4 Kinds of Soil

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There are 4 Kinds of Soil that the Word of God is planted into.

Today, I want to examine the parable of the sower.  This is a very common parable we hear as children and adults growing up in church, but there’s one thing that bothered me.  What about those who aren’t good ground?  

I knew that according to 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 God doesn’t wish for any to perish but for all to be saved and yet Jesus says 3 out of 4 seeds sown will not produce fruit.  

In my quiet time this morning I asked God what the problem was and this is what He showed me. 

Our Text

5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded [a]a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the [b]mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that

‘Seeing they may not see,

And hearing they may not understand.’

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 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. 13 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 [c]temptation fall away. 14 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. 15 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.[d]

Luke 8:5-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Wayside Soil

The first seed sown falls on “the wayside”.  In the parable he’s talking about the path itself, but in life “the wayside” is that place or group of people who in no form or fashion would ever want to receive Jesus.  

These are the Christ rejectors.  Those who hear the word and blatantly ignore it.  Why?  

The Bible says that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers, principalities, mights and dominions.”  The battleground is the mind and the prize is the heart of a man.  

There is nothing more precious to either side of this war than a spirit.  Paul says in Romans 1:16 that he isn’t ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power to salvation.  Faith always comes by hearing.  So what must the devil do to stop all men seeing the light of Christ?  

John 10:10 says the thief comes not but to steal, kill and to destroy.  We are talking about the first one here.  The thief comes to steal the word after it is heard. 

The Solution

So I asked God, “What can be done for those that the Devil steals the Word from?”  The solution is prayer.  

27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

Mark 3:27 New King James Version (NKJV)

Who is the strong man? Remember we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against mights and dominions.  The prize is the spirit of a man and the battleground is the mind. 

Notice in the verse this is a lower case h.  This is talking about the devil’s stronghold and the he in this verse is referring to YOU.   

The only way to see “the wayside” heart come to see Jesus is to bind the spiritual forces blinding their eyes.  

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Matthew 18:18-20 King James Version (KJV)

The Rocky Soil

The “rocky soil” is our next type of soil.  It says immediately they received the Word with gladness, but a little time later temptation caused them to fall away.  

And again I asked why?  They believed in their heart and confessed it with their mouth so why would they fall away?

Remember the devil comes to destroy.  

The Solution

These believers have faith, but their understanding and roots are shallow.  If you have ever planted a garden and seen a seedling grow, you know that when it first sprouts the roots are extremely small.  You could easily pluck up a new plant without any effort.  

This is what happens to new believers who come to Christ and are left on their own.  They become orphaned and pretty soon the devil will come along and once again steal the Word. 

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25 King James Version (KJV)

The solution is to connect these new believers with a strong church in their area.  

Many times we see this type of seed most on the mission field.  You go into a school or preach in a park and witness to strangers.  They come to accept Jesus, but then what?  

The new christian needs a home and people to train him/her in faith, but oftentimes they simply receive a Bible and move on their way.  And only God knows what happens afterwards.

The Thorny Soil

The next type of soil is the seed that fell on “thorny soil”.  These are Christians who hear the word and act upon it, but who become complacent.  They become part of the world’s system conformed to the world instead of transformed by the renewing of their mind.  

If we are honest with ourselves, most of us reading this today have been in this position at some point in our lives. We rationalize our lack of time spent with God. We are busy with all of our perfectly reasonable busyness and overstretch ourselves with responsibilities.  We’ll say, “I don’t have time to serve God because, after all, I’m tired after work and God will understand.”  

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1 John 2:16 King James Version (KJV)

The Solution

The solution to this type of ground is our own choices.  As Hebrews 12 says,

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

We must consider what we are going through and look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.  He is the one we must consider not those around us.  

13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

1 Peter 4:13 New International Version (NIV)

Good Ground

The final type of ground is the ground that produces something. This is the person who gathers with believers, stands in faith, and resists the devil.

This is the person who realizes that the world and all in it needs Jesus and sets out to go into that world and produce fruit.  If you notice, like always produces like.  A healthy tomato plant will produce fruit and pretty soon when left alone that fruit will start producing more tomato plants like itself.  

Everything around this believer is affected by his walk with Christ.  Paul puts it this way in Colossians 4:6

6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:6 New International Version (NIV)

This believer seasons all he says with the salt (the Word).  Have you ever talked with someone and it seems like no matter what the conversation starts with it finds its way back to the Word of God?  This is the way we as Christians are supposed to speak.

We are the light and salt of the earth of the earth.  It’s time we started acting like it. 

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