The Worldly Heart
December 24, 2020
Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:3-9).
The hard hearted person is closed to the things of God. The shallow hearted person shows no depth of commitment to Jesus and is easily turned away when faith becomes tested. The worldly hearted person allows the cares of the world to crowd out faith in his life. Slowly and surely these people become so busy with the cares and riches of the world they simply lose interest in the things of God. There were many of these types of people in the days of Jesus.
Again, the seed of the Sower is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The thorns represent the enticing and alluring distractions of this world. Like good plants choked by weeds, faith in these individuals is strangled by the cares of this world and the love of money (Matthew 13:7,22). This is an especially dreadful fate because the one who is ensnared by worldliness does not usually know his predicament until it is too late. He believes he is a follower of Jesus Christ, but in reality he is following after the things of the flesh, such as material wealth, recognition, success, etc. (Mark 10:17–22).
Is this person a Christian? No. Again, the acid test is fruitfulness. Like the hard hearted and the shallow hearted persons, the Gospel is ultimately rejected - it bears no fruit in the person’s life. Jesus said, For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush (Luke 6:43-44), and, You will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13).
“But,” you say, “they received the Gospel, therefore they must be saved.” Not necessarily. Upon hearing the Gospel they had a positive response, like the shallow heart; they went along with it for a while but they were not committed to Jesus Christ or His Gospel. Like many of the recipients of the Letter to the Hebrews, they were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, but in the end they turned away (Hebrews 6:4-6), indicating they were not saved at all. Association with saving faith does not mean exercising saving faith. No spiritual fruit, no spiritual life.
“Lord Jesus, this is a hard doctrine to accept in a day of ‘easy believeism’, but it is what You have taught us, therefore it is the truth. Help me to help others make sure their faith is a saving faith in You and not just a faith in religion that avails them nothing in Your Kingdom. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”