The Parable of the Sower
Matt 13:18-23

18 "Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.    20 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."

Introduction
In Israel during the time of the New Testament one could quite often see a sower sowing seed.   If you think about today most of us have seen someone sow grass seed or sowing seed in their garden.   So this parable has an immediate identification with those in the New Testament or us today.   We know about a sower sowing seed.

Do you know about sowing gospel seeds?    We will look at this parable with that intent in mind.
I want to focus on the Sower,  the Seed,  the Soil,  and the Success.
 
 

1.    The Sower. v 3


Matt. 13:3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow;

Intro.
As I said this is an illustration of a farmer in Israel.
 

A.    Every Christian Can Be A Sower of Seed.
 

B.    A Minister May Be A Sower of Seed.
 

C.    The Lord Is A Sower of Seed.
Matt 13: 37 And He answered and said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, (NAS)
 

D, There must be a deliberate attempt to sow. v 3 b
                "Behold, the sower went out to sow. . . "

Illustration
At the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta a few years ago I saw a man sharing tracts and a personal witness in the Subway Station. Later that day I saw him again and I got an opportunity to talk with him.

I ask him how many people were interested in his tracts? He said "several." I asked how many people he got to lead in the prayer of salvation and he said 153 so far this year. That man was a sower.
 

Application

Every Christian has the opportunity to be a sower. Some say they can not do that but they really have never tried
 
 

2.    The Seed. v 18 - 19


18 "Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

A.    The Seed Is the Word of God
Matt 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

Luke 8:11 "Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.
 

B.    The Seed Matches The Crop Desired.
        1.    Sowing A Personal Testimony Alone Is Not Seed.   (We need to give a testimony)
        2.    Sowing An Invitation Alone Is Not Seed.   (We need to give an Invitation)
        3.    Sowing Seed Produces the Harvest.   (We need to sow the seed )
1 Peter 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. (NAS)

Illustration
On one occasion, I went to hear a lecture by a man who had great success in personal evangelism.  He talked about the need of getting the scripture before a person who is not a Christian.  He cited scriptures that tells us that God's Word brings convicting power from the Holy Spirit.  As an illustration he talked about visiting a man who would not let him share the scriptures.  They had a generally cordial visit but then this pastor said, could I pray for you, would you object if I prayed?
The man said no, that would be all right.

When the pastor prayed, he prayed, "Father, I ask that you help this man to know that Romans 3:23 says  all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  That 6:23 of Romans says the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.   And that Romans 5:8 says that God has demonstrated His love toward us while we were yet sinners.  Christ died for us.  And that John 3:16 says for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  And that Rev. 3:20 says behold I stand at the door and knock.  If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and him with Me.  Father, help this man to understand that.  I pray in Jesus Name.  Amen."  When the prayer was finished, the man had tears in his eyes.  And this pastor was allowed to talk to him further about salvation.  You see, he sowed the Word.

Application

Every Christian has the opportunity to be a sow SEED.   We just need to take the opportunity.
 
 

3.    The Soils. v 19 - 23


19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.    20 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."

A.    Three Kinds of Unproductive Soil.
            1.    Road Side Soil. (Rejecting Heart) v 19
19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

Illustration
On one occasion, I went to a convention in New Orleans and several of us went walking down Bourbon Street.  Our hotel was close by and there was quite a crowd walking down the street and noticing the sights that regularly occur on this street.  As I walked down the street, I noticed the different hawkers as they tried to encourage people to come into their place of business.  One person was a young man.  He looked to be about 21-22 and seemed to be too clean cut and too respectable for that kind of an occupation.

I was impressed that I ought to say something to him or get to talk to him about the Lord.  There just didn't seem to be a good opportunity and I did not have a tract with me.  When we got back to the hotel, it was before supper time and I said to Jim McNiel my roommate, "I'd like to get a tract to take back to that young man.  I just really feel that I am going to have to do that, but I don't have any tracts, and do you have any?  And my friend had some.

So after supper I said, "Well, I'm going to have to go back down on Bourbon Street.  You can come with me if you want to."  He said, "Well, I'll walk with you."  We went back there and I found this young man again.  I caught him in a little bit of a lull around the crowd and I came up to him and I said, "Young man, I am a preacher and I'm here for a convention, but I'm impressed that I need to share something with you.  And I also think that you are a little different than some of these people."  And he said, "Well, you've got that right.  I'm different than these people."  And I said, "Well, son you need to understand what it is to be born again and to know the Lord Jesus."  And about that time, many people started coming up near the door.

I gave him a tract and said, "I guess this is all I can do right now, but I really would like for you to take it and read it."  And he said, "Thank you."  And I turned around and walked away and the crowd made it very difficult for me to even look back and see him.  When I got back to my friend across the street, he said, "Jim you did what you felt like you had to do, but that young man threw the tract away."  Now friend, that young man was roadside soil.  He didn't care anything about the message of the Lord at that moment.  I pray that the Spirit of God has so changed his heart that he has become receptive and that he has become a different kind of soil but he is a good illustration of one who is like roadside soil.

            2.    Rocky Soil. Immature Heart v 20 - 21
20 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.

            3.    Thorny Soil. (Crowded Heart) v 22 - 23
22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Illuistration
These folks have never sang the song I would rather have Jesus
 

B.    Three Kinds of Productive Soil. .
23 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."
            1.    One Hundred Fold Soil. (an honest and good heart)
            2.    Sixty Fold Soil. (an honest and good heart)
            3.    Thirty Fold Soil. (an honest and good heart)
Luke 8:15 "And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
 

Illustration
During The Dramatic Presentation Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames many people will make decisions.

    Some will be Road Side Soil.

        Some will be Rocky Soil.

            Some Thorny Soil.
 

                    Some Will Be  One Hundred Fold Soil.

                        Some Will Be Sixty Fold Soil.

                            Some Will Be Thirty Fold Soil.
 

Application

Why the difference?

Is it the fault of the drama?

Is it the fault of the follow up?

Or A Soil Problem?
 
 
 

4.    The Success.    Psa 126:5-6


5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.    6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Illustration
Early in 1963 I went to be pastor at Nilwood Baptist Church.   They had a young couple in the church, and  the young lady was the daughter of the chairman of deacons.   Her husband was not a Christian and, of course, was not a member of the church.  On one occasion I made an appointment to go talk with him and I presented the gospel message to him.  His name was Lorne.

He was receptive and when I asked him if he would pray asking Christ to forgive him of his sin and inviting Christ into his life, he did so.  I had immediate follow-up with him and clarified the message of salvation and told him the evidence of salvation would be a change in his life and he assured me that he really and truly had made a commitment to Christ.  But you know what, Lorne never came to church the next Sunday, in fact he rarely came to church in the next year and a half.

I moved away but now I see him about every year or year and a half and Lorne is a deacon in his church.  He is a very active person in the life of the Auburn Baptist Church in Auburn, Illinois.  Lorne is an excellent example of one who became soil like the 100%, 60%, or 30% productive person.

All of us are somewhere in this parable.   Where do you see your self?    Where would God like for you to be?   Why not listen to the Holy Spirit of God as He leads you during this time of the Invitation?
 
 


 
 


 
 


 

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And Beyond.    Amen?    Amen!