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Four different things that can happen

Last night (Wed., July 2nd), the YouthRoom got pretty intense.  I preached on the Parable of the Sower from matthew 13.

The Bible often is so clear and precise and easy to understand.  The 4 types of ground, and especially the explanation of the parable in Mt. 13:18-23, is a great example.

With the summer in many ways being ‘the wasteland for teenagers’ that I often describe it as, and us just having returned from camp 2 weeks ago, I felt the need to be quite serious in Youth.

I was. And I think God was working.

Every single time the Truth is preached one of four different things can happen in the hearers.  There are four different ways for them to respond. 

Let us not forget Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

1. One response to the preached Word is none at all.  The hearer is hardly phased at all to the things of God.  They don’t understand it.  Satan snatches it away from their heart. This is not a good response.

2. A 2nd response to the preached Word is short lived. The hearer at first appears to be joyfully accepting the Truth of God but soon will fade.  There is no root to their faith. It is not genuine.  It is like a weed growing in an asphalt parking lot crack. It cannot grow too much and soon dies.  This is not a good response.

3. A 3rd response to the preached Word is unfortunate. The hearer seems to sincerely want the things of God, but following Jesus becomes too hard.  The cost of discipleship becomes too expensive.  The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke their faith out, and they become unfruitful.  This is not a good response either.

4. A 4th response to the preached Word is Awesome.  The hearer hears the truth, is convicted of sin, embraces the Gospel of Jesus, and responds in obedience. In other words, the Word has changed their life.  Now they better understand the Truth and are motivated to go and live like it.  In this case, their faith and response proves to be very fruitful.  God is glorified when this repsonse is present. This is a great response.

And so, upon preaching through all of that and the youth listening so intently, I ask… which ground are you?  which response do you have to the preached Word?

As Jesus said “He who has ears, let Him hear.”

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