Matthew 13:1-23 (quoting vv. 18-23) NIV
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
An Interesting Parallel
The Lord is giving me an interesting perspective of this passage of scripture today. For, he is paralleling for me the numerous human lives which have been lost for this world to abortion, with the numerous human lives which have been lost for eternity due to the aborting (halting, quitting, rejecting) of the seed of the gospel which was sown into their human hearts.
I know that not every baby that was aborted was aborted by the choice of the mother, though many (or most) were. But, in every case, when it comes to aborting the message of the gospel, it is by the free choice of the one who aborted the message of the kingdom of God, i.e. the gospel of salvation.
Both the aborting of human life (physically), and the aborting of the seed of the gospel, which results in the loss of human life (spiritually), are tragedies beyond measure. But, for the aborted baby, there is hope in the life hereafter, I believe. Yet, for the ones who abort the seed of the gospel, who reject the message, and who do not apply its truths to their lives, there is no hope of eternal life with God unless they repent and obey their Lord.
Lacking in Understanding
Please know that when this talks here about someone hearing the word (the gospel) but not understanding it, it doesn’t mean that they are innocent or that they just didn’t get it. It is willful ignorance. They are willfully dense.
Yet, I am not saying that all of us are going to understand everything about God’s Word or else we are being willful in our lack of understanding. But, the scriptures are clear that God made his divine character and will known to all human kind so that all humans are without excuse. Thus, none of us can claim ignorance, that we didn’t know the truth (See Romans 1).
For, God’s Word (in Romans 1) says that it isn’t that humans don’t know the truth about God, but that they reject the truth that they know and that they exchange it for a lie. And, they end up doing what ought not to be done.
And, such is the case with the one who had Satan snatch the truth from his heart. For, it was because he was lax in not responding to the gospel with acceptance of Christ as Lord and as Savior of his life, that the seed produced no fruit in his life, i.e. it was abortive – fruitless, failed, unproductive.
But, this doesn’t just apply to the one who didn’t understand, who didn’t combine what he heard with faith, but it applies to the next two, as well. For the one, the message never did take root, and so their excitement over the gospel message only lasted for a short time, and they fell away. For the one who heard it, and perhaps did accept it to some extent, it all got choked out by the cares of this world. For all three of them, they aborted the seed, and thus the seed bore no fruit in their lives for God’s eternal kingdom.
But, this isn’t just about aborting the gospel message. This is about aborting life – eternal life with God, new lives in Christ Jesus, forgiveness of sin, the hope of heaven, the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, ministries of the Spirit, freedom from slavery to sin, and the opportunities to make a difference in other people’s lives for God and for eternity, too.
And, the reason they do so is pride, self, the flesh, wanting to have control, not wanting to yield control to another, wanting to hold on to their old lives of sin, or return to them, wanting the world and the trappings of the world more than they want a relationship with God, or not wanting to be persecuted for their faith, and so they want to blend in with the world. But, it all centers around self. So, they end up choosing self over God.
Why Do They Abort?
I believe many people choose abortion because someone talked them into it, and someone told them that was their way out of their situation. For, the choices are not just abortion or having to raise a baby a person doesn’t want. There are other choices such as putting the baby up for adoption.
But, let me move on. Many people choose to abort the seed of the gospel from their lives, which is the true gospel of salvation, which involves death to sin and living to righteousness, because someone convinced them to opt out for an alternative gospel message, i.e. the cheap grace gospel.
But, the cheap grace gospel doesn’t put sin to death, and it doesn’t teach the necessity of living to righteousness or in holiness or in obedience to Christ. And, so many people have exchanged the truth for a lie so that they can continue living in sin while claiming heaven as their eternal home.
But, that is a lie straight from hell which will send them to hell. It will cost them their lives for eternity because they chose what they thought was the “easy way out” from their problems, i.e. from their addiction to sin.
Doers, Not Hearers Only
James 1:22-25 ESV, Matthew 13:23 NIV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Understanding and Doing
We need to understand here that “doing” the word is not “works-based salvation,” as some people would have you believe. And, it is not optional. We don’t get to opt out of being doers of the Word and still claim heaven as our eternal destiny.
For, the seed (the message of the gospel) that God sows into people’s hearts is about dying to sin and self, being raised with Christ to newness of life in him, and it is about living for God and his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-26; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
So, understanding the word is not intellectual acknowledgment of something. Understanding involves putting what you have heard into practice in your life. And, from that you are able to bear fruit for God’s eternal kingdom, not in your flesh, but of the Spirit of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, as you walk in obedience to your Lord.
If all we do is listen with our ears, but not with our hearts, and if we don’t follow up what we hear with doing, it is a lot like looking at our faces in a mirror and then walking away and forgetting what we look like.
The Kaleidoscope Gospel
But, it gets trickier than that now, for many are looking in the wrong mirror, and so they are not even getting a true picture of what they look like in God’s eyes. For, they are looking into a kaleidoscope, instead, which is ever changing shapes and colors and patterns and thus it is not constant, not firm or fixed like the true gospel of our salvation is. Therefore, it is unreliable for personal assessment, and that kaleidoscope is the cheap grace gospel.
Also, there are those who have aborted the word of truth who are not content with just talking people into aborting the truth in favor of the lies, but they are jealous of those who are walking in the truth, and who are bearing much fruit for God’s eternal kingdom.
So, they are trying to steal their fruit from them by trying to trip them up so as to discredit them, and by convincing others that what they are teaching is “works-based salvation,” so that people won’t listen to the truth, and so they will believe the lie.
So, for those of us who are ministers of the true gospel, and who are being attacked, and who are being persecuted, and who are facing attempts to discredit us and the true seed that God has sown in us, we need the help of God for sure. We can’t do this without him, nor should we even try.
He is our constant. He is our life. He is our helper. He is the one who breathes life into us and who gifts and empowers us. And, he will sustain us through everything that will come up against us. We just have to persevere, and we have to keep walking with him, doing what he says.
When I Was Walking
An Original Work / January 16, 2020
When I was walking along the way,
My Lord was with me, and He did say,
“My child I’m with you. I hear you pray,
‘Oh, help me, Lord! Need You today!’”
He is my friend, near to the end.
Gently leads me. His servant be.
He helps me pray – knows what to say.
He’s all I need. On Him I feed.
When I am wond’ring of what to do,
He gently leads me to what is truth.
He is my helper. He strengthens me.
When I’m in want, supplies my need.
He comforts me with all His love.
Gives me His grace from heav’n above.
I heed His call to watch and pray,
To guard my heart throughout each day.
When He is calling to come to Him,
To let Him lead you, trust Him within,
How will you answer to Him today?
Will you say, “Yes, Lord, have your way”?
Do not neglect to let Him in,
Cleanse you from sin, made new within.
Leave all your sin, obey your Lord,
Trust in His Word – His mighty Sword.