Jesus used lots of parables – stories that teach a lesson. Jesus’ use of parables is a little surprising. We often think of parables being used to illustrate and teach and give insight into an important truth. And Jesus used them that way. But, he also said that he used parables to conceal truth so that those who aren’t believers; who don’t have the Spirit of God opening their spiritual eyes might not understand. So parables both reveal and conceal truth (Luke 8:10).
In one parable, Jesus described four different soils (hard, rocky, thorny, good). And the seed that landed on each soil grew differently. The seed in the hard soil never took root. The seed in the rocky soil grew and withered. The seed in the thorny soil was choked out. The seed in the good soil grew and bore fruit 100 times over.
I’ll try my hand at revealing truth…Jesus was talking about the gospel. The gospel means “good news”. It’s the good news that even though every one of us is a sinner that deserves to go to Hell forever, Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, came to earth to die for us. And all of us have the opportunity to repent of our sins, to place our faith in Jesus and to choose to follow Him. And if we will place our faith in Jesus Christ and turn from our sins, God will spare us from the punishment of eternal Hell.
But when some hear the gospel, it’s like they haven’t heard it at all. They barely pay any attention to it. It doesn’t impact their lives at all. They are the hard soil.
When others hear the gospel, they put their faith in Jesus and choose to follow Him. But when hard things start happening-like sickness, a divorce, death of a loved one, a lost job or depression, they stop following Jesus. And hard things always happen.
When others hear the gospel, they put their faith in Jesus and choose to follow Him. But life gets so full with jobs, appointments, vacations, cars, boats, houses, eating out, hobbies, kids activities, etc. that they sort of forget about Jesus, ignore Him, do life their own way.
And when some hear the gospel, they put their faith in Jesus and choose to follow Him, and they keep following Him and keep following Him and keep following Him. Even when hard times come, they keep believing in Jesus. Even with all the wonderful things in life, they keep spending time with Jesus, keep serving Jesus, keep worshiping with other believers, keep putting Jesus above all things.
Only one type of person is a true Christian who will go to Heaven: the person who keeps believing and following Jesus and putting Him first until the end of their life.
Are you a true Christian? Are you following Him? Are you putting Jesus first? If you aren’t sure if you are a true Christian, I would love to talk to you about what it means to truly follow Him. Feel free to call me at the River Community Church office at 605-428-4111.