gty.org/resources/Sermons/41-17

Open your Bible now to Mark chapter 4...Mark chapter 4. This morning we come to one of the extensive teaching sections in the gospel of Mark and there really are only two. This is an action-packed gospel, kind of the newspaper edition of the record of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and Mark doesn't spend a lot of time on the detailed teaching of our Lord, except here in chapter 4 and once again in chapter 13. There are other sections of teaching scattered throughout but not nearly to the degree of the other three gospels. So when we do land on a teaching section, we know that Mark has invested it with great significance, and certainly that is the case in this passage. In fact, the teaching of our Lord here extends all the way down to verse 34, as He gives several parables. Just one of those parables goes down to verse 20. It is the very familiar parable of the soils, sometimes called the parable of the sower, sometimes called the parable of the seed. But it really is the parable of the soils.

Now this is a critically important parable. This is kind of a paradigmatic parable. This gives you an overview as to how to understand the age in which we live from an evangelistic perspective. In other words, this is a parable that defines how people will respond to the gospel and why. Nothing could be more important for us than this because after all, we only have one responsibility, don't we? The Great Commission can be summed up as go into the world and preach the gospel to everybody. Since this is our primary calling and the divine mandate that the Lord has given to us, is critical for us to understand the responses that we will meet. All the other elements of commands and instructions that relate to Christian obedience are only to produce in us a kind of life style, a kind of manifest holiness that makes the preaching of the gospel believable. As the German philosopher said, "Show me your redeemed life and I might be inclined to believe in your Redeemer." Everything drives toward the responsibility of evangelism. What could be more important then than to understand what we should expect in terms of responses? It seems to me that there are many people who have missed all together the significance, even the simple straightforward significance of this parable, as they live under some illusions about responses about evangelism....

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