In Mark 4 and Mt.13 Jesus tells of a person who plants a seed in the ground. He describes the kind of ground the seed is planted in. And how it is the condition of the ground that is the critical factor that determines whether the seed germinates, grows, and bears fruit. This message can be heard at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SlI8ix_aetM&feature=youtu.be
After telling this story the disciples wondered what Jesus meant. Jesus answered them that it was for them who believe in Him to know the meaning of the parable. But, that the reason He told these stories this way was so that for others who would not believe in Him, those that Jesus said are “without”, that “seeing they may see, and not perceive, and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”Mark4:12. So those that are without are without by their own choice. They choose by their own free will not believe when the word is preached to them. Paul is planting as the word is preached. Apollos is watering as God uses circumstances to affect its outcome. And God brings the increase… when a man agrees to receive it. If they will choose of their own free will to believe the word God has sent to them.
This is something Jesus also expressed in another parable in Luke16 about a beggar and a rich man who both died. In this parable, He illustrated the point that for many who choose not to believe the word that has been preached, even if a man were to raise from the dead speaking of His own future resurrection, they still would not believe. And this is why they see but can not perceive. Because as James teaches, God resists the proud who are unwilling to be taught but gives more grace to the humble because they are willing.
Now when Jesus began telling the disciples the meaning of the parable of the sower He revealed to them that the seed is the word of God. And the ground is the heart the word of God is planted in when a person hears the word. And we see in Jesus’ telling of this that the way the ground is prepared has to do with a person’s willingness to hear. We know this because Jesus said He came so that “whosoever will believe” would have eternal life in John3:16. This shows that man’s free will has something to do with having hearing ears. This is why after telling them the meaning of the parable Jesus said: “If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.”
So having ears to hear has everything to do with man’s free will. Because man’s free will is what determines the kind of heart the word is planted in. Whether it is a heart that is “by the wayside, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” This is a heart in a man that has chosen to reject the word that is preached. This then gives satan an opportunity to steal the word before it can make eternal life a certainty in that person.
Or if it is a heart that is made up of “stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” This is a heart in a man that has chosen the easy road over the more difficult one that leads to life. The road with seemingly fewer problems created by those who hate God. What Jesus calls affliction and persecution. And in doing so they reject God’s word that they initially received with gladness.
Or if it is a heart that Is made up of “thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” This person sees what they must leave behind to trust in Jesus and they don’t like the idea. So they keep what they have in this world and reject the word that they heard.
Or if it is a heart that is “good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” This person stays the course even after being tempted like the others in this parable were. Because they determine by their free will that God’s word is more valuable than the things this life has to offer. And it’s more valuable than keeping the friends and family they had while trusting in the things of this life. And that nothing in this life can keep him from focusing on the next life.
The Bible is clear that the word preached is not what is being affected by the things Jesus spoke of in His parable of the sower that chokes it. Because Peter said in 1 Peter1:25 that the word of God endures forever. It is the ground, our heart, that is affected by those things. For it is the condition of the heart of man that causes him to either reject, pervert, or receive the scriptures as written in the Bible. So it is that when we choose of our own free will to reject the word preached for the reasons Jesus describes in this parable. Or to receive the word by rejecting the temptations Jesus described in this parable. Our free will is what makes the ground, our hearts, either able or unable to receive His word to the end that it either produces or does not produce fruit.
The production of fruit is only possible when we believe like Jesus did when He said to the Father “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done” in Luke22:42. Our free will must be under God’s will for us to bear fruit. In fact, this is the definition of fruit. So that we will always defer to God’s will in the choices we make. Because in Mt.12:33-37 we see Jesus saying that the heart is the tree and the words from our mouth are the fruit that grows from the tree. The tree that has grown from the seed of the word of God being planted and allowed to germinate and grow in the good ground that Jesus spoke of in Mark4. Or the tree that has grown from a free will rejection of the word of God that produces bad fruit.
In life, we are faced with all kinds of choices. Those choices are a window into what is really in our hearts. Into what we deem to be what is truth of importance to us. The choices we make are ultimately consistent with either the false god or the true God in whom we have believed. The proof is in every substantive choice we make. Choices that determine the path for our lives. Whether it will be eternal life or an eternity without Jesus the giver of life.
Our free will makes the ground what it is that the seed is planted in. Our free will is what makes the ground either the wayside, shallow, thorny, or good ground Jesus spoke of. Our free will determines whether we will hear God when He speaks to us or not. And our free will determines whether we will think the things of this world are more important, or the things of God. And when a person freely chooses to hear God’s word God then gifts us with the faith that makes it possible for us to receive the gift of eternal life Jesus came to provide for us. The faith that Paul speaks of in Eph.2:8,9 saying, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” So the gift of faith comes by our free will choice receiving it. And the gift of eternal life comes by the gift of faith. And the faith Jesus speaks of in John1:12,13 when He says “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Receiving Him is the part our free will plays. While the birth that Jesus speaks of here that is not of the will of man or of the flesh is God’s part.
So the parable Jesus told of the sower sowing the word shows us how salvation comes to us. And that man’s free will is just as involved in this as is God’s will for us. But, because God desires a man that loves and trusts in Him of his own free will God does not force Himself upon him. But, instead, it allows the word preached and the Holy Spirit’s wooing to show him the goodness of God as Paul writes in Rom.2:4. In the hope that man will see this goodness and turn from his idols to the true and living God.1Thes.1:9.
So if someone tells you that man has a sin nature that he inherited from Adam, otherwise known as total depravity, they are not preaching the Biblical Jesus or the Biblical atonement. Because their rendition of salvation describes a false god that forces himself upon men. A false god that sends men to heaven and hell without their being allowed to choose for themselves, or to even have the ability to choose, what they will or will not believe. This is not the God or the salvation the Bible describes. Neither is it the salvation the apostles described. And this is certainly not the salvation that comes to us that Jesus described in Mark4 and Mt.13.
Have you believed in Jesus? Have you been born of the Spirit so you can inherit eternal life? If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life.John17:3. So if you do not know Him please take the time right now to pray and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead. Because by doing this and really meaning it from your heart you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped to trust in Jesus who alone can equip you for heaven because by His resurrection He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
Prophecy Unfolding Before Our Eyes in Real-Time
God often uses men who are not of the best moral character. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Herod, and Trump (amongst others), to accomplish His will in events He orchestrates during human history. We either trust the sovereignty of God or we don’t. Nothing happens apart from Him…
The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back…
The Birth Pains Are Growing Stronger….
One of the signs of ruling class collapse is when they can no longer enforce the rules that maintain them as a ruling class. When the Romans started making exceptions to republican governance, it was a matter of time before someone simply decided the rules no longer applied to them. Perhaps the robot historians will consider Obama our Marius or Sulla. Maybe that person is in the near future. Either way, the rule of law is over and what comes next is the rule of men.
- Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
- We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9. persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.”
GOD, free will, Bible, Biblical Truth, Mark 4 and Mt.13
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