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The Responses to the Gospel B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2021 4:00 am

The Responses to the Gospel B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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The issue is the condition of the heart that determines the reception of the gospel and Jesus is saying to these disciples who at this point are saying Warren what's going to happen.

All lots of things are going to happen, but it's going to depend on the condition of the Harley here not so sure and church regularly, but interesting. Anything spiritual or maybe it's even someone in your own family who can talk to Christian talk but there is little evidence of transformation will the good news is, the Bible gives you definitive instruction on how to evaluate a person's profession of faith and comes in the form of a parable Jesus taught. John MacArthur breaks down that parable on this edition of grace to you as he continues his in-depth look at the parables of the kingdom, and now here's John, in looking at Matthew 13. We begin an in-depth look at the first parable of this marvelous chapter begins in verse three, and he spoke many things under them in parables, saying, behold, a sower went forth to so another statement the beginning there in verse three behold, a sower went forth to so opens up our understanding of this particular parable as he throws that seed. Jesus indicates there are four kinds of soil on which that seed will fall. Now we know the soil refers to the heart because it tells us that in verse 19 when anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one catches away that which was sown in his what part heart is the same sort. You see, the issue is the condition of the heart that determines the reception of the gospel and Jesus is saying to these disciples who at this point are saying Warren what's going to happen. You've been blasphemed you've been rejected. The kingdom cannot come all is lost. What is going to happen now.

He says something was going to happen. You're really glad just like I get your letter so you're the sow the seed, which is the word of God and you could preach the same message about the same king in the same kingdom, but Lord, what is going to happen. All lots of things are going to happen, but it's going to depend on the condition of the heart of the here and I think the basic point of the parable and get this is to encourage the apostle is a parable to help them to approach the ministry with excitement and anticipation that God is going to produce results of the mark of salvation in the soils. This fruit and only one out of four demonstrates. And that's very important point. Salvation is noted by fruit, not by foliage by fruit if you don't understand that you get confused in the parable. Some of the main four kinds of hearers four kinds of responders to the gospel and their characteristic of our day. So these are the things that were going to be able to really identify with number one, we call this when the unresponsive.

Here the wayside here. Verse 19 anyone hears the word of the kingdom understands it not, then comes the wicked one catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside as a second time and that's the rocky ground. Verse 20 he that received the seed in stony places, rocky places, the same is he that hears the word and immediately with joy receives it. Not like this. This is the person who hears the word and immediately with joy receives it and the indication is that there's not a lot of thought involved.

It is sort of a quick response allow you know, sort of emotional sort of euphoria sort of instant excitement without counting the cost. Without understanding the real significant is a warm affection is a good feeling and there's a lot of joy in the thing shoots up in all of the energy is going up. It's all external and it's all on the outside because nothing underneath because that rock bed of resistance is still there to true repentance to true brokenness to true contrition, or just a soft surface that's there are people like they don't really ever deal with the real issues they just jump on the Jesus bandwagon look so good when we look at it and we see that Neil shoot up, and it may even shoot higher and faster than the rest of the people who are really going to bear fruit because everything is going up, and those are the ones we say that's real boy that is really the joy all the tears and joy. And that's got to be real read that dream was later gone did not like the guy who built a house on the what, on the same they built a house alright I'm it's up there.

The religious start structures there.

Nothing hold superficial joy not to look at the field at first you don't really notice these people, except that they stick actors are taller than everybody else is a boy gotta be really good and exciting and you come back a little later when the summer hits and the moisture is very limited and the sun is very hot and you see them did.

It says in verse 21 he has no root in himself, so he endures for a while never been with D he just sort of accepting the seed but it's never been really genuine endures for a while and what finally does a tribulation and persecution… Pressure and suffering arise because of the word because you belong to Christ because of living the word of God because of being identified with the Lord Jesus Christ. All of a sudden some pressure, there's maybe a pressure to really begin to live the Christian life. There's maybe a pressure that comes people around you saying I want you to get in a Bible study. You want to meet with you that prayer I want to decide what you and all of a sudden, you begin to feel the pressure, and then there's persecution you're Christian enough people start to say things about a start to knock, they start to criticize. While this kind of person will survive because is no root there is no debt. This is the sublime right out and they'll give evidence of the non-reality of the initial response and then it says at the end of verse 21. They are offended they are scandalize music basic of the word for baiting trap that there trapped there caught offended. So watch for the conversion.

That's all smiles and cheers and lacks the beatitude attitude. Watch for that superficial kind of thing that happened so often the date in the superficial presentations of the gospel that very often occur through television and other means.

If your confession of Christ.

However you define it. If you are confession of Christ. I'm talking about you personally does not come from a deep inner conviction of your sin does not come from a deep sense of loss. Nests does not include a tremendous desire for the Lord to cleanse and purify and lead you if you are confession of Christ does not involve a great hunger for self-denial and self-sacrifice and a willingness to suffer for his sake, then you have no root, and it's only a matter time and some will come along and you will burn up and die because you're not willing, as Jesus said, to take up the cross and follow. And if you're not, you're not worthy to be is what is disciple only God can break up that stony heart and if you got that kind of heart you need to pray and ask the Lord to do for you what he promised to do for Israel. Ezekiel 3626 when he said I'll take away your stony heart and give you a heart of flesh. Third, here is in verse 22 he that received the seed among the weeds of the thorns is he that hears the word notice. They all hear the word and the word again indicating that that's what the seated and the care of this age worldliness folks and the deceitfulness of riches, which is the heart and soul of worldliness living for the mundane living for the things of this world, the cares of this age or career, your house, your car, your job, your wardrobe, your prestige, your looks and riches deceive. They are liars.

They pierced many many hearts read first Timothy six.

They are deceitful and the love of them, the root of all evil and so he says there are there are these who hear.

But they never clean out the soil. The world is still there. And money is still there and it's exactly what Jesus said you can not serve God and money.

You either hate the one and love the other, or despise want to cling to the that's why John said if any man love the world, the love of the father is what not in you can be that double minded man the soil that is going to produce the fruit must be clearly eased that stuff and that is why I'm so convinced in my heart that true salvation only occurs where there is true repentance where there is a willingness to deal with sin in the life and that is a marvelous and gracious work of God, and I think that's part of what true conversions is all about. I know there are people who say what you know what to do anything to be saved. Just believe and that's it.

But I think that sounds too much like a rocky soil and sounds too much like horny so or Wheaties. The soil is good but just impure. Somebody trying to hold on everything at same time wants the word of God and wants everything else.

But you see, everything else is indigenous to that are weeds flourished. That's their natural home.

When you introduce the seed that is a foreign element and has to be cared for and nurtured and cultivated. It can't survive the grounds only got so much to give is only so much nourishment there and if it's trying to support all of the weeds. He didn't want to survive and trying to sue is not to be able to cause the seed to survive an important thought nothing wrong with this sewer. By the way, nothing wrong with the seed nothing wrong with the soil either. It's just the condition that it was in people don't get saved when their hearts are still occupied with the things of the world, they'll choke it out. They'll choke it out now.

All of these parables so far leave us with a negative feeling that they're going to be people who just totally resistant what we've all known that they're going to be people who spring up real fast and are going to be people who try to waltz along with the whole thing hand-in-hand. We see needs to. If you ever wondered about the Visalia Nola come to church but never seem to get committed right or seem to be preoccupied with the world's things, money, career theme, fortune always wanted to fulfill the lust of the flesh is the person who always says they're Christian but can't be faithful in marriage doesn't care.

I seem to care about a pure life of the person who just loves her whole life or for personal gain, personal prestige, personal money enterprises, and this is the goal of life. It may be that this person is just weedy soil. And yes, there's a germinating of the sea didn't look so good, but eventually just gets choked out and they just sort of fade away. We've all seen people like. So the Lord says you have to expect that this is so profound people. I can't tell you when Jesus said this. This is all prophetic and this is exactly what we see in the church today is what we see in the kingdom and we all scratch her head and we say no.

Maybe they lost their salvation.

But Jesus is saying that ever had a Disney that's all point and what is the mark of salvation.

In this parable. What is fruit fruit and nuts always waited in John 15.

If you don't bear fruit he cuts off and burns you. That's helpful for people who are fruitless because not being on the vine.

That's not salvation that's attachment to Jesus. It's the fruit bearing that marks the salvation. In other words, a true believer manifests fruit that takes us to the last soil verse 23 he that received seed in the good ground is he that hears the word, understands it, Mark says. Except for Luke says, holds onto it and bears fruit and brings forth the hundred and 60, and 30 full that's very productive soil 3000% 6000% 10,000% product know you know something here.

This is dirt like the rest of the dirt. But it was good because of its preparation. No weeds, no rocks, no hard surface and this is I think the climax of the whole parable. This is where the Lord is trying to take his disciples. There is good soil out there. There really is and is not a wonderful promise we will run into the hard stuff and we and you go when you're discouraged and then you will run into the stuff that springs up real fast and you're so excited and then when it sort of falls away and dies. You say all is very discouraging. We will all come across those people that we've invested but there double minded and they never let the world go find they fade away. We get discouraged and we wonder if it's worth it. But then comes this last one in the Lord says the good souls out there, it's out there you be faithful love of the ultimate mark of salvation is fruit bearing fruitfulness.

What is fruit what is this it's product, it's evidence of the divine life. If you want simply Paul put it this way for the Spirit is love, joy, peace, jealous goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, and other words look alike to see jealous goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, love, joy and peace and you see it on a long term protracted continuous basis because the fruit is a continual thing. That's attitude fruit and then tells us in Paul's writing of the classes in the Thessalonians in Philippians that there was to be the fruit of righteous behavior so that fruit is a right out of attitude and fruit is right kind of deed.

Paul tells us in Romans that fruit is winning people to Jesus Christ is I want to come have some fruit among use of pattern of the places fruit is God at work manifesting in the attitude manifesting in the action fruit is God producing spiritual reality in our life.

You show me somebody who has no manifestation of those attributes somebody who has no manifestation of righteous deeds as God counts righteousness, and I'll show you somebody no matter what they may look like on the surface is going to die out. Fruit is the issue even in the first Psalm it says that the true person the true believer is like a tree planted by the rivers of water to bring forth what fruit in his season fruit is always the mark of true faith in John 15. The true branches brought forth fruit in Ephesians 210 Paul says you are created on the good works. God ordained you walked in. It isn't that you're never going to do something wrong. It's really this, that one is truly good ground has is a consuming desire to be productive to let God produce through his life and even when there's failure. There's great brokenness over the failure because the desire is to see God at work unless another thought as well to that. It says that there are some will bring 100 fold. Some 60 in some 30. Not everybody is equally productive. God uses people in different ways and there are some Christians who never really fully get their act together, they go through life being a 34 when they could be a 60 or 100, and there isn't one. We say that the Christians will always be fruitful were not saying that all Christians will always be as fruitful as they ought to be or could be because when we do become disobedient that we restrict that, may I hasten to add all Christians at this point in the parable started 30 fold in thirtyfold is three times what was even normal, so that a true believer is a somebody got a scrounger. I look upon the leaves try to find a piece of fruit hanging somewhere. A true believer is one whose fruit is multiplied manifests and it only goes from from a tremendous and obvious route to one that is just inconceivable in terms of fruit that's the plan. True believers produce fruit.

Now what is a more saying, the parable listen very carefully as we draw the lessons from you saying that it's going preach and realize it.

As you preach, you're going to get resistance and you going to get short termed converts and you going to get double minded people who can't let go of the system which are also going to get the real ones and keep this in mind you're going to have an enemy all the way along in the enemy is defined for us very clearly first in verse 19, the wicked one hop on arrests. Satan the devil she's going to do everything you can to stop.

Secondly, the flesh, verse 21 people get under tribulation and persecution and they can't take the grief they want to be comfortable. They want to be fat and sassy and without complications and their lives are not willing to pay the price. Make the sacrifice.

The flesh is an enemy, and finally in verse 22 the care of the sage and the deceitfulness of riches, speaks of the world and there you have the three constant enemies of the gospel the world the flesh and the devil, and they'll be added in the process of sowing to try to stop another several lessons.

In conclusion one is this self-examination kind of soil you that's the prior lesson. What kind of soil are you where you fit.

God help you to be the good ground, and if you're that hard stuff that the birds just take the seed off you better ask God to plow your heart and if you're that rocky soil underneath a soft, superficial exterior, you better ask God to do the plowing deep and if you're that weedy so you better ask the Lord to clean you so you can receive with purity. The gospel, the first lesson in the parable is to look at your own life to come to ground you is the second lesson I love this.

The second lesson is this the issue in the parable is not the talent of the solar getting is not the talent of the soul. You take a little kid barefoot five years old. Want to got so field with his daddy's father knows how to do it beautifully. Boy slows at sea. Just mechanics and the little kids go along throwing seed all over the place.

You know some may not be as much seed hit the good soil. When the little guy throws it is when his dad's.

But when the seed it's the good soil that met who through right to does not depend on the talent of the solar and that's so important to know some people so I had liked to preach the gospel.

I like to witness for the Lord and I are not very talented. That is the issue you got to see the word of God. The issue is the condition of the soil, not the talent of the sower. I'm always amazed to visit all you know if we can get ever get so-and-so saved all how many they can win little or no known for so turned on who can they be a great soul and are known know it is not the talent of the sower. It's the nature of the soil limitation folks, the more you throw, the better the opportunity you can hit some good soil me some people to let not a seat or two every year and it is really tough just keeps going and you'll be amazed how much good soil line around no matter how incapable you may be as a sort and then remember this but sometimes the Lord plows up the stuff that doesn't receive this the seed the first time.

So don't give up infecting all they had a way of sowing sometimes in Palestine.

It was quite interesting. They would throw the seed first and then plowed under.

After sometimes you just thrown the seed you you throw it there and before the birds can hit it comes a Holy Spirit with the plow positive so be faithful hard soil, shallow soil, weedy soil may not always stay that way by God's grace, he may do some tilling and that sort so keep thrown the seed in that same field over and over, over and over over number and see if the Lord will break up the sword.

Well the lessons are very clear. Check your own life and make sure you're following the Lord Jesus sowing this disease, grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us.

In addition to teaching each day on the radio. John also serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. Our current study is looking at the parables of the kingdom.

John today's lesson brought up a vital issue that you and I have talked about for a long time.

You said genuine salvation produces good works and I know that a lot of people here that this is the Lordship issue. They think you're saying that our good works are the ground of our justification or a prerequisite to coming to Christ. But that's not the point. Is it while knowing it's pretty clearly laid out in Ephesians chapter 2. For by grace are you saved through faith that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. But it says right after that that you were saved unto good works, which God has before ordained that you should walk in them, and the language there says that God not only sovereignly chose to save you.

He sovereignly determined to produce through you good works that statement gets overlooked, which God has before ordained that you should walk in them as much as God foreordained your salvation God foreordained your sanctification and I think we leave that out there people who would argue strongly that God ordained your salvation and then deny that he also ordained your sanctification right when Scripture couldn't be more clear than that. These were the issues that we dealt with in the gospel according to Jesus, that book is still around and still having an amazing amazing impact because there are always in seems to me in every era, every time in the evangelical world.

People who don't want to rightly set sanctification in the place that it belongs in the church is not necessarily the case that people will argue against it.

They just minimize the transformative reality of the new birth, and so it seems like were always fighting that battle to say luck if you're saved, you are being sanctified because God ordained that is much easier, danger, salvation. It's one of the strangest things to think about that for what 25, 30 years now we have fought for sanctification being a fruit of justification which is so obvious in Scripture. So you need to be able to defend that reality.

Because you want to be able to say to someone unless your life is transformed, you're not a Christian because that's what salvation does and you want to be able to understand what our Lord taught, so I would just encourage you to get a copy of the gospel according to Jesus, maybe the most significant book that's ever come out of our ministry can order it today. No question the most significant book that's ever come out of our ministry and friend to make sure you know exactly what it means to follow Christ that your giving unbelievers the full, accurate gospel order a copy of the gospel according to Jesus, when you contact us today. The gospel according to Jesus costs $15 and shipping is free to order call toll-free 855 grace or go online to Jide Our number again 855 grace and our web address Jide along with his classic book. Let me also suggest the MacArthur study Bible available in the new American Standard new King James and English standard version. It's 25,000 footnotes show you what each verse means giving you historical and cultural background in explaining key biblical concept.

The notes make the study Bible. An ideal companion to books like the gospel according to Jesus, also companion to these radio broadcasts and to countless other free resources that you'll find on our website like our sermon archive. The cost is reasonable in hardcover or whether to order a MacArthur study Bible, or the gospel according to Jesus, call us at 855 grace or go online to Jide now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson, thanks for joining us today and make sure you're here tomorrow when John looks at perhaps Christ's most misunderstood parable. See what the parable of the wheat and tares really means when another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time comes your way on grace to you

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