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Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2024 4:00 am

Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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June 13, 2024 4:00 am

Jesus was the master teacher. He taught in parables, which the meek and teachable could understand, while the scholars could not. In this message, Adrian Rogers explains the parable of the sower, and how we can understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.

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Pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers has introduced people all over the world to the love of Jesus Christ and has impacted untold numbers of lives by presenting profound truth, simply stated. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. It is not an open book to those who are the enemies of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but it is plain and sweet to those who have certain mysterious truths revealed to them. And as we've said many times, the Bible is God's love letter to his children.

If you read it and don't understand it, it's because you've been reading somebody else's mail. It is a message written to a particular class of people, as we're going to see, and there are mysteries in the Word of God. You cannot pry truth out of them. There are certain truths that have to be revealed to you. Now, in the 13th chapter of Matthew are seven parables, and Jesus calls these parables the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. The first one that we're going to look at in just a moment deals with the seeming failure of the gospel, because when we look at the world with its wickedness and we look at the church with its weakness and failures and disappointment and many times sin, we may have the idea that we're going to be the gospel is not all that it purported to be or began to be back some 2,000 years ago, and perhaps the gospel has failed. And first of all, we look around and there's disappointment, and the disappointment causes doubt and the doubt causes despair.

Well, I want to take all of that away from you. And when you study these seven parables, these seven sacred secrets, these seven mysteries of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, you're going to say, hallelujah, praise God, everything is exactly, precisely what God said that it would be, and it will engender great faith in your heart and in your life. Now, Jesus was a man of faith, and he was a man of faith. Now, Jesus was the master teacher. Nobody ever taught like the Lord Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, even his enemies had to say, no man ever spake like this man. Who could withstand the teaching of Jesus? Who could controvert him? Who could argue with him? Who could confuse him? And yet the Lord Jesus taught in such a way that little children could understand him who had open and ready hearts.

And so I hope you'll have a great time. As we begin this sevenfold series on the strange mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Now, before we really even get into this chapter, I want you to notice several things about the master teacher. First of all, I want you to notice the method of his teaching, verses one through three. The same day when Jesus out of the house and set by the seaside. Now you've heard of the Sermon on the Mount. This is the sermon by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together with him so that he went out into a ship and set and the whole multitude stood on the shore. They were crowding him so much, he had to get in a boat and get a little way offshore so that he could have a good time.

They were crowding him so much, he had to get in a boat and get a little way offshore so that he could have room to speak. And he spake many things unto them in parables. Now you see the word parable, just underscore that. That was the method of his teaching at this particular time he spoke in parables. He fast forward to verse 10, and the disciples came and said unto him, why speakest thou unto them in parables? Now, what is a parable?

Well, it reminds us of the word parallel and the two words are related. A parable is an earthly story that has a heavenly meaning. Okay, that's the definition for a parable.

You got that? A parable is an earthly story, but it has a heavenly meaning. It's a story, but in the story there is more than what meets the ear. All right, now the method of his teaching here is parables. Now, what is the mystery of his teaching? Why did he teach in parables? Well, you in verse 10 continue to read, his disciples came and said unto him, why speakest thou unto them in parables? And he answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

So there's some on the inside and there's some on the outside. And so the mystery of his teaching is this, that there is hidden truth in the Bible that cannot be known by human wisdom. Man's wisdom, man's intellect is not enough. You're not going to pry truth out of the Bible.

I don't care how smart you are, how intellectual you are, how many grams of gray matter between your ears, you're not going to be able to rest truth and get truth out of the Bible. Some people truth is given to and other people it's withheld from. To you it's given, to them it's not given. What is the motive? Well, first of all, to reveal. He wanted to reveal to them certain things.

For example, look if you will in verse 12, for whosoever hath to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance. So the Lord says, I'm going to teach certain things to those of you who have certain things. I am letting you in on a secret. Now they might have said, well, why us?

Why do you want to let us in on a secret? Well, he saw certain things in these people. They may have been tax collectors, they may have been fishermen, they may have been ordinary people, but they had something on the inside. And Jesus could see what they had on the inside. And so he says, for whosoever hath to him is shall be given. You see, they had a desire to know truth. Do you have a desire to know truth? The Bible says in Matthew chapter 25 verse 9, the meek will he guide in judgment and the meek will he teach his way. Do you know what the word meek means? It means teachable and guideable.

Are you teachable and guideable? Or God wants to share his sacred secrets with you. But on the other hand, there are those that not only does he want to learn and reveal things to, but there are others that he's going to hide things from.

It's very strange, but look at this. Verse 12, for whosoever hath to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance. Now watch, but whosoever hath not from him shall be taken away that even which he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables because they seeing see not and hearing they hear not and neither do they understand. Why did Jesus speak in parables? Sometimes people say, well, Jesus spoke in parables to make it very clear only to a certain class. He spoke in parables to reveal and to conceal that those who have to them shall be given more, but to those who have not shall be taken away even that which they have.

What does that mean? Well, it means spiritually the rich get richer. Have you ever heard in the material realm the rich get richer? That's true in the spiritual realm. To him that hath shall be given. To him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. You say, well, now why would Jesus do that? I mean, why doesn't he just give more to the person who doesn't have? Why does he give more to the person who already has? Why spiritually do the rich get richer?

Well, let's go back to the material world. Why do the rich get richer in the material world? Suppose you were a businessman and you had two businesses and let's suppose that you invested $50,000 in each of those businesses. One business immediately began to lose money and was mismanaged.

The other business immediately began to make money and to grow and to make money for you. What would you do? You would take the money that you've invested over here in this business that's losing money and you would put it over here in the business that's making money.

Wouldn't you do that? You would give to him that hath and to him that hath not. You'd take away even what he has.

If he doesn't have the moxie, if he doesn't have the drive, if he doesn't have the incentive to make that business work, you take what you've invested there and you invest it somewhere else. Now, so there's a truth about truth and here's the truth about truth. If you don't use it, you'll lose it. Now, truth is not something you can just put in your pocket and say, well, that's interesting. It's not meant to be interesting.

It's meant to be disturbing, disturbing enough that you will obey it and so you must use it. Truth not used is taken away, use it or lose it. Now, so what you have here is the master teacher. You have the method of his teaching which is parables. You have the mystery of his teaching both to reveal and to conceal and you have the motive that to those who have, he's going to give more. To those who have not, he's going to take away even that which they have and so you have to understand that the reason the Lord Jesus was doing this, very frankly, this 13th chapter of Matthew is the very first time he ever used parables. Don't get the idea that Jesus came teaching in parables.

He didn't. He began to teach in parables at this stage. You know why he taught in parables? Well, if you go back to Matthew 12, they said he has a demon. The hostility began to rise against the Lord Jesus Christ and they began to carp and criticize and find fault. He began to teach in parables.

Why? It was his righteous judgment. You know the Lord Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, you know what he said? He said, don't cast your pearls before swine.

Isn't that what he said? Don't cast your pearls before swine and he was not going to take the pearls of his truth and cast before those people who accused him of having a demon. So he said to you, those of you who want to know truth, it is given but to those of you who don't want to know truth, I'm going to take away even the so-called truth you think you have. So he taught in parables not merely to make it clear but also to make it obscure, not merely to reveal but also to conceal.

Now, that's all just by background. Now, we're going to get into the first of these seven sacred secrets and we're going to talk about has the gospel failed? And this is, of course, one of the most prominent and well-known parables in all of the Bible. It is the parable of the sower. So again, go back now to chapter 13, verse 3, and he spake many things unto them in parables saying, behold, a sower went forth to sow and he sowed.

Now, boys and girls, that doesn't mean sow like you sow up your britches. It means he's planting seed. Some seeds fell by the wayside and the fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth and forthwith they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth.

But when the sun was up, they were scorched and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns and the thorns sprung up and choked them, but other fell unto good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Now, not everybody that day had ears to hear, but he says, those of you can understand, those of you who have ears to hear, let him hear. Now, there are three basic things in this parable. There is the seed, the sower, and the soil. And we're going to think about those, the seed, the sower, and the soil. And we're going to find out why, what all of this means, and really then we're going to ask ourselves this question, has the gospel failed? Now, what is the seed in this parable?

Well, we don't have to guess about it. You know, verse three says that a sower went forth to sow some seeds. Well, go over to verse 19, and Jesus explains this. And he says, well, verse 18, hear ye therefore the parable of the sower, when anyone heareth the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not. Now, the seed therefore is the word of the kingdom.

The word of the kingdom is the Bible. The Bible is like a seed. And why is the Bible like seed? Because seed has life. My wife can tell you that one of the things that I ponder about often and almost get philosophical about is seed. I'm enamored by seed. Seeds are incredible things. Take a watermelon seed, a little thing no bigger than my little fingernail there. And you can put that in the ground, and that little seed will go out in the ground and suck out a vine. And then it'll take that vine and suck watermelons out of the ground.

It does. Where does it get all that? From the dirt and the moisture. Now, you say, well, sure, everybody knows that. Suppose you've never seen one before. I mean, you would say, oh, that's a miracle.

I mean, think, you can take that little thing and put it in the ground, and that's what it does. It's an amazing thing, but we're just used to it. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, everything's wonderful till you get used to it. You remember when you first could change the channel like this?

Your kids are not impressed with that at all. But you see, we just get used to things. The Bible is a seed. Let me give you some verses that teach this. For example, 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 23, the Bible says, being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. See, the Bible is alive. Hebrews 4-12, for the word of God is quick and powerful. The word quick is the word we get our word zoology from, zoan, life.

It's the word we get our word zoo from. The word of God is quick and powerful. And the word powerful is the word we get our word energy from, energies. The Bible is zoan, energies. It pulsates with life.

It's not like any other book. Friend, I have been preaching the Bible long enough to know there is power in the word of God. I mean power.

I meant what I said. It is alive. It is powerful.

It pulsates with power. It's like a seed. And the secret of a seed is that it germinates life. It has life in it. Jesus in John chapter 6 said to his disciples, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.

The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. A seed has life. If you want to have a crop, let me tell you, you can plow all you want. You can fertilize all you want. You can irrigate all you want. But if you don't put a seed in, you're not going to have a crop.

Isn't that true? I wish preachers would learn this. You know the preachers who specialize sometimes in plowing and irrigation and fertilizer, but they fail to put the seed in.

It's not enough to tickle the soil. You've got to sow the seed. A sower went forth to sow.

No church that is not a Bible preaching church is going to grow. It's not going to reproduce because the life comes from the seed. A sower went forth to sow. The seed is the word of the kingdom.

You want to be a soul winner? You'll never be a soul winner without sowing the seed. You've got to sow the seed. All right, there are many ways to do it, but why don't you pray that God will make you a seed sower? The seed is the word of God.

Now, let's move to the second thing. If the seed is the word of God, who is the sower of the seed? The sower of the seed in this parable is Jesus Christ himself. Now, notice in verse 3, he says a sower went forth to sow. Well, who is the sower?

Well, go over to verse 37 and look, if you will, and you're going to find out who the sower is. Verse 38, and he answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the son of man. Now, the son of man was a term that Jesus used to describe himself. He, the son of God, called himself the son of man because he was both God the son and the God man, and so he was the son of man.

That was one of his favorite designations of himself. Jesus Christ, the sower, and he is shown here just scattering seed with a lavish hand. He's not careful about the seed. He says some seed falls on the wayside. Some falls on stony ground. Some falls among thorns.

Some falls on good ground. He's just scattering seed everywhere. That is the son of man, the Lord Jesus. Now, he's taught us to do the same thing because he says, As my Father has sent me, even so send I you. So as he is a sower, I'm to be a sower. He is my example, and he's my follower, and one of the things I think all of us need to do is begin to scatter seed everywhere.

It doesn't make any difference where you are anytime. You never know when the seed is going to sprout, and don't you be as much a soil tester as you are a seed sower. Now, I've had enough experiences in life to know that many times when you think that your seed is going to bring forth fruit, it doesn't do it.

And sometimes you think you're just sowing on stony ground or thorny ground or hard ground and shallow ground, and it brings forth fruit. I can remember Mr. Brennan. He had a son, great big tall crop dusting son. His son was so tall, he actually hung both legs outside the airplane when he flew, literally. He couldn't get them up in there.

You have to bring them up. He was that tall a guy, and he'd been on drugs, but he got saved. And then he wanted me to come out to his house. And so I went to his house. He said, now, my daddy doesn't like you.

As a matter of fact, my daddy hates you. But he said, I want you to come, and I want to have some friends over. So I went over to Mr. Brennan's house, and I sat there, and I opened my Bible, and I thought, he came in.

I've never seen a stony or harder look on any man in my life than Mr. Brennan. But I shared, you know, and talked and tried not to notice him. Very frankly, I was a little intimidated by him.

But I just went ahead and shared, and just sowing seed, sowing seed. I had forgotten about that instant, that time, till several years later, more than four years later, I was in a church service, and a man stood up to give a testimony. And I thought, boy, I think I know that guy.

And I looked at it. Do you know who it was? Mr. Brennan. And this was his testimony. He said, through the witness of that man, and pointed to me, I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I thought, my goodness, I thought that guy, I thought if ever I sowed on concrete, I did that night. And there he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ.

The sower's just sowing everywhere. I was in Pensacola one time, and there was a man whose name was Mr. Forche. I'd gotten his name somehow, and I went into his house to share with him.

I may have told you this story. I sat down, I got him out in the living room, and I wanted to get him isolated so I could share the gospel with him, and he seemed to be very open, but his mother came in. Now, folks, if I had been Cecil B. DeMille, and I wanted to do some typecasting for a witch, she'd have been number one. She had a face like a hatchet, and she came in and sat down on the couch across the room, and I'm sitting by this guy, and she's sitting over there, and she had a bowl of snapping beans in a colander, and I'm over there sharing the gospel with that man, and she's over there snapping those beans, and every time she snapped one, I could feel my neck break, whack, whack, snapping those beans just looking at me. It was as disconcerting as any witness I've ever been in, but I just kept on going. I decided I'm not going to let the devil intimidate me.

That woman is so full of the devil, and she must be demon-possessed, and I just went on, and boy, she's snapping those beans just like that. Finally, I said to Mr. Fauchet, would you like to pray and receive Christ as your personal Savior and Lord? He nodded his head. He prayed and asked Christ into his heart.

You know, I wanted to obey the Bible that says, watch and pray. I want to keep one eye on her while I was praying, but he prayed and asked Christ to come into his heart. Then I said to him, if you really meant that, would you give me your hand? He gave me his hand, and boy, then she stood up and started for me. I said, uh-oh, here it comes. How do you fight a woman?

What am I going to do? And she started for me, and she put out her hand to let me know she too had prayed and asked Jesus Christ into her heart. And I thought, Adrian, what a clutch you are. How dumb you are.

You'd already made up your mind what kind of soil that was. That dear, precious woman had come out because she wanted to hear about Jesus, and she sat there and saw her son get saved, and she got saved. You never know. I got a letter a while back from Merritt Island. A man, he's a Presbyterian minister. He said, forgive me for not writing you, but he said, years and years ago, I was a long-haired hippie, and you stopped and picked me up and shared Jesus with me. He said, I made out like I didn't care at all what you said. He said, I stonewalled you. But he said, I never could get it out of my heart. And he said, God has saved me and called me to preach. And I don't even remember it.

I have no recollection of ever even picking the guy up. But, folks, I tell you what we need to do. Just scatter the seed. Don't test the soil. Just scatter the seed.

Here's the Lord Jesus Christ. He's sowing with a lavish hand. Some falls by the wayside. Some falls in the stony places. Some falls among the weeds.

Some falls on the good ground. The sower is the Lord Jesus Christ. But the main emphasis in this parable is the soil. Now, there are four kinds of soil in this parable, and the soil represents the hearts of men and women, the heart of those who hear the Word. For example, look in verse 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up.

Some fell on stony places, verse 5, and then verse 7, some fell among thorns, and then verse 8, some fell on good ground. Well, what does that represent? Well, go over to verse 15. You can see that it represents those who hear. For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. And so he's talking here about the heart, and then he goes on to say, in that same verse, lest they should understand with their heart. And so the soil is the hearts of people, and we're sowing the seed in hearts.

Now, there are different kinds of hearts. There are three basic reasons why a preacher can preach and people will not respond to his preaching, or why a soul winner can witness and people do not respond to the witness. First of all, there is the heart where the seed has no reception.

The seed has no reception. Listen to verse 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up.

Now, what does that mean, some fell by the wayside? Well, go again to verse 19. When anyone heareth the words of the kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he that receiveth seed by the wayside. Do you know, Satan always attends church.

He sends an emissary if he doesn't attend himself, the wicked one. And so Adrian is up here sowing seed. Now, if your heart is a hard heart, a wayside heart, when I sow it, Satan just comes like a bird and steals the seed right off the surface, because while I'm here speaking tonight, you're trying to decide whether or not you're going to go to El Chico's or Jay Alexander's or something like that.

And you just are what you've got to do tomorrow or whether the kids' clothes are ready for school tomorrow, whatever, in your mind. Satan is just stealing away the seed, because the seed has no reception in your heart. What is the wayside? Well, in Bible times, the wayside is what today we would call the sidewalk, only they didn't have sidewalks of concrete. They just had packed-down soil. And many times, the wayside is just a path through the field or alongside of the field, and it has been trampled on.

It has been trodden underfoot by this world until it becomes so hard that it is impenetrable. And so the seed is the Word of God. The sower is Jesus Christ himself. Nothing wrong with the seed. Certainly nothing wrong with the sower. But the heart is so hard that the seed has no reception.

It cannot get in. And there are many people like that, but you have a hard heart, and you're not going to understand what I say, and the seed is not going to get into your heart. Look again in verse 19, when anyone heareth the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.

This is he which receiveth seed by the wayside. Your heart can get hard. There's some listening to me by radio I trust who have a hard heart. I don't want you to have a hard heart, but you could have a hard heart. You see, in Hebrews chapter 3, the Bible says, Today if you will hear God's voice, harden not your heart. Your heart can get hard. Now, anything you do long enough, you get good at. If you reject the gospel long enough, you become a professional gospel rejecter.

Your heart can get hard. Have you ever heard anybody say something like this? Preachers don't preach like they used to when I was a boy. Some of them do. You just don't hear like you did when you were a boy.

That's the difference. I illustrate it this way. If you've ever been out in the woods, and you've seen some charred stump, maybe the stump of a pine, and it's just the stump is there, and it is black and covered with charcoal. It's just charred and burned over.

Now, what happened? Well, there was a time that somebody came in there and cut that pine tree down, and you know what happens when you cut a pine tree down? The sap, the rosin, just oozes out, and then there comes a fire in the brush, and the weeds, and the bushes, and everything all around that stump, and when the fire comes roaring by, that stump blazes. It catches fire and blazes brightly, but then what happens? After a while, it burns itself out, and it's charred and blackened. Now, perhaps in a year or so, that underbrush grows up again, and again there's a fire, and the fire comes to where that stump is, and that stump this time, if the fire is hot enough, it will flicker. It will burn not nearly as bright, not nearly as long, and then it'll go out, but you know there will come a time when no matter how hot the fire is, it can be a roaring inferno, but when it comes to that stump, it just jumps over. There's not a glow.

Do you know why? It is charred. It is hardened. It is burned over.

It is seared. The Bible speaks of those whose conscience is seared with a hot iron, and I've been in services, folks, where the Holy Ghost of God is moving like a fire across a congregation, but there are people who can sit there and not be moved at all. They don't feel one thing.

They are not touched because the seed does not get in. Their hearts are charred, hardened. They're like the wayside that's been trampled on. They're like the stump that has been burnt over, and that's the reason the Bible says today if you will hear God's voice, harden not your heart, and I want to say something to you. If you have any inclination to come to Jesus, do it.

Do it. Don't play with this thing called salvation, but then there's another kind of seed. First of all, the seed with no reception, and secondly, the seed with no root.

It gets in, but it doesn't get down. Look in verses 5 and 6. And some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth. Now, when the Bible says stony places, it doesn't mean soil with a lot of stones in it.

It means soil that is shallow. In Israel, if you've been to Israel, you know that there are great limestone ledges and limestone stratus sometimes right under the earth. There may only be a half an inch of earth on top of solid rock. Now, you don't know there's only a half inch of earth there. It may be feet deep so far as you know, but that's what the Bible calls the stony place, and it doesn't have much earth.

So now look at it. Some fell on stony places where they had not much earth, and for with, they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth. They come up first. The shallowness causes the seed to sprout. It's like an incubator. It's warm. It's warmer there. The sun is beating upon it. It's right there on the surface.

Why? It just springs up immediately. You say, well, what a wonderful harvest, but now notice in verse 6, and when the sun was up, that is all the way up, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away. Some seed, no reception.

Some seed, no root. Well, what does that speak of? Well, go over to verse 20. But he that receiveth the seed into stony places, and the same is he that heareth the word of God, and anon, with joy he receiveth it. Yet he hath no root in himself, but doeth for a while, for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

I've seen it happen so many times. I've been preaching the Bible long enough. Now I'm getting a perspective, and I don't get excited every time somebody shouts hallelujah. I don't get excited every time somebody comes down the aisle weeping. I try to see it in perspective, because I know that there are shallow individuals, and they are living in the realm of the emotion, and everybody gets happy, and I get happy, and that's wonderful, and nothing wrong with emotion.

That's fine. We're to love God with all of our soul, but I want to tell you this, and I've told you before. Your emotions are the shallowest part of your nature. Salvation is the deepest work of God, and God doesn't do the deepest work in the shallowest part. Don't you ever forget that. Salvation is in the spirit of man down deep, and so many times people have an emotional spasm.

They get into meetings and a certain kind of music, certain kind of preaching, certain kind of exhortation and so forth, and they say, yes, I want to be a Christian. Hallelujah. But let the sun get up. Let tribulation come.

Let persecution come. Let somebody hurt their feelings. Let the doctor give them a bad report. Let them get fired from their job.

Let them have some problems in life. Boy, they're gone. They're gone. They didn't lose their salvation.

They never had it. The seed got in, but the seed did not get down, and it happens so many times. These are the emotional people. You see, if your heart is a shallow heart, your heart is soon going to be scorched, and you're going to wither. Now, here's the third soil. First, the seed has no reception. Secondly, the seed has no root.

Thirdly, the seed has no room. Look in verse 7. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them.

That is, literally, it crowded them out. Well, look, if you will, in verse 22. He also that received the seed among the thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches.

Did you know that riches are so deceitful? The deceitfulness of riches choked the word, and he becometh unfruitful. Now, in the first place, the seed could not get in. In the second place, the seed could not get down. In the third place, the seed can't get free. It's just choked by all of these things.

There was a rival crop, and that rival crop was undisturbed. Like so many people, they just want to add Jesus Christ on. They don't want to make Jesus Christ all. They just say, well, I'd like salvation as a byproduct. But you see, the thorns, from time immemorial, from the Garden of Eden, represent that which is cursed, represents that which is typical of sin, and unless there's repentance, you're not saved. If there's a rival crop, if you've tried to make Jesus Christ a sideline, so many people don't know what repentance is. Repentance is not being broken over your sin.

It's being broken from your sin. The Bible says, thou shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sin. It may surprise you to learn that Jesus didn't come to save you from hell. He came to save you from sin, and if he can't save you from sin, he sure can't save you from hell.

Thou shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sin. First time, no reception. Second time, no root.

Third time, no room. Now, in each instant, there was nothing wrong with the sower and nothing wrong with the seed, but now there was a fourth kind of soil, and thank God for that, and this soil, it was not a matter that there was no reception, no root, no room, but this soil, there was no refusal. It just opens his heart. Look in verse 8. But other fell on good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. This is the open heart of the man with sincerity who hears the Word of God. And by the way, do you know how you test your life as a Christian? Is there fruit in your life? Is there fruit in your life?

Has your life been changed? Are you just a church member? Is there fruit in your life? Is the Bible real to you? Is there joy in the Holy Ghost? Is Christ Lord?

Do you have a desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ? What right do you have to call yourself a follower of Jesus if the fruit of the Spirit is not there? Well, you say, maybe I'm just bad soil, not my fault. Well, the Bible teaches that the soil can do something about itself.

Jeremiah chapter 4, verse 3. Break up your fallow ground and sow not among thorns. Break up your fallow ground. Do you know what fallow ground is? It's ground that has not been plowed. It's ground that's not been cultivated.

It's just lying fallow. And God says, put the plow in and break it up. I want you just to get those thorns out, to be willing to repent of your sin because you can't get the thorns out apart from the Lord, but he will do that for you. Again, in Hosea chapter 10, verse 12, he says this, Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy. Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord till he come and rain righteousness upon you. See, you're not destined to go to hell just because your heart is hard.

Break it up. A broken and a contrite spirit, thou wilt not despise, O God. I was preaching a revival in a southern Louisiana town, and I was preaching, and folks, I'm telling you, it was as dead as four o'clock. Nothing was happening. I fasted, I prayed, I wept, I sought God, I did everything that I knew to do.

Nothing was happening. And one night, I'd preached my heart out. I tore my lungs out preaching the Word of God, and those folks just sitting there unmoved, undisturbed. I said to God, God, I've got to have a word from you. I am frustrated. Nobody needs to be frustrated if he's a preacher of the gospel. I said to the pastor of that church, I said, Pastor, you take the invitation. I've got to pray.

This happened during the invitation. I was just frustrated. And I opened my Bible, and I don't recommend this as Bible study, but folks, I was desperate. I said, God, I've got to have a word from you. I'm going to let my Bible fall open at random, and I'm going to put my finger upon a verse of Scripture.

Let it be for me. And I opened my Bible, I put my finger on a verse of Scripture. It was in Ezekiel chapter 3, verse 7.

And it said this, For the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee, for they will not hearken unto me, for they are a rebellious house. I said, oh, why didn't I see that? I haven't failed.

I'm just the messenger boy. I preached right. My heart was right. The only reason they didn't hear me is, Lord, they didn't hear you. They have not sinned against me. I haven't failed.

They just hardened their heart against you. That was such a blessing, almost shouted. I said, Lord, that was so good, show me another one. I'm telling you, folks, just like it happened. And I just turned the page and put my finger down on another verse, and when it did, I almost came unglued.

Here's what it said. Ezekiel 2, 5, And whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, yet shall they know there hath been a prophet among them. Thank you, God.

That's it. Thank you, God. Whether they hear, whether they don't. You say, well, that's just a coincidence you found those verses. Coincidence or not, they're still true.

Still true. Whether they hear, whether they don't, that's not my business. My business is to scatter the seed, to sow the seed. Some fall on hard ground. The wayside, there's no reception. Some stony ground, there's no root. Some fall on thorny ground, there's no room. But I've been preaching long enough to know, thank God, some falls on good ground, and it brings forth fruit. Has the gospel failed? Absolutely not. There's nothing wrong with the seed.

The problem is always the soil. And now, friend, why don't you just break up your heart? Why don't you receive the Word right now? Why don't you say, Lord Jesus, put that gospel seed in my heart. I trust you. I receive you. Not on the surface, but down deep as my Lord and Savior.

I receive you. Say it, pray it, and mean it. In Jesus' holy name, amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-13 07:49:51 / 2024-06-13 08:07:45 / 18

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