keeping God's name only a few faithful saint stayed pure by overcoming and adhering to the true doctrine of Christ. Philadelphia is called the Faithful Church. It is known as those who have their fellow fellow men as brothers. Brotherly love, the Philadelphia show, love toward others, by obedience to the law of God and by the carrying out of God's will, that of warning the world of impending destruction that hangs over it and of the coming kingdom of God. The church did not deny Christ name, including his nature, character, personality and power, and kept that is both believed and practiced his word and lay off. The CIA has nothing good set about it by Christ, although it is a Sabbath keeping church Christ, this confidence that they will still eight be able to repent and overcome sin of all the doctrines of Christ, the most visible and the one God uses as the test commandment is that of the Sabbath to narrow down where his church exists. It is only the first test of many tests in search of the true Church of God. Price advice for this church focuses on being zealous for God's way of life and repenting of hidden sin. But to understand why God's visible church has been so consistently plagued by conspiracies, false teachers, false doctrines, divisions and disloyalty, it helps to recognize that Jesus described the calling of different characteristics of people. We find these people described in the parable of the Sower, But first, let me give you some background to Christ parables. Although Jesus was much more than a storyteller, he was at least that, and as a result, the people of his day flocked to him and listen to him joyfully. Price words were always picturesque. He spoke of sheep among wolves of camels creeping through the eye of a needle of people trying to remove specks from others. People's eyes, well, planks were in their own. He referred to a house divided against itself, destined to fall down of throwing children's bread to dogs, he warned against the east of the Farris ese. Strictly speaking, however, these imaginative pictures are not stories. The story's Jesus told all fall into a specific category of story known as parables. A parable is a story from real life or a real life situation from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn, so examples are abundant. The prodigal son, the Good Samaritan, the Farris Ian, the tax collector, the wedding banquet, the sheep and the goats and others, including the parables of the Kingdom in Matthew, 13 verses one through 52. Parables differ from fables. The world is calling the Bible the book of fables, but parables differ from fables and that a fable is not a real situation. An example of a fable is any of a sob stories in which animals talk and those stories the animals are simply people in disguise. Parables also differ from allegories, since in an allegory, each or nearly each detail has a meaning. The best known and probably most successful allegory ever written is CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. In the Parables of Jesus. Not every detail has a deep meaning. In fact, to try to force meaning into each of the details produces strange and sometimes even obviously false doctrines. When we talk of analogies from the Bible, we have to be very careful not to take. The analogy is too far, because when you take an analogy too far, it becomes ridiculous in the parables of Jesus. Not every detail has meaning. As I mentioned that, at least deep meaning, I think every word has meaning. But everywhere doesn't have the deepest of meanings, so people parables are real life stories from which one or more basic truths can be drawn. Please turn with me to Matthew 13 in verse 10. Matthew 13. Diverse 10 and you're going going to want to keep your finger or your ribbon in this because this will be the pivotal set of scriptures, or pear or passage for the rest of the sermon. As Matthew, 13 versus 10 through 15 make clear Jesus implemented the use of parables at the specific stage in his ministry for the deliberate purpose of withholding further truth about himself and the Kingdom of God from the general crook crowds. These were meant for only the people who he whose mind he opened Matthew, 13 Verse 10. And the disciples came and said to him, Why do you speak to them in parables? And he answered and said to them, because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven. But to them it has not been given for whoever has to him or will be given, and he will have abundance. But whoever does not have even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore, I speak to them in parables because, seeing they do not see and hearing, they do not hear, nor do they understand verse 14. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says here and you will hear and shall not understand and seeing you will see and not perceive for the hearts of the of this. People have grown dough. Their ears are hard of hearing and their eyes they have closed less. They should see with their eyes and hear with their ears unless they should understand with their hearts and turn so that I should heal him. But blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they here for shortly. I say to you that many profits and righteous men desired to see what you see and did not see it, and to hear would you here and did not hear it. So masses of people had rejected him and therefore could not understand the deeper things that he now needed to reveal about the kingdom. The disciples, on the other hand, had begun to believe him, and we are looking to him for teaching, and therefore he taught his lessons and parables and then explain the stories. After them. In fact, as Matthew makes clear from Chapter 13 on that, the explanation of the parables is always given to the disciples alone and never to the collect crowds. Matthew 3rd 13 contains seven parables, all of which have one theme. The Kingdom of God. They are called the Parables of the Kingdom, and it is no accident that these are the first parables encountered since. From the beginning, Matthew has been writing about the coming of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. Matthew's Gospel presents Jesus as the King of Israel Justice Mark presents him as the son of man and Luke as the servant. But whether we give Matthew that specific emphasis or not, there is no doubt that Jesus proclaimed The kingdom is the major theme of this gospel. The first verse introduces Jesus as the son of David Israel's great King Jesus forerunner John the Baptist is said to have come preaching the Kingdom of Heaven. Taken together, Jesus parables show the nature origin, hindrances to and victory of Christ work of spreading his gospel through his messengers between the days of his coming and his coming again. Now we come to the parable of the Sower, which is found in Matthew 13 versus three through nine and it's explained and versus 19 3 23 It's also found in Mark four and also found in Luke eight. But we are going to look at Matthew 13 and use that as a basis. Jesus reveals why those here. Those who hear the gospel, the coming kingdom of God are not always receptive in the same way people who are called had their minds opened. The Holy Spirit enables them to take it the heart. Yet many see its surface value, but do not internalize it. The parable illustrates the church's relationship to the different groups of people with which it comes in contact. Jesus uses three components the sewer, the seed in the soil to indicate the differences. So his story shows the fate of the sown seed, the different types of soils on which it fell and the resulting effects. Though Jesus names at the parable of sewer, the subject matter emphasizes the challenge of the divers soils, the challenge of the divers soils. Nevertheless, the sewer does not play a Mira minor role in the parable, since without him, no sewing could occur without which there would be no possibility. A fruit. The sewer primarily represents Jesus Christ Himself. Here in Matthew, 13. Look at Verse 37 1st 37 says, and he answered and said to them, He who so's the good seed is the son of man Jesus Christ, However, by spiritually Bond, God's Church, which carries out his will, also represents the sewer by extension. And so God's ministers may be considered Sowers of the Gospel as well. The parable of sewer is essential because it introduces an anticipates, the whole Siri's of parables in Matthew 13. Back to the beginning of the chapter beginning of Chapter 13 we are going to read versus one through four to begin with. Of course, this parallels Mark foreign Locate Matthew, 13 inverse one. On the same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea, and great multitudes were gathered together to him so that he got into a boat and set, and the whole multitudes stood on the shore. And then he spoke many things to them and parable saying, Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside and the birds came and devoured them. Jesus described natural conditions regarding seed and soils. Here, a farmer places seed in the ground so it will sprout and bear fruit of some seeds. Fallen unplowed unturned, hard ground. And this type of soil does not allow the seed to sink in, and the birds easily find and devour the seed you know, reading on versus five and six first five. Some fell on stony places where they did not have much earth, and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth in Verse six, and when the sun was up, they were scorched and because they had no roots, they withered away. So when the siege fell, there sank in, but only to a very shallow death. It sprang up quickly, but it also faded quickly in the sun's heat because it was, it had no root. When the sun grows hot, representing the light of God's truth, exposing them or trials and persecution testing them, however, the sprouts wither away and the result is inadequate is an integer adequate root system. A fertile and rich sore provides nutrients for the seas to produce a crop that varies in its yield. It is common for crops to produce 100 60 or 30 grains for each one sewn. For example, some strains of wheat would produce a crop 12 or 1,500 times the original amount of steed sewn. That's a miracle in itself, is not it? We're seven. Some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up and choke them. Biblical references to thorns are always negative, even threatening, for example, in judges. Eight Verse seven When the leaders of Suck it refused to give Gettings army bread to eat. So getting said for this cause when the Lord has delivered zebra and Zalman Muna into your my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briars. The use of thorn imagery throughout Scripture emphasizes biblical messages of punishment, worthlessness and non 40 productivity punishment. Worthlessness and non productivity will continue in 10 continuing in Matthew 13 and versus 898 But others fell on good ground and yield yield the crop some 100 fold some 60 some 30. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. So not all of Christ parables are explained. In fact, most or not, but the parable of the sower is clearly explained. The emphasis is on the various kinds of hearts and how they reject or received Christ message. The seeds sown is the word of God, the Bible. The word fell on four types of classifications of people. So let's pick it up in Matthew 13 and Verse 18 and were read through Verse 23. Matthew, 13 of US 18 therefore hear the parable of the sower when anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it. Then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who receives seed by the wayside, but he who received the seed on stony places, This is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while, for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word. Immediately he stumbles. There is 22 and now he who receives seat among the thorough thorns, is he who hears the word and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches choked the word, and he becomes for unfruitful verse 23. But he who receives seat on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces some 100 fold, some 60 in some 30. So that's the explanation given here. Now let's look at the four types or classifications of people individually and how they are explained. Jesus starts with seed by the wayside. Matthew 13. A Verse 19. Once again, when anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who receives seed by the wayside. So the first and largest number were those by the wayside. They were the millions who heard. But the truth of God's word never sank in. There was no response from this largest number, though they did here, at least in part. The Worldwide Church of God at one time ran an advertisement in the Reader's Digest for India, and they got over 1,000,000 replies or responses. It overwhelmed them, and they never did it again because it was just so that would be the type of thing would fit into this way side the wayside of the if you will please turn with me to Romans one in verse 20. Now, this first type of soil represents the hard heart of which there are many today as well as in Christ. Time it is described a soil along the path, and this ground has been trampled down by the many feet that have passed through it that way over many years. Because the soil is hard to see. That falls, they are merely lies on the path and does not sink in. And the birds, which Christ compares to the devil or the devil's workers, soon snatch it away. What is it that makes the human heart hard? There can only be one answer, and you know the answer. It's sin. Sin hardens the heart and the heart that is hardened sins even more broadly and deliberately, and this type of person is described in the first chapter of Romans. Romans one will read, versus 2021 and 31 and 32 moments, one in verse, 20 for since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes that are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even his eternal power and divine nature so that they are without excuse and 21 because although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor were thankful that became feudal in their thoughts. And their foolish hearts were darkened jumping down to 1st 31 un discerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful. Who, knowing the righteousness, never the righteous judgement of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. So those who condone sin also deserve death. This passage can be summarized this way. The person begins by suppressing the truth about God that, maybe known from nature, plunges into the spirit. Eligon, rinse and degradation that invent inevitably follows and at last comes not only to practice the sins of evil persons, but to approve them. A cz well, here we see both halves of the circle. Sin leads to a rejection of God and God's truth, and the rejection of truth leads to even greater sin. What is it that leads such a person to reject the truth of God in the first place? According to Paul, it is a determined opposition to the nature of God Himself, which Paul describes as human godlessness and wickedness. Back a few verses to Romans one and Verse 18 will read verses 18 19 when was one of verse 18 for the Wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all on godliness and on righteousness of men who suppressed the truth and un righteousness because what maybe known of God is manifest to them, for God has shown it to them. So they are without excuse. Virtually all God's attributes whether sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, mutability or even divine love are offensive to the natural man because he recognizes them. So rather than repent of sin and burn for mercy to a God who is altogether sovereign, holy knowing and unchangeable men and women suppressed the knowledge they have and refused their search with spiritually knowledge that could and should he'll lead them to salvation. So we see that even even put that in courts, the scientists of the world lying just to get their grants and to further their agenda. People are in a declining moral state because they love sin and sin hardens people's hearts and therefore they will not receive the truth of God when it is preached to them. The opposition of the unconverted heart to God's sovereignty is especially evident in the kingdom. Parables because kingdom means rule and rule is the same as sovereignty. And when Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God, he came preaching God's right to rule over the minds and hearts of all people, and they did not like it. They hated it, and they hated him for it. But that is precisely what the people involved did not want. Adam did not want it. He had great freedom, but he was offended by what he saw as God's unreasonable and arbitrary restriction of his eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If God exercised his sovereignty at that point, well, it was there that Adam would rebel, So he did, and he deserved the death penalty. And this spiritually of the spirit of rebellion against God's sovereignty worked itself out in history. Until eventually Jesus Christ came to earth and the response of his people. Wass, we will not have this man roll over us exactly what mankind has said in his heart since the beginning. So it is also today, and this is probably the greatest reason for the reduction rejection of God's grace in Jesus Christ at this and any other time in history. Three. And what they needed to do is humble themselves and submit their lives to Jesus Christ. This is one of the things that I've been showing all the way down through the history of the church, since Christ is the attacks that that the church has faced and what they have done to come out with sterling character. Next there is the seed on Stony Ground, Matthew, 13 will re versus 13 2021 again. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself but endures while for only for a while. For one, tribulation or persecution arises because of the word. Immediately he stumbles. So the second group were those on the rocks who, when they heard, were interested and received the message with joy. So many of these were baptized and they had no root and temporarily believed, but because they lacked depth of purpose or capacity to grow spiritually, they soon dropped out. The stony ground represents those who hear the gospel infield titillated by its truth. Though their senses are excited. They have no death of understanding no rich soil in which to make two. No soil. The rich soil in which that it may take root and grow while suffering anxiety from sin. They respond to the attractive offer of God's mercy. The truth offers them peace of mind, pardon from sin and salvation with eternal life believing they are forgiven. Their anxiety seemed to disappear, and temporary peace and happiness fill their lives. But they have no foundation upon which the support permanent joy. Their happiness soon subsides, as does their desire to live righteously. They just can't continue with it. They can't persevere. They begin to fade from God's truth because they have no real appreciation for Christ sacrifice or the conviction to resist, to resist temptation or to endure trialling persecution. Because they exhibit no true repentance, it becomes evident that they are not true Christians. Excited Mo human emotion carries them for a time, but it cannot sustain them. Though the long through the long process of conversion, many people fit this description of a shallow heart. We see them in all the greater churches of God. Congregations. They're shallow. Hearts are attracted to the excitement of a place where friendly people gathered together as they were in a club. They hear God's word preached and seem to fit in. They even claimed to be a member of the church. But then some difficulty arises, the loss of a job, misunderstandings with other Christians, sickness or even a bad Romance. And just as suddenly as they once seemed to embrace the faith, they fall away because they were never really converted. Just being in church mouthing the things you hear other people say does not make you a Christian. Yours may be in extremely shallow heart. Your heart may be like rocky soil, and so we certainly want to do everything we can to come out of that attitude. So those type of people, I need to really pray with heartfelt prayer to God and ask him to open their minds, and we should pray for them as well. Just being in church, mouthing those things doesn't make you a Christian. So the net next there is the seed among thorns, so the next verse. Matthew 13. Diverse 22. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word and the cares of this world on the deceitfulness of richest. Choke the word and he becomes unfruitful. So the third group were among thorns. They stand for having a strangled heart when they when they heard the message, they were baptized. But the cares and interests of the world choked them. They still wanted to be like the world. They were liberals. In many cases, they brought forth no fruit of perfection to perfection. The thorny ground symbolizes those who become consumed by the anxieties of this physical life and the deceitful enticements of wealth. Please turn over to first Timothy, six and Verse seven. Chris Timothy, 16. Verse seven. Now when I speak of wealth here or riches, I think it's safe to say that every one of us in the United States and in the the nations of Israel, the descendants of Israel around the world, are rich compared to the rest of history. So the way people lived and we have the way we live today and what we have in the way of material blessings material once makes us rich compared to the rest in history. So think of it that way. The constant pressure's of everyday life, providing sustenance, maintaining employment, seeking education and performing social duties can be distracting, causing Christian to ignore God and spiritual growth. The desire for wealth magnifies this distraction. It is enticing but yields the expected rewards. It promises to make us happy. But when gained leaves a spiritually empty first, Timothy six versus seven through, 10 for seven. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out and having food and clothing. With these, we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and to do many foolish and harmful lust which drowned men and destruction and tradition for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierce themselves through with many sorrows. So the temptation and pursuit of wealth produces bad fruit dishonesty, stealing oppression of the poor and taking advantage of others. This type of person has a heart that is strangled by things in Jesus describes those things as thorns, and we know this is This was true and Jesus is day because of Christ. Many warnings against the riches against riches. Rather, Matthew, 19 versus 23 and 24 says. And then Jesus said to his disciples, assuredly I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. And then Luke, there 18 versus 22 and 23 says so. When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, That is the rich man. You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me. But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. So if that was true and Jesus is day among people whom we would regard, for the most part is quite poor. How much truer must have be in ours. We are choked with the riches we who have cars and houses, boats and bank accounts and all the modern gadgets of our materialistic culture. There is this point to riches. Do not choke a person all at once. It is a gradual process, like the weeds and Christ parable. Riches grow up gradually. Very slowly. They strangle the budding of spiritually life within. Be aware of that. If you either have great possessions or are on your way to acquiring them or desire ing them, he's turned overto Lukes 12 Verse 16. Please look 12 over 16. Above all, be where if you were saying, I need to provide for myself now I'll think about spiritually things. When I am older, that doesn't work. And here is why Jesus warned against that very thing. In another story in Luke, 13 12 and versus 16 through 21 for 16. Then he spoke a parable to them, saying the ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do since I have no room to store my crops? So he said, I will do this. I will pull down my barns and build greater and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul soul, You have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink and be merry. Isn't this what people say when they reach 65 66 or whatever it is retirement age? That's what they want to do. They want to do this, at least in our society. But God said to him, full this night, your soul will be required of you. Then who's well, those things be which you have provided in verse 21. So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. By historical standards, most of us are rich today, so all of us must be Where? Back to Matthew. 13 please. Next, there is the seed on good ground. Finally, we get to something more positive. Matthew, 13 of US 23. But he who receives seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces some 100 fold of some 60 some 30. Now, the fourth and last type of soil is the one to which the entire parable has been building up. There is others were contrast. This group is the smallest of all, and where those on good ground, which kept the word and came out of the world growing spiritually in character and biblical knowledge. They brought forth fruit with patients in varying degrees there, consistently faithful, so they persevere, and they continued to persevere. No matter what happened, Please turn over to Ephesians Foreign verse one. Ephesians foreign verse one. Now the good ground corresponds to those who open who's open hearts and minds air softened by God's calling and receive a genuinely there a rich and fine soil, a mind that submits itself to the full influence of God's truth. It is this mind of good of good ground that is unified with the body of Christ. The church Ephesians one on you, four versus one through six verse one. They're either for the prison of the Lord beseech you tow walk worthy of the cover of the calling with which you were called with all loneliness, that humility and gentleness with long self suffering patients bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace there is one body and one spirit. Just a CZ. You were called in one hope of your calling. One Lord one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all who is above all and through all And in you all the call of God not only accept his word the message of Jesus Christ as rich soil except they see for growth. They also bear much fruit. They bear much fruit. John, 15 versus five and eight says I am the vine. You are the branches he who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit for without me, you can do nothing. Verse eight by this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit. So you will be my disciples. It is the humble open heart that received the word of God like good sorceress e seed and bears much fruit. Okay, let's let's begin to wrap this up. There are many minor points we should remember. Let me give you a few very quickly on ly a portion in the parable That's 1/4 or less of the preaching of the gospel bears fruit in Christ or any other age we should remember that even Jesus did not get everyone to believe him, though many did. And if this is so, we must not think we have failed when people reject our efforts to promote God's truth. On the other hand, we should be encouraged in our witness by knowing that some will believe and we will have a hand and helping them to see God. Also, the only sure evidence of a genuine reception of the word of God is a person's in a person's life is spiritually fruit. Although we are not saved by our good works, the total absence of them that is good fruit indicates that we have never been truly converted. Furthermore, the presence of fruit is the important thing, not necessarily the amount of it, at least in most cases, depending on various factors. We do as much as we can with what we are given to work with, and God will give us more to be able to do more. But these things are all unimportant without the main when, namely, that it is only the humble, loving, open heart that will risk that willingly receives the word of God with gladness and conviction, not the hard heart not the shallow heart and not the strangled heart. Only the open heart that continually submits to the will of God is the heart that produces fruit. Now turn with me for a final scripture. To Ezekiel 36 Ezekiel 36. We can produce nothing unless the divine gardener breaks up the hard ground, uproots the rocks and removes the thorns. That is our hope, not you. But the gardener is our hope and notice what God said through the Prophet Ezekiel who wrote to the unconverted of his day. He's equal 36. We're going to read versus 25 26 and 27 1st 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthy nous and from all your idols I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes. And you will keep my judgments and do them so God's word often falls on tears. of people who have hearts of stone, callused by sin, on whom it makes no room for impression. Like seed on the hard packed road, it is consumed before it ever has a chance to develop. And such hardened people soon lose interest in God's in Christ, good news and continue in the ways of the world. All who are merely intrigued by God's word are not chosen by him. All those who are called are not beyond being enticed by the world. Those God chooses understand the gospel because it comes on Lee by the power of the Holy Spirit. Without this spirit will power. The here are susceptible to having God's knowledge stolen by Satan, the accuser, the tempter. When God calls us, he is offering us a new heart with a new spirit toe. Enable us to produce spiritually fruit by walking in his statutes, his judgments and his commandments. We must take him up on his offer with conviction and humility. All of us must regard Jesus Christ wisdom as a warning. Many are called, but few are chosen well, that ends the sermon. Everyone have a persevering remainder of the Sabbath.