Mark 4:14, “The farmer sows the word.”
The four responses to the gospel are based on the four kinds of hearts, which are; (1) Rejection: from a hard unbelieving heart, (2) Backsliding: from a shallow heart, (3) Sinful: from a heart overwhelmed with sin, and lastly, (4) Acceptance & Growth: from a believing and accepting heart.
In the parable of the sower Jesus taught that the preacher of God’s Word is the farmer, the Word of God is the seed, and the hearer’s heart is the ground. First, the unbelieving heart is compared to seed falling on a path. Once the seed falls on the path Satan comes like a bird and eats the seed. This is likened unto someone who does not believe the Gospel, they instantly reject it, and refuse to try to understand it and receive it. Therefore, they lose the chance to get saved and remain lost, Mark 4:15.
Second, the shallow heart is compared to someone who receives the Word of God like a seed falling in rocky places or in between the cracks. They believe and begin to grow but when the sun comes out they quickly wither and die. Jesus said that the sun of affliction that causes them to go back on their commitment is the trouble and persecution they face, Mark 4:16-17.
Third, the sinful heart is compared to a seed falling among the thorns and weeds. The seed has growth but it doesn’t develop and grow properly because the weeds eventually choke it out. Jesus said this person believes for a time but because of worry, the deceitfulness of money, and other things they give up, Mark 4:18-19.
Lastly, the good soil is compared to those who hear the Word of God, accept it, and produce good fruit 30, 60, 100x what was planted, Mark 4:20. Therefore, everyone who hears the gospel has the chance to except it and produce good fruit. The preacher, nor the Word of God determine the results- it is the free will of man.
Our job as preachers is not to make “believers” but rather to go and preach the gospel like a farmer planting seed and let people make their own choice. Start planting the Word of God!
- Ask God to guard your heart from giving up because of troubles or getting choked out because of sin.
- Be faithful to preach the Word of God whenever you have the opportunity.
- Pray that God will prepare people’s hearts and send you to those who are ready to accept Him!