Monday, February 11, 2008

A Pastor's Question

This Sunday, Brant and I visited a new church in Mansfield, South Pointe. The pastor is actually the father of a friend of ours, so we wanted to go and visit - we LOVED IT! As the pastor began his message, I have to admit that I was a little dazed an confussed becaue the church is currently meeting in the cafeteria of a school while their new building is being completed. I guess you could say I felt irreverant. So I said my little silent prayer and just aksed the Lord to help my hear concentrate and pay attention...He of course answered! And not only did He answer, He did a great work on my heart. Bear with me and all of my gibber jabber to see where I'm going.

So Bro. David continues on with the message - he is preaching on the Parable of the Sower - a parable that I know backwards and forwards and have heard a thousand times, but not this way. I saw in a new light, like I had never seen it before and have a compoetely new outlook on this parable. You see, when the sower sows his seed, it lands on four types of soil: the wayside, the rocky, the thorny, and the good. He knows that when he throws the seed out there, it is going to land on bad soil, but he still throws it. If the seed is the Word, we the sower, and the soil nonbelievers, then we should also sow the Seed regardless of where it will land. If there are four types of receivers, the Word says that only 75% will be good receivers, but the Seed must still be sown but the sower still sows his seed amply. This principle was Lesson #1 for me.

Lesson #2 - The sower doesn't bother preparing the soil when he sows it. When the sower throws out his seed, he doesn't go and try to pick up the rocks of the rocky ground, and he doesnt' brush away the thorns of the thorny ground - he just throws the seed. The sower knows that regardless of what the soil is, God will have His way and the Father will prepare the ground - that isn't our job - our job is to sow the Word so that the soil is penetrated! Why do I think that I have the right to decide who hears the Word of God - I don't. The right I do hoave however, is to simple sow the Word whereever I go, to everyone I meet. And yes, maybe only 25% will truely and fully come to know Him, but that is 25% that didn't know Him before.

Now, as I said before, 75% of the seed won't "get" it. And you might ask where I pick up this number: Well if there are 4 kinds of soil making up 100% of the people, and only the good soil "understands and comes to Him" then that leaves the others behind. If you devide these equally, then 75% don't receive, and only 25% do. So here is the perplexing question: Are the other 75% saved? Please allow me to elaborate. The Bible says that the wayside dont' receive the Word, but the Rocky and the Thorny are different. In Matthew, Chapter 13, it says that the rocky and thorny RECEIVE the seed with JOY, but because the roots are small, it chokes and does not produce the fruit.

I believe that to be saved, you receive the Word of God, believe that Jesus is the Son of God who dies for our sins, and ask Him to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life. Works aren't a part of salvation, they are a product of it. I believe ful-heartedly that the Bible and is true and living Word and that Word says that the fruit produced by us will be the testemant to our salvation. So, if the rocky and the thorny soil receive the Word, but don't produce fruit, are they ever saved? And aren't we as Christians often the thorny or the rocky soil? Dont' we receive the Word, but sometimes when the ways of this world fall upon us, and we have lust, and sin, don't we (no matter how long the periods of time are) not produce fruit? Please understand, I'm not AT ALL questioning my salvation, but I am questioning God's meaning here. Does He mean that the rocky and the thorny aren't saved? Or does He deal with them in His own way, like only He can? And are we the rocky and throny soil?

These are the questions that have plagued my mind over the past 24 hours. To see things in a new light has been incredibly refreshing...to be reminded that it is not my job to decide who "gets" to hear the Word of God, but it is my job to sow that Word regardless who it falls on. I am to be a light to a world of darkness.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts - I am very intrested in them. Let me know your thoughts on the salvation of the soils, on the sowing and the sower. Are you perplexed by the question of the pastor?

From the Intriguing Mind,
Ashley

3 comments:

Caroline said...

I like this guys view....
www.faithalone.org/news/y1988/88aug2.htmlys

Remember at the time Jesus was telling the parables he was pretty popular, so he didn't tell them to leave people out. He was fully aware that those that really wanted to know would understand the parable and those that didn't wouldn't get it. He was able to feed who needed it. you may hear it like the baby christian, the carnal christian....in those terms sometimes. Both except Jesus into their heart but not all seek discipleship and some chose to be more of the world and not just in it.

I am so glad that you like the church!!!!! great questions and get sermon!!!!!!

Ginger said...

I'll get back with you on this for sure...I need to digest it a bit first

Ginger said...

Ok...we've been studying Matthew since Jan 1st and I had to go back and read.

I think that the first group (those that the seed was snatched away) were not saved. The seed never had an opportunity to penetrate their hearts.

I think the two groups in the middle (not having deep roots and allowing the world to crowd out the seed) could be saved and just not living in the abundant life that God has for them.

The last group (fell on good soil) were definitely saved AND living the life God had for them...completely in His will, abundant life.

That's my 2 cents...for what it's worth!

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