Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Parable of the Soils: Rocky Ground

Luke 8: 6, 13
"Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture."
The second type of soil is rocky soil. It is not the kind of soil that has many loose stones scattered around. It is the type that has a layer of bedrock just below the surface. The difference between the heart of this person and the heart of the person characterized by the path is the location of the hardness. The path-like heart reacts negatively to the Word of God (message of the Gospel) right from the start. However, the person we will describe today has an initially wonderful reaction. But, the hardness is revealed later on. This is the person who is emotional and impulsive.

Emotion is wonderful. Many examples can be found in the New Testament where great emotion accompanied the work of God in a heart or the sorrow of human loss (See Mt. 7:37ff; Ac 20:19,31; Phil. 3:18; Jn 11:35-Jesus weeping over Lazarus). The problem with the emotionalism explained in the parable, however, is its superficial nature. It is not based on deep conviction. These people "have no roots."

Here is note from Pastor John MacArthur that should be in flashing lights:
Sometimes shallow acceptance of the gospel is encouraged by shallow evangelism that holds out the blessings of salvation but hides the costs--such as repenting from sin, dying to self, and turning from the old life. When people are encouraged to walk down the aisle, raise their hand, or sign a card without coming to grips with the full claims of Christ, they are in great danger of becoming further from Christ than they were before they heard the message. They may become insulated from true salvation by a false profession of faith. *
So, how do we know whether an emotional response to the Word of God is evidence of genuine faith? The answer is simple: whoever can endure testing is the real deal (see James 1:12). Think for a moment about the army. How do you know a genuine soldier from a fake one? Both sign up at the recruiter's table. Both get hair cuts. And  together they rise early from their bunks on that first morning at boot camp. But when the testing comes, only the genuine soldier endures.

Can you think of ways in which your faith has been tested? The faith of some is tested by pain or loss. The testing of others comes in the form of ridicule. Some also must face the testing of the mind (Colossians 2:8). Whatever your testing was, is or will be you will probably succeed if you learn to embrace it as necessary ( James 1:2-4).

To what extent do you know Christian theology? The surest way to endure is to get grounded in the Word of God. Learn to love sound doctrine and pursue wisdom from on high.

Recommended reading:
1. Knowing God (J.I. Packer)
2. Intimacy with the Almighty (C. Swindoll)
3. The Pursuit of God (A.W. Tozer)

*MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 8-15. Chicago: Moody Press (c)1987 p. 358.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. No, I feel sorry for people like Marylee who fear that they will be going through the tribulation. The apostle Paul believed he other Christians would be saved from the tribulation and he lived before 1830.


  3. The first comment was deleted due to irrelevance to the blog topic.