“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his HEART…” – Matthew 13:19
“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good HEART, and bear fruit with patience.” – Luke 8:15
It is clear from our Lord’s explanation in the above verses that the seed sown is the word or good news of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:10,12) and the different types of soil condition referred to the different receptivity of different hearts towards the gospel.
The Lord always cautioned how we should hear His message referring to how our hearts are going to receive His word. “He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:9).
That is the crux of this parable – the right response of the heart to the gospel – and bearing fruit is the evidence of hearing and responding with our heart correctly.
And it is not about bearing fruit by changing the quality of seed as in introducing watered down and feel good gospel message such as the false hyper grace gospel, or improving the technique of sowing the seed as in sharing the gospel in great amphitheaters or concert-like worship service.
To say that repentance is just mere change of mind about the Lord Jesus and not include the right response of the heart as taught by false hyper grace teachers is a false gospel. (Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9.)
First Type Of Soil Condition
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” – Matthew 13:19
Jesus was telling the parable not to atheists but to Jews who believed in God. The first type of soil were hearts that were totally hardened. To them, our Lord said, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires…”. John 8:44.
Today, these are the hardcore cheap grace or hyper grace believers. Because their hearts are so hard to really listen to the words of Jesus, the devil will be so quick to snatch the truth away. They simply love worldliness and so they will only hear feel good messages and not hard truths from our Lord.
Take this simple example. Jesus said life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. Luke 12:15. Yet these believers choose to believe a lie from the devil that abundant life is an abundance of every good thing in life.
Or take another example. The word of God said in 1 Pet 4:12 that we should not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon us to test us, as though something strange were happening to us. Yet these believers simply allow the devil to snatch this truth away and replace by this lie – that only good things happen to those who believe God loves them.
Second Type Of Soil Condition
“And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.” – Luke 8:13
This type of soil has only a few inches of soil but underneath all the way is a bed of rocks, ie, mostly hardened ground. These are believers who believed initially with joy but it is sad that they will have no root for their hearts are mostly rock-hard actually and they will only believe for a while.
It is not a question whether their faith will fail but when their faith will fail. Because of lack of root, they will wither eventually.
These are believers who come to Jesus for a certain selfish motive that He will fix all their problems or make their lives easier. Today, these are the majority of the cheap grace or hyper grace believers, unlike the hardcore ones. They feel so relieved of the guilt of their continual sin and overjoyed when they hear the false teacher teaches that they need not worry anymore about sinning for their past, present and future sins are forgiven. And that the Holy Spirit will not convict them of their continual sins while still living in those sins. I believe they have never really repented at all in the first place because their hearts are mostly hardened towards the word of God. As expected, they will either trivialize or demonize the Law.
Third Type Of Soil Condition
“And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.” – Luke 8:14
The third type of soil is the weedy soil with much weeds and thorns infested that choke the plant not to be fruitful. They represent believers who actually try to walk the way of faith as they “hear and go on their way. “ But the cares of the world (as in fame, worldly ambitions, achievements and prestige), riches and pleasures of life so infested their hearts and choke their walk and cause them to be unfruitful.
Riches and pleasure are not inherently wrong and may be God’s blessings but what is wrong is the inordinate priority of such things that actually reign in their hearts.
Today, these are the believers in the denominational churches whom I call the “respectable Christendom”. In James 4:4, Apostle James called such believers, who love the world, adulterers because adulterers not only have one lawful spouse but several unlawful ones and they love the unlawful ones more than the lawful one. Apostle John in 1 John 2:5-7 even said there can be no love for God in this kind of hearts which are at enmity with God instead. The love of money and the world cover more ground in these hearts than the love of God. They think they can have both masters.
Their main preoccupation is cares of this world, riches and pleasures of life. They make sure everyone notice their lofty position in society, their wealth and their achievements, building multi-million dollar homes and living in dissipation rather than be fruitful in doing good works, generous and ready to share their wealth. 1 Tim 6:17-19.
Truly, those who cannot give up the stranglehold of family, worldly ambitions and possessions in their impure hearts cannot be Christ’s disciples. Luke 14:26,27,33.
Fourth Type Of Soil Condition
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit…” – Matthew 13:23
“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” – Luke 8:15
The fourth type of soil is well cultivated good soil. Such a heart hears the gospel, understands it and accepts it (Mk 4:20). And hold it fast HONESTLY and will not let go. This is the heart that will endure to the end. It will bear fruit and bear it abundantly with patience or endurance.
Such hearts will bear the following fruit :
1. Fruit of the Spirit. Gal 5:22
2. Fruit of the lips in genuine worship in spirit and in truth. Heb 13:15
3. Fruit in every good work. Col 1:10. Eph 2:10. (Doing good and sharing what they have is their worship sacrifice. Heb 13:16.)
4. Gathering fruit (souls) for eternal life. John 4:35-38.
Left to ourselves, we are unable to bear any such fruit as our hearts will get even harder and much entangled with the world. God needs to cultivate the heart to receive the gospel. Thus we can only be saved by His grace. He will pour love into our hearts. He will cleanse us and gives us a new heart and a new spirit. And even gives His Spirit to indwell us to help us to obey His commandments. Ezekiel 36:25-27. When we ABIDE in Christ, and His words abide in us, then we can eventually bear fruit with patience. John 15:7-8. Apart from Christ, we can bear NO fruit. John 15:5.