- Religion and Philosophy
The Hearers of the Word
The Hearers of the Word
“The one who received the seed that fell on the rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. “
Matthew 13 : 20-21
What kind of ground are you ?
In the gospel of Matthew chapter 13 verses 1-23, Jesus speaks about the “Parable of the Sower.” This parable is about the stories of four seeds that were planted on four different kinds of soil.
The first seed is sown along the path. Usually what kind of soil is found along the path. Usually the soil along the path is hardened. It is hardened by the trampling of the feet of the people who pass by the road. When you sow seeds on it, they will just stuck on the surface until birds came to eat it. The soil that receive the first seed is a ground along the path, it is hardened.
The first ground refers to the people who do not understand the message of the Kingdom. They do not understand the message of the Kingdom because they have hardened their hearts.
What are the things that hardened people’s hearts ?
There are many things that harden people’s hearts that they do not understand the Gospel of the Kingdom .Some of these things are the traditions, beliefs and rituals of a religion. Many people were not get saved because they hold on to their religious beliefs and traditions. They are very mush attached to it, They don’t want to give up their religious beliefs and practices.
Because they hold on to their religious beliefs and practices they do not understand the Gospel when it is preached to them. Or their understanding of the Gospel is only half-truth because they don’t want to give up the false teachings of their religion.
Another thing that hardens people’s heart is sinfulness. Many people don’t want to embrace the Gospel because they don’t want to give up their sinful lives. Or they may accept Christian teachings but cannot fully comprehend it because of sinfulness in their lives. They maybe attending church but are not yet saved. Their sinfulness keeps them from understanding the Word of God.
The second seed is sown on rocky places. What kind of ground are rocky places ? Rocky places are ground with no much soil . When seeds are sown into it , they sprung up quickly but eventually dies because the soil was shallow.
What kind of hearers are the ground of rocky places ?
Theses kind of hearers refer to people who accepted the message of the Kingdom with gladness in their hearts but only to forsake it after many trials. For the first few months they are happy attending Christian fellowships and gatherings .But when troubles,trials, difficulties and persecutions come, they readily fall away.
I have seen already many people like that. I have ministered to those kind of people several yeas ago in my ministry. At first during the first few months they were consistent in the ministry. But after experiencing trials and persecutions, they ceased from attending Christian gatherings.
Those kind of hearers have not really been born again. They have not experienced genuine conversion or salvation .I believe a true Christian who fully understand the Gospel and experienced genuine salvation will persevere through trials. Throughout all the difficulties, trials and persecutions of Christian life he will stick to the fairh because he has fully seen the light.
The third seed is sown on thorny places. The seed sown on this soil grew up but choked up by the thorns.The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is a man who hears the Word, but the worries of this life and the deceithulness of wealth choke it , making it unfruitful.
The man who loves wealth and the world will never experience true conversion to Christ.This kind of hearer of the Word is easily annoyed by the cares of this life. He is so earthly minded and loves wealth and the world so much.. In order to be genuinely saved we must give up our lust for money and love for the world. One cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and money.
The third hearer of the Word is a person living a double life, professing to be a Christian yet doing dirty jobs for money. Becoming rich is not sin, but doing dirty jobs like usury, accepting bribery and stealing government funds to get rich is a deadly sin.
The fourth ground where the seed is sown is the only good soil, This soil refers to the hearer who truly got saved after accepting the message of the Kingdom He is the only one saved from the rest of the hearers.
The fourth seed fell on good soil where It produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. The true Christian cannot be stopped from being productive. A true Christian who fully understands the message of the Kingdom will be fruitful by doing the works of the Kingdom of God. This is one of the strong evidences of being saved, being productive in the Kingdom of God.. .
When you truly experienced the salvation of God, you cannot be hindered from proclaiming the message of salvation to others. Experiencing God’s love yourself, you want to share the love of God with others. The love of God is flowing out of you. There is a reason to question the validity of salvation of some professors of the Christian faith who had been Christian for so many years but are not doing the works of the Kingdom.They have been professing Christians for so many years but they have no fruits, they never involve themselves in a ministry.
The major lesson of the “Parable of the sower” is that not all hearers of God’s Word are true believers. We are exhorted by the parable to examine ourselves whether we are true christians or not. .