Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Six-Fold Heart of the Good Soil

 Temple Baptist Church - 7-19-2020

Luke 8:4-15




A.  Here in the Book of Luke, we find the second account of the Parable of the Sower.  As I was reading here the other morning, I began to ponder upon why many people hear the “Good Seed” of the gospel, pray a prayer, and yet few are saved or live like they are saved


B.  Two different types of people are found here:


1.  The Faithless.  We look around us at Christendom and see multitudes who have no desire to assemble, no desire to serve, no desire for the things of God.  It causes us to ask the question, “What happened?”


Matthew 7:13-14  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  (14)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


2.  The Fruitless.  I tell people who dislike being continually asked if they are saved to remedy the problem.  LIVE LIKE YOU ARE SAVED!


John 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.


Hebrews 5:11-12  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.  (12)  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.


C.  I want to look at the four different soils upon which the seed of the gospel fell and why the reaction to the Word of God as so different.


1.  The Wayside Ground Heart.  The unconcerned hearer.  Those who hear with not only a lack of faith but a lack of concern.  To put it simply, they just do not care!  People of our day in general have no fear of God nor do they have a desire for God!  They are damned by their choice to not “hear” with their hearts.


2.  The Stoney Ground Heart.  The calloused or hard-hearted hearer.  Those who hear but have chosen to harden their hearts to the gospel.  They do not want to go to hell but neither do they want to go to heaven.  They are shopping for “fire insurance” instead of “blessed assurance.” The stony ground does not absorb water, it sheds it.  No topsoil, no water absorbed, no fruit!


3.  The Thorny Ground Heart.  The worldly-minded hearer.  Those who are more concerned with living than dying.  Idolatry can be both or either “metal” or “mental.”  Your “god” is what you place above the true and living God.  Family, finances, family, and fun always take precedent over God.


4.  The Good Ground Heart.  The hearer who hears.  Those who desire the heavenly over the earthly.  Those who choose dying over living.  Those who choose the eternal over the temporal.


D.  People who plant to bring increase always “till” the ground.  They prepare the ground to bear the seed.


Genesis 3:22-24  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:  (23)  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  (24)  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


1.  Before the Fall, Adam and Eve simply put forth their hands and took of the fruit of the



2.  After the Fall, Adam was required to “till” the ground to partake of its fruit.  The First Mention of “till” is found here and it means “to enslave” the ground.  To force its compliance to his will.


E.  As I pondered verse 15, I found 6 characteristics of the “Good Ground” hearers.


1.  They have an Honest Heart.  “honest … heart”  They are honest with self and therefore, honest with God.  A right perspective that sees self as God sees us.  One of the hardest things to do in the Bible Belt is get people lost.  Until one is lost, one cannot be found because their will be so true searching.  I never search for my billfold until I place my hand upon my hip and find it missing.  People of our day are self-centered and self-righteous.


Luke 18:13-14  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  (14)  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


2.  They have a Good Heart.  “good heart”  America was once full of good-hearted people.  Neighborly, compassionate, caring people.  Today, it is “Me and my four and no more.”  I still remember my Dad calling our neighbors Mr. Fugate, Mr. Fox, etc.  People opened doors for others, put others first, because they cared!


Matthew 12:33-35  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.  (34)  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  (35)  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.


3.  They have a Hearing Heart.  “having heard the word”  In Romans, chapter 10, verse 17, we find two hearings.  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  Our Lord Jesus often rebuked those who came to hear Him by using the words “ears to hear, let him hear.”  These words are found 8x in the four Gospels.  People come and hear but they will not listen!  Hearing Heart people hear with both the physical ears and the ears of their hearts!


Zechariah 7:11-12  But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  (12)  Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.


4.  They have an Obedient Heart.  “keep it”  People who not only hear but also obey the Word of God.  Our world is filled with people who profess salvation but have no outward show of true Christianity.


Mark 7:6  He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.


Titus 1:15-16  Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.  (16)  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.


5.  They have a Teachable Heart.  “bring forth fruit”  These learn God’s Word, perceive God’s Word, and follow God’s Word.  In our day, those who have a desire to follow Christ and the Bible have become labeled cultic.  What a joy to follow Christ and the Bible!


1 Peter 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:


Psalms 19:7-11  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  (8)  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  (9)  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  (10)  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (11)  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.


6.  They have an Enduring Heart.  “patience”  These often falter and sometimes fail but they get back on track and continue.  I look over our congregation at the older people who have been saved for years and are still the most faithful to the things of God.  Every service, they come.  Their hearts have been changed; their lives have been changed; and their condition remains unchanged.


Psalms 92:12-15  The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  (13)  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.  (14)  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;  (15)  To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

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