Summary: By pointing out the dangers of the rocky soil in Mark 4, there is an appeal to be humble, earnest and sincere in our walk with the Lord. The Rocky soil convert receives the gospel gladly, progresses in it rapidly, but then falls away quickly
Sown among Rocks
Introduction: During our Wednesday night service, Pedro had a great point about our church during our testimony service and it spurred a thought, that I want to expound upon today about the true gospel church and about the true gospel convert. We often see somethings blow up like a balloon, bigger and bigger and then eventually pop! When a true gospel church grows, it grows for the right reason, it will grow because of the true gospel, if not, it is because people are abandoning the true gospel (which is prophesied to happen in the last days) Not everything that grows quickly, grows for the right reason.
As we see SOME (not all) “Mega-Churches” that promote nothing but a feel good, self serving, pep talk with very few biblical references, some of which are misapplied or spiritualized out of context.
When I look at the parable of the soils, in Mark 4, I notice one soil in particular that makes this point.
“Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.” Mark 4:5,6
As you read the entire parable: we read about a farmer sowing seed on 4 different types of soil hoping for a harvest. He sows his seed very liberally, throwing it here and throwing it there. Some is sown on the path, some is sown in the thorns, some is sown in good ground, some is sown among Rocks. The farmer is the minister of the gospel, the seed is the true gospel (or else it would be false preacher sowing tares amongst wheat.) the four soils represent four ways in which we all receive the gospel.
When we share the gospel with others, understand not everyone will accept it. When Jesus preached, only a few received Him and we learn in Acts 28:24 that when Paul preached that “some believed the things that were spoken and some believed not” Not everyone who hears the word will believe it.
We are to sow the gospel seed wherever we can and not assume what is good soil and what isn't. Plant the seed and hope for a harvest.
This next story is not for animal lovers, but during Bow season the best shot I ever made was one made by accident. Last year during the middle of Bow season I had waited patiently all evening and with an hour left till sundown I was hoping not to have to walk far to track any deer, if I was fortunate enough to shoot one. Suddenly I saw a doe walking across the field - I aimed at her lungs as she was moving and when I fired she turned and dropped immediately. I thought “Wow! what a shot!” When I got down to see my deer, I notice the arrow was sticking through her forehead, I wish I could say I meant to do it, but I was aiming at her side. But the result was better than expected, she fell right along an area that I could back my vehicle up to and haul her away with little blood in the vehicle.
Brother Hawpe used to say “You miss every shot you don't take” I believe we should all take our aim with the best shot in mind and let God direct the arrow. Keep in mind, the shot that killed an armor wearing Ahab was a random one. Sow the gospel seed wherever you can and let God do the rest.
The sower of the seed has some that falls on good soil eventually, but it wouldn't fall there if it was all spared. You may see a great work in those you share the gospel with. But beware. There is one type of soil that appears hopeful but is, in fact, destined to die. When I read this parable there is one type of soil that fascinates me more than the rest, it is the seed sown among rocks.
Transition: I want to point out three things that are unique to the person Jesus refers to as the rocky soil convert. When they hear the gospel they first receive it gladly, then they progress in it rapidly, but unfortunately they fall away quickly. First, they . . .
I. Receive the Gospel Gladly
“Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.” Mark 4:16
In all the four soils that are described in this parable, the one thing they all four have in common is that they all “hear” the gospel. They all received the word, although some received it poorly they received it nonetheless.