The Parable of a Seed
Today’s sermon, kind of reflects the last song that we just sang. It talks about God’s Word and of faith in general. The title of the sermon this morning is called The Parable of a Seed. We will touch on a number of scriptures. You can, if you like, write them down because I may go a little fast in some areas. Let's start off by reading this Mark chapter four verses 26 to 29.
When we read Mark 4:26-29 it says: And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
This is Mark 4:26-29.
I. Christians are like farmers.
A. This parable teaches us the importance of the seed. The germ of life is in the seed, within the seed. Man sows the seed, but the power is not within man. It is not within us. Neither is the power within the soil, though, the soil may be good soil. The power is within the seed. Life is within the seed. Man must sow, the soil must receive, but the power resides within God’s word. The power is within God’s word.
1. Paul said this in First Corinthians chapter three and verse six. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
2. The scripture says: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11.
II. So our first subtitle here is; The Kingdom of God is like seed cast upon the Earth. The seed of God's kingdom is equal to the word of God. Luke 8:11 which says: Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
A. Therefore, the seed is indispensable. If we have no seed, there is no harvest. And if there's no harvest, there is no kingdom, just like a literal farmer. If a farmer has no seed, there's no farming. You cannot farm without seed. If he's not farming, there's not going to be any harvest for the farmer. In both cases, the soil may be good, and the heart may be prepared or the soil may be prepared, but there's no harvest without a seed to be sown.
B. We can think about the many honest and good hearts that are around us. We include family members, friends and neighbors and so forth. Without someone like you, without someone like me planting the seed, that is to say God's word, they would never become God's children, of course, unless they read God's word for themselves and seek it out being baptized and so forth. But if they don't do that, they will continue to be in the bosom, in the arms of Satan, as the scriptures would say, the children of Satan.
1. The Bible says: Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. That's first Peter 1:22-23. The seed must again be sown. The sower soweth the word says Mark 4:14.
2. James 1:21 says; Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
3. Notice the word must be received. It must be accepted. It must be taken into the heart. If not, there's no saved soul. There's no salvation. Romans 1:16 says: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
C. The power is within the word, the gospel, but it must be sown first. Then it must be received and believed. Why must God's word be taught? Well, the word must be preached and taught because there is no saving power for example, in a poem. The poem may be provocative, may be cherished, there's no saving power in the poem. There's no saving power in a personal testimony. Once again, there's no saving power in personal testimony, though that testimony may be interesting, may be very interesting, but there's no saving power there and there's no saving power in fables and things like that. They may be historic in nature and they may be renowned, but there's no saving power in them.
1. Notice there's no saving power in those things. There is power perhaps in all word. Notice, Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Proverbs chapter twelve twenty five.
2. If I tell you that someone was an accident, your heart could be heavy because of that person you hear about is in a car accident, but at the same time a good word can be that they are OK. They survived. By hearing those words, your heart could be glad your heart can be lifted up. Well, that has nothing to do with salvation.
3. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! Proverbs 15:23.
4. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver Proverbs 25:11.
5. A word fitly spoken is equal to an apple of gold in a pitcher of silver. Words can be very attractive and that's a form of power. So a word can have power, but have nothing to do with salvation.
6. At the same time for those of people we see on TV, like false teachers or TV evangelists say, for example, like a Joel Osteen, there's power, in his words, power to make you feel better. They may be positive, but there is no salvation in those words if the gospel is not preached. We cannot place our faith in such words to obtain salvation.
7. Why not? Because the Bible tells us: So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17. So the pure seed must be sown. Rotten seed will not produce a harvest, nor will a hybrid seed produce a genuine crop. It may produce something like, for example, the Baptist Church which I came out of, but it will not produce a New Testament church or the New Testament Church, or it will not produce Christians.
8. Notice these words in Galatians 1:6-9. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
9. False doctrines of false teachings cannot produce Christians. Whenever the gospel or the word has been added to or taken away from, it's ceases to be pure.
D. At the same time, however, the pure seed cannot do any good if it's not received by the hearer. Luke 8:15. We must ask ourselves these questions. Do we want to be closer to God? Do we want to have the peace and the joy that God offers unto mankind that he offers here to us? Do we want to hope that the Bible speaks of the hope of Christ, the hope of salvation? Do we want to live truly a fulfilled and a purposeful life? If so, we must receive God's word and we must obey.
E. As God’ children it's our responsibility, to prepare the soil, and to sow the seeds, First Corinthians 9:19-23, then Second Timothy 2:6.
1. First Corinthians 9:19-23, says this: For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
2. Then Second Timothy two and six. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
F. When we sow the seeds, we are successful because we are obeying God. That's one thing, so when we sow the seed, we are successful. Of course, we should do so or encourage people in a proper way. When the seed is sown, the result is left with God. We read in first Corinthians 3:6; I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1. Then once again, Isaiah 55:10-11. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
2. If my understanding is correct, a farmer cannot make the seed germinate in the soil. Neither can we make someone obey the gospel. For example, the seed can be sown and the seed can be good seed, but the condition of the soil and the atmosphere of the soil, may prevent it from germinating. Likewise, the word can be sown, but previous false doctrines sown in someone’s heart can hinder them because they may be trying to hold on to something from the past. By holding on to it, they can't embrace God's word.
3. The environment or influences, for example, family members and friends have a great influence upon people. They may be hindered from obeying the gospel because they don't want to be separated from them.
4. There are things that can hinder people from obeying the gospel. Of course, I'm not saying that a person does not have a choice, but unknown factors sometimes can influence or cause people to make bad decisions.
III. The next subtitle here is Germination of the Seed is a mystery to man. The Bible says a Mark 4:27; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
A. A man may sow the seed, but he may not understand the growth process of the seed. Yet he has faith in the seed. He doesn't doubt it when he sows it. Once the seed a sown, he goes about his life until the plant comes to fruit, that is the harvest. Likewise, we are to sow the seeds of the kingdom, but we may never know how it works in the heart of men, but we are to sow in faith, believing. Next, the process of the nature is orderly. First the seed, then the ear and then the grain Mark 4:28-29. I’ll read it again: For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
1. Ideally a person hears God's word and he or she examines God's word. The Bible tells us that such behavior is noble and we want to encourage that. We read in Acts 17:11; These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. They examined the scriptures to see if it said what they heard.
2. Next, after examining, they then count the cost if they're ready for the commitment. That takes us to Luke 14:28, which says: For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? In other words, am I ready or am I serious about this commitment?
3. Finally, if they are serious about the commitment, they obey the word and no doubt this a joyous occasion when someone obeys the word of God.
4. Acceptance of the word by one or more in a very short time can lead to acceptance of the word by many in any given community. We can think about the many large scale congregations in the brotherhood. Many of those congregations probably started with only a few faithful members. Over time the seed was being sown, the church grew. Of course, the same thing can happen here or anywhere else if the seed is sown into good hearts.
B. Next, when someone accepts the gospel, growth must continue to take place. Notice in Second, Peter 3:18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. Grace is God's unmerited favor. God has given us the favor that we may grow and that we may mature in His presence into the likeness of His Son.
1. The knowledge is the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I understand that those who are married can always learn something new, something more about their spouse, regardless of how long they've been married. There's always something they can learn about that mate. We, being the bride of Christ, how much more of an infinite God that we can learn from? If we can learn more about people in our lives each day, we definitely can learn more about God, about Jesus.
2. Who is the groom? Also, like a young tender plant a young tender Christian needs to be cared for with kindness and cultivation. It needs encouragement. The grain ripens and then comes the harvest Mark 4:29, which reads: But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. The final reaping, in my judgment is the second coming of Christ. The Bible says in Matthew 13:41-43; The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
3. The final reaping for Christians will be eternal life. We find the Galatians 6:7-8 says: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
4. The harvest for the soul, the faithful soul who sows good seed is everlasting life. The final reaping the disobedient will be eternal punishment. The Bible tells us in Romans chapter two verses eight or nine, But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
C. If today was the day of harvest, will we be prepared because we received and cultivated God's words within our lives, within our hearts? Or would we be unprepared because we didn't receive God's word or because we didn't cultivate it in our lives, in our hearts? If we're not prepared for the Lord's coming, now is the time to get ready.
IV. This means we must need to repent and to confess our sins, of course, if we are really God's children or obey the gospel from the beginning if we're not a Christian at all. The Bible says in Second Thessalonians1:6-9; Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
A. If we're not a child of God or a member of the church that the Bible describes and names, all you have to look forward to after this life is God being angry and His wrath. One, because you ignored His love, you ignored the love that He offered you through His Son Jesus, because you obeyed unrighteousness rather than obeying the truth.
1. This is like you telling a stranger there’s a fork in the road at night. For example, there's a bridge and the lights are out or down, going down the left side of the road. But on the right side of the road, there's plenty of light and the bridge is up on the road. As if you were stupid, he turns and goes down the left side of the road. No one in their right mind would call such a person wise who goes down the road where the lights are out and the bridge is out.
2. This is what happens when one hears the gospel when one hears the word and turns their back on what they hear and continue to travel down the road of darkness. That's what happens. The Bible says: 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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. That's Matthew 7:13-14.
If you are not a Christian, if you are not a member of the church, the Christ died for his church, the Church of Christ, you can become a member by entering the straight gate, by obeying the gospel. If you choose not to obey, keep in mind the lack of gratitude that you are showing, the lack of gratitude to the one who died for you and to take you off that dark road that you have chosen to walk on.
The Bible says He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16. So we must believe we must put our faith in Christ. Then Bible says in Luke 13:3, I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. God commands that we all repent, that is to have a change of mind, to turn our minds in the right direction, if you will, and by having a change of mind, it will result in a change of lifestyle, the way we live.
We also must confess, after repenting of our sins. The Bible says: Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew Chapter 10:32-33.
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and washing away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16. Notice calling upon the name of Lord is not kneeling somewhere in prayer. Paul himself, which this command was given to in Acts 22:16. He was fasting and praying, I believe, for like three days. I forget the exact number. But he was praying. But by his prayers he was not saved. He was not saved at that time. He was saved later when the gentleman came to him that God sent to him. He gave him instructions by which to be saved and part those instructions was for him to get up and be baptize calling on the name of the Lord. He called on the name of the Lord not by praying but by obeying the Gospel, being baptized. The Scriptures define or explain itself. We don't need to give it a different meaning of what it says in the Scriptures.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18. The Lord told Peter and the other that he was going to build his church. He did not tell them that he was going to build a multitude or variety of churches. He said his church. On the day of Pentecost, that was the church that was established when the spirit came upon them.
Praising God, and having favor with all the people, and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:47. If you're here today and you want to be added to the church that the Lord promised to build, that he did build, you can do so by responding to the Gospel by once again: hearing it, believing it, repenting of sins, confessing and being baptized. If you are really a child of God, if you sinned in any manner, you can go back to your father confessing and repenting of your sins. He is faithful to forgive you all you sins. You can find that in First John 1:7-9.
If you will, let us stand at this time, if you want to come forward as we sing the song of invitation number 607.Print
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