The parable of the sower is perhaps, one of the most profound teachings of the Lord Jesus.
Luke 8:11-15 (NKJV) “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.“
As in any place, the street preaching, prisons, houses of worship, homeless shelters, tent city, abortion clinics, it doesn’t really matter.
The preacher is the one that sows the seed of the Word of God.
The seed falls in four places.
Wayside. Stony, Thorny, and Good Ground.
Even in revivals, these four grounds are present.
Not everyone will be saved.
Ask yourself a series of questions. Those on the wayside, did anyone get saved?
How about the stony ground? It appeared that someone got saved but look at what happened.
They receive the Word with joy or with emotion, but they have no root. It’s hard for the seed to penetrate stone or rock. Those on the rock believe for a while and in time of temptation, they fall away. In other words, because they had no intention of having the Word penetrate their heart, their flesh and mind yield to temptation.
In that brief time that they had joy when the Word was preached, they didn’t follow through with their commitment to Christ. Here’s why?
The Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin (see John 16:8-11). The purpose of conviction is to bring an awareness of the penalty of sin in a profound way (see 1 John 3:4-6). You recognize that you’re in grave danger that if you die right now, and you haven’t repented and placed faith in Christ alone, you will go to hell.
When the gospel is preached and this element of conviction is missing or rejected, this is one of many reasons why people stand where they stand (wayside, stony, thorny ground).
You see. Death can happen to anyone, to everyone, at any time. Death seals a person’s eternal fate.
Then you have the ones that are on thorny ground. Thorns choke the Word. Preoccupied with cares (what’s going to happen to me, how am I going to get along in life, etc.) riches or chasing after wealth and riches, pleasures of this life, like porn, sexual immorality, masturbation, power over people, etc. And they bring no fruit to maturity.
What does it mean to bring no fruit to maturity?
Fruit is produced but it’s premature and can’t be picked for harvest into the barn.
These types of ground reveal the various people in various heart conditions after the Word is cast.
The ones on good ground having heard the Word with a noble heart, an excellent heart. A heart that paid strict attention to the instructions of the commands of the Lord Jesus, they keep the Word that was taught and they bear fruit with patience.
In other words, they persevere under the circumstances. They don’t allow the devil to take the Word like the ones on the wayside. They don’t yield to temptation. They don’t let the thorns of life choke the Word with cares, riches, and pleasures of this life.
They press into the kingdom to be pleasing to the Lord.
Whatever sin was holding them back, they forsake it to obtain mercy (see Proverbs 28:13) and then they keep the Word at all costs.
The gospel, in it’s purist form brings Godly conviction to compel sinners to repent of sin and place faith in Christ alone, then they obey the commandments that the Lord Jesus taught for the rest of their lives.
It takes commitment, dedication, obedience, and perseverance to keep the Word.
So even if people call the Asbury chapel revival a success, we really won’t know the measure of success until the fruit is brought into the barn. We won’t know the true score until the wheat is brought into the barn. We won’t know until our name is written in heaven and we arrive there.
Remember. We’re also in the season of apostasy. Meaning that people may want to change their mind and return to the world.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV) “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NKJV) “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Defection from the faith and the falling away is still a part of the last days that we’re living in and we must never lose sight of this.
Look back at the parable of the sower, and look carefully at those on the wayside, stony, and thorny ground.
They all seem to have been in Christ.
Then, after a while, whether immediately, or for a short while, they left Christ after a powerful revival.