How Can I Reach Someone Who Is Skeptical of Christianity?
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How Can I Reach Someone Who Is Skeptical of Christianity?

Does the ‘Parable of the Sower’ Teach That God Prevents Some From Coming to Faith?

Aired June 20, 2019
BibleThe Parables

Episode 209 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer questions on what it means that Christians will "judge the nations," suicide, and the Parable of the seeds and the Sower in Mark 4.

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Episode 209 Show Notes

Does the 'Parable of the Sower' Teach That God Prevents Some From Coming to Faith?

From the Show

Does the 'Parable of the Sower' Teach That God Prevents Some From Coming to Faith?

There are some people who hear the gospel, and they embrace it at first, and you welcome them, you embrace them and say, “Oh wonderful, a sheep has come home.” But then one day, they walk away from it all; somebody goes through difficult trials, this is the sun beating down on some of the grain, and it didn't have roots so it withered away; you have people who can't handle tough times, they give up their faith because they thought that Jesus was going to give them health, wealth and happiness and when he doesn't, they just, they didn't have deep roots, they weren't doctrinally grounded. We have tumbleweeds in California, out in the desert, they have no roots, they're dry as dust and they're blown across the landscape and the roads. That's what we're talking about here. Taking no root, they're dead. But then there’s seed that falls into good soil. What's the good soil? The soil of the Word of God. They produce grain, they actually grow and yield 30 fold, 60 fold, hundredfold. And so when he says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” He's not just being secretive with his gospel. The people he's talking to, the Pharisees at least, most of them have hardened their hearts so much that they are attributing His miracles to Satan. And they are plotting his death. Jesus is saying they're the rocky soil. He has spoken to them very clearly, but they will not listen. So, now he gives parables about how they're not listening and says, “the one who has ears, let him hear.” That's believers. Among those who are hearing his message right now, let those who have ears to hear, hear. At the end of the day, it is Christ who calls the sheep, and they will hear, they know His voice, and they know that when he speaks he is the only one who has the words of eternal life. — Michael Horton

Questions in this Episode

1. Why is it so hard to make progress in holiness? What do you think a new Christian should know about this topic?

2. What does it mean to say that Christians will judge the nations with Jesus?

3. I have a friend who is suffering from depression. She says killing herself isn’t wrong because she will be with God, which is better than being in this horrible world. She is a Christian, and isn’t persuaded there’s a biblical reason not to commit suicide. What would you say?

4. I am confused about the comment Jesus made in Mark 4:12, what we call the Parable of the Sower. On the face of it, it seems that God is preventing the people from understanding and coming to faith. Can you explain that? Also, can you talk about the seeds, especially the seed on the thorny ground. Is that someone who is ultimately an unbeliever? Finally, can you recommend a book on the teachings of Jesus?


Encounter’s with Jesus by Tim Keller

Journey’s with Jesus by Dennis Johnson


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